Friday, July 6, 2012

The Syn-En Solution: An Interview with author Linda Andrews

In the mood for cyborgs and aliens? Then join us as Linda Andrew and I chat about what this Syn-En Solution is all about. Welcome Linda!

If you had to sum it up The Syn-En Solution in 30 or less words, what would you say?

A woman from the past meets a cyborg desperate for a future. Can they find one together or will distrust destroy them both?

What kind of research was involved for the series? Did you find it became easier with each book?

Almost everything I read is squirreled away as research for some future book or other, but the one thing I did have to actively go out and find was what kinds of space crafts are being considered by NASA for space exploration. It was a lot of fun, especially when they had cutaways that showed the interior. Other than that, I based the life forms on Terra Dos to things that we would find here on Earth and then gave them a twist (like they all are six limbed, not four) then twisted again for a few surprises.

Do you have a favorite character in The Syn-En Solution? Who and why?

Beijing York is my favorite. In truth, it's because I always fall in love with my hero. But he's a man who is fighting a good fight, not for himself but for his people. I love that he's ruthless about it, but at the same time tortures himself a little over what he as to do. Don't we all love a dark, brooding hero?

Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Nell Stafford is going to get through her biggest challenge.

As a cyborg, Bei has been constructed to adapt and triumph over challenges. My poor human, Nell got yanked out of our time and woke up naked with a bunch of hostile soldiers around her. Then she found out someone rigged her breasts to explode. That wasn't exactly what she signed up for when she joined a company that offered her a chance to save the world. Still, she marches along with sarcasm and humor (plus a few pop culture references that have the cyborgs checking their subroutines). 

As a multi-genre author, how do you juggle going back and forth between the different genres? Do you have a preferred genre?

I feed my psyche lots of chocolate and sit in dark corners with my hands over my ears. Actually, I can only write one story at a time so my story fairy has graciously agreed to throw me glittering story ideas until which time I finish one book, then the next characters in line start chattering inside my head.

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?

Sleeping. I really don't get enough of it but I think those slipping gears in my brain give me some really bizarre plot twists.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

I am currently destroying the world. <Insert evil laugh here> I'm finishing up the second part to my apocalyptic novel, Redaction. Then I'm off to rebuild society in the caves of Colorado in part III. Sometime after Christmas I'll return to my cyborgs and travel to distant worlds for the third book.

What message do you hope readers take away from the book?

Science and medicine are constantly pushing the boundaries of what if means to be human. As man and machine evolve together there will come a time when the definition of sentient life will need to be defined. In both Syn-En books, aliens out in space have already defined it and humans don't fit. Yet.

How do you unwind after a long writing session?

I veg out on TV. I know it's not the most original but I don't have to think when I watch. Sadly, I've watched very little of late and some of my shows have gone away. Still there's NCIS and Body of Proof.

Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again? 
I currently have works published with 4 small presses and I learned a lot through each of them. But I was having a difficult time, placing works or having them published at a pace I wanted. So at the urging of some friends and people I met on online I took the plunge. I'll still write for my small presses but I don't think I'll ever stop self-publishing.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Never give up; Never surrender. Okay it wasn't writing advice, it was from Galaxy Quest, but I think it quite apropos. So many people want to write but writing is hard and painful. Only the truly masochistic tenacious survive.

The Book
A woman from the past. A cyborg with no future.
They have every reason to mistrust each other but one: survival.

When Nell Stafford passed out it was 2012. When she wakes up naked aboard a starship it's 2138, and she's surrounded by the Syn-En:
synthetically-enhanced soldiers with a grudge against humans like her. She
doesn't know where she is or what's happened, only that her life has been
destroyed and everyone she's ever known is dead.

Their leader Beijing York has just discovered his people's creators--humans--have betrayed them. They were promised freedom and equality in exchange for settling a newly discovered planet at the other side of a wormhole. But the Syn-En have outlived their usefulness.

The offer was a trick.

The wormhole has collapsed, and now both Nell and the Syn-En are trapped
far, far from Earth to face almost certain death.

Bei has lost his future, and Nell has lost her past.

But Nell gained something in her 120-year sleep; somehow, she knows
everything the Syn-En need to survive. Now she must convince Bei and his
people to trust her--as soon as she learns to trust the mysterious intelligence. 

An Excerpt
His gray eyes narrowed a fraction. "You want me to believe you're from over a century ago come forward in time to save us?"

"I don't expect you to believe it." Nell gulped as hysteria threatened to bubble out of her. She set her hand over his, knowing she wouldn't be able to stop him if he decided to strangle her but determined to try anyway.

"Honestly, I'm having a hard time thinking of this as anything other than a dream."

"Do you have proof?"

She snorted. "Where exactly would I put it?"

Soft as a caress, his gaze skimmed down and then up her body. "There are places."

Nell squeezed her legs together. "There better not be!"

His lips twitched. "Shang'hai found a data recorder on your life pod."

Feeling cold air against her teeth, Nell clicked her mouth shut. He deliberately let her think he planned a body cavity search. Should she take it as proof of a sense of humor or sadistic streak? She forced the
thoughts aside. "Shang'hai? You're talking about the pink haired woman who left with the box, right?"


"Well good. Then I hope we both get answers about how I got here."                           

The Author

Linda Andrews lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, three children and a menagerie of domesticated animals. While she started writing a decade ago, she always used her stories to escape the redundancy of her day job as a scientist and never thought to actually combine her love of fiction and science. DOH! After that Homer Simpson moment, she allowed the two halves of her brain to talk to each other. The journeys she's embarked on since then are dark, twisted and occasionally violent, but never predictable.

Connect with Linda!


  1. Thank you for joining us on your tour Linda! What was the most interesting part of writing this book for you?

  2. Thanks so much for having me. The most interesting part was probably the sex scene between Bei and Nell. I had fun with it because someone asked if all the parts on Bei were interchangeable:-)