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[Author Interview] Rose Grey

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:

Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Bookbub | Website

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.

[Plotting About] June 2023 Newsletter

June 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to June!

This is a blog post copy of my newsletter, if you like these posts and wish to get the newsletter delivered to your email instead, click here to join my newsletter. No emails will be sold and I only send out the newsletter once a month.

Local News: Another Pints and Pages event at Narragansett Brewery in Rhode Island on 6/15/23 from 6pm-9pm. This event features 3 Association of Rhode Island Authors. The authors at this event will be: Michael Fine, MD. Jed Griswold and Richard Rezendes.

Television News:

Lockwood and Co has been canceled and before Netflix disappears it due to the Writer’s Strike, I highly recommend going and watching it. If you liked Buffy then you’ll like the television series and the book series.

Silo on Apple TV is perfect. Everyone is raving about it. Go read the series and then watch the show.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 on Paramount Plus drops the middle of June. It’s the second Trek show to get a good first season, the first being DS9. Also, you can now stream all of season 1 for free, legally on Youtube. Go watch the series, it’s fun!

Marvel’s Secret Invasion on Disney + arrives mid-June. This looks fun and probably sets up Marvels in November (just in time for RI Comic Con)

Movie News:

June is a busy month with so much geek movies coming out 1 a week if anyone complains about the box office numbers then someone needs their head examined:

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – I’m happy to see the Bumblebee sequel, I’m happy to see G1 Transformers. I’m less than thrilled that the Maximals voice actors in ROTB and Netflix series weren’t the original actors from Beast Wars. I know, I know, I should be happy to see the Maximals on the screen but when you can’t tell one voice actor from another in the Netflix series and while I’m happy the celebs voice over actors are there, I’m purist. I’m waiting for Peter Cullen to voice the directions on Waze cuz c’mon.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – First movie was great. Trailers for the second one look awesome.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – It’s been 15 years since the misfire that was Crystal Skull. I holding out hope it won’t nuke the fridge, again. A phrase that shouldn’t even exist.

The Flash – I want to enjoy this. I want to embrace it. Keaton’s Batman returns and a surprise cameo they let out the bag that I won’t reveal here. But the private life of star Ezra Miller hasn’t been so private.

Asteroid City by Wes Anderson looks fun with enough A-List stars to shake a stick at.

Local Convention News: The Warwick Public Library is having. Vendor and Craft Fair on 6/17/23 from 10am-2pm. I’ll be manning the ARIA table.

RKB Writes Author Interview with Katrina Thornley

RKB Picks

 

Class of ’09 o FX and Hulu: If you’re a Person of Interest Fan then Class of ’09 on FX (Hulu) is right up your alley. The series skips back and forth between 2009, 2023 and 2032 and keeps the plot rolling along quite well. I highly recommend it.

Air on Amazon Prime: Someone mentioned the musical rights for Air must’ve set them back a lot. The movie directed by Ben Affleck includes many A-List stars about the making of Air Jordans in 1980s. It is not Money Ball. It’s an enjoyable and uplifting movie.

eBook Promos

Novels Spotlight!

[Author Interview] Katrina Thornley

RKB Author Interview with Katrina Thornley

Katrina Thornley resides in rural Rhode Island on a family farm that has been in her family for generations. It is situated in the Arcadia Management Area, a location that has greatly influenced her writing. She has had short stories and poems published in numerous anthologies over the years and is currently publishing the Arcadians Collection of Poetry. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2016 with a BA in English. In her free time she enjoys hiking, swimming, and reading thriller novels.

You can follow Katrina through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads  | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I can’t pinpoint what exactly it was that inspired me to write. I think it was a combination of quite a few things. Growing up, my parents and grandfather got me hooked on reading. I loved literature and using the writing of others to create images within my mind. And then I started creating my own stories to use as distractions from life. I suppose that has continued into adulthood.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I tend to enjoy writing outside more than sitting at a desk because I’m stuck inside for my day job all day. I miss the sunshine! I have a small table beside a fire pit under a massive Pine Tree that is growing out of a large rock in our front yard and my chair has a little cup holder and shelf attached to it. It’s the perfect spot to sit in silence. I also go to a local park and sit on a rock that just out into the water to create poetry.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I’ve been working on cementing a writing routine, I feel like I have steal hours here and there. I definitely get more writing done between the hours of 5 and 7pm and throughout the day on Saturday. I prefer working in silence.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

My poetry collections are all inspired by nature and one of my favorite places to go is the Arcadia Management Area. It’s a beautiful place to hike and there’s so much history hidden within the management area. It’s such a wonderful area that truly gets the creative juices flowing. As “Arcadia” means “harmony with nature” I thought “Arcadians” would be a wonderful term for those of us that find peace within the woods, perhaps with a book of poetry.
My novel “Kings of Millburrow” gained its title from the family that seems to run the small town. Their last name just happens to be “King” and the plot circles around the patriarchs seedy past even though he is not the main character. He put things in motion that could not be stopped.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

At the end of Kings of Millburrow I had to kill off one of my favorite characters. I debated whether or not it was the right move or not, but after receiving feedback from readers I think I made the right choice.

I honestly love writing the scenery for scenes, any scene. I love putting myself into the store and picking out details from the world my mind is creating. Its therapeutic.

What inspired your book/series?

Kings of Millburrow was inspired by a creative writing class at the University of Rhode Island. We had to draw a map of a fictitious world or town and create a story that went along with it. I created Milville which eventually turned into Millburrow. The map led to the creation of a back story of the feud between the Kings and Crofts family and then I heard a Carrie Underwood song that fit perfectly into the plot between Albert King and Randall Croft.

What are you working on next?

I am currently working on a murder mystery set in a small town. I can’t give away too much, but I can promise there is a bit of a plot twist at the end and relationships are torn apart.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

I would have to say J.K. Rowling and her work played a part in influencing me to start writing. Her ability to create worlds and relatable characters is amazing. I have since been inspired by books like Bittersweet (Miranda Beverly-Whittemore) and A Good Idea (Cristina Moracho).

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

I would say my writing is similar to Cristina Moracho and Lee Smith.

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, I have a collection of short stories available that has stories that span through different genres (26 Brentwood Avenue & Other Tales) including gothic thriller and romance. However, I would love to be able to devote more time to a fantasy series I’ve been thinking about for about five years.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

I enjoy writing both, if I am crunched for time and feel that I need to get a story out I will write a short story. I do enjoy writing novels more though as I can give the characters their full breadth and show readers different sides of them. Kings of Millburrow started out as a 5-page short story about James and Lilly (who was originally named Tristan) and then became this full-length novel to include Lilly’s sister and James’s best friend.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Keep writing and keep reaching out to publishers. The worst anyone will say is “no thank you” and you’re going to hear that quite often. If you choose to self publish, spend time editing yourself before sending it off to an editor. (And reach out to your local mom and pop shops to see if they will carry your book or if you can host an event within their facility!).

Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?

 I am currently working on 2 projects actually! One of the projects is the 3rd installment in the Arcadians poetry series and this should be available in November of 2023. This collection will again include poetry inspired by rural Rhode Island and the beautiful nature we have to offer, but it will also hold an array of photographs taken during my escapades through the wilderness. I am also working on a murder mystery set in a small town. There isn’t yet a release date for this particular novel, but I am looking for BETA readers if anyone is interested!

[Plotting About] May 2023 News

May 2023 News

Just a heads up, the is a copy of my newsletter that goes out once a month. If you’re interested in joining it, check the sidebar.

Local News: Another Pints and Pages event at Narragansett Brewery in Rhode Island on 5/4/23 from 6pm-9pm. This event features 3 Association of Rhode Island Authors. The authors at this event will be: Heather Rigney, Barbara Ann Whitman and Laurie Heyden.

 

And talking about Association of Rhode Island Authors (in full disclosure I’m on the board), ARIA’s Writing Academy had our first class and it went well. So well, we’re doing 2 in May! The first class instructed by ARIA’s VP, Tabitha Lord. The class is on May 11th at 7pm via Zoom.

The second class is by J. Michael Squatrito, Jr., he’s ARIA’s President and the class will be in-person on May 25th at 7pm.

Television News:

Well, The Mandalorian finished it third season, Bad Batch finished up their second and third season of Picard nailed the landing even if I have nitpicks about who survived the finale. It’s funny they tried to stay away from the fan service for two seasons and look what happened. They turn into the fan servicing skid and they nailed it. I think this is why Discovery took so long to find itself as a show not for the fan servicing but finding people who liked Star Trek.

The Diplomat on Netflix is worth watching if you’re missing on West Wing-type of show that doesn’t slow down so the audience can catch up.

Silo on Apple TV on May 5th is based on book series written by Hugh Howey. If you’re into sci-fi/post apocalyptic and if you haven’t read the Silo series, I’d suggest tracking it down. The trailers look great and a lot of A-List stars.

Reading News:

I finished up Lockwood and Co. and enjoyed the series. I’m guessing from the lack of news of season 2 on Netflix means no season 2 but you never know, one can hope. It’s unfortunate that with all the attempts to create a Buffy-esque show on Netflix, Lockwood nailed it in the first episode, having a thought out universe helped.

Free Comic Book Day is upon us on May 6th just in time for the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie. May sure to support your local comic book store!

RKB Writes Author Interview with J. L. Doucette

eBook Giveaways

 

 

 

 

 

Novels Spotlight

[Author Interview] J. L. Doucette

Author Interview with J. L. Doucette!

Rhode Island based psychologist, J. L. Doucette is the author of the Dr. Pepper Hunt Mysteries. Her new novel, On a Quiet Street, is the second in the series following her award-winning debut, Last Seen. After earning a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University she moved to southwest Wyoming. The stark landscape of the high-desert, where a constant wind stirs crimes of passion, is the setting for her psychological mysteries.

You can follow through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads  | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I have always loved stories and the beauty and effectiveness of words to convey meaning. The first adult book I read was Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I was moved by the insight the book provided into the character’s internal experience. I wanted to be able to do that.

Describe your desk / writing space. My desk is in front of a large window that overlooks a river. On the desk I have lots of small mementos of Wyoming the setting for My mystery novels.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired? I write most mornings. I used to be a night writer, but the timing switched organically for no particular reason I can point to. I like morning writing it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I feel more alive on the days I write in the morning I think because of the mental boost from being creative.

How do you come up with the title to your books? The titles, Last Seen, On A Quiet Street, and Unknown Assailant are all terms I read in newspaper reports of murders.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write? In my last novel there are two love scenes because the relationship between the two main characters progressed to that level of intimacy. These scenes were hard to write because I wanted them to convey the various levels of intimacy experienced. My favorite scene was in the first novel, where one of the detectives visits the crimes scene, which happens to be on the top of a mountain, and he is confronting the desolation of the landscape and the corresponding desolation of the crime.

What inspired your book/series? True crime stories which I then altered and amplified into fiction I am drawn to rime with strong psychological context.

What are you working on next? Book 4 in the Dr. Pepper Hunt Mystery Series. The working title is Innocent Bystander, which begins with an infant kidnapping.

What authors or books have influenced your writing? Tana French, the Irish author The Dublin Murder Squad Series and Jane Harper, the Australian suspense author. author. They both create ensemble characters that develop through the series.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live? A tropical island in the 1930’s

What is your favorite meal? Steak Frites

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer? Coffee, wine

Describe yourself in three words. Curious. Persistent. Resilient.

[Plotting About] April 2023 News

April 2023 News

What a difference a month makes, Picard Season 3 is firing on all thrusters, The Bad Batch finishes up Season 2 with a big episode and for those who read Hugh Howie’s Silo, Apple TV dropped a teaser trailer for the series and it looks really good.

Season 2 of Shadow and Bone dropped on Netflix and while I’d gobbled up season 1, I need to read the books to see how much they changed since there’re been some grumblings about them rushing through season 2 (and the books?) with a possible Six of Crows series in the wings.

Paramount+ has announced Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks and Prodigy renewals and Starfleet Academy while season 5 of Discovery will be the last season of the show.

I’m happy to see Trek embracing its episodic roots with expanded storytelling model aka television instead of attempting another condensed attempt at a movie since we don’t need another Nemesis. Trek, in my mind has always been episodic while the movies only get it right when it’s a movie and not an expanded two hour episode. I’m impatiently waiting for them to give up on Nu-Trek movies even if the actors are perfect, the stories just aren’t there.

The Star Wars franchise is thankfully using Disney+ properly for it’s expanded storytelling even if some of the shows don’t land well i.e. Book of Boba Fett since the condensed format of Episodes 7, 8, and 9 didn’t fair well. I think if they hadn’t gone with the LOTR schedule of a movie per year it’d be different story all together.

All of this feels like geek/superhero overload but for the most part the quality of the television shows have been good. It’s the movies that’re coming in dead on arrival, I haven’t seen a Marvel movie in the theaters since No Way Home and I’ve been a fan since Blade 1.

Movie News:

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: It’s not trying to be Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. It’s a fun, family movie with little swearing, little violence and enjoyable A-List actors knowing full well what movie they’re in. It’s worth seeing and sit through all the credits.

 

 

 

 

Reading News:

I’ve finished Lockwood Books 1,2+3 and moving onto Book 4. I’m hoping for a season 2 pick up from Netflix. I recommend checking your local library if you’re interested in the series.

I’m coming back to The Atlas Six later, it didn’t click with me.

April 2023 Events

Another Pints and Pages event at Narragansett Brewery in Rhode Island. This event features 3 Association of Rhode Island Authors. The authors at this event will be: Peter A. O’Donnell, Alexander Smith and Mary Catherine Volk.

ARIA Writing Academy Event

And talking about Association of Rhode Island Authors (in full disclosure I’m on the board), ARIA is starting a Writing Academy and our first class will be Pathways to Publishing instructed by ARIA’s VP, Tabitha Lord. The class is on April 5th at 7pm via Zoom.

Book Series Update

Last Crosleigh Standing (LCS) is still being plotted out. I’m trying to figure out if I want to do a novella or a full sized novel. It’s a prequel to Where Weavers Daire and takes place sometime before. You won’t need to read Weaver to figure out what’s going on.

April eBook Promos

Sci-Fi & Fantasy eBooks for everyone!
Looking for a new sci-fi book? Check out these fun ebooks!
A plethora of books looking for reviews!

Ebook Spotlight

[Author Interview] Diane Josefowicz

Author Interview with Diane Josefowicz!

Novelist and historian Diane Josefowicz is the author of Ready, Set, Oh, a novel published in 2022 by Minneapolis-based Flexible Press. A novella, L’Air du Temps (1985), is forthcoming from Regal House in 2024. Her fiction and essays have been widely anthologized and have appeared in Conjunctions, Fence, Dame, LA Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is also the author, with Jed Z. Buchwald, of two histories of Egyptology, The Riddle of the Rosetta (2020) and The Zodiac of Paris (2010), both from Princeton University Press. She lives in Providence, RI.

You can follow Diane through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

 

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

The summer I was thirteen, I wrote a novel from start to finish on a yellow legal pad while hiding out from the rain—it was an incredibly wet summer—at the Cranston Public Library on Sockanossett Cross Road. What I loved—and I want to be absolutely honest about this—was the way those finished pages felt, their heft and texture. I’m left-handed, so writing in ink results in a smeary, messy page, and I loved that too. In my family I played the role of the unfailingly steady person, the reliable producer of good grades and athletic accomplishments. I wasn’t supposed to have an inner life, to respond in any authentic way to anyone or be unpredictably moved by anything. The page was one place where I could be freely imperfect, even messy. I threw those pages away because I didn’t want anyone to know I’d written anything.

Describe your desk / writing space:

I work at my grandmother’s make-up table, which I inherited after her death. It’s a delicate piece of furniture with thin legs and ball-in-claw feet. I’ve got my own office, with a wall full of bookshelves and a separate work table where books and papers tend to pile up. I’m usually working on a few things at once, and the projects are organized over there.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I write in notebooks, so I can jot things down when I’m out and about. I try to write every day, and I make a point of getting a few hours of dedicated writing time into just about every weekday. I sometimes write on weekends, but I like to keep those days free for reading and doing other things that don’t involve screens.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

My publishers have titled most of my books so far. It’s a marketing decision.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

They’re all hard. Most of my writing happens through intense revision.

What inspired your book/series?

Ready, Set, Oh is a novel that takes place in the late Sixties in and around Providence, Rhode Island. It’s about two families in very different economic circumstances and what happens when two of their children become seriously romantically involved. The Vietnam war threatens one of those children, who is vulnerable to the draft; the other character gets in trouble because she’s pregnant and can’t get the abortion she might otherwise want. They’re in a terrible bind, both as individuals and as a couple, and the story unfolded naturally from their struggle inside this crucible of history and circumstances. I should add that I spent my early adulthood getting a PhD in history of science at MIT. One of my professors told me this: “The five years before your birth are the site of your biggest historical amnesia.” So I had thought a lot about that period, the late Sixties. I wondered what I could actually know about it. My parents had many fights about the meaning of those times; weirdly, so did all my professors. It was as if they were all trying to deal with some huge ongoing invisible trauma. So this struck me. Then, when I began writing Ready, Set, Oh, it was 2003, and the US was slipping into what was, to me, a very questionable and poorly justified war in Iraq. There was a lot of talk, too, about Vietnam, especially as the first casualty reports came back. I realized that war had informed so much of my life and yet, I had spent almost no time interrogating this, thinking about it. But I’d just had a baby, and her arrival sort of drew a line under my ignorance. I was worried about her future while being newly confused about the past. The book came out of those feelings.

What are you working on next?

L’Air du Temps (1985) is coming out next year, and that’s a story of a teenager named Zinnia Zompa who is stuck in a Rhode Island suburb in 1985. Weird things are happening—a neighbor is brutally murdered, everyone’s going crazy trying to make their lawns as green as possible, and Lincoln Continentals are parked in every driveway despite the skyrocketing price of gasoline. Zinnia’s just trying to make sense of it all, and along the way, she has a few adventures. I’m also finishing a revision of a novel about the housing boom and the beginnings of the opioid epidemic of the early aughts, though I would not necessarily say that on the jacket cover. Remember when everyone was in the business of “flipping” houses? There was so much manic energy around that, so much attention paid to it. And yet, behind and beneath it, there was also this wildfire of addiction and despair. How did that happen?

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I went to Brown in the 1990s, when the creative writing program was deeply imbued with the fabulism of Robert Coover, Angela Carter, Rikki Ducornet. These were my first teachers. At MIT I worked with Anita Desai, whose sharp eye for narrative structure helped me clarify the difference between good storytelling and kinds of history I had been reading and writing. I love the moody Europeans: Péter Nádas, Bohumil Hrabal, Stefan Heym, Claudio Magris, Eugen Ruge. As far as contemporaries go, I’m a huge fan of Daisy Hildyard and Helen Dewitt.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I would live in Paris, where I spend part of every year.

What is your favorite meal?

Potato chips and Chardonnay. I don’t have this very often, for obvious reasons, but it is my favorite.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

I once met a powerful businesswoman who made a fantastic recommendation: For dessert, always have coffee and another glass of Chardonnay.

Describe yourself in three words.

A working mom.

[Author Interview] D. R. Perry

RKB’s author interview with D. R. Perry

D.R. Perry writes primarily in Revealed World. These are open UF YA Academy books with diverse characters and cute magical critters. She lives with her spouse, child, and dog in Rhode Island.

This is one geeky author who loves writing for the sense of adventure and wonder. In her books, you’ll find real characters, fantastic worlds, and a handful each of humor and hope.

D.R. hopes you have as much fun reading her books as she did writing them.

Her next book is the fourth installment of Messing Psychic Academy, titled Twisted Fate, releasing on March 15th.

You can follow D. R. through her social channels:

Amazon | FacebookInstagram | PinterestGoodreads | BookbubWebsite

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I was inspired by the idea of magical schools. So many of the books I’ve read in this subgenre are secret, dystopian, or mean-spirited in some way. This led me to create Revealed World, a setting where magic coexists with the mundane. Since everyone’s aware, schools for magi, psychics, shifter, faeries, and other supernatural beings to learn control of their powers are required.

With that world built, I set out to write hopeful books where kindness matters, featuring protagonists who are somewhat (sometimes extremely) different from the usual main character. Each series has an ensemble cast, because Power of Friendship and Found Family are some of my favorite themes.

Describe your desk / writing space.

Variable. I face a number of physical challenges, so I can only sit at a desk about half the time. The other half, I need to recline, lie down, or be in the dark. So, my writing space could be at a desk but also on the sofa with a tablet on a lap desk, or murmuring drafts into a microphone with an ice pack on my head to be transcribed later.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

Neither. I write when I am able. My good days don’t run on a schedule, so writing time is catch as catch can. Inspiration is also unreliable, rarely coinciding with high function days. I take notes though, so I always know what book I am working on next.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

So many ways. Puns, song titles, idioms, famous quotes are all fair game. Sometimes, I stitch two or more of those together to make a title. Series names are simpler because they’re named after the magical academy.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

One of the hardest scenes for me to write was in Messing Academy: Being Around. My main character walks in on something he’s personally powerless to stop. Without that scene, I never could have gotten to one of my favorites, the big confrontation at the end of the next book, Everybody Hurts. It’s a huge payoff and totally worth all the effort.

What inspired your book/series?

Messing Academy was inspired by my own personal experience looking for disabled protagonists in speculative genres. Often, the character’s condition is negated or cured with magic or technology. When it wasn’t, they got relegated to support roles, or their story focused on the disability instead of the conflict or adventure.

Ben’s disability comes from an accident, not a chronic illness like mine, but magic won’t fix his legs. He’s still every bit as heroic as other YA protagonists, though. I thought it was important to write a story from that perspective, to create what I didn’t find in print.

What are you working on next?

I am finishing the last bit of Messing Academy, which is the final set of books set in Salem, MA. After that, the next series focuses on dragon shifters. They attend Weir Academy, a high school spanning the border between the USA and Canada at Niagara Falls.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

One of my greatest influences is Jane Yolen. She is so prolific and writes beautiful works in multiple genres for several age groups. Truly an inspiration.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I’m not sure I could leave this world; there’s so much I’d miss. However, if I had the chance to spend a few hours in Ben’s garden on the Sidhe Queen’s side of the Under, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

What is your favorite meal?

That’s a much trickier question than I’d expected. Let’s just say, it’s subject to change.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee. Alcohol isn’t a good idea with the medications I’m on, but if there’s a celebratory toast, wine is the way.

Describe yourself in three words.

Tenacious. Encouraging. Tired.