Interview with Lily Graison:
Hi Lily. Thank you for doing this interview. I would like to welcome you to the Romance at Heart Interview and Author Grilling session. *bg* We are interested to find out as much about you as we possibly can, so lets get started...
- Please tell us about your latest book.
"A Touch of Heaven" is a 77-page novella that is my first adventure into the world of publication. It was also my first attempt at erotica. I wrote the story a few years ago and spent months getting it ready for submission and although the heat level is mild compared to some, it does have its moments.
The story is about Paige Foster. Sheís a loner who owns the art gallery her mother built and since her motherís death, Paige finds all her spare time devoted to the gallery and not much else. Her 10-year class reunion is the perfect opportunity to let her hair down and get together to relive old memories and she invites her closest friends from school to spend the weekend with her to reminisce about the good times. A set of tickets to a private male strip club, The Pleasure Dome, starts the girlsí weekend off with a bang and Simon, the star dancer at the club, sets his sights on Paige the minute he sees her. One sexy dance and a little private time backstage sets Paigeís world on end, but Simon has a secret. He already knows Paige.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
I have 2 full-length novels in the works now. One, a contemporary romance set in modern day Boston that deals with reincarnation and the other, a paranormal with more vampires and shapeshifters than one can handle. Both stories should be finished sometime in 2006. I also have several short stories Iím finishing up that will be submitted in the very near future.
- How do we find out about you and your books?
Readers can visit my website, located at http://lilygraison.com/ or sign up for my newsletter. For anyone interested in my weekly ramblings, they can visit my blog. Links to the newsletter and my blog can be found on my website.
- How may readers contact you?
Just send an email to < a href=mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org or sign my GuestBook through the link on my site.
- Why did you decide to write romance novels?
Iíve always been a sucker for a sappy romance, be it in books or film. I love the first meeting, the attraction, the instant lust! The building of a relationship, the butterflies and the anticipation are the feelings that I like to recreate. Seeing my characters happy and in love makes me happy as well. I can live vicariously through them in my writing and experience those feelings along with them.
- Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Iím a very slow writer. My writing hours are in the wee hours of the morning and by that time of night, Iím exhausted and canít seem to get more than a few pages down, if even that. Iím also the worlds worst to self-edit as I go along and I tend to rewrite scenes multiple times before I ever get a first draft done. My internal editor is always on the prowl and Iíve yet to find a way to Ďturní her off, but Iím working on it! lol
- Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I go with the flow. Iím a night owl by nature, which actually helps. The activity here at home is always disruptive (I have 2 teenagers) so I donít get much of anything done until everyone else has gone to bed. Usually between the hours of 1-4am, I get most of what I need done whether that is writing, emailing or promotions. Occasionally the house is quiet during the day, so I try to sneak in a few paragraphs or edits in that time, but itís never enough time to get any real page counts done.
- What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
Constant disruptions! They want their MOM time and will stop at nothing to get it, which is why I do most of my writing at night. I invested in a pair of headphones to listen to music as I write and to try and tone them out, but theyíve taken to Ďpokingí me on the shoulder now. Its useless to even try to ignore them so Iíve started dropping hints about needing an office. Now if I could only find a way to get my husband to foot the bill for the new addition. LOL
- What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
The weekends are ME time. I hang out with friends, lounge around in my PJís all day and veg out in front of the TV. I rarely open a story draft on the weekends. I need those few days to just - not think about anything but what reruns are showing on Life Time.
- What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
Thereís nothing better than a good love scene in a story, but I still blush when writing them! I have an overwhelming fear that my mother will read my stories and chastise me good and proper for it. I think most of my Ďfearí in writing a good love scene stems from that but thereís also that underlining fear that people will read what I wrote and think Iím some sort of crazed pervert. LOL It doesnít stop me though. It just takes me longer to get the words down. I have to walk away, collect my thoughts and go back and write a few more words. Itís the hardest part of the story for me but I enjoy those scenes--having my characters interact and express their feelings for one another is always a must no matter how tame or wild they get.
- What does your husband think of your writing?
My husband is very supportive, but still gets those jealous streaks where he feels left out. He doesnít like me paying so much attention to another man, whether heís fictional or not! I think itís the love scenes that bother him the most. LOL But, regardless of that, heís the first one to brag about me, pass out my business cards and send people to my website. Heís been a great cheerleader to have on my side.
- Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I married my high school sweetheart 19 years ago and we have 2 children. Our son TJ, is 16 and is your typical boy. Amber, our daughter, who is 18, has just blessed us with our first grandchild, Hayden. Heís been a joy to have around and spoiling him is a daily occurrence.
Living in the foothills of NC gives us quick access to the mountains here and we love driving up to the parkway and spending a lazy day just looking at the sights or my favorite leisure, driving to the beach for the weekend. My dream is to retire and spend my days watching the waves roll in.
I also like to play around with building my own websites. Iím still very amateurish, but having no formal classes on the subject, I think I do fairly well with it.
- Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
I love the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Iíve read the entire series twice and eagerly await the next novel due out this year.
- How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
Iíve been penning my stories since 2002 but Iíve always had a very vivid imagination! My childhood consisted of fabulous imaginary games; with great adventures to far away places and I think that part of me carried over into adult life. I love visiting new places, even if itís just the imaginary worlds I create. Iím from a very small town in western North Carolina and the only exciting thing here is the annual parade held in August. LOL Writing is my escape. It gives me an excuse and a portal to do the things I canít in real life and to meet the vivid characters who I think enhance all our lives.
- How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I have written a total of 8 full-length novels and several short stories, one of which is available as a free read on my website. I currently only have "A Touch of Heaven" published but the others are being edited and hopefully ready for submission sometime in the near future.
- Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
Oh, they most definitely control me! The paranormal Iím working on has already been through several changes. When the characters donít like the way something is going, the story stalls and I know Iíve done something wrong. Iíve had several chapters completely erased due to them. Iím not complaining though! The characters usually do a better job at telling their story than I do. I trust them to take me on their adventure and Iím always happy with the results.
- Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Absolutely. Most writersí do I think. Iíve found that when I stall its because Iíve ventured down the wrong path. Stepping away for a day or two and letting the characters tell me where I went wrong usually gets me back on track.
- What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
The emails from readers whoíve written to say how much they enjoyed my story. I write for myself most of the time, telling the stories that come to me, and knowing that someone else enjoyed it as much as I did, is always a great thrill. Hearing how they fell in love with the characters and how the world I took them to was entertaining, is always the biggest reward I can receive.
Thank you very much for taking the time with us and answering our questions, Lily. I really appreciate this interruption to your busy schedule. Good Luck, and we will be looking forward to the next delightful creation from your talented imagination!
Yours in good reading,