Winner of the 2014 ETO Best Erotic Author Award, K D Grace believes Freud was right. It really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening or walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. She hangs out in gyms and enjoys anything that gets her outdoors.
K D is published with SourceBooks, Accent Press, Harper Collins, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, and others.
K D also writes contemporary romance as Grace Marshall.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? First of all, let me just thank you, Sophia, for inviting me over to your wonderful blog. It’s a pleasure to be here and chat books and writing with you – two of the things I love most. I’ve always written. Before I could write I told stories and drew pictures. Sadly, I spent a good chunk of my life too afraid to pursue writing fiction as a career. I think what gave me the courage to take the risk of trying to get published was becoming a part of a really focuses, really supportive writing group, all of whom were far more skilled than I was, which made it the perfect place to hone my own skills and gain confidence.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? The structure varies according to how wild my life is at the moment. But in an ideal world, I would get up and write through breakfast and coffee. I’m the queen of the one-handed meal. After second or maybe third coffee, I either head out for a walk or to workout. Then it’s back for a quick check of Internet and emails before another hour of writing before lunch — a one-hand lunch if I can manage it then I write until my husband gets home around seven. During the course of the day, if I need a break, or need to think and plot, I’ll fit in a little housework or gardening. Once my husband is home, we have dinner and spend the evening doing something together. However, my husband’s job requires quite a bit of travel, so when he’s away, all bets are off and I write until bedtime as well.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I never get writers block. My problem is just the opposite. I have too many story ideas in my head to write and not enough time to write them all.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? I’m a bit of both, actually. I always start out with a very, VERY loose chapter-by-chapter synopsis that’s little more than the basic shape of the story I want to tell. Then I write with lots of detours, scenic routes, side-trips along the way. The end and the beginning usually remain at least recognizable, but the path to getting there is never like I planned it. That’s the fun. I love being surprised by my characters and the decisions they make that I hadn’t planned for.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? I’m traditionally published, though I am considering just trying my hand at some self-pubbing on the side. I have several friends who are quite successful at it. My experience has been pretty typical of everyone I’ve talked to who have gone the traditional publishing route. Publishers have their own agenda, and it doesn’t always include what’s best for the writer. When the agenda is the same, it can be a beautiful relationship, but when it isn’t the writer is quite often left in the dark about a great many things.
Having said that, by being traditionally published, I have someone who takes care of the editing, proofing, formatting, all the things that I would have to do if I were self-publishing.T hat means I have more time to write. That also means the publisher takes a bigger chunk of the profits. My work is also much more protected from pirating and other legal complications I might face as a self-published author. A self-published author has to be a jack of all trades, which means less time to write, and more personal risk, but she gets to keep more of the money.
As for advice, all of my self-publishing friends were published traditionally first and established a name for themselves before they went the self-pub route. They all say that is the best way to do well as a self-published author. First establish a name and a brand with traditional publishing and then branch out. Whichever route you choose, my advice to aspiring authors is first, hang in there and don’t get discouraged. Most important of all though is don’t get bogged down. Write! Write long, write hard, write every day. With every word you write your craft improves. Write to the end. Never rewrite until you’ve finished a rough draft or you’ll never finish. You’d be amazed the aspiring writers I know who have polished their first four chapters until they shine, but they never get beyond.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? The email I got saying that the publisher wanted my first novel! I remember reading it over and over again. I just sat there and stare at it for the longest time afraid to believe it was real. Nothing stands out like that moment. I still have that email saved away to look back at for encouragement now and again.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. I’m working on a longer, quite different project at the moment, a paranormal romance, the first book of a series, and I’m very excited about it. I’m actually writing the prequel to Buried Pleasures as a weekly series on my blog. It’s a bit of an experiment having to write a new chapter every week, but it’s gained quite a little following, which I’m hoping will make readers hungry for more. It’s called In the Flesh, http://kdgrace.co.uk/blog/in-the-flesh-part-1-a-free-story-in-progress-enjoy/ and there’s a new episode up every Friday. Here’s the link to the first chapter. I hope you’ll pop over and check it out. Remember, it’s the beginning of something a whole lot bigger.
Grace Marshall’s most recent release is the Box Set of her contemporary romance Executive Decisions Trilogy and also the novel that’s being called the 4th book of the Trilogy, Interviewing Wade.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? I’ve always written romance and erotic romance. Under the name K D Grace I write erotica and erotic romance. Under the name Grace Marshall, I write contemporary romance. I have written paranormal erotic romance as KD, but my latest, while very sexy, is not erotica.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? My husband and I grow our own vegetables. We’re enjoying fabulous sweet corn and beans at the moment! We are also avid walkers. We’ve walked several of the long distance trails in England, including the Wainwright Coast to Coast trail across England Definitely one of the highlights of my life!
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Your readers want the chance to know you. Blogging has been the best way for me, combined with having a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter. Blog regularly on your own blog and guest on other people’s blogs as well. Most people are happy to host you and happy to guest on your blog too. I make sure I have new content on my blog every other day. A good half of it is guest bloggers and the rest is my own stuff ranging from promo to my online serial to writing advice and general observations. I also make sure to share my travels, my walks, my gardening – any of the things that make me unique. And, of course LOTS of pictures. I’ve gotten very good with my iPhone Camera. Make sure you don’t overkill the book promotions. Your readers want to know you, so blog about things that interest you, things that dovetail nicely with your writing.
11.How much of your books are realistic / based on true experiences/ people? My life experiences certainly inspire my writing. Even my dreams inspire my writing. Every novel has a grain of truth in it. Every novel is, to some degree, a self-portrait of the writer. I’m often amazed at the recurring themes in my own work that are never intentional, but still keep popping up in subtle and, sometimes not so subtle, ways. My writing is fiction, so I’m not trying to tell my life’s story. Some of my characters experience things I’ve experienced in their lives because it works with the story.
For example, while my husband and I were walking in the fells of the English Lakes (For American readers, the fells are mountains) we got caught out in a summer rainstorm and suddenly the mist came down and we couldn’t see our hand in front of our face. Fortunately we were prepared for the rain, we both know how to navigate with a map and a compass and we were on a fell we’d been on before, but suddenly nothing looked familiar and everything was more than a little bit scary. I remember thinking that I could
so easily imagine coming across ghosts and demons and all kinds of scary beings in the mist. That experience of being caught out in the mist inspired the opening, and pivotal scene for my Lakeland Witches Trilogy.
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Find K D Grace/ Grace Marshall Here:
The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pneuma Inc. But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives.
Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.
Excerpt: Carla nodded to the chair opposite her and Wade sat down cautiously. She offered a dry smile and spoke around a mouthful of toast. ‘Chair’s not booby-trapped, food’s not poisoned. My security system’s not that good.’
When he made no reply but savoured a forkful of eggs, she joined him in devouring the feast, satisfied that after the first bite, he shovelled it in with as much relish and lack of delicate table manners as she did. With her, eating was always done in a hurry to get on with what was always way more work than she had time for, unless she was settling in for a meal with her father. She suspected he cooked for her especially for that reason. And as she watched Wade stuff half a slice of toast into his mouth in one go, she figured he was probably the same, with no one to make sure he got a good meal from time to time. Though possibly Ellis invited him over occasionally, or maybe Harris Walker and his new wife, Stacie Emerson. Apparently her culinary skills were spoken about in hush tones. Strange, but it felt good to be able to offer something to Wade, even if the idiot did show up at three in the morning
‘Good,’ he said, at last, covering his full mouth with the paper towel she’d given him in lieu of the napkins she didn’t have.
‘Thanks. You think this is good, you should see me make Pop Tarts.
‘I like Pop Tarts,’ he said.
‘The secret is,’ she leaned across the table, ‘you’ve got to get the toaster set just right. And then afterwards,’ he leaned closer with wrapped attention, ‘afterwards I put butter on ‘em and stick ‘em in the microwave until it melts.’
Wade’s eyes were huge and very green in the kitchen lighting. He looked dead serious, as though she had just given him her secret for cold fusion. ‘I never thought about melting the butter on them in the microwave,’ he said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. ‘But I find that I do like mine so that the little pastry edges are just beginning to get almost too brown.’
Christ! Were they actually talking about Pop Tarts? She laughed. ‘I like ‘em almost burnt, but I know that’s a matter of personal taste. My Dad likes his just barely warm.’
He lowered his head and went back to shoveling eggs.
She popped the last of her bacon into her mouth and spoke around it. ‘So tell me, is Fort Flannery as unassailable as my father assured me, or are we in need of an upgrade?’
He drained his glass of orange juice and pushed back from the table. ‘Your father did a good job. I didn’t have to do hardly anything.’
‘He’ll be glad to hear that,’ she said. ‘Sorry you had to waste your valuable time in the wee hours. I know how busy you are.’
‘Yes, well, it was on my mind. If you’ll let me see your Android, I’ll give it a little upgrade too.’
‘Will I be able to watch Russian porn on it?’ she asked.
‘Japanese and Chinese porn as well, if you like.’ There was that quirk of a smile that she really would love to eat right off his face.
‘And I’ll assume you’ve given it a test-drive.’
To her delight, the smile didn’t disappear, even though the blush was hot on those chiselled cheeks. ‘I’m my own best guinea pig.’
‘Wade Crittenden, that borders on too much information, but in the interest of consumer protection and all, I thank you.’ The blush grew, but the smile stayed put as she offered him a salute and went into her bedroom to get the device.
She returned to find that he’d shed his hoodie and was filling the sink with soapy water, his broad back mantling the counter like a giant bird of prey. For a second her stomach bottomed at the sight of Wade Crittenden doing dishes at her sink. She stood, Android crushed to her chest, feeling flushed and slightly off-balance. His t-shirt was a loose fit, misshapen and short in the back from too many washings for something that should have migrated to the rag drawer some time ago, and when he reached across the sink to add still more soap, the shirt rode up to reveal the slim line of his back and the muscles where his hips joined his torso just above the swell of his buttocks. The baggy jeans gave enough of an intimation of that swelling to leave Carla breathless and hot enough to want to throw off her own hoodie and splash herself with the soapy water in which he was nearly elbow-deep.
As though he sensed her watching, he turned, slopped water down the front of his shirt and onto his jeans and uttered a surprised curse.
Without thinking she rushed to his side, dropping the device on the table. ‘You don’t have to do that,’ she managed, in a breathless gasp. ‘Sometimes I go for weeks without ever washing so much as a coffee cup.’ She stretched around him, grabbed for a dish towel and offered it to him instead of patting him dry herself, which was what she really wanted to do.
He reached for the towel, holding her gaze. ‘You cook for me, I do the clean-up for you. Fair’s fair.’ His hand slid into the cloth and around her fingers as he drew it to his chest. His breath caught, his lips parted as though to speak, and God help her, she couldn’t resist, she leaned into him on tippy-toe and planted a kiss firmly on his mouth. She only meant for it to be a friendly peck, a way of saying thanks for checking up on her and for doing the dishes, but his other hand, covered with soapy water, swooped in and grabbed the front of her hoodie reeling her to him. Then he curled his fingers in the tangle of her wild hair and cradled the back of her head, pulling her still further up on her toes. ‘Oh God,’ he whispered, his tongue darting deep, his lips, soft and hard and bruising all at the same time, meeting hers in a clash of wills and a heroic effort to get closer and deeper. ‘Oh God, Carla, why did you do that,’ he gasped against her mouth.
‘Just being friendly,’ she managed, before the tongue sparring got serious. He gave the towel a toss and yanked down the zipper of her hoodie, shoving it off onto the floor, his hands skimming her breasts in his efforts, thumbs lingering to rake her nipples that were already painful in their peaking. His jeans might have been loose, but they were not loose enough to disguise his erection, and he didn’t seem to care. Both hands slid to cup her bottom and he lifted her, settling her onto the kitchen table, pushing her legs apart with his knees and moving in between her thighs as she went to work on his fly.
‘I have lots of friends,’ he breathed. ‘None of them do that to me.’
‘How about this,’ she said biting his lower lip and sliding her hand down inside his boxers. ‘Do they do this?’
‘No,’ he returned the nip. ‘Never, none of them.’ For a second he faltered. ‘Carla, I –’
‘Shut up, Wade. I don’t wanna hear it.’ This time she bit his tongue before she took his hand and guided it down into her baggy sweat bottoms and into her own boxers.
“Take one part of tall, dark and reclusive millionaire who likes to go bowling alone on Monday mornings, stir in another part in-your-face intrepid female reporter who never gives up until she gets her story and shake it up with a killer who has a score or two to settle. The result is a steamy and suspenseful tale that takes you on a fast-paced ride and keeps you turning the pages. The suspense is well done and really kept my interest. The book is easy to recommend. You won’t want to put it down. Go and grab your copy.” 4.5 out of 5, Love Bites and Silk Ties
“The story is well paced, with only inklings of the stalker’s identity showing up, after all kinds of computer searching, and old-fashioned footwork. The climax is shivery scary, and I couldn’t put it down.” 5 out of 5, Manic Readers