TEATIME TEN: Jessica Grey

Welcome back to the Teatime Ten, an author interview series!  Today we have the wonderful Jessica Grey, author of Avowed, and a whole host of other awesome books!

BOOK GIVE AWAY!  Comment to win one free copy of any of Jessica's novels!  Make sure your email is associated with your user name, so that we can contact you.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself since we last chatted!
 Hi Emily and Emily's readers! Thank you so much for having me! The last we chatted was a looooong time ago. Since then some author friends and I have put out a six book series of holiday-themed Jane Austen novellas (each book contains an adaption of each of the six full Austen novels based around that particular holiday). This was a CRAZY, insane, ridiculous, exhausting, and fun project that took us two and a half years. Oh and a whole bunch of life stuff and not enough writing as also happened, but I think that's always the case.

2) What's your latest publication about?

My most recent publication is Avowed: A Companion Story to the Fairytale Trilogy. This is a 30k novella that's historical to my Fairytale series. It can be read alone(ish), but if you read the first two books of the Fairytale Series you will enjoy it more. Unlike my novels, it doesn't have the happiest of endings as it's about star-crossed lovers (Violet and Beorn who happen to be fae). I hate myself, truly.

3) What inspired you to write it?

 Several readers asked me about Violet's and Beorn's history - their history is alluded to in Atone, the second book. I had a general outline of what happened to them in mind when I wrote Atone, but I wanted to explore it more fully. I think their story also compliments the upcoming third and final book in the series, Aspire: A Fairytale. We get to see a little bit of the conflict in the Fae Realm that is about to affect the modern day Human Realm in Aspire. I usually write a mix of modern world and fantasy and this was pretty straight up fantasy, so getting the change to work in a semi-new genre was enticing as well.

4) What was the hardest part of the book to write?

 All of it. It was terrible. Several times I wondered why in the world I was breaking my own heart writing it. Actually, I wrote the end - the very last scene - first. Then I had to go backward and make not only the characters fall in love, but also make sure I could still be in love with both of them in spite of their sad end.

5) What's your favorite part of the writing process?

 FINISHING. You cannot beat a finish. I also like that heady, high-on-a new-idea feeling you get at the start of the project...before the dark times, before reality sets in.  And then the finishing. The middle part where they actual work takes place is usually a lot of tears and Starbucks and questioning why I do these things to myself.

6) What was your journey to publishing like?

 I didn't really have what I would consider a "journey" to publishing. I never really contemplated getting traditionally published. Almost nothing about it appealed to me, and there was a lot that didn't. Particularly having no control over my covers, that just boggled my mind - and still does!
I actually started a blog (now on permanent hiatus unless I find myself independently wealthy and the owner of a time turner) to support indie Jane Austen writers because I read a book called Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton and LOVED it. Jennifer was always super open and honest about self publishing and full of great tips (her site bectonliterary.com always has fantastic info) and I was encouraged by her journey to try self publishing.

Awake: A Fairytale was my first completed novel and I went ahead and published it. There's things I would change looking back...and things I'm glad I didn't know not to do cause they worked fine! I am a better writer and publisher now, but it's been an adventure so far.

(Side note: when putting together the Holidays with Jane collections I KNEW I wanted Jennifer Becton involved and for totally unknown reasons she said yes and her stories are amazeballs.)

7) Do you have any tips for would-be authors?

 This is where I am supposed to say "Write! Write every day and perfect your craft!" I'm so not going to say it because I do not write anywhere near every day. I would say my number one tip for authors is to figure out what you want and why. WHY are you writing? WHY do you want to publish? And then go the heck after it. Everyone has different motivators. And honestly, sometimes our motivations change. Pick some reasons, put them up where you can see them - make a pretty little inspo board if that rings your bell, if it doesn't put a sticky note on your laptop - whatever works for you. And then go after those goals.

8) You wake up to find yourself in a fairy tale.  Which one do you hope it is and what role are you playing?

 I love fairy tales, but most of them are horrible beyond belief. I wouldn't want to be the lead in any single fairy tale that I can think of. I would, however, like to be a fairy godmother. But only for a limited run. Appearing this week only - Jess as Fairy Godmother. I can imagine that granting wishes to people would get tiring after a few days, especially they’re really stupid wishes and you can’t offer helpful life advice.

9) You find yourself with an entire day with the means and time to treat yo'self.  What does your day look like?

 I am going to Disneyland with all my frieeeeeends! This is not a joke, I would totally do this. And I would get all my friends dressed up and take pretty pictures at Disneyland with them all fancy-like, because I seriously wish I had lovely pictures of me and all my girls up on my walls. Then I would eat my way through the parks. Some food on my agenda: churros, Dole Whip, breakfast at the Main Street Cafe, kabobs at the Bengal BBQ, head on over to CA Adventure for soup in sourdough bowls...this is what I plan to eat before 11 am. We haven't even begun to discuss dinner which will be at the Blue Bayou and fantastic.
Stretchy pants will be required.

10) What's up next creatively for you?

 Next up I am finishing and publishing Aspire, the last book The Fairytale Trilogy. Then I get to finish work on Sun, Moon, and Stars which is my take on the fairy tale "Allerleirauh or All Kinds of Fur." I’m super excited to get to work on it as it’s been hanging around in my head for years upon years.

Connect with Jessica on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Check out her official website here.

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