I’m so excited to introduce you to Linda Grimes, author of IN A FIX. As you will soon see, Linda is very witty and imaginative– much like her novel! [Be sure to sign up for the Urban Fantasy Land newsletter for a bonus anecdote from this interview.]
UFL: IN A FIX is about people with the ability to alter their appearance by taking on another person’s aura, which is a very interesting super power for urban fantasy. Could you tell us about how you came up with this idea and how it evolved into a story?
As soon the character of Ciel popped into my head (after I saw the name on a vanity license plate), I knew she could look like anyone she wanted to—that ability was an integral part of her from the beginning. I also knew she wasn’t a “shape-shifter,” not in the same sense shape-shifters are generally thought of, anyway—that there wasn’t some physical metamorphosis going on when she changed appearances. She could change instantly, by altering the energy that surrounded her—her aura.
To be honest, I didn’t try to think of the concept; it just … well, was.
UFL: Would I be correct in assuming taking on an aura is similar to acting? How has your experience as an actress helped you write this story?
Oh, definitely. Taking on an aura is like Method acting in the extreme. Ciel goes through much the same process to get the “internals” of her clients right as I did when I “got into character” before going on stage. I think most writers probably do something similar when they’re deep in their characters’ POVs.
I’ve found a background in theater to be extremely helpful with my writing. Not only in the character development sense, but also in the directorial sense—how to set the “stage” for each scene to its best advantage in order to further the plot. “Blocking” your characters in a scene is like blocking them onstage. Always knowing where they are keeps the confusion to a minimum, I find. This is essential for me, because I tend to write rather *cough* complicated plots.
UFL: I’m sensing some influence from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Was she an influence? What other authors influence and inspire you?
Yeah, I’d say so. I love Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, so I’m sure I was influenced by her, among many others. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, for instance (what smart-ass—I love that!) and Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar (another wise-ass … are you sensing a theme here?). I’ve always appreciated a mouthy character. *grin* And I think all writers are influenced in some way by every book they read.
UFL: In IN A FIX, Ciel travels to Sweden. I understand you’ve been to Sweden and other countries around the world. Do you have plans to take Ciel around the world as well?
Absolutely! Book 2 (QUICK FIX) is set mainly in NYC, but I suspect there are more international adventures for Ciel on the horizon. I do love Ireland … and France … and Australia (though I haven’t been there yet), so who knows where Ciel may wind up? All I know is, wherever she goes, trouble will surely find her.
UFL: Ciel is caught between two very hot guys. Who would you dream cast as Mark and Billy?
That is kind of tough, since no actor I know of looks exactly like the guys in my head. I can narrow it down to types, but that’s about it.
Billy is kind of a combination of Matt Bomer (from the TV series White Collar), Callum Blue (from the TV series Dead Like Me) and Ian Somerhalder (from The Vampire Diaries). They all have that dark-haired bad-boy charm like Billy.
Mark makes me think of a young Steve McQueen (only, yannoh, not dead) or perhaps Charlie Hunnam (from Sons of Anarchy). Hot, blond, and dangerous.
But, really, I think readers should “cast” the book however they see fit. Different strokes for different folks, especially when it comes to whom we consider hot, right?
Thank you so much for hosting me on your marvelous website, Sara!
Thank you for being here, Linda! Best of luck with IN A FIX!
About The Author: Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses and embarrassed herself onstage a lot. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime.) Like her globetrotting main character, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.
About The Novel: Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.
This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable… that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.
Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.