Please welcome Jeanie Grey!
Interview with Jeanie Grey
I’m happy to! The Awakening books comprise the Lilly Frank trilogy, my vampire romance series. These are the first three books I’ve published, and therefore the series has a very special place in my heart. The trilogy tells the story of Lilly Frank, a woman who has responded to tragedy in her life by basically shutting down until she meets Torren, the hero of the series, whose presence causes her to awaken to herself again. It’s an exploration of the lengths someone might go to in order to feel safe, of vampirism as a possible solution to vulnerability and uncertainty, and of what it means not just to survive but to be truly alive.
Jeez! This sounds like such a fantastic and interesting read. I can't wait to devour them. Now, I know you said they are near and dear to your heart, so I have to ask. I know this can be a little bit like choosing your favorite child, but do you have a favorite book in your series?
Oooh, that’s so hard because they each have more than a little bit of me in them, but I’d have to say that with each book I got braver and put more of myself into it, so at this point Awakening 3 is my favorite of the three. This might just be the result of a new-shiny complex, but in addition to saying some pretty personal things in that book about my philosophy on love and life, it was also the book that surprised me the most while I was writing it, and so I love it for that, too.
What’s next for Lilly? Are you moving on to another project? What can we expect publication-wise this year?
The Lilly Frank trilogy is just that - a trilogy - but I *may* have plans to work on some short stories related to the series next year. In the meantime I’m working on a contemporary romance novel, At First Blush (formerly titled Nick + Serran), which I plan to publish this fall, and a historical pirate romance called The Pirate Queen, which I plan to publish either late this year or early 2015. I’m also working on a couple of short erotica pieces that begin to explore sex or sexual attraction as a catalyst for self-discovery and personal growth, but it’s not clear yet when those will be finished. Right now I’m just focusing on the novels. :)
Nice! Well I can't wait. I'm not going to lie. I'm super pumped for the pirate romance and truthbetold, this may be my favorite new genre ever. How long have you been writing? Have you always known you wanted to be an author?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid and I tried to write my first novel when I was in high school, but for several years I abandoned the idea, thinking it was impractical to try to be an author. It was only in 2012 that I decided to give myself a fair shot, and that’s when I finished and self-published Awakening.
I'm so glad you did. What a waste it would be to not share your talent! Speaking of talent, what book do you wish you could have written?
Oh, (wo)man! There are so many fantastic indie romance and erotica authors right now whom I admire. Ember Casey and Lex Martin spring to mind right away. I wish I’d written Ember’s Wicked Games series, and Lex’s descriptions of Gavin in her NA romance Dearest Clementine - especially as Gavin’s lounging around in Clemetine’s bed - are amazing in their ability to not only evoke a specific image but also heart-melting emotions. As far as traditionally published books go, Hunting Kat by P. J. Schnyder is an engaging, tightly-woven scifi romance novella that I wish I’d written. And I’m a huge fan of Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series. I aspire to emulate all of these amazing writers.
Awesome answer. There are definitely some in there I haven't read that I most definitely will need to. So, now that we have some reading suggestions, what tips or advice do you have to offer other writers?
I don’t feel qualified to tell other writers what they should do, but if I were going to go back in time and give my younger self some advice, it would be: Don’t give up! It doesn’t matter that your teachers don’t like your writing; you’re not writing for them. Your audience is out there, so keep going, keep practicing, and have faith in yourself!
Oh my gosh, yes! Seriously this is SUCH fantastic advice! Do you have any read / writing / editing habits or practices? Tea and music? Silence?
When I write, it really helps to have shut down all my browser windows, silenced my phone, and put on some instrumental music like Trentemoller or Rhone. I use Scrivener, but when I’m brainstorming/outlining a story or trying to figure out something about a character or the plot, I write by hand and then later go and transcribe it into Scrivener.
Who is your favorite book villain?
Hands down it’s Julian from L. J. Smith’s The Forbidden Game series. SO. HOT. Jenny’s crazy for choosing Tom over him, even if Julian is mildly deranged.
Well, well, well, Excuse me while I bop over and buy this book! Hehehe. So, I have to ask. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Um...these days probably “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley. Hahaha!
So we've covered your favorite book villain and which book you wish you had written. Who has the most gorgeous cover you’ve ever seen?
I love Parajunkee’s work. Because she’s so talented she’s super busy, but I’m determined to one day win her over and have her work with me.
Oh, I totally agree! She is SO talented!
Lightning round: Which do you prefer?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. Always chocolate.
Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset. My vampire characters and I share a love of the moody nighttime.
Coffee or tea?
Cake or cupcakes?
Cupcakes with very little frosting.
Snow White or the Little Mermaid?
Snow White. Ariel’s way too whiny.
Hermione Granger or Harry Potter?
Hermione, of course. She’s my feminist sistah.
Pirates or Ninjas? Pirate-ninjas?
You’ll have to read The Pirate Queen to find out! ;)
E-reading or having the physical book?
Despite the fact that the Lilly Frank books are currently only available as ebooks, my first choice is a physical book. I love being able to hold it, smell it, run my fingers over its pages, etc. But I see the distinct advantages to ebooks too: they’re cheaper and you can pack hundreds of them in your purse.
About Jeanie Grey
About Awakening 3
Nearly fifty years after the events of Awakening 2, Lilly decides to stop running away and returns to Italy only to find the threat of a vampire civil war growing. With the help of Beth, Carrie and Jamie, Lilly learns how to face her feelings about her tragic past and to accept that, whether Torren wants her or not, her heart wants him. But when she finds Torren in Rome, not only is he still with Vittoria, he doesn’t seem to remember Lilly at all.
Can Lilly convince Torren to leave Vittoria to be with her and help the Organization find a peaceful solution to the conflict, or will Vittoria and a vampire war come between Torren and Lilly and their happily ever after?
BUY IT NOW!
Coming soon to Apple, B&N, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Oyster and Scribd!
Thank you SO much to Jeanie Grey for taking the time to stop by Pub Hub and letting me interview her. What a fantastic sport!
Do you have a question for Jeanie? Have you read any of the Awakening books? Did you love them? Let me know in the comments below!
Keep calm and read on,