Anna, you live (relatively) close to the CDC in Atlanta and a major naval base in Pensacola, and obviously the beach is near and dear to your heart. Is all of that incidental, or did the location inspire Elyse's story? If it didn't, where did the idea come from?
Oh GEEZ this is going to sound nerdy, but here goes:
I’ve actually been plotting this story since I was a kid. Remember that TV Show SeaQuest DSV? I used to fantasize about being a child prodigy on that ship and being the love interest of Lucas (played by the yummy Jonathan Brandis—dear God please tell me you know what I’m talking about!).
I kinda sorta nurtured that little love story until it screamed for a release (pun entirely intended) and I sat down and wrote it and decided that the world should know of my embarrassing infatuation/nerdiness. (Please don’t tell my family).
The heroine of DEGREES OF WRONG is hotshot scientist Dr. Elyse Morgan, if you were placed in her shoes, how well would you save the world?
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a doctor. I even earned college scholarships from hospitals. Then my mom got hospitalized. I watched as they put her IV needle in and blood shot across the room and splattered the wall behind me like a mini crime scene and I got all sweaty and hot and then…I’m pretty sure I ruined that nurse’s shoes.
If the world could be saved by overindulging in fried chicken though, I’ve got you covered.
Fans of the blog already know you have a YA mermaid book, OF POSEIDON, written under the name of Anna Banks. What brought you from mermaid kingdoms to submarines and dangerous diseases? What about writing SFR appealed to you, and do you see yourself ever writing far-future sci-fi?
Actually, I wrote DEGREES OF WRONG before I wrote OF POSEIDON. My heart really is in sci-fi, and I did try to create OF POSEIDON to be scientifically feasible. DEGREES OF WRONG is set slightly in the future; I don’t want to go too far ahead because I want my reader to recognize some aspects of their own world at the present time, in order to connect better with my character. In fact, my next project, after OF TRITON is edited, will be a futuristic sci-fi YA called NEMESIS set in about 2050 AD as well…
I've heard authors say that every book is a learning experience, and research sci-fi often leads authors to strange places with their research. What did you learn with this book?
I learned a lot about how different viruses work, and how some of them are treated. I did a lot of research on the Black Plague—the real one that struck Europe all those centuries ago. It was horrific. Plus, history suggests that we are LONG overdue for a pandemic. Not to alarm you, but we’re all gonna die.
What's your favorite scene in DEGREES OF WRONG? Which one demanded your attention and begged to be written to the point where you couldn't wait to write it? We can put in a spoiler warning if we need to. :)
I really love the part where Elyse had to explain to Nicoli that she had accidentally assaulted Lt. Horan. I had the cheesiest grin on my face the entire time I wrote that scene, and any time I go back for edits I always crack up. I just can’t HALP it.
Thank you for coming by!
Anna has generously donated an e-copy of DEGREES OF WRONG. Leave a comment for a chance to win. For extra entries, follow Anna and myself on Twitter, tweet about the contest, and add DEGREES OF WRONG to your GoodReads shelf.
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This time, the straight-and-narrow path could be the road to ruin.
Dr. Elyse Morgan’s mission: find the cure to the HTN4 virus. The compensation, courtesy of the United Nations: a lab stocked with hi-tech goodies, limitless resources and enough chocolate to make her rear look like a cellulite farm. Bonus: she gets to live.
Rescued (kidnapped) and secreted (imprisoned) on an undersea warship, Elyse adjusts to her assumed identity as a cadet with the finesse of a toeless ballerina. Her sulfuric temper and blatant insubordination capture the unwanted attention of the ship’s captain, the gorgeous, infuriating, engaged Nicoli Marek.
Elyse would rather perform her own autopsy than become the other woman, but Nicoli—who’s as full of himself as he is of secrets—regards his impending marriage as a mere political transaction. And Elyse as fair game.
As Elyse’s suspicions about the UN’s true agenda mount along with her attraction to the relentless, chronically shirtless captain, she must choose between the murky path to everything she’s ever wanted, or the squeaky-clean path of self-sacrifice—which could mean taking the secrets of the virus with her to the grave.
Warning: Features a strong, chocolate-loving heroine who takes no prisoners on the way to saving the world from an epidemic and winning a captain’s heart.