Monday, May 28, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, GENEVIEVE GRAHAM

INTERVIEW WITH GENEVIEVE GRAHAM, AUTHOR OF "SOUND OF THE HEART" AND MANY OTHER NOVELS



Hi Genevieve! It is such a great honor to have the chance to interview you. Please tell us about your books both past and present and especially about the one you have coming out called "Sound of the Heart".

Kitty, thank you SO much for having me here today! 

My debut, “Under the Same Sky”, came out in January. That was the first thing I’d EVER written, so the fact that it was published by Penguin still leaves me somewhat amazed. Both my books are kind of historical romance/adventure/paranormal, and to be honest, I think of them as more ‘adventures’ than ‘romances’. I use romance as an underlying connector, the reason the characters are compelled to survive and search out each other, but I spend a lot of time detailing individual stories. The way I see it, every romance is made up of two people. Sure, we talk about soulmates (which I entirely believe in, by the way), but those two people are actually separate beings. They live their own adventures, and it is always a question mark to see if they will ever find each other. (sort of ... after all, this is published as a “romance” so it’s more than likely going to have a happily ever after!)

“Under the Same Sky” is an 18th century story about Andrew, a Highlander, and Maggie, a poor girl in South Carolina. Obviously they live thousands of miles apart … but they have known each other their entire lives. How? Through dreams. They’ve grown up dreaming of each other, and as they mature the dreams get more powerful, to the point where they can communicate and share each other’s strengths through that connection. They can even save the other’s life. But there comes a time when dreams aren’t enough, and Andrew is forced to brave the journey to the colonies to find her and save her.

“Sound of the Heart” is what they call a “companion novel”. It’s not a sequel. It’s a story running at the same time as the first story, but it focuses on a character who is somehow related to the characters in the first book. In this case, it’s Andrew’s brother, Dougal. Both brothers had assumed the other had died in the Battle of Culloden, but neither one did. Dougal survives imprisonment (which was awful - I did a ton of research on that and was shocked), then he escapes and falls in love. Everything is going well until the English steal his lady love, Glenna. They ship her overseas where she is sold as a slave, so I told her story as well. The only way for Dougal to possibly find her is to join the 77th Highlanders, a battalion of Highlanders who are part of the despised English army. So there’s a ton of adventure on both sides of that story, too.

How did you first get into historical fiction writing, and what was it that turned you on to this specific genre?

Diana Gabaldon. I didn’t read anything for about eight years after I had babies. I was just too frantic with them. When my mother finally handed me “Outlander”, I got lost in it. I absolutely love historical fiction, and I think the reason for that is twofold. First, no one who is alive today lived back then, right? So no one can tell me that what I’m writing about never happened. Secondly, when I write, the story comes to me from somewhere I can’t control. Doesn’t that tell you that it really COULD have happened? Isn’t that a really cool idea? I love that.

What I really want to hear more about as well, is the fact that your book has ended up in the hands of one of your biggest influences and inspirations, Diana Gabaldon. Tell us how this happened and how you feel about that.

Well, like so many millions, I’m an obsessed fan of Ms Gabaldon’s. I’ve been to four of her readings/signings, and I also spoke with her at this past June’s RWA in NYC. I told her that she had inspired me to write my story, and I did include her in my acknowledgements at the beginning of the book. Well, time went on, the book came out and got great reviews, and I thought … hmm. Why not? So I emailed her, assuming she’d be far too busy to even get to my email. But I was wrong. She did reply, and she said she would love a copy of my book. 

So I mailed it. And she’s going to read it.

WAY before I was published, I joked about “someday Diana will read my book”, but I never imagined it could happen. This is a dream come true, whether she enjoys the book or not!

The lands that you write about, and characters that you create, are they inspired by travels you've done, perhaps a family history or just all part of your wonderful imagination?

I’ve visited South Carolina, but I’ve never been to Scotland. My hubby and I are hoping to get out there for an extended holiday in about … 10 years. We’re waiting that long because by then our daughters will be in university. They have no interest in the parts of Scotland we want to visit, so there’s really no point in going at this time in their lives. It would be all “I’m booooorrrrrred, Mom” and “I wanna play Wii”. So we’ll wait. Everything I write about is a combination of my imagination and the research I’ve done through books, online, and in movies. 

If you had to choose just one of your books so far that you feel is your best work and the one you enjoyed writing most, which would it be and why?

I’m loving the third book in the series, “Out of the Shadows”, which is about Maggie’s sister, Adelaide. My agent has it now and we’ll see what Penguin says. Adelaide is a very introspective, frightened woman, and this book lets me right into her head. I get to experience her going through the process of recovery, and her transformation is quite beautiful, in my humble opinion. I also like one I’ve written about a WW1 fisherman from my area in Nova Scotia. I’m not sure what will happen with that story yet, but it’s one of my favourites because I researched a ton of it through local oldtimers. It was really educational.

Have you ever given thought to writing in other genres, and if so what would they be?

I’ve written one chicklit romance which I think is very silly, but which a few of my friends love. I’ll have to check back in on that one of these days. I tried a YA, but I’m so confused about where the line is in YA. I guess I should research that more - find out about how much sex, violence, and swearing is acceptable. I’m actually blown away whenever I read some, like when I read “Hunger Games”. Great book, but wow. What a concept. And how freaky that my 11yr old loves it? Anyway, I also wrote one Middle Grade for my cousin’s six year old who suffered a stroke, but I never finished it (he recovered!).

One of my favorite questions to ask is, if you had one person you could meet face-to-face, either alive or no longer among the living, who would it be and why?

My dad. He died in 1996, and he would be over the moon excited about my books. He was very much a Scottish buff (though he was born here in Canada), and I know he would have loved to be with me as I went through this whole surreal experience.

When was the first time you realized your success and how did it feel to know that you were going to be a published author?

I was TOTALLY surprised when I put my book on Authonomy.com and had the top “Talent Spotters” grab my book right away. They were really impressed, and one ended up recommending me to her agent. I couldn’t believe it when he signed me — Jacques de Spoelberch is the consummate professional with an incredible reputation. When he called me to say Penguin had a contract to offer, I was speechless … then I hung up and started screaming. This is an amazing time in my life. I never wrote a thing until I was 42. I never expected my life to start up all over again, but it sure has!

What can we expect from you in the future? When is your next book due to come out?

I can’t seem to stop writing, so I’m sure there will be something. I just have no idea when. 

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other authors, pearls of wisdom, or even a quote or moral that means something significant to you?

For aspiring authors, I think there are two big things I want to say. First, don’t write to get published. Write for you. Write the best darn story you can, then see what you can do with it. But if you are only writing to get published, you will undoubtedly meet with disappointment, and it is my belief that writing should be a joy. Second, if you are writing a novel and want to either query agents or self-publish, get an editor. Really. Agents have no time for unedited manuscripts, and the public deserves to read good, polished work. 

Also please leave us your links, where we can find you and contact you in the future!

My website is www.GenevieveGraham.com and if you go there, please sign up to join my newsletter (which I send out once a month). I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GenevieveGrahamAuthor and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/GenGrahamAuthor.

Thank you so much for your time Genevieve, this has been wonderful and I do hope to do this again in the very near future!

Thank YOU, Kitty! It’s been fun!



AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY



Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music
in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future
husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have
recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters.

Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write
her debut novel, Under the Same Sky. The companion novel, Sound of the Heart, will be in stores
May 1, 2012.

CONNECT ONLINE

www.genevievegraham.com
www.facebook.com/GenevieveGrahamAuthor
http://www.goodreads.com/author/sho...enevieve_Graham
twitter.com/GenGrahamAuthor

No comments:

Post a Comment