Series: The Affected Trilogy
Vol or Book #: Book One
Author: Randi Lee
Audience: New Adult & Adult
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller & Dystopian
Format: paperback & ebook
Publisher: Abuzz Press
Cover by: Todd Engel, Engel Creative Graphic Design
Editor: Randi Lee
Date Published: April 1, 2015
Eight years ago, there was no World Government. There were no agents, no carts. The fear of a nosebleed did not exist. Then came The Affection—an incurable disease that ran rampant across the planet, killing off roughly 60% of the human population. Two years later—with order in shambles and governments all over the world in ruins—the World Government formed. That’s when the real trouble began. The WG made it its mission to segregate the sick (known as “Affected”) from the rest of the population in an attempt to keep the disease from spreading. Agents were put into place to corral the ill and the God-forsaken carts were introduced.
For the past six years, Ethan has lived a quiet life. He has done his best to remain out of the public eye and, more importantly, off of the agents’ radars. However, when his ex-girlfriend, daughter of the famous scientist who first discovered the disease, is captured by agents and taken to World Government headquarters to be experimented upon, Ethan can no longer pretend the world around him doesn’t exist. On his way to save her, Ethan is thrust into a place of turmoil, espionage and conspiracies. Will he be able to handle the pressures of reality? Will he be able to save her in time?
The agents lead the chef out of the restaurant. Things do not go back to normal so easily, not the way they did back at the ball game. Awash with the tragedy of the moment, people mourn the loss of the chef in different ways. Some leave, some bow their heads and others lose the battle to tears. The hostess gives a speech about the man the chef is. A round of clapping follows.
“This doesn’t make sense,” Grant says. “The chef was Affected. Doesn’t that mean he was serving Affected food? He could have made us all sick.”
“What’s your point?” I ask.
“My point is that those agents could easily take us all in for fear of contagion. What’s stopping them?”
Cameron’s card comes to mind—the one with the embossed gold lettering and three contact numbers. I sift through my wallet and pull it out.
“Me,” I say, staring at the card. “I’m stopping them.”
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
In my heart, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer. It just took me a very long time to muster up the courage to follow that path.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
When I was in first grade and won an award for my story, “The Cheetah that Went to the People Zoo.”
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Soup to nuts? Three years. I began the writing process in 2012 and published in 2015.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I am also an editor, designer and provide website and technical support. I provide book formatting services for self-publishers, as well. It’s quite fun wearing a diversity of hats—I’m always working on something different!
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My book is titled, “Affected.” It’s a dystopian suspense thriller about an incurable pandemic and one man’s journey to save the woman he loves.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I both self-publish and work with Abuzz Press.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
That varies, but in general I am on the slower side as far as writers go. I think the quickest I ever wrote a book was in one year.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Many different types of books. I love writing in all genres. I’m currently working on another dystopian thriller, a young adult sci-fi/fantasy and a romantic comedy. I’ll always diversify my writing because I get bored easily and need to keep myself entertained more than anyone else.
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Affected just, sort of, turned into a dystopian thriller. It was originally supposed to be more of a laid back romantic drama, but the story had a mind of its own and morphed into something more action-packed and suspenseful.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
My favorite character is Gracie from “Affected.” She’s so fun loving and carefree, even in the middle of the worst possible scenario. She’s always trying to see the brighter side of things, and her actions are always more for the community than for herself.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I can’t say what originally inspired me to start—I’ve just always found it fun.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Oh, I hate routines. I can’t follow them. I am always in a different spot, on a different device, using a different pen or eating something different while writing. I find inspiration in “the different.”
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Honestly? No. I love and appreciate that people would take the time to review me. However, I don’t want good words to go to my head and I don’t want bad words to go to my heart.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
It depends on what comes first: the title or the story. Sometimes, I’ll think of a title I love and will write a story around the title. Sometimes, it’s the complete opposite, where I write an entire story and worry about how to title it later.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I go with what “feels right.” I try not to put too much thought into character names and places because I find that when people do that they sound too forced and convenient. If I am reading a character description and that character sounds like a “Gary,” then Gary becomes his name.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I usually create first and label later. Again, I don’t put too much thought into the labels. I just go with what fits.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
A bit of both. Sometimes I’ll plot out a character and halfway through the story he or she will need to change a bit because he/she isn’t fitting or sitting right.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Ha, ha, yes—pretty much every line in Affected contains a moral, hidden message, easter egg or symbol of some sort.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I like to hold a physical book in my hands. It doesn’t really matter if it’s hardcover or paperback. I just love the feel of a real live book.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I have read “The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy more times than I can count. I just think it’s beautifully written and Mr. Conroy’s words are so deep, meaningful and thought-filled that every time I re-read it I catch something new that I didn’t notice before. He puts meaning and depth into every line he writes. I appreciate that.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I suppose it depends on the book. Anything by Tom Clancy translates into a brilliant movie. Anything by Meliville? Not so much.
Your favorite food is?
White rice. Strange, I know…it practically has no flavor, but I love it!!
Your favorite singer/group is?
N/A…I am hugely eclectic when it comes to music selection. I can’t be tied down to a particular group or style.
Your favorite color is?
Purple…and I wear way too much of it…like Barney, kind of…
Your favorite Author is?
David Sedaris. His writing speaks to me. It’s simple, without frills, but it’s so honest and from the heart and straightforward. I love his words.
A world traveler, Randi finds great inspiration in the places she visits. Whether it be a different country or the next town over, Randi uses all of her senses to take in each experience and learn something new. She strongly believes that visiting new places and interacting with different cultures strengthens the soul—and the creative muscles.
Randi is always excited to meet new people and exchange ideas. She can be contacted via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.