For those ladies who love to read about first responders, whether they're policemen, firemen, or EMTs, I have a special treat for you. Grayson is a pen name for this author who just happens to be a firefighter on his day job! His first book will be out soon and will contain several short stories of rescue by his fellow first responders. His stories take place in 'Oceanview, CA' so he's invited us to the station house where the stories take place.
Gather 'round and get comfy because Grayson has a few more books he's working on but I'll let him tell you. He'll be around all week to chat and answer your questions so please leave your questions and comments at the end. Please help me welcome him to one of his first online interviews for his upcoming release of 'Oceanview'!
Deanna: Grayson, welcome and congratulations on your first book. I know you're excited for the release and that's getting closer. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Grayson: I am a multi-genre writer that has grown up in the inland Northwest my entire life. Much of my life has been through a pen, and ending on the paper. I absolutely love the paranormal and the ‘Unknown’ parts of life. I often reflect of things that can happen but haven’t quite yet. I’m often spontaneous, and can hope from genre to genre with as quick as the muse lets me. I’m a very open person and enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. I do have a background in EMS/Firefighting, as well as some background in law enforcement.
Deanna: What made you want to become a writer?
Grayson: What sparked my interest to become a writer was 6th grade. I was going through a very tough time, dealing with a divorce that made no sense to me. I had turned to reading as a way to escape everything. That’s when I found my love for Michael Crichton, and his novels. It wasn’t too long after that, is when I started writing. During the same time period as a class we were doing a unit on the solar system. The teacher had asked all of us to do a story about the solar system, and the fact we had to write a short story and visit all of the planets. She said that there’d only been one other student that had accomplished that. By time I’d finished mine, I had gotten to read it in front of the class and got an A on the project. After that, my love for writing bloomed and all through Junior High and High School I stayed pretty grounded by either drawing comic strips with a few friends of mine, or I wrote short stories in between by studies in class.
Deanna: Please share a bit about your new release, OceanView, without giving away any spoilers.
Having previous experience in Fire/EMS I thought it would be neat to take on a project like this. Little did I know that this little project would eventually become my first book. The story of “OceanView” deals more with the the personal relationships of the cop , firefighters, and EMT’s the city more-so than the actual job. Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t action of the job involved with the story of “OceanView” but I thought the more human side is always more interesting to look at. How these different types of personalities react with one another, because everyone in this line of work has a very defined character. How the different kinds of stressors affect a person or what they see on the job. To me, that’s where the real story lies.
Deanna: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?
Grayson: The kind of hero or heroine I like is the one with scars. The kind of person that may have had some kind of experience with whatever is going on in the story and it takes a constant facing of fears to get where they are at the conclusion. I think having a flawless hero at the beginning and ending with a flawless hero at the end is very flat and cookie cutter. If you want to draw your audience in, and you really want them to get involved with the book they are going to have to be able to relate with the character. Really feel the emotion of this character to keep them interested in the book. But you could also start off with a hero that chooses to accept their own reality but could become different by the end. I like something that shows a reflection of change for the character or the hero by the end of the story.
Deanna: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Grayson: A typical day for me involves a lot of brain storming. The Muse and I have conversations through out the entire day, and sometimes the characters will talk plainer than others. Usually, when I started getting an idea then I let it play out for a little bit in my head. I am not real quick to jump and start writing immediately, because if you write the scene as quick as it comes to you, then sometimes you draw a blank after words. So the best advice I can give to anyone is let the idea brew for a bit. That’s what I do and when I have an idea then I write it down in the notebook that I typically carry on me. It would be similar to pulling a cake out of the oven too early before it was actually ready. I like to start the morning off with a warm cup of coffee or tea to get the ideas going.
Deanna: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Grayson: As a writer, I try to keep my ideas open to anything. I think as a writer, that if you try to limit yourself to what you want to write instead of opening up to what you CAN write you only set your own boundaries, and as a writer I don’t think that it’s good for anyone. Usually, I try to write realistic/fiction. Again, going back to the beginning when I mentioned that I try to write about possibilities that could potentially happen but haven’t yet. Though, on the next book that will be coming out I write about the paranormal. It’s a subject I’ve always wanted to write about and didn’t want to sound cheesey at doing. After I finished it and looked back, the entire story is very pleasant. I cannot wait to get it off to my editor so we can start getting the process going on that one.
Deanna: It's definitely an exciting process. How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?
Grayson: With OceanView, it has taken me almost six months to get it edited, the writing itself took me about eight years length to complete it. The newest story, took me about six months to write, and I haven’t started the edits on that one yet.
Deanna: Glad to hear you've got other books going on, too. Do you have to be alone to write?
Grayson: Yes, I have to be alone to write or it seems I cannot get my thought process on track to get the idea going. I used to be able to write to music, but even now with that I find that I can’t write with music and that it has to be quiet in the room. To help with the process, as my laptop is booting up and getting prepped I will brew a warm cup of tea and settle in that way. Usually, with that cup of tea the ideas begin to flow quite nice. Usually, I can get out five to six pages in a night. Though, I don’t like to push the muse because she has a way of being nasty, but typically on a good night I like to get at least three pages written, more if the idea is flowing well. I don’t like to cut myself off in the middle of a scene or idea.
Deanna: How do you go about naming characters?
Grayson: What’s interesting about me, is that usually I get the concept of the character first, and then I get the name later. I can always see them in my head before they let me know there name. Some are more standoffish than others, but other times characters are very open about who they are and what their names are. I wrote a blog about character development and how I really look at my characters more as people than just fantasy people. By the end of my books, I have grown quite attached to all of them. The less desirables usually get their’s by the end. But all of my characters mean something to me and it’s always disappointing to say good bye at the end of the book.
Deanna: It is hard to say goodbye to some! Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?
Grayson: Sometimes I have to research and find pictures for them. Other times, it’s simpler to just go by off what they look like in your head.
Deanna: How do you pick locations for your stories?
Deanna: Grayson, thank you for being with us this week! Readers, he'll be around for questions and he's also picking a winner on Saturday to receive an e-copy of OceanView when it's released. Get into the Rafflecopter below then leave a comment or question for Grayson.