Friday, March 1, 2013

Interview with Andrea Baker

  1. Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

    I’m pretty ordinary really – daughter, sister, wife and mother to a gorgeous and cheeky little eight year old girl.

    I work full time as an Interim Manager.  This means that I tend to have short term (usually at least 3 months) contracts with different clients, covering projects, service transformation and that sort of thing.

    I’ve always loved the paranormal genre – I’ve always referred to my favourites as being the “edge of reality” stories, where they are based in the real world, but unreal happens.  Because it is my favourite genre to both read and watch, it was natural for me to write it too.

  2. Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

    I’m afraid my choices are not that technical.  My main characters are names that I would have chosen for my own children, after the one given to my daughter, but have not been used.  Leah was my Great-Grandmother’s name, and Ben has always been a favourite boys name, but we were blessed with a daughter.

    The name that took a little research was Nilameth, the demon.  Originally I was going to use Lilleth as my demon, but I felt that she has been used so much recently, that there was little left for me to do with her that would be seen as new.  After a little research I came across the name Nilameth, which fitted with some of the other characters you are yet to meet, and it grew from there.

  3. Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

    I’ve absolutely loved writing Leah – there are bits of my own personality in her, as well as a lot that is unique to her as well, but I felt very connected to her as a character, and writing her feelings and thoughts felt right. 

  1. What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

    I don’t have a specifically favourite scene, although I am quite proud of the fight scene (no more information, as that would be a spoiler).  I am proud of the dream sequences though, and the way they unravel, and then get explained as the book unfolds.  I hope it works for the reader as I intended it to as I wrote.

  2. Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

    Well, as I’ve already said, I particularly like edge of reality worlds, so it was natural for me to write using our own world as a base.  In this series there are alternate realities that are all Earth based, and are therefore governed by our gravity, weather conditions, and need for oxygen.  I won’t say how many realities there are, because that could lead to spoilers, but what I can say is that each appears to be our own world.

    On top of that we have a very different world indeed, ruled by the Triumvirate - three of the first humans.  The Triumvirate watch, and with the help of Guardians, Savant and Shear, they determine the fate, of everyone in the alternate worlds, the aim being to protect the “special humans”, those with a higher purpose, from falling into the clutches of Nilameth and her Harbingers.

  3. With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

    At the moment, there is only the first book published, although at the end of this book you will find a sneak peak to the continuing story.  I am writing both books two and three at the moment, and trying to ensure that they work as stand alone novels as well as part of the story.  Obviously for them to make complete sense, you would need to read them all, but each one will be a story in its own right, and there will be enough within each to explain what the reader needs to understand from previous novels.

  4. Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

    I see a lot of myself in Leah’s reactions, particularly the way she feels about herself at nineteen, and her lack of self confidence then. She is however very different in other ways, she has to be given what she has had to cope with.

  5. Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

    It’s not so much a quirk, but my writing is very visual.  When I get the play list right, I can see the story unfolding in my mind, almost as though I am watching a film – the hard part is my fingers keeping up with the story in that sense.  When I stop, and read back some of what I have typed, the spelling and grammar mistakes are terrible, but I have to write what I see, and then correct it afterwards, in order to keep the story flowing.

  1. When did you consider yourself a writer?

    I’ve always considered myself a writer of sorts, in that I’ve always made up stories, and written them down as soon as I was old enough to write properly.  The computer has made that side of things so much easier for writers.  But, other than very close family and one friend, I told nobody about my writing until the day Leah was released.  I now consider myself, and admit to being, a writer (or author as we say here in England) because I have a published book to prove it.

  1. Where can readers find you on the web?

a.    Book Trailer:
b.    Website:
d.     Twitter:  @RoseWall15
e.     Facebook:

  1. Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

    I’d love to, if you don’t mind.  This is from quite early in the book, from a Chapter entitled The Beginning:
“Leah, you have to listen to me, you’re in real danger.” I jumped, glancing towards the shadowy figure beside me.

I shook my head in confusion. How could anything here be dangerous? It felt so safe. I sensed his arm wrap around my shoulders, holding me tight against him, protecting me. There was a nagging voice in my head telling me not to be stupid. Who was this person and what gave him the right to tell me what to do, let alone touch me like this?

As though in defiance of these thoughts, I felt myself respond to his touch in a way I’d never felt before. Instinctively I responded to his touch, feeling compelled to snuggle in even closer. I didn’t move, unable to pull myself away but at the same time angry with myself for not moving away from this stranger.

The noise grew closer. I still couldn’t quite work out what it was. It was loud ... persistent ... a kind of roar. It was so loud that I couldn’t make out where it was coming from. We don’t have wild animals like wolves or bears around here anymore and it didn’t really sound like an animal anyway.  There wasn’t that much life to it...

His arm suddenly tightened around me. The sensation spread throughout my body, warming me as it went. Despite the noise and everything else, I felt as though I could stay here forever.

Suddenly a car pulled alongside us. “Get in!” screamed the driver. I flinched, not expecting to hear that voice, not now. He grabbed my arm, and before I knew it we were in the back of the car and he was struggling to get my seatbelt on. I snatched it off him as he dived into the seat beside me. “Go!” he yelled. The car accelerated away, filling with the scorching smell of burnt rubber.

Where was I and who were these faceless people? He turned towards me but his face was hidden by the shadows. With both of his hands on my shoulders, he pulled me in close to him. “Thank God you’re safe,” he said, burying his head in my hair. Without any conscious thoughts, my body relaxed and all of a sudden the last thing I wanted was to be alone.

Abruptly, there was a huge crash from somewhere right alongside the car. “Step on it!” he bellowed, reaching across me to grab something …

“Leah, Leah! It’s ok! Sweetheart, wake up.”

Reluctantly I dragged myself away from those safe arms as Dad gently shook me awake. I opened my eyes and looked up as his face hovered into view next to me. In the haze of sleep, just for a split second, there was something not quite right about his eyes; they looked bizarre, almost devoid of anything. Then, as I focussed on him, he smiled gently,

“Another one of those bad dreams?” he asked, gently rubbing my back. “Tell me about it,” he asked.

The stranger’s voice echoed again in my head: “Tell no-one!”

I shook the sleep from my thoughts and smiled weakly up at his face. “Just the usual, nothing new this time,” I replied, already feeling guilty as I glanced at the clock by my bed. Why did I feel the need to keep the details of the dreams from my Dad? After all, it was only a dream …

Still, I didn’t want Dad to worry. He had enough on his plate and he needed to believe that moving away had been the right thing to do for us both. Even though I had already realised that the dreams had become significantly worse since we had come here.

“Just give me a minute, Dad, and I’ll go and make us both a coffee.” I tried to hide the resentment in my tone. This was just one of the jobs I’d had to pick up over the last five years, and even though the nightmares wouldn’t allow a lie-in, sometimes it would have been nice for Dad to make me the coffee first thing in the morning.

He smiled at me softly for a few brief seconds before ambling away. A few moments later I heard his bathroom door close. I lay there for a moment trying to piece together the face from my dream and recalling the feeling from when the stranger had held me.

Shaking myself, hard, I laughed. I’d promised my Dad to steer clear of boys after the break up with Greg and it felt like a betrayal even thinking about some man in my dreams. Besides, that
sensation had been nothing like I’d felt when I was with Greg.

Swiftly I went downstairs to start breakfast and put the coffee on. As it started to gurgle, the smell began to permeate the kitchen and I heard Dad coming downstairs. Anxiously I rammed my book and sandwiches into my bag and went to pour the coffee, shaking the vitamin bottle loudly so that Dad would believe I had taken them.

“What are your plans for today, then?” he said as he came into the kitchen, eyeing the thermal cup I was also filling. He nodded with satisfaction as he saw me replace the vitamins on the shelf. It was so bizarre how obsessed he was with making sure I took one of them every single day. It wasn’t as if I needed them. As I did all of the cooking these days, I made sure we both had a properly balanced diet. After all, we only had each other now.

Instinctively I tensed. “I thought I would go for a walk up to the castle and explore for a bit,” I responded, nervously waiting for him to react.

He looked at me sideways. I didn’t need him to remind me that he didn’t like me wandering around up there on my own; neither did I want another one of his lectures or for him to lose his temper again.

“It’ll be fine, Dad. Honest, there are so many tourists around with the good weather, it’s not like I’ll really be on my own.” I tried to reassure him before his temper had time to build. What on earth could happen to me anyway in this sleepy little town? There was far more danger from my own home and in my dreams.

Dad drank his coffee and quickly ate the toast that I had prepared for us both. He kissed my forehead, already preoccupied with thoughts of work, and left the house. I sighed with relief; the normal lecture had been avoided. Dad had a real issue with my being on my own, especially here in this new town and around the ruins. 

Worlds Apart-Leah
Andrea Baker

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Taylor Street Books

ISBN:   978-1480083684
ASIN:   B009P4C3GG

Number of pages: 173
Word Count: 60,000

Book Description:

Leah knows that her mother died in a car accident when Leah was small and that her father, who used to be the gentlest dad in the world, has become increasingly controlling and occasionally violent.

She also knows that her recurring dreams are telling her something more about how and why her mother died, and why her dad turned nasty, but they are becoming progressively more disturbing and confusing.

When Leah meets Ben, she is excited to have a friend she can confide in and have fun with, but is he what he seems?

The voice of Leah’s mother repeatedly tells her to rely on her instincts, but when Leah is run over in a freak accident and Ben’s family take over her welfare, are they protecting her or using her?

And why would anyone, good or evil, bother with an ordinary girl just about to go to university?

About the Author:

Andrea Baker has written stories and poems all her life, although most of them no longer exist.  After graduating from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in Economics and Marketing, she convinced herself to stop making these stories up, believing it to be something a "grown-up" should not do.

Since then she has spent most of her career working on major programmes across both private and public sector.  Of all the ideas that continued to occur to her, Worlds Apart has been the most insistent, refusing to go away.

Andrea Baker lives and works in the beautiful English county of Warwickshire, with her husband and daughter.  Kenilworth, the base for her Worlds Apart Series, is just a few miles away from their home.

Twitter:  @RoseWall15

1 comment:

Andrea Baker said...

Thank you for featuring "Leah"!