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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meet Andrea Downing, Wild Rose Press author

Today I’d like to introduce Andrea Downing, a fellow Wild Rose Press author.

Hello Andrea, and welcome. Tell us a little about your writing adventure

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely.  I may have come late to it, but I am positively dedicated to it.  You can’t take writing as a hobby; there is too much involved, too many people relying on your keeping your deadlines to play around with this.  I had to laugh at my brother, a lawyer.  I was discussing with him whether the IRS would consider my writing a hobby, as Loveland is my first published book, and I told him about the various items I had to have to show it as a profession. He said, “who the hell sits down and writes a book as a hobby?”  You may have to do it part-time, you may have things that get in the way—and believe me, if you work at home, they do get in the way—but you still have to be dedicated to it.  I certainly am.

Introducing Loveland


When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...
Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.
Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

Loveland excerpt


     As the round-up wound down, the Reps took their stock back to their outfits, and soon the men were back at headquarters or at the camps.
     Alex knew word had more or less got out and found the punchers were gentler now around her, had a sort of quiet respect for her, and she hated it. She tried to bully them a bit to show them she was still the same girl, jolly them into joshing with her as they had before. It was slow work. At the same time, she yearned to see Jesse, to speak with him, to try to get life back to the way it was before the argument at the corral, and before he saw the scars.
     The opportunity didn’t present itself. She would see him from a distance some days, riding with the herd, sitting his horse with that peculiar grace he had, throwing his lariat out with an ease that reminded her of people on a dock waving their hankies in farewell. Hoping to just be near him, she slid into one of the corrals one evening to practice her roping.
     The light was failing and the birds were settling with their evening calls. Somewhere in the pasture a horse nickered. She sensed Jesse was there, watching, but she never turned as he stood at the fence. She heard him climb over and ease up behind her. He took the coiled rope from her in his left hand and slid his right hand over hers on the swing end, almost forcing her backward into his arms.
     She thought of paintings and statues she had seen, imagining his naked arms now, how the muscles would form them into long oblique curves, how he probably had soft downy fair hair on his forearms, how his muscle would slightly bulge as he bent his arm. His voice was soft in her ear, and she could feel his breath on her neck like a whispered
secret.
     “Gentle-like, right to left, right to left to widen the noose, keep your eye on the post—are you watchin’ where we’re goin’?” He made the throw and pulled in the rope to
tighten the noose.
     Alex stood there, his hand still entwined with hers and, for a moment, she wished they could stand like that forever. Then she took her hand away and faced him. For a second he rested his chin on the top of her head, then straightened again and went to get the noose off the post while coiling in the rope. She looked up at him in the fading light and saw nothing but kindness in his face, simplicity and gentleness that was most inviting.
     A smile spread across her face as he handed her the coiled rope and sauntered away, turning once to look back at her before he opened the gate. Emptiness filled her like a poisoned vapor seeking every corner of her being, and she stood with the rope in her hand listening to the ring of his spurs as his footsteps retreated.

****

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

I love traveling.  My parents were great travellers and I guess I’ve inherited it from them, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that.  Living in Europe for so long was a privilege because you have all those different countries, those different cultures, within such easy reach.  But I also lived in Africa for a bit, and then I am originally from the states so travel here a great deal.  I think at last count I’ve done 30 states.  My daughter is very involved with Latin America so I’ve also been down there to several countries either to visit her or traveling with her.  Aside from that, I’m absolutely passionate about the American west and its culture.  Horses, rodeo, native American arts, you name it, I love it. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

Actually, I was torn between acting and writing.  I had voice lessons and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts summer school and, of course, took part in every school play I could. At the same time I was also taking every creative writing class available. I wanted to go on to RADA in London but got side tracked for various reasons and went back to the writing, ended up co-editing a poetry magazine and working in publishing. 

What historical person would you want to meet and why?

I would love to meet Elizabeth, or Libby, Custer.  The daughter of a doting father who was a judge, she came from a very privileged background and married George Armstrong Custer who was basically a nobody at the time.  She followed him all over, during the American Civil War, and later on his assignments out west, giving up the luxuries to which she was accustomed for quite a hard life.  They had a very passionate relationship—apparently their letters are really sexually charged—and Libby spent her life as a widow writing and lecturing about her husband, trying to revive his reputation after he had been blamed for the Little Big Horn massacre by President Grant.  She proved very successful at this and actually died a wealthy woman on the proceeds of her books and lectures.  But I wonder how she would see Custer’s pursuit of the Native Americans with the benefit of hindsight, and I wonder what fuelled such passion in her.

If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?

Wow, is that a difficult one!  You know, someone once told me that I’d been born in the wrong century, and I love the idea of going back to the 19th century and living during the golden age of the cowboy between the end of the Civil War and 1887.  But lately, I’ve thought I would really like to see what the world will be like in the 22nd Century.  I fear for this planet tremendously.  The weather the last few years has proven to me that we are headed for real disaster and all the forest fires we’ve had in the US this summer might just be the start of something really big—and bad!  I’d love to know what happens, whether all our technology finally comes in to save the day or whether we’re beyond repair.  Sorry to be so morose but you did ask!

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

Considering what I’ve just said it has to be something that will change life for all of us for the better.  Can I have the power to change the weather?  I’d bring rain to Texas and the southwest, put out those forest fires, stop hurricanes, lessen wind which seems to be increasing, get the snowfalls right (I love snow but there has to be a point at which it stops!) and make bright, sunny days without too high temperatures!  For the most part, we need more water in some places and less in others.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Oh, please:  I cry at the end of just about every film I’ve ever watched.  I’m the biggest cry-baby ever.  Name a film, I’ve cried—I’ll leave you with that!

Thanks so much for having me, Jean.  New Zealand was on my list to visit and this has been a great visit with you.  Thanks so much for letting me stop by here!

Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she developed a penchant for tea drinking, a tolerance for rainy days, and a deep knowledge of the London Underground system.  In 2008 she returned to live in the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide-open spaces of the West.  Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Visit Andrea at
Loveland is available at


Thank you for joining me today Andrea. Wishing LOVELAND many sales.

Jean


4 comments:

  1. Hi Jean and Andrea!

    Its lovely to have you back here in beautiful New Zealand with us Andrea :) I love your idea for a superpower! I do wonder if you're right about the fate of our planet. Added to the weather problems, it seems natural disasters are more frequent too. Earthquakes, Tsunami's (or is that Tsunamies?) volcanic eruptions etc. It seems the earth is trying to buck us off! Can't say I blame it :)

    I've already got "Loveland" on my TBR pile. I can't wait to get to it!

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  2. Hi LaVerne: great to see you again. Let's not be too fatalistic but, yeah, natural disasters are more plentiful than they used to be--fires all over the American west this summer, floods, more powerful hurricanes, and so on. I sometimes wonder, if they can get us to Mars, why can't they sort out Earth first? Well, for Romance writers this is pretty heavy stuff but maybe it explains the desire for paranormals, shape -shifters and the like. Me, I go back to the innocent past. Hope you'll like Loveland. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. What a great interview! I'm afraid I'm a big tissue-clutcher at movies, too--as soon as that music swells, there I go too. The book sounds wonderful. best wishes!

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  4. Thanks for your good wishes, Barbara. I've been searching for Mansize Tissues since returning to the USA without any luck and my handbag is now filled with scrunched up disintegrating little kleenex. It's bad for filmgoers like me!

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