Thursday 14 November 2013

Twenty Questions with... Buffy Andrews

I am delighted to welcome Buffy Andrews onto my blog today, author of The Moment Keeper, out now from Carina (Harlequin UK) along with the soon-to-be released The Christmas Violin.

As if having Buffy in the hotseat for this week's round of twenty questions wasn't enough, she also comes bearing news that The Moment Keeper is currently on sale - you can pick it up as part of the Kindle deals on Amazon for just 99 measly pennies, 98 pence on Kobo, £1 on Google Books, and just 59p on Nook. A bargain no matter which ebook reader you prefer! (See links below.)

ACT ONE – all about you…

Buffy Andrews is an author, blogger, journalist and social media maven. 

By day she’s a journalist, leading an award-winning staff at the York Daily Record/Sunday News (York, Pennsylvania, USA), where she is Assistant Managing Editor of Features and Niche Publications and social media coordinator.

In addition to her writing blog, Buffy’s Write Zone, she maintains a social media blog, Buffy's World. She is also a newspaper and magazine columnist and writes middle-grade, young adult and women's fiction. Check out her author page. 

You will find her on a plethora of social networking sites, from Twitter and Facebook to RebelMouse and NewHive. She loves social media and loves to connect with her readers via the various platforms.

She lives in southcentral Pennsylvania with her husband, Tom; two sons, Zach and Micah; and wheaten cairn terrier Kakita. She is grateful for their love and support and for reminding her of what’s most important in life. 

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve been a journalist for more than 20 years and have been writing fiction since I was a child. But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I got serious about a writing career outside of journalism.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I keep a little sign beside my laptop that says “Believe.” It’s a reminder on those days when Muse is playing hide and seek or being difficult to believe in my dream and persevere.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Not really. I try to learn and grow from everything I read. 

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

Failures are the building blocks of success. My failures have made me stronger and more determined to succeed. They’ve forced me to admit my shortcomings and figure out how to overcome them. And they’ve taught me that we have only truly failed when we allow the Monster of Defeat to overpower us and hold us down.

We don’t always understand the defining moments of our lives as they are happening. But when we look back, we can clearly see that along with the hits and home runs there are some strikes and strikeouts and that together they make the game. In the end, the winner is one who learns to deal with both.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I hate odd numbers.

I got my name Buffy from the TV show Family Affair (American sitcom that ran from 1966 to 1971). There was a little girl on the show named Buffy and she had a sister Cissy and a twin brother Jody. I always wanted to live in that fancy New York apartment with Uncle Bill and Mr. French.

I love to run.

6) What five gadgets or items would you hate to be without?

Smartphone, iPad, laptop, microwave, eye glasses.

ACT TWO – all about your new release…

Our lives are often connected in ways
we never would have imagined...

Two babies; two very different upbringings.
First there is Sarah: raised by her loving grandmother, but neglected by her own father who views her as the instrument of her mother’s death. She will lead a hard life, searching to belong and to be loved.
Then there is Olivia, surrounded by love, nurtured and adored by her parents, a golden child with a golden future.
When Sarah’s life is cut tragically short and she is assigned to record the moments of Olivia’s life as her Moment Keeper, their lives become intertwined.
Sarah is able to overcome the heartbreak of her own lost years and Olivia is able to deal with a future that isn’t nearly as golden as what she had planned – or is it?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of The Moment Keeper, what was your inspiration for writing Sarah and Olivia’s story?

I’ve always been fascinated by the moments in our lives and how they connect to form our life stories. And by the choices we make and how those choices lead us down a certain path.

I think so often in life we don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives until they have passed. And sometimes when we’re young, we can’t see past tomorrow. We live in the now. We all know that with age comes wisdom. And it’s only when we get older and look back on our life that we realize the mess we had gotten into as a teen is but a small blip in our life story. And that nothing is ever so bad that you think about taking your life.

So I wanted to explore all of these things and to show two lives in a parallel narrative, present and past, ending up at the same place but making different decisions that ultimately lead them down different paths.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

I can’t begin to explain to you what this story means to me. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed harder for the right words to come to me. This was a tough book to write because Sarah’s life was so difficult. My heart hurt for her and I became depressed after writing some of the scenes because they broke my heart.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

The book probably took me six months to write. But, keep in mind, I have a full-time job and work 10-hour days, so I have very little writing time Monday through Friday. At the time I was writing this book, I was not writing any others. Currently, I am juggling a revision for one publisher and writing two books for two other publishers. And working. So, let’s just say I’m always in front of a computer.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
I always know what she thinks and feel what she feels. Her joys and sorrows and fears become mine.

Of all of the moments I’ve recorded in Olivia’s life, this is the most difficult yet. She’s thinking about killing herself, about using her bathrobe belt, wondering if it’s strong enough or if she should use one of the leather belts in her closet.

It takes me back to the day my life ended – the day I killed myself.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about The Moment Keeper, to make us rush out and buy it?

You will be surprised at the end.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now? 

The Christmas Violin will be out from Carina on Dec. 2. And, you’re going to love this book, too.

I also have a contemporary romance series that is out. Book 1 is The Yearbook Series: Gina and Mike (Kindle) (paperback).

Book 2 in this series will be out very soon. It is The Yearbook Series: Sue and Tom.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…

13) Plotter or pantser?

Pantser. I know the beginning and ending. I know some plot points along the way. But I really listen to my characters and let them lead. Sometimes they take me down paths I’d rather not go down, but I know that I must follow them.

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

[ABR: I guess that's a no, ;-) ]

15) Digital books or print books?

Both. I will always have a special place in my heart for print books, but I like the convenience of ebooks.

16) Tea or coffee?


17) Cats or dogs?


18) Extrovert or introvert?


19) Save or spend?

Save. (But Hubs would probably disagree)

20) Facebook or Twitter?

I use both of these extensively personally and professionally. I think I would be a candidate for one of those digital detox programs.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Buffy, I wish you every success with your new release and also your forthcoming releases. How exciting!

To discover even more about Buffy Andrews, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Twitter     Facebook     Linkedin     Tumblr     Google+     Google+ Author page     You Tube channel     Pinterest     Goodreads     Rebel Mouse     Rebel Mouse/authorbuffyandrews     Storify     Tout     NewHive     Instagram

Buy it now…

Add to Goodreads
ISBN: 9781472054777
Release Date: 1st November 2013
Publisher: Carina (Harlequin UK)

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