Andriana Anders chats with us about her new novel, Under Her Skin, which comes out on February 7!
Please describe what your book is about.
Under Her Skin is a steamy, heart-wrenching story of love, hope and—ultimately—survival. When Uma Crane comes to town to erase the scars of her past, she doesn’t expect to fall for the big, damaged blacksmith next door—or for the town itself. But when she’s forced to face off against her abusive ex, Uma discovers that, with the help of her new friends, she just might have the strength to confront her worst nightmares.
Share a teaser sentence or two from your novel.
“Old hag in need of live-in helper to abuse. Nothing kinky.
Uma read the ad again.
Jesus. Was she really going to do this?
Yes. Yes, she was. She’d come all the way back to Virginia for the hope its free clinic offered, and if this was the only job she could get while she was in town, she should consider herself lucky to have found it.”
What do you want people to know about your book?
Under Her Skin is a story of survival and hope. It’s an emotional rollercoaster with all the romantic feels. And Ivan—the rough ex-con, blacksmith, is my favorite hero, ever.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?
Pretty much everything. Too vague? I learned that I have to put my characters through hell before I believe in their Happily Ever After.
What was your timeline from drafting to publication?
I wrote this novel in 2013-2014 and signed with Sourcebooks in 2015. Under Her Skin, Book 1 in the Blank Canvas series, is the first of three books out this year!
What is your favorite part of writing (drafting characters, making up scenes, plotting, developing emotional turning points, etc). Why?
I adore writing dialogue. It’s what flows the best for me—conversations appear out of thin air, surprising me every time. And I greatly enjoy the challenge of differentiating between characters’ voices.
Briefly, where did the idea for your book come from?
I heard a story on the radio about a woman who removed tattoos pro-bono for survivors of abuse, ex-cons, and ex-gang members. The idea that a woman could be tattooed against her will had never occurred to me, but as soon as I heard it, my mind went wild. I dropped everything else I was working on. This was it. This was my story.
When do you do your best thinking about your work in progress?
I used to drive an hour and a half to get to work and, though I don’t rue the wasted hours, I miss the alone time. With two young children at home, it’s tough to get the brainstorming, daydreaming time in.
Share something people may be surprised to know about you?
I used to do voices for video games!
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
As the fabulous mystery novelist and writing teacher Meredith Cole advises: ignore your inner editor and write, write, write. Or, as Cara McKenna say, write the shitty little book of your heart.
By Her Touch, Book 2 in the Blank Canvas series, is out April 4th! It’s the story of ATF Agent Clay Navarro, who’s hiding out after an undercover stint with the Sultans motorcycle Club, and the dermatologist who removes his Club tats. It’s another dark, sexy, emotional read. In His Hands, the third book in the Blank Canvas series, comes out August 1st, bringing us Luc, a sexy, reclusive French winemaker and Abby, who’s struggling to escape the cult next door.