It is my pleasure to share a post by author Randa Flannery, who shares her response to the question...
Which author(s) has/have been the most influential to you and how or why?
Most of my readers will find this hard to believe considering what I write and how few would actually see the similarities between my books and hers, but the author who has had the most influence on me would have to be Jane Austen. I’ll be honest and admit that I did not always appreciate her books. When in school, talking about them, and any other classic literature was about as much fun as my annual OB/GYN visit. As in NOT fun. I did, however, watch the movies and found I really liked those, which convinced me to try the novels out without the assignment to dissect all the enjoyment from them. And BAM, I was hooked.
Austen writes about normal people in every day life (even if every day then is different from every day now, the basic principles are the same), her characters are normal people, and the situation they find themselves in is normal. Yet she tells their stories with such wit and subtle layers that it makes it all fascinating, entrancing. She writes the age old story of “boy meets girl” and, with such skill and precision, progresses the relationships in a natural way. The dialogue is smart and sharp. The characters are real and flawed and wonderful. Everything is real, from the happenings to the reactions to the feelings. It’s so easy and natural to put ourselves into the story. It’s so different from the stories done today, where they can be rather ham handed with everything in order to make it more thrilling, more suspenseful, more sexy. But they fall too far away from reality and it’s hard to relate to them and their circumstances. Austen’s books show how less can be more.
In my own writing, I sort of strive for this same sort of idea. Yes, I write some paranormal, like in Love the One You’re Witch, which automatically puts it a few steps outside of reality, but I keep the main parts down to earth. I want the dialogue to be funny and smart and the real chops of the story to come from the characters rather than the actions around them. It’s their reactions and feelings and thoughts that make things interesting. Just like, I feel, real life is made interesting. Like people watching. It’s why people are so excited to see reality shows or to have the judges’ reactions on talent shows; why we watch those videos on social media about people performing social experiments (pretending to be homeless, giving out free hugs, standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk in their underwear, etc). We want to see real people’s reactions. That is what I set out to do.
Obviously, my stories and Jane’s are not so alike that people would see the influence right off. My sense of humor is a little more obvious than hers, but I like to think that, if she were alive today (in a time when it is okay for women to show the sort of sass so openly), that she would appreciate it, as well.
Or she could, now, be rolling over in her grave at such a comparison. First Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and now this? The phrase “better off dead” may come to mind.
At any rate, here’s to you Jane. Ana and I thank you.
Love The One You're Witch
by Randa Flannery
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Sassy and snarky witch Anastasia Gregor does not work with vampires. Unfortunately, she forgot to tell her boss that. Now she's up to her neck (pun intended) in the night walkers as she attempts to help one family fix their love lives.
“Who would do this?” Dryfus persisted, his face dark and angry. “To steal another’s mate? What kind of person would do that?”
I shrugged and waved toward Lucas. “That’s a question we should probably ask Lucas. It was obviously someone he knows, since the spell was actually intended for him.”
The sexiest man alive...or sort of alive...started in surprise. “Me?”
“Well, obviously. It was your CD. It was in your house, among your music. The note was probably meant for you. Erica was just unlucky enough to take it from your room before the caster actually activated the spell.” This seemed like it should be common sense to me, but he seemed a little stunned.
The family trained their eyes on Lucas. “Who would do that?” Tanner questioned. “Who wants you, man?”
I snorted a laugh. “Seriously? Again, have you seen him?” Damn. I really need to stop talking. But then I realized that no one else was talking again, so I kind of had to. “Sorry. That was not helpful. So, have you had any girls hanging around the last month and a half?”
The family shook off the surprise brought on by my lack of couth and began to think out loud.
“Brenda,” Tanner offered first. “And Lorrie.”
“I’ve seen Candace over a lot lately,” Dryfus added. “And the Carlton twins stopped by twice this week.”
Moira twisted her mouth in distaste. “Really, Lucas, the twins?” Then she shook her head and added her own. “Hannah, Natalia, and Victoria. And what is that new girl’s name? Denise or Delilah?”
“It was Dixie,” her mate provided.
Of course it was, I thought sourly. With each name, my stomach sank more until it was finally in the heels of my boots. I told myself it was because it would make my job more difficult. Because it shouldn’t have been shocking or upsetting at all to learn that the hot vampire guy with the intense green gaze was a playboy. I couldn’t resist a little snark, however, when the list we compiled had reached fifteen.
“Wow. So I guess Wiccans aren’t the only ones who have trouble with monogamy.”
He cast a dark look around at his family. “I haven’t been with all of those girls,” he snapped, frustration spiking in his aura. “And the ones I have been with would not have been wrong, since I wasn’t part of a mated pair or otherwise in a committed relationship.”
I shrugged with a nonchalance I usually didn’t have to work at. “Hey, no judging from me. Like I said, I can see the draw.” I winked to add a little insult to injury, totally objectifying him even as my stomach twisted.
“I see,” he returned in that deep and dangerously smooth tone I liked. “So would you like on the list, Anastasia?”
My name sounded like a caress and I resisted the urge to purr. This guy was too much. “Actually, no. I prefer my partners a little more lively.” I snickered at my own pun. I can be pretty funny.
“Was that a joke about us being dead?” Tanner asked with a wary glance around.
“Not all of us,” Moira responded wryly. “I’m pretty sure that was aimed specifically at Lucas.”
I continued to grin. “Sorry, we Wiccans might do some strange things, but I draw the line at necrophilia.”
Another pregnant silence followed, broken only by his growl.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Randa Flannery has an a degree in English and writes a variety of romantic fiction, including suspense, comedy, and urban fantasy. Randa is a member of the Romance Writers of America and lives as an expat with her husband and children in FuYang, China.
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