Yet another episode of “Ask Andi Random Questions”

Greetings, peeps!

I know. I’ve been out of the loop for a bit. Traveling and the like.

I did get some STELLAR news a couple days ago, however. The anthology that I co-edited with fellow author/editor R.G. Emanuelle made the finalists’ list for a Lambda award. That would be All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica. Hit that link to find out more. Many thanks to all who contributed (list at the link), our designer, Sue Niewiarowski, and to Ylva Publishing. We are honored to be a part of this. See you in June!

All right! Now let’s talk about Q&A. Every once in a while, I ask people to ask me whatever questions they want and then I post those along with the answers here on my blog. For those of you who asked more than one question, I took one from each. So let’s get to it!


What are you currently working on?
Mostly nothing. I’m on a writing hiatus, though I do have some projects I’m trying to get lined up. Those include a longish short story for an anthology later on this year, a romance novel that I’m hoping to publish toward the end of this year, and the fourth in my sci fi series. But since December, I really haven’t worked on writing. Probably for the best, because even writers burn out and need to rejuvenate. πŸ˜€

What’s the most memorable biography you’ve read?
I don’t actually read many strict biographies. Rather, I read lots and lots of history that often incorporates a semi-biographical approach. I’m currently reading what could be considered a biography of the creator of Wonder Woman by historian Jill Lepore. But it’s not really strict biography. It’s also a history of the man’s family, the historical context in which he operated, and how Wonder Woman reflected that. Fascinating stuff.

What 4 people impressed you most, and why? Ok, it was 2 questions.
I simply can’t limit that to four. Every person I meet has a story, and I don’t look to “be impressed” by anyone. Rather, I look to learn from all I meet. There are people I admire for a variety of reasons and those I try to emulate because of their spirit, integrity, and approach to life, but that’s not “being impressed.” That’s being humbled and trying to be a better person. There are days I don’t succeed, but I keep working at it. πŸ˜‰

What are you currently obsessed with?
Hmm. “Obsession” is a strong word. I have things I feel strongly about, however. I’m a fairly devoted follower of The Walking Dead and some comics. I also really enjoy tai chi (something I recently took up), and I consistently work out. I’m not really “obsessed” with any particular thing, because I try really hard to stay in balance in most respects. And no, I’m not always successful, but there you go.

If you were going to write a country western song about your life, what would its title be?
There are many options. Here are 5:
“But You Said It Was Casual”
“I Left My Truck at the Wrong Bar”
“A Little Dust on the Saddle”
“I Only Wear Heels on My Boots”
“Rode Hard, Danced Harder”

You have written stories on many genres and with many characters. What is your personal favorite genre and characters you have wrote about.
Heh. That’s like asking someone which of their kids is their favorite. I like writing every genre I work in. I do have a longer history with speculative fiction (and that includes sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal). My first official short story was a post-apocalyptic thing I wrote when I was a sophomore in high school. I also wrote fantasy novels (long-hand, notebook paper) in high school. My first official submissions for publication (all rejected, but very kindly) were fantasy stories when I was in graduate school. I also love paranormal stuff, so I have some stories along those lines and I’m dabbling with a series of paranormal novellas and a novel. That said, I’m also pretty close to mystery/thriller. I have a background in anthropology, with some emphases in forensic anthro and criminalistics, so mystery is also something that’s been in my life for a while. Writing romance, however, is something that’s relatively new, but I enjoy it.

Regarding characters, again, I’m not going to favor any over any others. There are stories that are a bit closer to my heart than others, but I work hard on all the characters and stories I write and ultimately, I hope that readers can relate to my characters and enjoy following them.

What do you have to have around you when you write?
I can write pretty much anywhere, but I do maintain an office space. I have both sitting and standing desks because I do 45-minute shifts at both (which means I’m mostly a laptop person, so I can move it easily from one to the other). I’m very careful about sitting too long. I like candles and incense and music when I do a session in my office. If I’m on the road, I’ll have earbuds to stream music on my computer while I’m writing.

Speaking of…

What music do you listen to when you write?
Depends on the genre. I listen to a lot of chill/trance when I write speculative fiction and a lot of rock/pop/other when I’m working in mystery and romance. I maintain some playlists at Spotify to give you a taste of them. You’re welcome to check them out.
From the Boots Up; From the Hat Down; Land of Entrapment; Friends in High Places (Far Seek Chronicles 1); A Matter of Blood (Far Seek Chronicles 2); The Edge of Rebellion (Far Seek Chronicles 3).

What time of the day do you feel more productive?
I don’t have a choice in this. I work a day job, so I have to be ready to write around 8 PM on weekdays. I’m up early to go to work, so I’m focused on that in the morning, though I’m not really a morning person. However, since I went off caffeine, it’s much easier for me to be a morning person than it used to be. At any rate, in terms of writing, I’m better in the afternoons/evenings/night-time, but I have to take whatever writing time I can get. πŸ™‚

How much are them apples, how deep is that water hole, what time does the next train run?
1. Depends on the season and region in which you’re buying said apples and where they’re from/type. Gala tend to be average, but Honeycrisp are more expensive (and super de-lish).
2. Depends on the place, though the deepest and coldest water hole I have personal experience with is Blue Hole, New Mexico.
3. If you’re in DC or NYC, chances are you’ll be able to catch a train every 15-20 minutes if not less. If you’re traveling Amtrak, well, that could be anywhere from a few minutes to a day.

What inspires you?
Everything and anything. I’m always amazed at how people simply don’t pay attention to things beyond their arm’s reach. I see interesting things every day, and I’m constantly wondering about things and wondering about what motivates people and what they’re doing. People are endlessly fascinating, and the world in which we live has so many beautiful outdoor spaces. When you start paying attention, you’ll find inspiration all around you.

What events will you be attending this year?
Generally, I don’t know what I’ll be attending. There are things I’d LIKE to attend, but I have to ensure a certain flexibility in my schedule due to the various things going on in my life. I can say that I’m leaning toward attending the Lambda Awards in June. I’ve never been, and since a book I co-edited is on the finalists’ list, that might be a whole lot of fun just to go and scratch that off my list of interesting things I’ve always wanted to do. Plus, if we win, well that’s just icing on an already awesome cake. πŸ˜€

Why is prostitution illegal?
Because societies have weird hang-ups about acknowledging their weird hang-ups about sex. Plus, if it were, then that would be granting women, especially, a whole lot of power over their own bodies and we just couldn’t have that, now, could we? ::snark::

If you were to be reincarnate what do you want to be the next time around?
I am really hoping that I can be a lesbian again. Especially one like me. LOL

Red or Green?
Yes. (For those not in the know, that’s the official New Mexico state question).

Have you watched any Wentworth on Netflix? If so, your thoughts.
Y’know, I haven’t because I actually prefer not to watch too much by way of prison dramas. I have yet to watch season 2 of Orange Is the New Black because I actually agree that it’s fluffy compared to what life in prison is actually like. I think Wentworth (I’ve seen bits n’ pieces) is probably a truer look at what life in prison is like, and that prison doesn’t rehabilitate you and probably just further hardens you. I like to watch shows to escape, and shows like this only make me start thinking about how to work harder for social justice in terms of prison reform (which I think about a lot anyway), which completely derails any kind of escapism for me. That said, there’s lots of fodder in both for story ideas.

Why did Shirley Temple put animals crackers in her soup? I’ve been wondering about this since I was a child.
Clearly, she was working out some deep-rooted fears of animals in her sly musical rendition of the privilege of having animal crackers to put in soup in the orphanage. Witness the lyrics about the “big bad wolf” in the song she so ably performed in the 1935 movie Curly Top. Plus, she was a total REBEL in that movie. She wasn’t supposed to sing in the dining room, but by golly, she did anyway. GO, SHIRLEY.

And there you have it! Thanks for playing, all!

One thought on “Yet another episode of “Ask Andi Random Questions”

  1. Thanks for answering my Wentworth question. I’ve tried to watch it, but it was just too hard. I may be nuts, but prison life interests me. The Ohio Reformatory for Women is in my hometown. My grandmother was on some kind of board there and she used to take me with her when she went to visit. Who would take a little kid to a prison? She did. Maybe that’s where my curiosity started. Anyway, like you , I watch stuff to escape. Wentworth doesn’t do that for me, even though it’s about women. I prefer Walking Dead, too! Thanks again!

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