Guest Post & Giveaway: Andrea Speed – A chat with Paris

For the relaunch of my Infected series, I thought I’d Google random questions from the internet, and have characters from the series answer them. This time, it’s Paris’s turn in the hot seat.


1. What song do you sing in the shower?

Paris: I Wanna Be Adored.


2. When was the last time you really laughed?

Paris: Probably ten minutes ago. Roan is hysterical. Mostly on purpose.


3. Do you speak another language?

Paris: Of course, darling, I’m Canadian. I know how to say a whole bunch of things in half-assed French. I know some Spanish too, but mostly curses.


4. What are two things that you consider yourself to be very good at?

Paris: Sex, and being really entertaining at parties.


5. If you could break one law with impunity what would it be?

Paris: I’d steal everything not nailed down. And I’d be constantly high.


6. If you had an extra room in your house what would you use it for?

Paris: Ooh. What about a sauna? That’d be fun, wouldn’t it? Your own personal sauna. Or a bounce house. That would be fun too. Hey, do you think they could be combined?


7. What would be your personal hell?

Paris: CSPAN. Nothing but CSPAN.


8. What is your earliest memory?

Paris: I think it’s petting a rabbit. Funny, huh?


9. If you had to apply a label to yourself, what would it be?

Paris: Fabulous!


10. What music do you hate?

Paris: Smooth jazz. That kind they play in dentist’s offices? Ugh. It’s music to be sedated to, and not in a good way.


11. What do you dislike most about modern life?

Paris: Put down your goddamn phone for five minutes! I realize that makes me sound like somebody’s grandpa, but I’ll hike my pants up to my armpits for that one. I’m tired of people paying more attention to their screens than me. That’s just wrong.


12. If you were going to go into business for yourself what would you do?

Paris: Ooh. I think I’d make a great strip-o-gram. Or I could rent myself out to sad parties, to liven them up. As I said, I’m very good at them.


13. What is the worst flavor of ice cream?

Paris: Anything with peanut butter. I’m sorry, but I just can’t tolerate peanut butter in my ice cream.


14. What was the first thing you learned to cook?

Paris: I’m pretty sure it was toast. If that doesn’t count, then it was scrambled eggs.


15. If you could live at any time in history when would it be?

Paris: Can I pick the shiny, Star Trek future? If not, then I’m good with now. I have all my stuff here.


16. What was your first paying job?

Paris: I mowed some lawns around the neighborhood, I think.


17: What is your favorite winter activity?

Paris: Snuggling. Out of propriety, I’m giving you the G rated version.


18. When was your best Valentine Day?

Paris: This past one. I bought Roan some really tacky underwear and made him model them for me. Don’t tell him I told you!


19. What makes you lose your inhibitions?

Paris: That would require me to have inhibitions in the first place.


20. What three adjectives best describe you?

Paris: Scintillating, seductive, fabulous.


I’m really good at …

Paris: Blowing people’s minds. And other things, if I like you.





Infected: Book One

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

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Andrea Speed will be giving away an eBook from the series to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment below to enter.



Andrea Speed writes way too much (and yet seemingly not enough). She is the writer of the Infected series for DSP Publications as well as a bunch of other stuff, and is Editor In Chief of, where she reviews comics as well as movies and other stuff. She’s won a couple of Rainbow Awards, and feels she may be ubiquitous on the web. But she is not (sadly) the Italian DJ of the same name that often comes up first in Google searches.


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Guest Author Andrea Speed – Romantic Horror

InfectedPreyLGI have to admit, having been caught up in editing recently, and it made me ponder the similarities between my two series, Infected and Josh of the Damned. Now, on first glance, the two series couldn’t have less in common. Josh is a horror-comedy about a convenience store clerk who sells snacks to monsters and is forced to save the world whether he wants to or not (and mostly he’d rather not), while Infected is all about the havoc caused by a werecat virus unleashed on society, and Roan McKichan, the virus child caught between worlds who’s wrestling with the possibility he may not be entirely human. Josh is funny and weird, dwelling at an intersection where poorly paid retail jobs meets B grade monster movies, and Infected is … well, it’s dark. I’ll be the first to admit it’s kind of grim sometimes. Although it too is funny, as Roan had a very well developed sense of humor, and all his friends are weirdoes. (He is too, so that works out.) So is comedy the common denominator? Not really, because humor is the point of Josh of the Damned, and it’s a leavener in Infected, something to cut the darkness.

The common denominator is horror.

Now, Infected isn’t really a proper horror series, not as they are generally understood. But considering how awful the effects of the virus are, and Roan’s internal and occasionally external battle with his own weird viral strain, the influence of body horror, a horror sub-genre, is undeniable. You can find some of the best examples of body horror in the work of movie director David Cronenberg, who pretty much cornered the market in the ’80’s. (Scanners, Videodrome, The Brood, Rabid, The Fly … I could keep going, but all have body horror as part of their make up. To be fair, the last movie he made with any body horror elements in it at all was eXistenZ. I think he said all he wanted to say.) Body horror is just what you expect: being terrified of something in you, or something warping you, changing you into something you don’t recognize. You have seen the enemy, and it is you. You could even fold the Alien movies in at the edges of body horror, because there is a little of that in its bones.

To muddy the waters, Infected is set in an alternate universe, one pretty much like our own world, except for that pesky werecat virus. Also, there are lots of mystery plots, since Roan is a private detective. I can’t call it horror with a straight face, or at least not with an asterisk. And while there is violence, there hasn’t been a horror movie slasher or anything of that ilk. Which is good, because they wouldn’t last five minutes with Roan. (Or Holden either, come to think of it. He doesn’t dick around.) This is probably why I have a hard time deciding what genre the Infected series belongs in, because I’m not sure.

JotD_TripleFeature2And Josh is horror, only in the Evil Dead 2/ Army of Darkness vein, but with less slapstick. That’s hard to recreate in print anyway. In fact, if somebody wanted to argue that it wasn’t horror since few horrific things happen, I’d be forced to agree. Josh is from the goofy horror sub-genre, the creature feature department, where guys in clumsy rubber suits menaced co-eds and the city of Tokyo with equal effectiveness. Yes, he deals with zombies, werewolves, and vampires, but they’re generally just there to buy stuff. In the end, the Quik-Mart Corporation is the biggest villain of them all, which makes perfect sense. What would you be more afraid of – a shambling corpse, or a CEO with a cadre of expensive lawyers? I rest my case.

But then I suppose this might lead you to ask why horror? Why do I like writing it so much? That might be something for a psychiatrist to handle, but the truth is, there’s a lot you can do in this genre. It isn’t just madmen in masks, serial killers, or standard creatures such as zombies, werewolves, and vampires. It can be and should be a whole lot more. Much like chocolate, horror can meld with just about any genre you want to pair it with. Readers, writers, won’t you give it a try? It can be so much more than scares and gore, if you’re willing to use your imagination. We need more writers to stretch the boundaries and see where we can take it.

But I have cornered the market on yetis, okay? They’re all mine, don’t touch ’em!

Exclusive snippet: Doug, Josh’s stoner roommate, is giving him a lift to work.


“You tell me, avatar,” Doug said, tossing the butt out the window as the light turned green. (Apparently you never wanted to be pulled over with even a minuscule amount of pot in your car. How Doug knew that, Josh had never asked.)

His Honda rattled as it shifted and lurched forward like a drunk. “I mean, what? Can’t afford the car?”

“Yeah, that’s one thing. Second, I never learned to drive.”

“What? You shitting me? You never took the class in high school?”

“My high school didn’t have that class. We did have metal detectors, though.”

“Gotta have priorities.”

“Guess so.” Josh picked up the pizza box between them and took a slice. It would have to be his breakfast, if you could call it breakfast near midnight. Oh hell, it was whatever he said it was. The night shift made its own rules.

For no obvious reason, the car shuddered, and he had to grab the box before it fell into his lap.

Doug’s Honda was beyond shitty. It shook, made funny noises, and smelled of bong water and beer. And yet, Doug called it his miracle car, as it just kept running. No matter that its exhaust smelled like Satan farted, the damn car would just not give up and die. It was an ugly, magical creature.

Doug reached over and grabbed a slice. “Owe me ten eighty-five.”

This was news for Josh. “What for?”

“The pizza I’m delivering for you. Also, I expect a tip.”

“Oh man.” Josh searched his coat for his wallet. He had slept past his alarm and missed his usual bus, so he’d had to call Doug at work, who made up some excuse to deviate from his route to give him a lift. Josh had no idea how he’d swung it, but Doug was the one with oodles of slacking-off experience.

“Hey, it’s cheaper than asking for gas money.” Doug gnawed on his crust for a moment. “Why you even goin’ to work? Didn’t they try and kill ya last time?”

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Author Bio

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!) In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!