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Thursday, January 1, 2015

#Interview for Fire Down Below by @AndreaSimonne

Andrea Simonne grew up as an army brat and discovered she had a talent for creating personas at each new school. The most memorable was a surfer chick named "Ace" who never touched a surf board in her life, but had an impressive collection of puka shell necklaces. Eventually she turned her imagination towards writing. Andrea still enjoys creating personas, though these days they occupy her books. She currently makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons.  

You can find Andrea at:

What is your story's heat level? How do you approach the sex scenes?
The heat level is high—four flames at All Romance. My book is titled Fire Down Below for a reason! I wouldn’t describe it as erotica, and the romance takes center stage, but there is quite a bit of sex. It isn’t just thrown in there for the sake of it though. The sex is an important part of the storyline. The main character is torn between her old boyfriend with whom she has great sexual chemistry, and her ex-boss, who she tries to convince herself is not her type.
My approach to sex scenes is that I want them to have meaning in the broader context of the story. I like a bit of awkward realism too, especially when it adds humor. And, of course, I want those scenes to be steamy!

How do you maintain activity as a writer when sitting at a desk all day?
It probably helps that I don’t have a desk! I homeschool my kids, so I basically cart my laptop with me all over the house. One of my favorite places is to stand (yes, stand!) at the kitchen counter and write. It’s kind of clever if you think about it, since I don’t have to go far for either coffee or snacks.

What is it that you loved about the main characters in your story?
I like stories where the characters aren’t perfect. Flaws are what make people interesting to me. When I wrote Fire Down Below I wanted to turn the typical romance on its head, so I wrote a love triangle about the seemingly perfect handsome hero who has fantastic sexual chemistry with the heroine, but there’s this other guy you see. He’s a bald, short, Irishman, named Declan. Yes, you read that right. Declan is bald, on the short side, he’s from Ireland, he’s got this bad boy past, and trust me, Declan is HOT. I am not kidding. You’ll understand when you read my book. (*grins*)

What do you feel is your strongest type of writing? Humor? Angst? Confrontation scenes? Action? Sex?
Sensuality? Sweet Romance? And why?
Humor and dialogue usually come easily though I’m always trying to improve. My strongest writing comes from a desire to show the intimacy between two people in a romance. Not just the sexual intimacy, but the falling in love part. I like to be the fly on the wall when they are alone together. That’s what motivates me as a writer—that bit of magic. When I get to know my characters, and things are falling into place for them, that’s when everything really flows

Are you social media savvy? If so what do you suggest for others? If not, why not?
I have a website with a blog and I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I wouldn’t call myself savvy. I mostly try to have a good time with it. I mention my books occasionally if it’s relevant, but I tend to post humorous things or fun personal stuff. It’s too easy to let social media distract you from writing. I want to be engaging, but at the same time I think people would rather read your next book. I know that’s how I feel about my favorite authors. (So all of you get back to work already! Lol.)

What are some things from your life or things you have observed that you've infused into your stories?
For a short time in college I worked as a barista in a bakery and it’s influenced my writing to a surprising degree. I was just thinking about this recently. Not only does Kate, the main character in Fire Down Below, have a bakery job in her past, but I have a new series coming out called “Sweet Life” and the books center around a Seattle bakery. What’s funny is I only worked at that bakery for about a year. Little did I know.
If you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to visit for story-related research?
That’s a dangerous question! My favorite city is London, so I’m thinking maybe I can squeeze in some kind of “research” trip there soon. Surely someone in my next book needs to go to London for some reason, right? (Let me have a talk with these characters and I’ll get back to you.)

Any fun facts about the research for your book?
As I mentioned, the main hero in Fire Down Below is an Irishman named Declan. He’s from Dublin, Ireland, and so I did quite a bit of research on Dublin. One of the amusing things I discovered is that Dubliners have a low tolerance for boring conversation. Here in the states when someone is telling a long dull story, it’s considered rude to interrupt them. However, in Dublin, if someone is long winded and dull, people have no trouble interrupting. To Dubliners it’s rude to be boring! 

Finally, tell us a little about your newest release!
Kate is nervous about her upcoming thirty-fifth birthday. She’s still single and figures she only has so many good years left to find the right guy. When she runs into her hunky ex-boyfriend, Ben, the only man who’s ever asked her to marry him, she decides it must be fate.
The trouble is Declan, a reformed Irish bad boy. She’s convinced they aren’t right for each other and wants to remain just friends, but then there’s that scorching kiss they shared one night…

“I’m glad we’re together again,” he murmurs, kissing me softly. His fingertips trail down my body creating little sparks on my skin. 
I’m still aware that we’re outside naked. Ben obviously doesn’t care though and I wonder if he sleeps out here a lot. It would be just like him. He’s like a dog that refuses to be kept indoors.
“What are you thinking about?” he asks, sensing my distraction.
“You. I was wondering if you sleep out here a lot.”
He chuckles softly. “I do. Crazy huh? Sleeping on my deck. You’re finding out all my secrets tonight. I love sleeping under the stars.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever slept under the stars.”
“Are you serious?” Ben looks shocked. “Never?”
“I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid and went camping with them once, but that’s the only time.” What I don’t add is that I hated it. All the bugs and dirt. It was awful.
“You were a Girl Scout? I’ll bet you were cute. But I can’t believe you haven’t gone camping since then.” He buries his face in my neck. “We’ll have to fix that. I’d love to go camping and sleep under the stars with you in my arms every night.”
“Sounds great.”
“Really?” He strokes my cheek. “Let’s do it. We’ll go when I get back from California.” 
He kisses me slow and deliberate. I wrap myself around him, dizzy from wanting him again. The past fades away in a smoky haze and the present is bright and clear. There are stars overheard, and I have to admit, the view is beautiful. I decide that I’m even looking forward to going camping with Ben.
Sort of.
Andrea will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.