Novels with underlying themes

Quirky characters, gentle love stories...

Different places might tell the same story, but from a distance you have to adjust the lens and look afresh.

This magical continent of South America and specifically, Chile, is steeped in tales. They creep up on you... rising out of the dry earth, washing in with the tide, riding down from the mountains, whispering from behind a mausoleum, tapping you on the shoulder at a street corner.

Outgoing and often outrageous, with wit the speed and precision of lightning, Chileans inspire you to laugh and to cry and to appreciate the diversity of life.

As a foreigner here, novelty is everywhere and stories abound. You, too, might find that it's often impossible to get to the bottom of a story... unless you make it up yourself.

The underlying questions in these novels invite discussion.

Peppered with magic realism, quirky humor and tragic circumstances these are entertaining and thought-provoking books.

The characters stay with you long after you finish the story.

Reviews – Hardbed Hotel

HARD BED HOTEL IS A HILARIOUS BOOK, the kind that sets you laughing aloud to yourself long after you've put it down.... if you CAN put in down, once the plot starts careening towards its unexpected dénouement. Author Andrea Carter's glee in bringing her oddball characters to life and off to meet their improbable destinies is infectious. Observations gleaned with a bemused eye for the absurd over long years of residence in Santiago infuse this story with fond insights into some of the least obvious corners of the city.
– Amazon reader review

ALL OF THE CHARACTERS ARE SO MAGICALLY PORTRAYED –truly reflecting us all in a very entertaining manner that makes it impossible not to have a whole bag of mixed emotions about each one. Descriptions of places and situations are so realistic you can smell the atmosphere and feel the vibes in this story. A humorous and absorbing read. Perfect for anyone with an eye for the unusual, and a desire to reach further into a story, past the fiction, to find the truth that comes from within us all.
– Amazon reader review

BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY FULL OF ECLECTIC CHARACTERS. I bought it in trade paperback, at a Chapters store where the writer was doing a signing. It was an impulse buy, outside of my usual reading. I suppose it would fall under the category of magic realism, especially given the South American setting. I found the characters engaging and likeable in their way. There was a good deal of genuine humour. The paranormal aspect was lightly done and fit the general tone of the novel. I would recommend it.
– Amazon reader review

Reviews – South of Centre

IT WAS THE BEST BOOK I READ LAST SUMMER. I'm looking forward to the sequel to see if the father and daughter do meet. My daughter is recommending this book for her book club.
– Amazon reader review

A GENTLE LOVE STORY... I absolutely love this book and couldn't put it down until the very end. I kept wanting to know what would evolve.
– Amazon reader review

ONE OF THE FINEST I'VE EVER READ... Andrea Carter, a Canadian living in Chile has fashioned materials from folklore and to some extent historical events into a captivating tale of lovable and pitiful characters whose lives intersect and blend unexpectedly. The story lines, although independent for the most part come together smoothly, making it impossible to put the book down. .
– Amazon reader review

BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY FULL OF ECLECTIC CHARACTERS. I loved this story from the first page, it made me both curious and inspired. The characters are wonderfully full, and the place, well, it's a strange and wonderful town full of comedy and love.
– Barnes & Noble reader review

THIS IS A GREAT READ... set in Tocopilla, in northern Chile, it features brazen miners, gypsies, saints, and unusual friendship and a bittersweet twist at the end. a story about loss and companionship, a peak behind the closed doors of quiet people you might not notice, only to discover that their lives are as complex as the patchwork and weavings created by the novel's most engaging, surprising character.
– Amazon reader review

Andrea Carter

Author, Designer

Andrea was born and raised in small-town western Canada in 1955. (To put that in context, it was the same year that Jim Henson created his first Kermit prototype and also the year Winston Churchill resigned as prime minister.) As a child, Andrea broke into a neighbour's house just to feel the keys of their typewriter (a true tell of age). And that should have been a clue. But maybe she's just a slow starter.

Four children and decades later, she completed SOUTH OF CENTRE, her first novel. Her second novel, HARD BED HOTEL, followed on its heels. Restless fingers and itchy feet, she is married to a Chilean from the Atacama region, and they left Canada for Bolivia, Chile and Spain, before finally making Santiago de Chile home. It was here that she settled down to write.

Inspiration for the stories

Chile is a long, thin slice of South America, with all that it entails – magic, rhythms, contrasts, myths, traditions and stories. Most importantly, stories – which wouldn't exist without its people. I was introduced to Chile through the north, into an expanse of desert with sunlight so bright that your eyes ache, with a dry so arid that you yearn for even a slight drizzle, with earthquakes so frequent that they become the norm. Although they are not shy, many of the desert-dwellers of the altiplano are people of few words, while the fishermen enthusiastically describe UFO sightings and tell stories of old pirate treasure in caves along the shores, The barren Andes and the high plains with their gigantic geoglyphs and their natural mummies are a deep contrast to southern Chile with its temperate rainforests, its icebergs and fjords. My connection to Chile is my husband, who was born in the northern port of Tocopilla. Through him and my Chilean family, I learned to appreciate the idiosyncracies and to love the people, especially their lightning quick humor, their appreciation for poetry, dancing, fanaticism for music and sport. Living in a foreign land with all of its novelties is inspirational, it introduces new logic through its language and challenges you to predict behavior. There are so many questions, which, over time, are mostly answered. But sometimes they are not. And perhaps when they're not, it's simply because the answers are beyond my understanding, but perhaps it's also because this land is a jealous land that fiercely protects its secrets. And perhaps this is also why you feel so compelled to unearth them.

Download FREE SAMPLES (first 3 chapters)
Hard Bed Hotel           South of Centre

Contact Author

Andrea Carter

Las Condes
Santiago de Chile

Please send an email to:

andrea[at]andreacarter-stories[dot]com