Saturday, January 21, 2012

Redaction by Linda Andrews - Character Interview, Excerpt

Six months after an Influenza Pandemic swept across the globe, the world is starting to emerge from quarantine. But Pestilence Free Day is short-lived. For an unseen enemy has just been unleashed.

Five people. Seven days.

A brilliant scientist with an apocalyptic forecast

A soldier that needs an enemy to fight

A college student venturing into a changed world

An insurance salesman who exploits every opportunity

A juvenile delinquent desperate to leave his past behind

Redaction: Humanity is about to be erased from the Book of Life

Word Length: 140,000, Edited by TL Hockett

Kindle  |  Goodreads  |  Nook

Enter to win a digital copy of Redaction. The winner will get a Smashwords coupon code and may dowload one copy in the format of their choice. Follow Linda on Twitter for a bonus entry. This Giveaway ends Feb.11th 11:59PM Central Time.


Hello everyone! I'd like to introduce you to Emmanuel Saldana. He along with 4 other people are the main characters in my apocalyptic novel, Redaction. Manny will you tell us a little about yourself?

Manny: {Metal creaks as he shifts on the folding chair and adjusts his baggy jeans} I'm seventeen years old and live in South Phoenix. Not the nice neighborhoods either but the ones that have been there a while. Gringos say their painted in barrio colors and have cars up on blocks and lousy add-ons. 

Author: Have you lived there all your life? 

Manny: {folds his arm and slouches in his chair} Why do you have to bring that up? You know the answer. 

Author: Manny... 

Manny: Fine! I was at Adobe Mountain Juvenile detention center serving time for manslaughter. My best friend and I jacked a car, except we didn't really know how to drive and it kinda crashed. He died; I went to Adobe Mountain. 

Author: But you didn't serve out your full sentence, did you? 

Manny: No, the Redaction hit. The Influenza moved through the sections, killing and spreading until we were sent home. The government says that only 35% of the population died, but everyone got sick. And I lost both my parents, my four brothers, and two sisters, aunts and uncles... {He counts on his fingers until her runs out} That's more than 35% percent, but then we're poor, couldn't get to see the doctor, and couldn't get the medicine. 

Author: I heard, the medicine didn't work on the strain of flu that's why so many people died. 

Manny: I heard that too, but who knows if it's the truth. 

Author: But all that happened before the book takes place, right? I mean the book opens when the public gathering ban is lifted.

Manny: {juts out his chin} Just because the government says something is over doesn't mean it is. 

Author: Tell me about your typical day.

Manny: I am responsible for caring for my younger brother and sister as well as the twins. They're neighbors that I found scrounging among the garbage and rats for scraps to eat. So most of my day is spent trying to make the little food I have left, last. Washing clothes when the water and electricity are on. And filling up buckets with water so we have something to drink and flush the toilets with.

Author: Don't the soldiers supply food? 

Manny: They haven't for a while and the ninos are so skinny.

Author: You look thin yourself. 

Manny: {adjusting his belt to a crudely punched notch in the strip of worn leather} I get by. But lately, I've taken to sleeping with recipes under my pillow and dreaming of food. {He swipes at the drool gathered at the corners of his mouth} 

Author: But you're a resourceful guy. You have a plan, don't you? 

Manny: Yeah. One that reflects my criminal background, thanks to you
Author: Tell everyone about your plan. I don't think anyone will judge you harshly for it. 

Manny: I've been keeping track of the empty houses, marking them on my google map. I plan to break into those houses and take any canned goods I can find. Tonight is the last of the food that I have and I need to do something. The ninos are counting on me. 

Author: And you have to do this at night, while the soldiers on the street have orders to shoot to kill, right? 

Manny: Yeah. But I'm not worried about them. I'm more worried about the gang, the Aspero. They're the real danger out there and if they find out where I live... Even hiding the ninos in the attic won't guarantee that they'll be safe.

Author: Just to set the record straight, you're taking care of your younger siblings, two neighbors who were orphaned and are risking your life to get the essentials for them. I think you're an amazing hero and I'm glad you walked into my story.

Manny: {tugs on his collar, dips his head. A thatch of black hair covers his blush} Yeah, well. I gotta go. The ninos worry when I'm away too long. 

Author: Here's an excerpt from one of Manny's scenes and the world he lives in at the beginning of Redaction: 

Shadows streaked black tendrils across the spilled refuse while overhead the reds, pinks and oranges deepen to purple. Manny stuck his empty hands in his pockets and slouched into his over-sized hoodie. A cold breeze whistled past his ears and scored the skin exposed by the holes in his worn jeans. He spat the taste of rot and smoke from his mouth before wiping his lips on his sleeve.

Why hadn’t the bastards come?

Did they think everyone was dead? Did they hope they’d turned on each other and finished the job started by the Redaction? The Aspero had certainly tried. The gang’s serpent tagged nearly every fence and home in the neighborhood. A can rattled behind him and the hair on the back of his neck prickled. For a moment, fear turned his heart to coal and burned ashes inside him. Shit! Manny glanced over his shoulder. Eyes strained to decipher movement in the twilight.

He saw nothing. But what did that mean?

He knew better than to ask who’s there.

There were some questions best left unanswered.

Quickening his pace, he stomped on the garbage bags. Nails glistened in the board he’d planted in the clear patch. His first booby-trap. First, but not his last. His fingers bumped over the rusted switchblade in his pocket. Not much help in a gunfight, but it was better than nothing. Yellow caution tape flapped against the boarded-up windows of Mrs. Hernandez’s house. She’d made the best tamales. Orange biohazard tape streamed through the brown remains of Old Man Andersen’s prize garden.

Green paint flaked on the unhinged doors of the next four houses—burned out husks of blackened and crumbling block. The occupants had died after the city had run out of fancy tape to mark the houses of dead. The Aspero had looted the house shortly after the bloated bodies had been stuffed into garbage bags and carted away.

Too bad he hadn’t gotten there first.

He could have used that food.

Hitching his jeans up, he glanced north toward downtown Phoenix. During daylight, smoke formed a gray sludge and the rolling blackouts destroyed the golden haze that used to cloak the heart of the city. The light was not a friend now. His wasn’t the only occupied home that remained dark after the power kicked on. If only he’d convinced his neighbors to move closer. They might have stood a chance against the Aspero, might have been able to protect their food.

Pausing, Manny checked the padlock on the gate. No sign of tampering. He glanced over his shoulder. Still nobody. Yet, the hair on the back of his neck remained standing. Someone was there. Should he walk past, pretend he didn’t live here?

His feet turned his body, aiming it further down the alley. His ribcage shrunk, squeezing his ribs. He couldn’t leave. Ignoring the gate, he climbed up the slats of a pallet and set his hands on the top of the block fence. His mouth dried as he eyed the swollen water bottle containing pool acid. A few bubbles clung to the nails and tacks at the bottom of the yellow liquid. Holding his breath, he swung his leg over. Please, God, don’t let it explode on me.

His shadow deserved to have the shrapnel cut into his flesh. Manny landed with a soft thud and waited. One second. Two. The make-shift bomb remained intact.

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal."

All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house?

If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at lindaandrews(at)lindaandrews(dot)net She’d love to hear from you.
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Debby said...

This book sounds intriguing and plausible.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Linda Andrews said...

Thanks Debby. Manny ended up being one of my favorite characters. And a big thanks to Laurie for having me here today.

bn100 said...

This book sounds very interesting.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com said...

would love to read this

The Zoo said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
swak50 at hotmail dot com

Laurie said...

The winner of the giveaway is Pam Boland