MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR GRACE BRENNAN!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Grace Brennan, and I write paranormal shifter romances.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Which book? Lol. My current one is book 4 in my latest series. This is a character who appeared in the last series, so I’ve had a while to get to know him and who he is. The storylines just come to me. It’s hard to explain. The more I get to know a character, the more I see their story in my head. This one came naturally.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’m a reader, first and foremost. This genre is one of my favorites to read, so when I began to write, it’s what I gravitated to first.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
There wasn’t really any research involved in this one. I don’t often need to. With this genre, I made up my own world, so the rules are mine to make. That being said, some of my search history on my laptop is pretty crazy, because I need to know weird stuff sometimes lol.
Can you tell me about your Series?
All of my series—I have four right now—are all connected. So it’s like one long, continuing saga. My very first series started off with cowboys on a ranch, and my current series are warriors in a secluded village. But different characters in all series show up in others a lot.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
That’s probably a tie between Zane, book 1, and Vynn, book 4, the one I just finished. Zane was so much fun to write, and I laughed so much during the process. It was just a blast. Vynn is a lot darker, and it was a lot harder to write. But it was one of those books I felt like I grew a lot with, and as frustrating as the characters were throughout the process, I ended up with a huge soft spot for both of them.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
They kind of just come to me. When I wrote my very first series, I didn’t intend to stay in that world. But there was a neighboring farm they had a lot of interaction with, so it was natural to go there next. And that’s kind of how it goes. I’ll start a new series, and a character will pop up who’s not a part of it, but I want to know more about them. And then the ideas start flowing. When I’m writing one series, I have the next series already plotted in my head.
Was it always meant to become a series?
The one I’m currently writing, yes, as well as most of my others. But when I wrote my very first book, I never intended for it to be a series. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d even write another, because I didn’t know how successful it would be. But readers enjoyed it and began asking about the main character’s siblings, and so that’s what I did next. I wrote about his siblings. And my first series was born.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I have word counts I like to hit, but I’m not always successful lol. It usually only takes me about a week to write a book, but they’re very long working days. I get up, drink some coffee, and then once I’m awake enough to focus, I start writing. And then I write until I go to bed. Generally, about 10k words a day, sometimes more when I’m more focused. And I write at my dining room table. I have an office upstairs, but I rarely use it.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I just uploaded my next book for preorder this morning. It’s called Vynn, and it’s book 4 in the War Cats series. It’ll release August 31st, and I’m really excited for this one!
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
It’s fairly important. I like for the name to really match who the character is. I’ve also been slowly stealing my friend’s names for my characters. I’ve used seven so far, with plans for more. I like to honor my friends in some small way.
Where do your ideas come from?
Anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it’s from something I see on TV. Sometimes from a random conversation I happen to hear in passing. Recently, I was looking through cover model images, saw an image, and had the whole book play out in my head. And yes, I bought the image!
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’ve been wanting, for a long time, to write in contemporary erotica. And I recently branched out in that genre, writing under the pen name Khloe Thomas. My first series is mmf, called the Three Hearts Trilogy, and the first book, Finding Their One, released last month!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
That’s two-fold. One part, that’s very important, is that I convey the emotions my characters are feeling well. I don’t want the reader to just read about it—I want them to really feel what the character feels. So I try really hard to make sure that happens. The other is when I see the way I want the book to go, but the characters say no, that’s not happening. It’s hard to let go of my control and let the characters take the story where they need it to go, but it’s necessary. If I don’t let them, we fight through the whole book, and it doesn’t flow like it should, coming off as too stilted and awkward.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Trailers are something I’ve wanted to dabble in, but I haven’t yet tried. I’m working my way up to it, though!
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
When I get a review or message from a reader, and they tell me that my book, my words, touched them—that’s the best accomplishment. That’s what I want to do. When I sit down to write, I don’t want it to be meaningless. I want it to touch a reader, I want them to connect to it. When they do—it’s amazing.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The readers, for sure. They’re why I do this. Yes, they’re allowing me to follow my dream, but getting to interact with them, to hear their stories, to connect with them, is literally the best. I love it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, still writing. Still improving. Still chasing and living the dream of being an author.
Have you always liked to write?
I wrote my first story when I was in the fourth grade—about a playground turtle that came to life when school let out—and that was it for me. I’ve wanted to be an author since then. I wrote constantly, but I never imagined it could really happen. I’d all but given up, and then I had a storyline that wouldn’t leave me alone, and I thought—if I write this one, I’m doing it right. I’m giving it everything I have, and I’m publishing it. Most terrifying thing I ever did, but it paid off. And the rest is history!
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up. Never back down from your dream. Research endlessly about every single bit of the process. Never stop trying to improve, because there is always room for improvement. And even if you think what you’re writing is crap, keep writing. Take my word for it, it gets better.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
My two favorite jobs were a florist and a cake decorator. I’d definitely go back to one of those if I couldn’t be an author.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I always read reviews. I love the good ones. I like knowing the readers are responding well, I like knowing I’m on the right track. The bad ones—well, first I basically break down. True story lol. It’s hard to know that someone doesn’t like something you poured your heart and soul into. But in the end, I appreciate them. Because I like knowing what I’m not doing right. I’ll just keep making the same mistakes over and over again if I don’t know I’m making them. And that’s the opposite of what I want. And I never respond. I don’t want the reviewer to feel attacked or stalked. I don’t want them to back off from leaving reviews because they think the author will reply.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Oh, boy. Well, knowing what teasers to release is hard for me. I’m never sure what shows and intrigues about the book without giving too much away, and I literally give myself migraines, trying to figure it out. Finding cover images can be migraine inducing as well, because I’m very OCD about the image matching my descriptions. And the nerves on release day always make me sick—literally. But I never want those to go away. The day I become complacent about releases is the day I’ll feel like publishing has lost its magic, and maybe it’s time to step away.
What are you working on now?
Like I said above, I just uploaded Vynn for preorder. I’m also about to begin writing my second Khloe book, and I’m plotting out Kian, book 5 in my War Cats series, as well. Lots going on!
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Hmmm. Here’s a teaser I released that I think sums up a lot of the plot very well.
“You need to decide who you really are, Vynn. You’re either the amazing man who’s been so good to me, the man I’ve been falling in love with… or you’re the arrogant son of a bitch who thinks he’s better than everyone and has a heart full of hate and revenge. You can’t be both.”
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
Shifters are my first love as a reader, so that’s where I gravitated when I began writing. As for balancing them, I switch every other book. I write one shifter book, then switch to my other pen name and write mmf. But my shifter books come first. I won’t write under Khloe unless I have my shifter books locked down.
Where did your love of books come from?
From my mom. She taught me to love reading. And then when I was old enough, she started letting me read her romance novels, and the rest is history. She loves that I’m an author now, although to be honest, she’s not a fan of my genres lol!
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Waaaay too many to count. We’d be here all day if I tried to list them all lol.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
That’s kind of like asking me to pick a favorite child lol. It’s impossible to do. Each one is special to me, for their own unique reasons. If I tried to pick one, I’d be like, oh wait, and this one—it’d go on and on. I will say, though, that I connected with Holly from Fighting to Win on a whole different level. She struggles with PCOS, and it’s something I do as well, so writing her story was very personal for me.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both lol. I absolutely love it, and when a story comes to life in my head, I’m full of energy and excitement, ready to get it written down. But it’s very mentally exhausting, too. When the book is finally finished, and I feel like I’ve poured everything I am into writing it, my brain is basically mush, and it takes a bit to recover.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Details. I’m very detail oriented when I’m writing, and I feel like I have to spell everything out for it to come across right. But sometimes, less is more, and I struggle with that. I’ll spend hours staring at a single line, wondering if it’s right or not. If the details are where they need to be. It’s my downfall sometimes.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
That’s kind of hard. I want to give the readers what they want, yes, but I also have to write the story as I see it. The way the characters are telling me it goes. I can’t write any other way, but I end up worrying with every book whether the readers will really enjoy the way the story went. Especially when it’s a character and book they’ve all been waiting for.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Oh, so many, lol. P Jameson, Desiree Lafawn, Darlene Tallman, Liberty Parker. And so, so, so many more. We bounce ideas off of each other. We read each other’s books. We give feedback and notes. P Jameson is amazing with helping us with the actual publishing side of things. I couldn’t do it without any of those ladies, and others I didn’t name. If I forgot you, I’m sorry, and I love you! Oh, and Jessica Gillis. She’s not an author, she’s my swag designer. But she’s my beta reader, and she’s brutally honest when she gives notes, and they’re always exactly what the story needs. And with each note, I grow a little for the next book!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
A Work In Progress. For real. That’s all my life right now. That and chasing my dreams no matter what. I won’t back down, and I won’t give up. Not any longer. And if you’re chasing a dream, that’s how you should view it.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Honestly, that’s not something I’ve ever thought of before. I never imagined I’d ever have anyone want to interview me, so it never occurred to me to wonder. Thanks for wanting this interview, by the way!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
You can find me on Facebook at my author page and in my reader group. I welcome everyone!
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Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️