Today I’ve got D.R. Grady at the Blogathon! D.R., tell us all about you! Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and ideas flitting through your mind, or did your interest develop later?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the first moment we learned how to put words together to make a sentence then a paragraph and then—a story!
When did you become serious about seeing your name in print and begin writing your first romance novel?
I snuck one of my mom’s romance books at age 11 and was hooked . . . With the encouragement of a supportive boss and another lab technician I worked with, I finished my first book and haven’t looked back since. They also talked me into attending my first writer’s meeting. Still very thankful to both of them!
How long did it take you to complete your first manuscript? Did it fly from your fingertips, or did the story emerge slowly?
It was my first so it took a few months since I had no idea what I was doing.
Tell us about your writing process. Soft lights and music? White noise? Child-and-pet confusion? Locked in a room alone? What sets your writing mood and pushes you forward?
Usually the book dictates the writing mood for me. When a book needs to be written, it lets me know, and I can be found in my “office,” a chair in our living room, pounding away at the keyboard. *grin*
What are some life experiences that have infiltrated your stories?
Illnesses and doctors play a big role in my stories, likely because I spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices after my hubby and I married. I was so sick I could barely function, until my autoimmune illness was diagnosed in 2006. (It took the ninth doctor I saw to finally offer me an answer—I have dermatomyositis.)
These days I’m in remission and I hope to keep it that way with diet and exercise, but that traumatic experience is what led me to writing The Dragon Chronicles: Learning. Like me, Lindy Veles is an elf who had her life all mapped out. She wasn’t expecting to turn into a dragon . . . and I wasn’t expecting a life altering illness.
Literary Inspiration: throughout your life, what novels have lifted you, made you think, “Someday I want to create something like that . . .”
Anything written by Jayne Ann Krentz I devour because she’s in a totally different class of writer than most! I adore all of her different pen names, and Jenny Crusie, who makes me laugh out loud. I also enjoy Betty Neels, Jana DeLeon, and too many others to list! *smile* I’m a reader first, then a writer, so I understand the love of books.
Let’s talk about romance. How do you set the mood for your characters, what do you draw from that helps your H/H achieve oneness with each other? And how much conflict do you give them, along the way?
I feel like this stems entirely from the characters. I go into the book knowing their names and snippets of a scene here and there, and they tell me the rest . . . I’m the first reader to be surprised by what happens next!
What shining moment in your journey stands out the most as a real turning point for you as a writer?
Finishing the first book! And each book after the first has brought the exact same thrill. Now, since selling to Soul Mate Publishing, my editor has taught me better editing skills, so I’m hoping that shaves off the time I need to spend editing. Then I can spend more time writing, which is my first love!
What is the most thrilling aspect of the writing process for you?
Seeing the book shape up into something from nothing never fails to amaze and humble me!
What aspects of the writing process do you find most difficult?
Hands down, editing. And edits tend to hog my time . . .
How do you begin a story? Do you just sit down with an idea in mind and start writing, or are you a person who wouldn’t dream of starting without a detailed outline, character sketches, and pages of research data?
If I sat down with a detailed outline, I’d never write the story! I like to have some details when I go in, but the thrill for me is to see the book unfold, the twists and turns and surprises.
Tell us a little about what you’re currently working on.
Book two of The Dragon Chronicles, called SHIFTING, is about a wolf shifter alpha who finds his mate—a healer from a wolf shifter family who can’t shift—so his pack protests her ability to lead them. She’ll need to convince them she is perfectly capable of mating with their alpha.
Book three of The Dragon Chronicles, HEALING, is about two healers who set off sparks with each but need to remain professional because they work together, and live together, in tight confines because the dragon has called her allies together. A war for their very lives is looming . . . they don’t have time to declare it on each other.
How about some faves of yours?
Like many writers, I’m addicted to coffee and chocolate. I also adore fresh brewed iced tea. In addition, I collect shoes (yes, I’m a firm believer that women DO need 10 different pairs of black shoes! Hubby still isn’t convinced), bags, (also practical because, you know, women’s clothes never have pockets and if they do, you might be able to slip a tissue or two in there . . . never mind the massive phones of these times) books, and plants!
D.R.’s debut book with Soul Mate, The Dragon Chronicles: LEARNING
Peace has reigned for so long, most beings believe dragons are mere myths, including elf professor Dr. Lindy Veles. After meeting attractive Dr. Alex von Schreider—a surly professor from a bear shifter family who possesses plenty of paranormal power, yet can’t shift—things start to spiral downward. Especially when he catches Lindy’s strong shifter scent. Elves don’t normally shift. Alex finds the compelling elf’s denials suspicious. Lindy thinks he’s crazy to believe she’s a shifter.
As they delve into the ancient Dragon Chronicles, tomes about dragons, it quickly becomes clear their efforts are no mere academic exercise. Dragons are suddenly becoming all too real. When Lindy shifts into one, Alex discovers he’s meant to control her dragon—the most powerful creature on earth. The pair is caught in the middle of two raging battles . . . their own personal emotional war and the war to save their world.
With the clock ticking, Lindy and Alex must surrender their misconceptions about themselves and dragons, and unite to begin the fight for their very existence.
BUY LINK: AMAZON
D.R., Thanks so much for visiting with us today!