Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Hard to Die by @andrawatkins


Hard to Die (To Live Forever, #2)

*New York Times Best Selling Author*
*2016 National Book Award Nominee for Fiction*

You’ve heard the raves about the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. But what happened to ‘Dear Theodosia,’ the fiery daughter Aaron Burr serenades? Hard to Die is an engrossing speculative fiction novel that provides a new take on the uncharted fate of Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Alexander Hamilton’s murderer.

Theodosia disappeared at sea in 1813. In Hard to Die, she reappears almost 150 years later with one assignment: Help a living soul navigate a life-changing crossroad or be erased from history’s timeline, forgotten forever.

Former spy Richard Cox is a West Point cadet. But his former commander presents him with an impossible ultimatum: Return to spying… or die.

Theodosia and Richard are immersed in a world where no one is as they appear. As they fight their attraction, they must learn to trust each other – or become pawns for a bigger foe determined to see them fail.

Q.  What inspires your writing?

Forgotten people from history inspire my writing. They had stories, and because they weren’t history’s winners, we’ve pushed their stories aside. I’m also interested in how the layers of a landscape can frame a story. Whose mysteries are buried there, waiting to be excavated?

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Interacting with readers. I get reader messages daily telling me how they’ve made memories because of my memoir about Dad and me. I wrote a memoir to illumine the lives of others, not to tell my story. It’s gratifying to see it having that impact. I also love answering reader questions about my fiction and giving them more places to get to know individual characters.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

For me, the toughest part is how much I must care about a story to make it real, and absorbing how few people really care about it once it’s real.Writing is a constant flaying of flesh and pummeling of the psyche. It isn’t for the timid.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

I’d be a professional traveler and see the world.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

Hard to Die, which is coincidentally the title of my forthcoming novel. I plan to eek as much from living as possible before I’m gone, and I’m doing it on my terms. It’s not easy, but to me, living full throttle is the only way to be.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Who doesn’t love a rich, hot man bent on justifiable revenge?

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

I like to imagine myself as one of the Mitford sisters in The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, but I’m probably more like Daniel Sempere in Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. I breathed the Barcelona streets and longed to visit the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. A magical book.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

I’m probably more like Theodosia Burr Alston, the main character in Hard to Die, than I’d like to admit. I understand her frustration with where she’s trapped, and like her, I’d probably try anything to escape. She harbors a sense of desperation I recognize, because I have my own trials with it. 

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. It made me obsessed enough with Meriwether Lewis to write my novel To Live Forever, so why not take the opportunity to experience part of the expedition? It wouldn’t be a vacation, but it sure would be educational and epic.

Lewis and Clark on Drunk History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLGuWyfUH5Y

Q.  What is your favorite season?

Spring. Where I live in the Southern US, the sky is bottomless and blue and open. Right before the soupy humidity descends, it’s the picture of peace juxtaposed on a backdrop of every blooming and migrating thing. It’s no coincidence I hiked the 444-mile Natchez Trace in spring to write my memoir Not Without My Father.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

Meriwether Lewis’s journal drawings inspired the cover of To Live Forever. I wanted it to evoke his artistry. 

Not Without My Father’s cover is the first photo I took on my Natchez Trace walk. I took a few steps, prostrated myself in the grass next to the road, and snapped the ribbon of highway. 

Hard to Die is probably my favorite cover yet—a snowy wood snapped in the Hudson Valley at twilight.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

I met Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer Prize winning creator of Hamilton: An American Musical. He asked me to sign a copy of my memoir for him. I almost fainted.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

I Am Number Thirteen is the sequel to my upcoming novel Hard to Die. I want to type that it wraps the stories of this trilogy’s characters, but as soon as I do, they’ll have other ideas. I’m also working on a feminist travelogue about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and I have several other fascinating characters for future novels.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

Thanks for spending time with me. If you’re interested in free Natchez Trace and Hudson Valley postcards, head to my website at andrawatkins.com/newsletter to be the first to hear about future books and specials. I’m all over social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads), and you can certainly follow me there. BUT I love hearing directly from readers. I respond to every message, so please connect via my newsletter and say hi.

Andra Watkins
New York Times Best Selling Author

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Buy my books in your preferred format.
Click the link below:

Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Nominated for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction

To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis

Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time

Available November 1, 2016 at the following outlets:

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