Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Today I am whiling away the hours on the sofa with Andrea Speed, who's here to answer some of my titilating questions and tell us some more about her latest release, Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned #1)  The cover of which I absolutely adore and am sure you will too...

Thank you for joining me on the sofa, Andrea and for agreeing to answer some questions for me.  
1.         So who is Andrea Speed?

           An ancient curse, writ large upon the land for revenge! Revenge on behalf of the nerdish    
           and nebbishy, the weird and the socially awkward! Or not. It could go either way.

*moves slightly further away from Andrea and takes the best biccies with her*  That's nice, dear.

2.         Tell me a bit about your current WIP / latest release.

            Well, Pretty Monsters is the first in the Josh of the Damned series, all about the exploits of a convenience store clerk on the overnight shift at a store with a hell portal in the parking lot. So along with his usual night owl customers, he has zombies, lizard men, yetis, and giant mustaches to deal with, amongst other weird things. It's a dangerous job, but hopefully never boring. 

Coool - that's a really fabulously original idea - can't wait!

3.         How do you work, do you pick a title first, or characters names, or how they look?

            It sort of depends on the story, although usually the title is the last thing I settle on, because I have a hell of a time thinking up titles. Second to last would be looks, unless it's vital to the character.

4.         When did you know that writing was your passion?

            As soon as I learned to write. There were writers on my mothers side of the family, and excellent liars on my father's side of the family, so I was pretty much born to do little else.

5.         What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?

           First published book? That would be Infected: Prey, and I think it took a couple years for 
           that one to make the transition from finished product to publication. Of course, that was
           the second version of Infected, but that's another story.

 6.       What some don’t realize is that writing is a discipline and you have to proportion a part 
           of your day to it – how long does it usually take you to complete a manuscript?

            Ages. Far longer than it should. I'd say anywhere from six months to two years, depending on how much time I have, if I trash the story somewhere along the way. That has happened.

 7.      Do you outline your plots first?  Or are you like me and just go hell for leather?

         I know what the plot is, but I don't properly outline it. I know where it has to go, but you 
         have to leave room for your characters to do their thing. They will whether you want them 
         to or not.

 8.    Out of your body of work – do you have a favourite character?

        It's like picking a favorite kid, isn't it? To be honest, it kind of changes, depending on my 
        mood. But I do like Roan, as much as I want to beat the hell out of him sometimes.

9.      If you were to offer advice to someone starting out, what would you say?

        Just keep at it, and don't be discouraged. Also, the internet can be your friend.

 10.  Who are your favourite authors, in any genre?

        Oh dear, that list is incredibly long. I have many, many favorite authors. But I suppose if a 
        book comes out by Ken Bruen and I didn't know about it, I get a little upset with myself.

11.  If you hadn’t chosen writing, or rather, writing hadn’t chosen you, what do you think
       You would be doing for a living?

       Panhandling? Ha!

12.  What do you do in your free time?  And don’t say writing!

       How about reading? Can I say reading?

Reading is allowed!

13.       What makes you laugh?

           So many damn things. I surround myself with comedy, as I am a comedy nerd. In fact,     
           don't even talk to me on a Friday, because for some reason all the best comedy podcasts 
           come out on Friday (save for Superego, which is sadly only a monthly podcast), and I'm 
           busy listening. If anyone ever wants recommendations, I could give you a ton.
14.      What irritates you most about other people?

           Again, too many things. I'm naturally a loner, so people bothering me when I'd rather be 
           left  alone is a big one. People who wear too much perfume, people who are rude and selfish, 
           people who are so clearly full of themselves and always think they're right, regardless of the 
           facts ... oh, I could continue. I won't, but I could.
And finally….

15.       Would you like to share with us your favourite joke? 

Favorite? Holy crap, there's so many, and they change on the day. Do I pull one from Monty Python or Airplane or the Colbert Report or Dave Attell or Eugene Mirman or Paul F. Tompkins? Then there's Mr. Show and The Kids In The Hall to consider. Perhaps I should just quote one that isn't funny more than its oddly wise. Mitch Hedberg had a joke: An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an "Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order" sign, just "Escalator Temporarily Stairs". Sorry for the convenience. I bring this up because the last comic con I went to, there was an "Out of Order" sign on an escalator, and that's the first thing that popped into my head - "It's not out of order - it's just become stairs! Open it up!" Hedberg's actually good for much wisdom. He also once said, "If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. Truer words ...

Thank you for coming to chat, Andrea and I wish you many sales. 
It's been a pleasure talking with Andrea Speed and you can find her at:-  

And here’s a little taster of  Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned #1):

The first time the hell vortex opened in the Quick-Mart parking lot, Josh very seriously considered quitting his job. But all that came out of it was a lizard guy, and all it did was amble inside, buy a bag of chips, and leave. All the monsters, while ugly, seemed nicer than his late-night human customers, and Mr. Kwon offered him hazard pay, so he stayed on.
Besides, it wasn’t all bad on the night shift. For instance, right now he was looking forward to the return of Hot Guy.
Of course it was a super hot night, still eighty degrees around midnight, and the air conditioner had to pick now to die. Josh peeled off his polyester work smock and put his nametag on his t-shirt, hoping Mr. Kwon wouldn’t suddenly show up and demand he put it back on. It breathed like a trash bag.
His latest customer was an obviously stoned guy buying a wheelbarrow full of snacks. Not only were his eyes glassy and red, but he reeked of pot smoke, making Josh wonder if he’d spilled the bong water. Pot Guy left and someone else came in. Josh leaned over the checkout counter, hopeful, but it wasn’t Hot Guy, just a lizard guy.
Guy” in a generic, gender free sense of the word, of course, because Josh had no idea how to tell if they were male or female. Maybe they didn’t even have genders. He didn’t know how to ask without being a rude bastard, and there was a chance he wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.


  1. That's one of my favorite Mitch jokes, and I think of it too everytime I see an escalator "out of order" =)

  2. Mitch was a genius. He died too soon.