Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Adriana! Please tell us about your new series, Survival Instincts, and the first book, WHITEOUT.
Thank you so much for having me! It’s a pleasure, as always!
My new Romantic Suspense series, Survival Instincts, pits my heroines and heroes against nature and a group of big baddies who want to change the face of the planet. I’m calling the subgenre Survival Romance, because each book follows a specific couple into extreme run or die situations. WHITEOUT, the first in the series takes us to Antarctica, at the cusp of the long, dark winter.
Angel Smith is a chef at a research facility in Antarctica – and she has her own reasons for finding a job at the edge of the world – but aside from dealing with the cold temps, she doesn’t think her job will be all that difficult. . . until she finds herself on the run across the frozen landscape from a killer. Tell us more about Angel’s character development, and how she deals with this intense situation!
From the start, Angel is a strong person, both mentally and physically–she’s a woman who climbed the ladder and held her own as a chef in a male-dominated field. Of course, even that couldn’t prepare her for an unplanned trek across the world’s coldest continent–and all the dangers therein. While the trip saps her strength and circumstances make survival virtually impossible, her true self emerges. She delves deep and taps into a tenacity, a strength of character that she’d never known. That’s when we see the real Angel.
Lori Foster, who was kind enough to read the book, tweeted: “Such a strong female lead, who had to fight so hard, and yet still feminine. Absolutely fabulous balance!!” I ADORE this quote. Link: https://twitter.com/LoriLFoster/status/1215221129763266561
Ford Cooper is a grumpy glaciologist who prefers the quiet expanse of Antarctica to interacting with people. Even under extreme stress, Angel can’t deny there’s just something about him. . . What do you love the most about Ford?
Oh, I love that Ford is a sweetie, despite his icy exterior. Antarctica is his safe place. Until the Research Station’s blown to hell. After that, a big part of Ford’s journey is about finding his inner strength, against all odds–much like Angel. Although maybe it’s more about finding inner peace. And accepting who he is. When he finally gets there, what emerges is beautiful.
Angel and Ford spend most of this book fighting to survive in harsh wilderness and unbelievably cold temps – what sort of research did you do into how people actually survive in such crazy conditions?
I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching this book and, in the process, fell in love with Antarctica–its natural mysteries and treasures, along with the social aspects of life there. It’s an unforgiving environment, which creates very close ties between its inhabitants.
I was lucky enough to interview a couple who had spent a few seasons there. And even cooler, one of them was a cook at the South Pole facility, which offered great insight not only into the workings of the place, but what standing out on the ice actually felt like.
I have a secret weapon when it comes to survival research, though, which is that my brother is a climbing guide. He spends his working days (and nights) in some of the world’s most dangerous places–hiking, rock- and ice-climbing, skiing. . . As someone who has guided expeditions to places like the summit of Mount Denali and been a Climbing Park Ranger on Mount Rainier, he is a fount of information.
This novel is set Antarctica, naturally one of the most beautiful and treacherous parts of the world. What compelled you to set a novel there?
It originated with a tweet! I had proposed the Antarctica idea as part of a different series and, my editor, Mary Altman, liked it, but it wasn’t until I tweeted about The Mountain Between Us that it really clicked into place. What’s interesting is that, in the end, I think this book is a lot less about the steamy times and a lot more about man vs. nature and inner strength.
2020 is here! The start of a new year of course, but also a new decade! What are some of your hopes for the next ten years?
Oh, wow. That’s a big one. I’ve got lots of answers. I mean, my 9-year-old and a 7-year-old will be adults! My ideal decade would involve my babies growing up happy and healthy and kind.
But you’re probably talking publishing, so I’ll focus on that. I’ve got an absurdly long list of stories in my head, clamoring to get out. A women’s fiction book or two, a Rom Com, more thrillers and adventures, some super-steamy shorts. What I’d like for the next decade is to tell these stories, while staying true to my core message and beliefs—that everyone deserves love and hope, even in very dark times.
What can readers expect from you next?
I’m working on book 2 in the Survival Instincts series–Evergreen Grave, in which Leo (whom we meet in WHITEOUT) crash-lands in the wilds of Alaska and has to team up with a stranger in order to survive. More to come soon!
Rapid Fire Random Questions
Favorite Romance Trope: Forced proximity… Surprise!
Go to mani/pedi nail polish color: Gold
Do you dog-ear or use a bookmark in your books?: I’m a terrible person and I dog-ear. Honestly, don’t tell anyone or I’ll become a pariah.
Pancakes or waffles?: Waffles
Favorite book from childhood: I can’t possibly choose one. As an early reader, I devoured books like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and A Wrinkle in Time. The Boxcar Children was one that I haven’t revisited with my kids, but my memories of it are so vivid.
Morning person or night owl: Either/or, as needed!
First thing you’d splurge on if you won the lottery: Travels. Maybe a trip to Antarctica!?
A song that will always cheer you up: I Can See Clearly Now
Favorite season: Autumn
You have a totally free afternoon – no deadlines, no obligations, no Twitter notifications! What do you do?: Read!!!!!
COMMENT TO WIN: Tell us how you’d cope with being stranded in the Antarctic wilderness for a chance to win a copy of WHITEOUT! US and Canada only – GOOD LUCK!
Survival Instincts #1
Angel Smith is ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her final day, the research station is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives. . . only to realize that in a place this remote, there’s nowhere left to run.
Isolated in the middle of a long, frozen winter with a madman at their heels, they must fight to survive in the most inhospitable–and beautiful–place on earth. But the outside world depends on what Ford and Angel know and, as their pursuers close in and their new partnership burns bright and hot, they will stop at nothing to make it out of the cold alive.
About Adriana Anders
Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love–writing romance–that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.