Andra Wakins is a native of Tennessee but calls Charleston, South Carolina, her home for the last 23 years. She is the author of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809.
Would you call yourself a born writer?
Writing is a gift. It’s also a muscle. Some people are naturally endowed with greater muscle strength, but if they don’t work those muscles, they will never be strong. I hope I’m a born writer, but I must write every day to become better.
What was your inspiration for To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis?
Meriwether Lewis died on the Natchez Trace when he was 35 years old. I wondered what he might have accomplished if he had more time, if he didn’t die so young. That’s what got me started.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
Family. Roads not taken. What if questions. History.
It took me a year-and-a-half to get the book ready for readers.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
We all like to think we’re disciplined, but I waste a lot of time. My brain only starts working in the afternoon. I do yoga in the morning and write in the afternoon and early evening.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
Getting people to understand and accept a genre-bending story is a struggle. Historical fiction. Paranormal fiction. Action/adventure fiction. All mixed with magical realism. It was easier to write the book than it is to explain what’s unique about it.
What do you love most about being an author?
Interacting with readers. I really love to meet readers and get to know them.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
Word Hermit Press published my novel. wordhermitpress.com I’m very happy with my decision to go with them.
Where can we find you on the web?