Jan 17, 2015

VBT: Blog tour for GYPSY HUNTED by Andrea Drew - Nov 5



Gypsy Hunted
by Andrea Drew

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BLURB:

Reluctant psychic Gypsy Shields—she prefers the term "intuition consultant"—finds herself in trouble when, on her way home from a blind date, she interrupts a kidnapping in progress. She attempts to intervene, and her heroics are repaid with a collision between the attacker's van and a brick wall. She awakens in the hospital, paralyzed on her left side and unable to speak. This also means she's unable to share her vital information as a witness. Fortunately, she is able to use her telepathic connection with her niece to throw a line out to a police detective she knows: Connor Reardon, her blind date.

Connor will do anything to protect Gypsy, and he listens to her claims of psychic power willingly, as he's concealing certain powers of his own. Nor are they all he's concealing. Gypsy senses a part of her new ally's mind is closed to her—what she cannot know is that Connor suspects the kidnapper is someone close to him, and the kidnapping victim holds secrets that will tear through Connor's department, putting careers and lives at risk. Including Gypsy, still in hospital and vulnerable as the attacker turns his sights on her once again.

Can she use her powers to track down the perpetrator and prevent her own murder?

Excerpt:

As a telepath, I pick up on feelings and instinct more than most. Other people like to call me a psychic medium, but I’m not really comfortable with the label. Apart from the fact that I do it for love, not money, I’m sure once someone learns I’m a telepath they conjure up images of dodgy fraudsters on stage at mass events, feeding grieving families what they desperately need. I’d rather not expose myself to more ridicule than necessary. My abilities happened almost by accident—apparently my grandmother was ‘fey,’ as my mother enjoyed mentioning.

I was sure the pinging, nagging doubt had something to do with Aaron’s home life. “What about you, Gypsy? What do you do?” Connor relaxed his posture, the glass poised before his mouth. He had taken on a different look, probably from the wine, or even better, from unfulfilled lust.

“I write business plans. I’ve also been told I have pretty damn good intuition.”

That seemed to spark Connor’s interest. He pulled at the other earlobe.

“Oh yeah? What does your intuition tell you about me, then?”

“That you seem like a nice enough guy.”

Connor moistened his lips, which quivered with what I suspected was amusement as he sat legs wide apart

“And?”

“And you’re fishing for compliments that I’m not going to give you just yet.”

Connor threw his head back, indulging in a belly laugh. The rich, throaty sound filled me with pleasure. A smile I couldn’t suppress burst through.

“That’s a fair call, Gypsy, fair call.”

The silence was a comfortable one, our shared joke establishing the early threads of friendship.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Andrea Drew has been a commercial copy writer and resume writer for over a decade.

She's written for celebrity stylists, assisted business coaches and start-ups, written grants for not for profits, delivered marketing presentations to business owners, and attends Australian writing conventions.

Her self-published book "Pro Resumes Made Easy" has been downloaded over 40,000 times.

Andrea has one husband (more than enough), three kids, a pet rock (her daughters not hers), and a house in the suburbs, where she's hard at work on the second novel in the Gypsy series.
 
Email her at andrea@andrea-drew.com. 
Gypsy Hunted her first fiction novel (her first suspense thriller set in her home town of Melbourne Australia) is available for pre-order on Amazon prior to release on October 28 2014.
Social Media LInks

Author Interview

Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?
I did read a book about police work called “The Howdunit book of Police Procedure” by Lee Lofland. As he is an ex-police officer with decades of experience and also is a writer, this was a very valuable resource.
I originally wrote Gypsy Hunted first as a story without the research, and added in the police and crime investigation research data during later edits. Although Lee’s book was based on the US police force 
I googled the weapons and equipment used by the Australian police force (OMG!!!!). Other characters were loosely based on people I’d met and known. While an author really does write what they know, Gypsy Connor Leah and Renee were a combination of various people I’ve known with a healthy dose of imagination thrown in. Its set in Melbourne and I live in Melbourne so that part setting wise was very easy.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the North of England (Stockton-on-Tees) and left when I was 11 years old to move to Melbourne Australia with Mum Dad and my three brothers and sisters. It was a big move and there was quite a bit of culture shock associated, but it was the bravest and one of the best things my parents ever did.
I love Melbourne Australia and I’m lucky to live in one of the best cities in the world. Stockton-on-Tees for most of you that have no idea where this is, if you’ve seen the movie Billy Elliott, it is pretty much like that featured town. I had a fantastic childhood and upbringing surrounded by a large family in both England and Australia. Not sure if as an author I’m supposed to have had a tortured upbringing, but my childhood was pretty good J

Did any real-life political incidents or maneuvering make it into the book?

No but there were some events that influenced me in writing Gypsy Hunted. I’m usually inspired by real life crimes reported here in Australia, which I combine with lots of imagination and subjects that fascinate me. In Gypsy Hunted I combined a couple of kidnaps reported in the media with my fascination with psychics and telepaths and the rest was pure imaginative creation. This book started with a what if? question. (
) I also love Michael Connelly’s crime novels, particularly the political maneuvering of the upper echelons of police and politicians. So I made up my own Australian version in this story, just a taste of it.

How did you get into writing?
The first book I wrote was called “The owl who couldn’t twit twooh” (obviously I hadn’t learned the word hoot
) at the age of 7. I talked the teachers into binding and copying it and distributing it throughout the primary school. I knew I would be a writer from a young age but was talked out of it around the age of 10 when I was told I’d starve and be poor as a writer so became a secretary (). I loved English and writing in school but didn’t write again until 1998 when I took a gamble and formed a resume writing business after my first child was born. Let’s say it paid off. 
I wrote a resume writing e-book in 2010 and paperback 2011 but didn’t take the plunge into writing a novel until 2013. My fears had taken hold of me. Writing a good novel was a lifelong dream of mine but what if friends, family and I were wrong and my writing was rubbish? What if I really couldn’t write? I found out about the McMillan publishing first crime novel competition in 2013 and started a novel “DNA murder” specifically for it. 
I stopped around the 20,000 word mark. I was just grinding metal on metal the story hadn’t grabbed me and I knew it wasn’t that great and I couldn’t continue. Thankfully a few months later a friend and I decided to meet every week or so to talk about writing and short stories and ideas and the idea of Gypsy Hunter came up as a short story idea and brain storming session. I was hooked by it and felt a rush of enthusiasm. The enthusiasm kept me going and the short story became a novel between March and June 2014, and then editing between July and October 2014. Although it’s relatively short for a novel (62,000 words) I am bursting with pride that it is now done.

What do you consider your best accomplishment?
I get the feeling I’m supposed to say its “giving birth to my children” but truthfully it is completing this suspense thriller novel, my first (I’ve written two non-fiction titles which are on amazon). I always had completing a novel on my bucket list, and have wanted to write since my toddler years (truly) but life, babies and work got in the way.
Combine this with fear of failure and I didn’t start this novel until March 2014. I’m very proud that I finished it, and to a standard I’m finally happy with. I did originally start a novel “DNA murder” in 2013, but abandoned it around the 20,000 word mark. It deserves to be left unread on my hard drive. I learned that unless I was passionate about and really loved the story, I wouldn’t be able to complete a full length novel, as that love and passion has to carry an author through months sometimes years of work to get it finished and edited.

What is your favorite quote?

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” Gandhi
I do have a few favorite quotes though. Another favorite quote is the one I mention at the beginning of Gypsy Hunted 
““No one can tell, when two people walk closely together, what unconscious communication one mind may have with another” Robert Barr
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

I think writing a novel has added to my life in many ways as it has taught me a massive lesson in persistence and I’m a happier person generally as that small window of writing novels is my fun time each week.
I wrote small word counts each day to achieve my goal in eight months (wrote first draft between March and June then editing June to October 2014) but as far as sacrifices I’d say I lost my ability and desire to socialize as much, some reading time well okay lots of reading time and a bit of family time. It’s been worth it though, like most authors I love writing and a happy mother and wife makes a happy life!
I am enjoying getting back my reading time now though. I’ve started work on the next book Gypsy Cradle but small word counts each day as I build up my author writing momentum again.

How did you come up with the title? Names?

I didn’t agonize over the title and character names much at all. Gypsy came about because of her psychic abilities (which I’m fascinated by), and while like most people I’m fascinated by Romany Gypsies, the main characters name is a way of incorporating her abilities into a name. I know of a family whose daughter is named Gypsy and I love it. The book (which started as a short story can you believe) was originally titled “Gypsy Hunter” but I discovered that beta/test readers assumed that
 
Gypsy Hunter was a characters first name and surname. The title is actually meant to be a verb Gypsy is being hunted, so I retitled it Gypsy Hunted to reflect that. The character Connor is the name I originally chose for my son as I love it, and I imagine Connor as a blonde handsome thing with that name J Leah and Renee were names that came to me very quickly and randomly so I used them immediately. I’m not an author that spends much time at all debating character names or titles it seems.

What were the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I was surprised by much work is involved. Like most people I thought that the transition from idea to novel would be a lot easier than it was. I also realized it had to be a good story or I wouldn’t be able to summon the persistence to finish it. I learned that slow and steady wins the race (
), not an easy lesson for an impetuous impatient creative type who has fits and starts of activity then nothing ().

I was also surprised by how painful I found the editing process but I’m sure the editing of the next one Gypsy Cradle will be less painful and I’ll enjoy it more. I damn well hope so lol J

I didn’t think I’d be nagged by doubt either, but once friends and family received Gypsy Hunted for a test read I was worried. After getting a couple of good reviews from readers who weren’t related or close friends, I regained my confidence and thought it might just be the good read I hoped it was. I wrote Gypsy Hunted as a book I really wanted to read and it looks like it just might be one.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?


Absolutely. I played around with a couple of covers for Gypsy Hunted. I had one designed initially but wasn’t really happy with it – purely because it wasn’t my taste and I didn’t like it. I decided to survey it however, as readers might love it. I put a couple of potential designs up on a social media business group with 4,000 members. Yep you guessed it the cover I hated was a popular winner. I thought about it over a couple of weeks and realized that the cover was misleading. It didn’t accurately reflect the story and I’d probably get upset readers who didn’t get the story they were expecting from the cover.

So I chose an image and design I liked and which reflected the story, and luckily got even better feedback on that one which is the books current cover. I believe a great book cover design is achievable on a budget if an author shops around. I’ve spent quite a bit of money so far on editing, cover design, and promotion but it is a point of pride. It’s my reputation on the line as an author and once a poor reputation or impression is gained, it can be difficult to shake.

Occasionally I see a cover that screams amateur (the images and design) and I cringe but thankfully this is rare. Covers, blurbs, author profiles, tags and reviews sell books particularly on amazon.

Thanks Andrea I am so happy to host you on my blog!
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:

Andrea will be awarding a $20 amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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