Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Welcome Andrea Downing to our Garden Interviews

Hello Andrea

Tell us about you and your books

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?

     My stories are pretty much character-driven so, while I know the outline of the plot, mainly the beginning and the end, incidents along the way unfold as the characters develop.  I know there’ll always be a black moment, as well, a point where either the hero or the heroine calls it quits with the intention of leaving, but I’m never quite sure where that will be.  I like lots of conflict and faulty characters.  Cooper Byrnes in Always on My Mind is a prime example

Are your characters based on real people?

     I think every writer incorporates a certain amount of people they know into their characters, but I’ve never created an entire character out of one person.  You may take a quirk of one person you know, along with a habit of another, and a facial expression of someone you’ve seen. Cooper was an amalgam of a lot of guys I knew way back when, and Cassie incorporates some women from that period.  I people-watch a lot so beware if you’re sitting waiting for a flight, opposite me in the boarding area.

How did you do in English as a kid?

     Is this a prompt to boast?!  I actually did very well, and majored in English in college and then took my MA in American Lit., and ended by teaching English Language at university level.  But I also took every ‘creative writing’ course available in both high school & college and got top marks.  Hasn’t got me on the NYT best sellers list though…

Do you have trouble saying goodbye to characters?

     Yup!  I’m still in love with Jesse from Loveland, my first book.  I don’t think I did him justice, so he niggles me a lot.

Do you have to travel researching your book(s)?

     I like to have a good sense of the setting of my books.  I spent several days in the Loveland, CO, area for Loveland, and also traveled to Hill Country, TX, for Dances of the Heart.  I’m lucky enough to have a place outside of Jackson, WY, in the Tetons where I have been setting my latest books.  For Dearest Darling, I went out to the Cunningham Cabin in Grand Teton National Park and set Daniel’s ranch there.  It’s a spot I now return to whenever I can; once a ranch, it is really off on its own and you can just imagine how lonely it must’ve been to live there, especially in a Wyoming winter. Coop’s ranch is set on the road that leads from Jackson to my place, so I know it well.

and for a little fun...

What did you want to be when you grew up?

     It was a close call between being a writer or an actress.  I was really dying to do theatre at university but I was sixteen when I went to college and my parents nixed it.  They did let me do a summer course at the American Academy of Dramatic Art and, of course, I had parts in school productions.  But then I got involved with a group of poets and began to have other ideas.

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?

     Absolutely not.  I was once on a train in Britain, one of those with the closed cabins that sit four people either side.  I was alone with three factory girls—their job was to put the tiny tube for spray deodorant in the bottles as they passed on the conveyor belt.  I can’t think of anything more horrible that doing that all day. Hopefully, that’s automated by now.

Do you enjoy giving interviews?

     Come on.  Who doesn’t like talking about themselves on paper?  If it was an in-person interview, it would be something else though.

Do you have any hobbies?

     I used to do handloom weaving and macramé, but nowadays it’s more cooking and making ice cream.  Oh, and eating.

What is your favorite comfort food?

     Do you really need to ask?!  Chocolate, of course.  Okay, so wine is a close second…

Where can we find you online?

Download Always on My Mind on amazon and other online retailers


Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

Thanks for letting us get to know you, Andrea. said...

Enjoyed learning more about you, Andrea. Stay well and best of sales.

Andrea Downing said...

Anna, thank you! The TWRP group seems to be an ever-changing club and all of it wonderful. I'm proud to be a part.

Thanks Charlotte for those good wishes. Much appreciated. Hope you are well, too.

Liz Flaherty said...

I so enjoy these interviews! The Roses are an interesting bunch.

Andrea Downing said...

Sure are, Liz. We're many and varied.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

I enjoyed your interview. Chocolate is a favorite of mine, too. :)
Interviews on online are fun. In-person, I'm a nervous wreck. lol