Linda Grimes is the author of In A Fix, a new Urban Fantasy release from Tor Books. It will be hitting store shelves next week, and in the meantime, Linda dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and chat about her book.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Linda Grimes] My tweetography, huh? Okay, let’s see … "Linda Grimes is a smartass writer of light urban fantasy who will do anything (except take her clothes off) for a laugh."
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about In a Fix?
[Linda Grimes] Yes, I can.
Oh, wait … you want me to actually do it? Okay, I’ll give you the short and long of it.
Ciel Halligan, a kind of human chameleon, has a great job: she steps into her clients’ lives and fixes their problems for them—as them—but collecting her hefty paycheck can be a real killer.
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.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Linda Grimes] Is it too "woo-woo" to say I think they were always there in my head, just waiting for the right trigger to make them spring into view? Because, weird as that sounds, that’s what happened. The trigger was seeing a vanity license plate with the name "Ciel" on it while I was riding along on the Fairfax County Parkway. Ciel—and her story—popped into my consciousness just like that.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Ciel?
[Linda Grimes] Short, sharp, and hilarious.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Mark would never have in his bedroom?
[Linda Grimes] Ruffles, a throw pillow, and a French poodle. (So, of course, Ciel will no doubt give him a ruffled throw pillow embroidered with a French poodle for his next birthday, because that’s just how she rolls.)
[Manga Maniac Café] What is Billy’s single most prized possession?
[Linda Grimes] Oh, that’s easy—his cherry-red 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Nothing else comes close. He was born in the back seat of it, so his connection to it goes back a long way.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Linda Grimes] You mean other than booze and chocolate? (Not really. Okay, maybe a little.)
No, clichéd as it sounds, I’d have to say good books (way too many of them to name here—besides, I’m terrified I’d leave some favorite off the list, and never forgive myself). Every time I read a book that really grabs me—that drags me into another world—I think to myself, I want to do that to somebody!
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Linda Grimes] Booze, chocolate, and … oh, all right. I’ll try to be serious. I need my laptop, quiet, and a good night’s sleep. Without those things I’m pretty useless.
[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Linda Grimes] The Taken, by Vicki Pettersson. The rockabilly-noir sensibility, coupled with the paranormal aspects, just blew me away. It’s so original—I love it!
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Linda Grimes] Astrid Lindgen’s Circus Child was the first book I could read all by myself. Once I broke the key, there was no stopping me! I read everything I could get my hands on.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Linda Grimes] Read, of course. But also hang out with my husband, and my kids (when they visit the nest). Not just because I’m related to them, either—they’re genuinely fun to be around.
I’m also quite fond of providing feedback to people on their cooking, as long as they don’t expect me to participate in the prep. I’m a wonderful culinary audience.
[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?
[Linda Grimes] They can find me at my blog, Visiting Reality (lindagrimes.com), or on Twitter (@linda_grimes).
I’m also on GoodReads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5029662.Linda_Grimes).
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, and for asking such fun questions!
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
You can preorder In A Fix from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below
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.