Monday, June 29, 2009

Welcome Special Guest Toni Andrews - Win a Copy of Cry Mercy!

UPDATE: The Winner of a Copy of Cry Mercy is...Blackroze37yahoo.com!! Send an email to cheekyreads @ gmail.com (without the spaces) with your mailing address and I'll get it to Toni!!


Today I'm pleased to welcome author Toni Andrews on the blog! Toni writes a wonderful first-person paranormal series and I'm delighted she is stopping by Cheeky Reads on her book tour and she's been nice enough to offer a copy of Cry Mercy to one lucky reader! Just make sure to leave a comment and you're entered to win!

Toni was nice enough to sit down and answer some questions for us, but first I thought you might want to check out this book trailer for Cry Mercy, Book Three in the Mercy Hollings series from Toni Andrews:







Welcome Toni and congrats on your new release Cry Mercy!

Since it’s the third book in your Mercy Hollings Series would you tell us a little bit about the series and your heroine Mercy?
The Mercy Hollings series is Urban Fantasy without “creatures;” no vampires or demons or werewolves—just people, but with a twist. Mercy has some special talents, including the ability to compel people to obey her. That sounds pretty cool, until you think about it for five minutes. Sometimes it gets away from her, especially when she loses her temper. Which she frequently does.

The first line of the first book is “I’ve never been certain I’m human.” Mercy was abandoned at birth and then given up by her adoptive parents when, as an adolescent, she began displaying some unusual abilities. She’s spent her life keeping people at a distance.

Now she has the closest thing she’s ever had to a normal life. But, all too often, it feels like her new world is just a carefully constructed house of cards. Some big wind is always coming along to blow it down.

If you were to describe Mercy in three words, what would they be?
Guarded. Loyal. Flawed.

You write in first person, which is hard for many writers but you do it so well! What drew you to first person and how do you think it helps your story resonate with readers?
I like to say that, as a writer, it’s never my goal to have you notice my words. I want you to NOT notice when the phone rings.
To really draw a reader into a story, you have to create a connection between the reader and the point of view character or characters. To do that effectively, you get the reader into the character’s heads, so that they experience the story along with them.
In my workshops, I teach point of view and character voice using a method I call “Walk Like John Wayne,” which is a line I stole from La Cage Aux Folles. It means to get into character the same way an actor would, who was playing the part on stage—to BE your point of view character. Then, write the story in first person, even if you’re going to change it later.
I write all first drafts in first person, even those that have multiple point of view characters and are eventually going to end up in third.

The Mercy series has quite the cast of eclectic characters - are any of them based on people from your life?
Some of them have characteristics of people I know, but my core characters are works of fiction. The more minor the character, the more likely he or she is based on someone I’ve met. Rocko from Beg for Mercy is absolutely based on an obnoxious man who used to hang around the area where I worked in South Miami. Mitzi, the diner owner from Cry Mercy, will be familiar to people who have lived in Balboa for long enough to remember the woman on whom she is based, although her name as been changed.

You books have received some great reviews. What’s one of your favorite comments or quotes from a fan or review?
I can’t recall a specific line, but I always like to hear that I’ve done an effective job of using the setting as an element in the story. This is something my favorite authors do, and it pleases me to know I’m getting the hang of it.
Also, I’m happy that people seem to relate to Mercy, even while recognizing her flaws, and that they appreciate the ethical struggles that come from having her special abilities.

What books are you currently reading or are in your TBR pile?
I’m reading Serpent in the Crown by Elizabeth Peters. I need to get caught up with Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Jodi Picoult’s newest book is on my shelf. Also, Rachel Vincent’s Prey and Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. James Lee Burke has a new book out in August, too, with a new character—I’m always impatiently waiting for his next release.

You also produce a television show titled “So Many Books.” Can you tell us a little more about that?
Like most writers of popular fiction, I’ve been frustrated by the difficulties of getting publicity. So I started my own show. I interview one author or writing group each episode, and they get to really talk about their book and their process. It’s a lot of work, but fun, too.

What should readers look for next from you?
More Mercy Hollings books, of course. I’m working on a women’s fiction novel that my agent calls Sex in the City meets The First Wives Club, and I’ve got a contemporary romance circulating as well.

Thanks Toni! Don't forget to leave a comment below and you'll be entered to win a copy of Cry Mercy!

Toni's web site: http://toniandrews.com/
Where to send your Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to get a signed book plate for your copy: http://toniandrews.com/CryMercyTour.htm
Toni's Blog: http://tinyurl.com/ToniBlog
Toni's TV show: http://toniandrews.com/SoManyBooks.htm
Cry Mercy Trailer: http://tinyurl.com/75vl4s
Book Rx, Toni's "Book Doctor" service: http://toniandrews.com/BookRx.htm

Links to purchase the book:
Mira Books (discounted while they last!) http://tinyurl.com/oe8tkdAmazon Link: http://tinyurl.com/CryMercyAmazon UK Link: http://tinyurl.com/prh6ejBarnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/pxrx9fIndigo Books (Canada): http://tinyurl.com/qcycafRendezvous Romance (Australia) http://tinyurl.com/r4g56z

13 comments:

  1. Toni -

    I just finished BEG FOR MERCY this weekend, purchased after I found you on Twitter and simply loved your mini-conversations.

    Loved the concept of the series and cannot wait to find out more about Mercy's past - and, hopefully, more of a hot romance with the sexy Sam.

    Every time I listen to Duffy song of the same name, I immediately think of the series and wonder what will happen next.

    Thanks for Tweeting this ling! I look forward of more from Miss Mercy.

    Angela

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Angela!

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  3. Toni,

    That TV show sounds really interesting. Where might I find it to watch?

    BTW--Thanks for Hosting, Cheekygirl

    --Axi

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  4. I cannot wait to read this series. I love to read and write in the first person POV, so hats off to you Toni for obviously doing it so well:) What a fresh approach to a paranormal story in doing it without weres and vamps. I will definately look for your work in my next book quest:)

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  5. Hi Axi,

    The link to Toni's TV show is:

    http://toniandrews.com/SoManyBooks.htm

    ReplyDelete
  6. Toni,
    Enjoyed your answers from the interview. There always seems to be something new to know. It's interesting how you use people you know to flesh out the characters in your story. It can come from writing what you know. But how you do it makes it a Toni Andrews' creation, from your unique point of view.
    Thanks for taking the time to keep in touch with your readers. Look forward to the next one.

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  7. Great interview. Toni's Mercy Hollings series sounds good. Love urban fantasy.

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  8. I must, must, must get this book, and the previous ones, pronto. I love the thought of UF without the creatures, thought I love the creatures too, but I like abilities. What made you decide on Mercy's ability?

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  9. Awesome Toni - I always like reading or watching your posts on your tour. I'd really like to see your show - is it online?

    Thanks!
    Alysha

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  10. Toni, I must admit that I have only read the first book in your series, but I have made it my mission to buy the rest and get snuggled up with my blanket and pillow. Your books are able to draw the reader in and allow you to get lost. That is what I need with my hubby being in the army, just to get lost and able to relax and not worry. I cannot wait to read more of your books. Good luck in all future books.

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  11. please enter me
    ive been followin your tour, and i love mercy! and your storys

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  12. This sounds really good.......I think I'd love to have the power to copel others to obey me, lol. And yeah, I can see where it would be hard to control during anger and stress....

    I have to admit that a book has to fly for me to not notice the first person. I will read them, and have found those that I don't even notice, but not my first choice. I'd love to try Mercy out!!

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