Interview with Andrea R. Cooper

Today's guest is Andrea Cooper, author of Viking Fire. After the interview, we've got an excerpt for you to enjoy, so be sure to stick around! Let's have a look at the blurb for Viking Fire...

856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Tricia: Welcome, Andrea. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Andrea: I’m a wife and mother to three kids, two boys and a girl. I was born, raised, and still living near Houston, Texas. It’s not the weather, which is HOT 362 days a year, that keeps me here, but family and the food especially Tex-Mex (which is the right kind of hot )  For all of those who live in the north, a can of cheese soup is not Queso or Tex-Mex – you will have to try it if you are ever down this way.

When I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a reader. The books that I craved were not allowed in my house—anything with magic, mythical creatures, paranormal, etc. Seriously, I wasn’t even allowed to watch Disney movies. During my junior year, I found and enjoyed Historical Romances by Beatrice Small, Julie Garwood, Sandra Hill, and others. But it wasn’t until my early that I found fantasy stories. Since I wasn’t under the rules of my parents, I devoured these stories. Then added paranormal and even YA to my list. I love writing…let me correct that, I love writing fiction. Make me write nonfiction and I want to do anything else…even stuff I hate like cleaning house and laundry. I think I’d break out in permanent hives if I couldn’t write fiction.

I love Zumba. Before I had my daughter, Zumba and weight training helped me to lose 40lbs. Now, I’m trying to work off the baby fat from eight months ago I’ve accumulated, which getting to the gym with an almost four year old and an eight month old is about as easy as solving a puzzle with one hand, missing pieces, and in the dark…and I’m terrible with puzzles anyway.

Tricia: When did you begin writing?

Andrea: I started writing poems when I was fourteen, but didn’t start writing novels until I was in my late twenties. However, I’ve always been a story-teller. I remember being seven years old and my friends would come to me asking what we were going to play. Once I had some of the ‘bad guys’ as space vampires. I didn’t want the kids biting each other, so I told them their fangs were their first two fingers. Since I no longer have a cast of kids to act out stories with me, writing became the new oulet.

Tricia: Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

Andrea: First I come up with an idea, character, or a situation. I brainstorm and start thinking ‘What If’ questions. I do not plot per se, I have a general idea of where the story is going to go, sometimes the ending will change slightly. I enjoy when characters take over and guide me. However, if they get us lost, I pull out the dreaded outline and map out where we’ve been and where we’re going. Hopefully since there are surprises for me that come up when I write, it will be a surprise for the reader. I have a WIP (actually I have many of those) that I planned the whole story for the heroine to kill the villain. After all, he killed her father and brother – and had tortured her when he had her prisoner, yet another character with a past tangled with this bad guy stepped up and killed him. I was shocked, but it fit.

Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Andrea: Viking Fire is my latest release. This is an historical romance set in Ireland during the dark ages. Kaireen is arranged to marry her enemy-a Viking. She’s a highborn stubborn lass who doesn’t agree to the marriage. If Bram can’t win her heart in a fortnight, he loses her dowry and her. Meanwhile a rival clan has a spy and plots against them both.

Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?

Andrea: I got the idea reading that my grandmother’s maiden name, McLaughlin, could be from the Gaelic word for Viking-especially in Ireland. Though there are McLaughlins in Ireland and Scotland, my ancestry came from Scotland. The story, when I started to write it, wanted Ireland for the setting.

Tricia: If you could recommend just one of your books to my readers, which book would you choose?

Andrea: Viking Fire because it’s more focused on the romance and it’s a lighter sweeter read. The Garnet Dagger is focused more on the quest and the emotional attachment between an Elvin and a woman and is darker and more brooding in my opinion.

Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Andrea: Elva in Viking Fire. She is only the handmaid in the story, or was when I first started writing it. As her character unfolds as she tries to help Kaireen and Bram, so too did it unfold when I was writing it. I had no idea of her secret (despite hints she gave me) until she let lose her hair – literally.

Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Andrea: Editing. I have wonderful editors, but I still have to try and do my own before sending it to them. And I think it’s wise to follow their advice, which often means some type of re-write.

Tricia: What would you like to tell us about your book or your writing that someone wouldn’t discover during a casual review of your blurb or website?

Andrea: I have an obsession of paranormal, mythical, or magical stories. Since I wasn’t allowed to read or watch TV with those themes (nope, not even Disney movies), I get my fill by reading and writing stories to varying degrees.

Also, I was labeled in Elementary school as ‘never learning to read’ by my first grade teacher. I was never tested, but I think I had dyslexia. I saw letters flip in my head. I’ve learned to adapt and can read just fine thank you very much ;)

Tricia: What is your primary goal as an author?

Andrea: To share my stories and entertain through my characters and their plots.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Andrea: There are many, but I’ll name just a few: Terry Goodkind, Anne Bishop, Julie Garwood, Yasmine Galenorn, Kim Harrison, PC Cast, and Christine Feehan.

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?

Andrea: Too many :) I have revisions of the second book in The Garnet Dagger trilogy that I’m working on. Another historical romance set during 16th Century Japan, and two Viking romances one which I need to finish and the other edit.

Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Andrea: Read. Read the great authors you love, read authors you hate – but understand why. Read writing manuals, take classes, join a critique group. Most importantly, if you have a passion for writing don’t let anyone discourage you—just keep trying if you are a real writer, then you’ll write regardless if you are published are not because you can do nothing else.

About Andrea R Cooper:

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

Twitter: @AndreaRCooper
Crimson Romance ebooks | Amazon | B&N | iTunes
Viking Fire:
The Garnet Dagger:

Viking Fire Excerpt

Chapter One Ireland 856 CE

“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown. Dressed only in her leine, she glared at the new gown on the stone floor.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.” She wore her white hair twisted in a chignon, underneath a linen head cloth. Strands of white hair poked out the sides of her covering.

“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor. Why was she not born plain like her two older sisters? Already they had married and expected their second bairns by spring. Well, at least so far she had enjoyed twenty years of freedom. Neither of her sisters had had matrimonial dreams of love matches. Both were arranged marriages.

“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.

Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Many a raid has come from them. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”

Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight.

Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of

Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.

“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.

“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”

“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled at her. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”

Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”

“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.

“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.

If you liked Viking Fire, check out the blurb for The Garnet Dagger: 

Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human…but what if the victim is Elvin?

Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure.

Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and his world will die.

When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?


  1. Tricia,

    Thank you so much for having me.

  2. That's a great interview, Andrea! And I loved Viking Fire. Bram is one HOT Viking!

  3. Great interview, ladies. I've just started reading VIKING FIRE! Loving it! :)

  4. My husband loves Terry Goodkind. Great interview!

  5. Wonderful interview. I learned more about you, Andrea. I'm very excited to read your book--I love Vikings!

  6. Loved the interview. Best of luck continuing, Andrea.

  7. Wonderful interview, and sounds like a great book! I love your analogy for trying to get to the gym. .. my son is almost two and I'm still trying to figure it out!

  8. Thank you. I'm so glad you loved Viking Fire.

  9. Yay, I'm glad you are loving it! I enjoyed writing it. A lot of people are loving Elva too, so I might have to a Prequel and tell her love story :)

  10. Thank you! My husband tried to get me into Robert Jordan (since I enjoyed Terry Goodkind so much), but after the sixth book, I just couldn't get into anymore. One of the many things I love about Goodkind is he does have a light romance thread throughout the series.

  11. Thank you. I wish someone had poured all the advise I needed into one source, but then it would probably be an encyclopedia set ;)

  12. Thank you. I have more stories about Vikings in the works.

  13. Thank you. It takes dedication, commitment, but most of all luck to get to the gym when you have little ones ;)

  14. Good! It has been years since I've read a romance featuring Vikings!

  15. Great interview. Loved the excerpt. It tweeted.

  16. Hi, Andrea!
    Love the premise of this book! It reminds me on a Johanna Lindsey story!

  17. Great interview. I enjoyed reading it and the excerpt from your new book.


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