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Rose Grey’s work ranges from standalone contemporary romance (Not As Advertised) to romantic suspense (Hot Pursuit) to small-town sci-fi romance. The Durrell Brothers Trilogy, beginning with award winning Waiting For You, is a captivating contemporary romance series about three brothers and the women who win their hearts. The Heart Thief is a small-town sci-fi romance, the first in the Valora Series.
Rose’s idea of an emergency is realizing that a long weekend is coming and that the library is closing in an hour. She loves finding cool seashells, knitting sweaters which start out right but inevitably turn out too large, and petting stray dogs. She lives with her husband, the love of her life, and suffers from the sin of boundless pride when it comes to her four grown children.
You can follow Rose through her social channels:
Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
At first, I intended to write just the one book. I swear. I think I thought I would get it out of my system that way. But knowing a character well is addictive. I want to see what will happen to him or her. And there is always at least one side character in each story I want to explore further. Which leads to another book.
Describe your desk / writing space.
I have an attractive, perfectly useful, and ergonomic desk near a lovely window. Instead, I do most of my writing hunched over a small rickety table facing the wall or, on pleasant weather days, at that same rickety table on my front porch.
Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?
I think if one waits for inspiration, one is likely never to accomplish anything. So, I do set expectations for myself which I try to meet. I find I only receive the blessing of inspiration when I have put in the requisite amount of sweat equity.
How do you come up with the title to your books?
Titles can be a challenge. For my most recent book, The Heart Thief, first I thought about themes I wanted to highlight in a title. Then I considered the typical length of fiction titles I saw online and narrowed the list of my possibilities to about a dozen. Finally, I asked trusted author friends for input on those remaining title candidates. I asked them which titles grabbed them and why – that input was invaluable.
What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
The hardest scenes for me to write are the dark moments about three quarters of the way through a book. I already know these characters and am rooting for them, so I dislike thinking up ways to cause them pain. Having said that, whenever I am not sure where to go next in a chapter, one sure way of priming the pump is to ask myself, “What is the worst thing that could happen to these characters right now?”
I love writing scenes which show a character growing and figuring something out. One of the privileges of writing is being able to observe a character’s thought processes and motivations from close up. It’s a bit like when I am with young children. If I stay sufficiently unobtrusive, they forget I am there and I can listen in. That is a good way to learn about both children and book characters and about how they see the world and their place in it.
What inspired your book/series?
I am fascinated by the bride boats from World War II. My mother-in-law came to this country on one of those boats. She was already married, of course, but coming to America this way took a lot of courage. I am also intrigued by women who traveled across the United States in the late 1800s hoping to marry virtual strangers. I wondered how that would work on a distant planet in the year 3080.
What are you working on next?
Right now, I am writing the second book in the Valora series. The first book, The Heart Thief, followed the fortunes of a fugitive and the marshal who falls in love with her. The Searcher’s Heart follows the bounty hunter (the searcher) who fails to capture that fugitive. Here is what it’s about:
Being a Searcher is all Jens Nonam has ever wanted. So, when he fails to capture his quarry for the first time in his life, he is shocked. Worse than that, the guild puts him on indefinite leave and because he does not have the funds to take a shuttle back to his home planet, he is stranded in Sector 1065.
Luli Carvanserei is in a bind. If she doesn’t find someone to care for her grandfather until his broken leg heals, she may lose her job. Normally, she would never consider hiring a searcher, even an ex-searcher, especially one as stilted and rule-bound as Jens. But desperate times call for desperate measures and after all, Jens plans to leave as soon as he can earn enough money to buy shuttle fare.
Guild life is the only life Jens has ever known. But as he finds his way through the pitfalls of small-town life, he begins to wonder what making his home in the sector might look like. And if he were to stay, what that might mean for him and Luli?
What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?
Robert Parker (for his exactness and brevity), Ellie Griffiths (for her delicate use of suspense), Kristan Higgins (because her characters seem so human), J. D. Robb (for her gutsy persistence in writing backstories which are not miraculously solved by love), and Jennifer Crusie (because she makes me laugh). I enjoy Mike Carey’s fantasy series about a ghost hunter. The writing is delicious and you feel a bit as though he is whispering the story in your ear with snarky asides just for you.
If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?
I still love, and reread once a year, A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson. There’s an elegance to Ibbotson’s writing and all her characters whether major or minor have depth. But her most important attribute, I think, is that just a story appears to be sliding toward the saccharine, she slips in some wry observation about life or a sharp commentary about a character. This particular book was written in the 1980s. I, too, would like to write books which remain fresh fifty years from now.
Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?
I’ve started to mess with horror, which one would think would be the polar opposite of romance. But in a sense, horror is just a dark reflection of a love story.
Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?
Recently, I have been writing short stories as palate cleansers when I get stuck on my longer manuscripts. But I do like the long manuscripts best. They give me a chance to explore my characters’ growth more deeply.
What advice would you give to unpublished writers?
Don’t put the manuscript in a drawer and decide writing is a self-indulgence you can’t afford. Go for it. Sit down and write. Then write some more. Notice the bones of the books you read. Ask good questions about why you like or dislike specific books and apply that information to your own writing. Don’t be afraid of criticism – use the criticism that is useful and let go of what isn’t. Aim high. Forgive yourself for being an amateur. It turns out, we are all amateurs
Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?
The Searcher’s Heart, the second book of the Valora Series will be available for purchase by the end of the year.