Monday, July 16, 2012

Introducing Harlequin Desire Author Andrea Laurence

Hey everyone. Thank you for having me here today. I'm very excited to get the word out about my latest release – More Than He Expected.

Today, we're going to talk about fears. Yes, fears. Everyone has them. Sometimes they are a rational, self-preserving fear, like the fear of fire or snakes. Sometimes, they're not so rational. Personally, I have a strange list of fears. I'm not bothered by snakes, spiders or rats. Obviously, I'd rather avoid poisonous ones and getting bitten, but they don't bother me as a whole. I had a friend with a red-tailed boa constrictor when I was in high school. Her name was Lily. She was six foot long and liked to curl up next to you on the couch and watch TV. Creeped out yet? Sorry. That's stuff doesn't bother me.

My fears fall solidly in the irrational category for the most part. I read Stephen King far too young, so I have a basic fear of clowns and storm drains. In the clown category, you can add dolls that talk or have googly-eyes, puppets and marionettes. Nope. Don't do them. I'm probably the only kid that broke out into hysterics during the goat puppet scene in the Sound of Music. Googly-eyed marionette! "Yo-da-lay-hee-hoo." Ugh.

I have two other fears that I feel are rational, but most folks would disagree. The first is squid. The fear developed in my freshman zoology lab where we dissected one and I discovered it had a large, parrot-like beak. And that those 'suction cups' are actually lined with little teeth that sink into the skin of its prey and hold it in place. Squid are aggressive, mean, and are thought to grow more than 20 feet long. I had a panic attack in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum when I ran across their preserved juvenile squid that ran along an entire corridor. No thank you. My answer to this issue, of course, is to stay out of the ocean. That has worked well for me so far, aside from mean friends sending me squid videos, squid pictures and threatening me with squid toys.

My other fear is harder to avoid. Flying. I really hate to fly. I do it 3-4 times a year without fail, but I don't like it. The slightest turbulence gets me saying the Our Father. If we actually hit an air pocket, I'm screaming. It's really embarrassing. I try to read, put in headphones, try to focus on anything but the fact that I'm zooming through the air in a tin can at 30,000 feet.

In my debut, What Lies Beneath, my heroine faces one of my fears. No, not squid - a plane crash. That was so hard to write. I cut off the scene early for my own self-preservation. Personally, I just couldn't write the emotional and mental upheaval of a person facing death like that. Since squid are a little hard to work into a book, in More Than He Expected, I played on my character's fears instead — Alex is a dedicated playboy with no interest in ever starting a family. So of course, I confront him with a pregnant ex-lover and his world turns upside down.

What are your fears? Irrational or otherwise? I find I'm usually not alone in the clown/puppet camp.


July 2012, Harlequin Desire

The Exception to the Rule

Playboy Alex Stanton likes his relationships short and without strings.  But his fiery fling with Gwen Wright left him craving more.  So when a holiday weekend getaway provides an opportunity for another taste of the tantalizing woman, he grabs it.  Only, things have changed since their last encounter…. 

Besides being noticeably pregnant, Gwen insists she’s sworn off men.  As if the challenge weren’t tempting enough, Gwen’s enticing new curves have made the sexy spitfire even more appealing.  But how can the footloose bachelor hang on to his heart when he can’t stop longing for the soon-to-be mama?


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Stacy Boyd said...

Don't visit the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, if you have a fear of puppets. I was creeped out and I love puppets.

I'm afraid of rooms full of people that I don't know. Ick!

Carla Swafford said...

The dark. Not so much that I need a nightlight, but I hate walking into a room when it's dark.

My hubby and I have had several discussions over the years about me coming home before he does during the winter and no lights being on. HATE IT. Creeps me out. I expect a hand to reach out and grab me.

I put it down to my vivid imagination.

M.V.Freeman said...

I am like Carla, I don't like the dark. I need to see where I am going at all times and what is around me when I wake up.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Wasps, yellowjackets, etc. I was assaulted--I mean MAULED--by a swarm of them a year or two ago and now I'm seriously paranoid about them. I also hate to fly, not because I'm scared but because I'm antisocial and claustrophobic--LOL. (And clowns and storm drains? I'm so with you. IT was the scariest book I've ever read.)

Anonymous said...

Stacy -

OMG, a museum of puppets? I had no idea such horrors existed. Don't plan a Desire gathering next year at conference, please. :)

I certainly don't care for situations where I don't know many people. I'm too big of an introvert. I can imagine it's harder for an editor where you know no one, but everyone knows (and is quietly stalking) you!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Stacy -

OMG, a museum of puppets? I had no idea such horrors existed. Don't plan a Desire gathering next year at conference, please. :)

I certainly don't care for situations where I don't know many people. I'm too big of an introvert. I can imagine it's harder for an editor where you know no one, but everyone knows (and is quietly stalking) you!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Carla & Mary -

I don't mind the dark, but I hate coming home to a dark house. DB never leaves the outside light on for me. I also have this weird paranoia that as I'm unlocking my door, someone is going to come up behind me, shove me into the house as I unlock it, then do bad things. I read too much suspense, I guess.

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Suzanne -

I got stung by a bee once, and that was enough for me. I'm really weirded out by things buzzing around my head. I had a bee land in my ear once, so any buzzing sounds send me into a tizzy.

And yes, IT was traumatizing. People who haven't read it don't understand. It's not just about clowns. It's about giant space spiders that live in the sewer and feed off children's fears. Messed up stuff.

Eli Yanti said...

i think i have a phobia with high place although a little

Kimberly Lang said...

I admit, the mean person who likes to send Andrea squid stuff is me. (She may have others, though.)

I very nearly bought her a stuffed version of the giant squid at the museum, but it was pretty expensive. If it had only been about $20, though, Andrea would totally have a stuffed giant squid. (And I would drop by her house unannounced on a regular basis just to make sure it hadn't gotten "lost.")

Love you. :-)

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Eli -

I don't mind being high as long as I stay high. Its the rapid drop with the sudden stop that gets me. :)

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Ahh - she confessed to her taunting! Kimberly sends me squid videos. Squid pictures. Knitted squid patterns to make your own cephalopod. Bleh.

It's only fair, though, because I send her claymation pictures.

We both share a mutual hatred of clowns and stormdrains, though, so we're safe there.

Kimberly Lang said...

Just let me remind you (again) that squid are real. And waiting for you in the ocean with their beaks and teeth...

Claymation is not real (well, the *process* is real, but nothing made from Claymation is real. Wallace and Grommit are not waiting for me in a dark alley to give me the wrong trousers...)

A video for you today, my dear: The Vampire Squid. At 2:33 it turns itself inside out! Cool!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

You see what I put up with?

Louisa Cornell said...

Why am I not surprised Kimberly tortures you with squid videos? :)

Having had reptiles (6 foot iguana, 13 foot python, 5 feet monitor lizard, etc) as pets they do not bother me. Spiders don't bother me either.

Reading Stephen King at home alone? I gave my cat dirty looks for years after reading Pet Cemetery!

On of my big phobias? Driving. Yes, driving a car. I hate it. I do it as little as possible. Having been in a couple of car accidents (never my fault) and having at least one tow truck driver look at what was left of my car and ask how many people died I just don't like the idea of hurtling down the interstate in a tin can at 70 mph with truckers on no-doze, drunk or high teenagers texting other drunk or high teenagers, young professionals late for a meeting with a blue-tooth glued to their ear, old men with bad vision wearing a baseball hat driving an ancient pickup truck with one odd-sized tire doing 30 in a 60 and that one chick who insists she can makeup her entire face on the way to work without dropping her Starbucks or using her turn signal.

Frankly, I'd rather crawl down in the sewer with the clown. The odds are better.

Oh, and while I have no fear of snakes, put one in the water and I can leap out onto the bank in a single bound. And trust me, for someone my size, NASA doesn't get that kind of thrust launching the shuttle. For those of you who do not know - water snakes are the meanest and most likely snakes to bite you. Maybe we should send some down into the sewer after the clowns!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Louisa -

It is kinda funny that I'm afraid of planes when I'm a hundred times more likely to be killed by some idiot while driving to the store. I got run off the road last week by someone texting that drifted in my lane. And yet, with a car crash, there isn't as far to plummet to your death. :)

I have to say water snakes do bother me. In Alabama, they're usually water moccasins, so that's a big problem there. Plus they move a lot faster than on land and I move a lot slower in water. I don't get in ponds, lakes or creeks. And since I don't get in the ocean (squid) and I don't like public pools (public germs) that pretty much leaves me swimming in my bathtub!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Oh, and I have a gray cat that looks just like the one they used in the Pet Cemetary movie. Thanks for reminding me. I'd managed to block that.

robertsonreads said...

I don't like critters such as snakes, frogs or wasps/bees (allegorical). No dark home for me and I don't watch scary movies. I had to stop watching America's Most Wanted for a year as I was getting to pumped up and not in a good way.

Lexi said...

Lots of things give me the heebies, including big old roaches (palmetto bugs by their city name), and stink bugs. I don't like clowns, either, or mimes. In fact, I'm pretty much a chicken.

Katherine Bone said...

Clowns and dolls that come to life. Yes, I've seen too many B Horror movies. LOL!

Best wishes on your latest release, Andrea!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Robertsonreads -

I can't watch horror movies. I'm far, far too suggestible. Stuff sticks we me for too long. :)

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Lexi -

There is something unnerving about a bug so large that I'm scared to try and step on it.

I haven't had an issue with mimes, but I don't run into many. Unlike squid, obviously.

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Kathy -

You should ask Kimberly about a Dean Koontz book she read earlier this year. It had this talking doll that gave me nightmares and I didn't even read it!

Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Thanks for having me here, everyone! Enjoyed it.