Word-Slingers – Interviewing Grace Burrowes (#giveaway)

It is an incredible honor and an exciting moment for me to welcome Ms. Grace Burrowes to my world. Ms. Burrowes is the super-prolific author of a wonderful stream of historical romances published by Casablanca. Her release this month is Darius, and she has at least one book scheduled to come out each month for the next year! Let’s make her feel welcome and give her a chance to catch her breath!


1) How long have you been writing?

The short answer is that I started writing about seven years ago, at the age of forty-seven, when my daughter moved out of the house. Abruptly, the house was full of peace, quiet, and time to think, and my brain went on a writing orgy. Lovely. The more accurate answer is that I’ve always felt an urge to write, though for decades that mostly found its outlet in a journal.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I have two jobs, the lawyer job representing foster children, and the writer job crafting happily ever afters. One can see how the two might complement each other. Unlike many people struggling to write while raising a family, tending a young marriage, looking after the elders, and holding a day job, my situation is fairly simple. Because I’ve waited until mid-life to attempt publication, I’m particularly eager to get a backlist up. (TM – WTG on the foster kids. I was a Guardian ad Litem for a brief time. You’re awesome)

3) You have a book coming out every month for at least the next year, and you’re a family law attorney. How the HECK do you do it?!?!?!

I am an example of the person for whom all the motivational sermons make no sense. I had twenty manuscripts done before I explored publication because publication was never a goal. I still don’t have goals, I don’t write down my objectives, I don’t write every day, I’ve never had a crit partner… All those things you “must, must, must” do to find success as an author are beyond me. (TM – and yet you clearly are successful. Fellow future authors, take note! You can break the rules and still fly high.)
 I write because I love to write, and my publisher has been generous enough to set up a monthly release schedule because they understand my reasoning with respect to building a backlist quickly. There are days when having one book in revisions, another in draft, a third in copy edits, a fourth in galleys, and a fifth hitting the shelves is a challenge—but it’s like trying to decide among favorite desserts, or which ride to get on at your favorite amusement park. It’s ALL good.

4) What can you tell us about your release Darius? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J I know this is the book of your heart, and that Deb coaxed you into moving forward with publishing it. Can you tell us the story?

Darius popped up as good secondary sort, in “The Virtuoso.” I wasn’t sure why he was the one sidekicking for Valentine Windham, but Valentine and Nicholas got along with him (he popped up in Nick’s book too, as brother to Nick’s lady), so what the heck—I’m just the author. Then I wrote a story for Darius’ brother Trent, and again, Darius was skulking about, out until all hours, and giving off a quietly desperately vibe.
 The guy needed a book, clearly, but what on earth was he up to, out past his bedtime, looking after everybody but himself, being so handsome and miserable? At first I thought he was stealing, or maybe trying to return goods he’d stolen.  Maybe he was trying to return goods stolen by a friend’s sister. Maybe he had gambling debts to work off and THAT was what he was up to. Except, Darius doesn’t gamble with coin, only with his honor. This guy did not want to give up his story, and when the answer popped into my head, I at first did not believe it myself.

5) Darius has an interesting…job, one that’s almost never talked about in your standard historicals though you frequently see women with a similar profession being redeemed and the like. Why did you decide to give him this particular, er, position?

I am eternally indebted to one of my brothers for telling me that the worst challenge a man can face is to have to choose between the competing demands of honor (all my author buddies, write that down if it helps with a plot). What is the worst compromise a man could make to protect and care for his loved ones? What is the worst compromise ANYBODY who is broke, disempowered and desperate, can make…?
 The answer surprised me, but it was right for this hero: Darius was selling his favors, just short of the deed, in exchange for the coin he needed to support his dependents, all of whom, were cast on his charity by the father who has also rejected Darius. When enough coin is laid before him, when he’s reached the limit of his despair and self-loathing, he makes that last, last compromise, only to find he’s found his salvation.

6) What is it about the historical romance genre that you like so much?

Oh, everything. When I started reading romances 35 years ago, historicals were all you could find. Then too, there are pioneer romances authors still writing in the historical genre, and their work has reached near-perfection. Who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

7) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I’m writing Scottish historicals that I’m enjoying tremendously (TM – Having read the first one, I quite agree that it’s lots of fun!), and I’ve written a pair of Georgian novellas that were a lot more fun that I’d anticipated. Both the Georgians and the Victorians had their wild elements. I’ve also written a trilogy of contemporaries, about lawyers in love…

8) Sweet or sour?

Sweet.

9) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate—and most good chocolate has vanilla in it.  (TM – Quite a valid point)

AUTHOR INFO
 I am the sixth out of seven children and was raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life I spent a lot of time reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named—unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. I also spent a lot of time practicing the piano. My first career was as a technical writer and editor, a busy profession that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels.
It also left time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.
While reading yet still more romance novels (there is a trend here) I opened my own law practice, acquired a master’s degree in Conflict Management (I had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing…. romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World a few years ago. (“Mom, why doesn’t anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard?”)
I eventually got up the courage to start pitching manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in “the call” started out: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.) (TM – LoL, love it. Lovely call story)

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BOOK INFO
Although there are lines he will not cross, Darius Lindsey has performed intimate favors for desperately needed coin. He contracts one final liaison that will free him from all financial constraints: Get Lady Vivian Longstreet with coin to preserve the title for her aging husband of convenience, only to find the bargain he thought would cost him the last of his self-respect instead resurrects both his honor and his heart.

Edited at 12:50 PM to add: Please be aware, there is a giveaway of TWO SIGNED COPIES of Darius. All you have to do is leave a comment below (see Ms. Burrowes’ question in Comment #1 below) and you’re entered to win. This is not to be missed. 🙂
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11 Comments

  1. What I'm after from you Commenters is one small way you make your day more efficient. I for example, do stretches while I'm waiting for my tea water to microwave. Two minutes of stretching, a cup of tea, and I'm ready to do another 750 words… AND we'll be giving away two signed copies of "Darius" for those of you who leave a comment.

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  2. Lovely interview, Grace. And I thoroughly approve of all your answers. Whenever I am asked in an interview to give some advice to would-be writers, my answer is always one of two things or sometimes an amalgamation of the two: "Just write." "Don't listen to advice." "Don't listen to any advice, but just write." I don't need a gift copy of DARIUS, by the way. It will be on my Kindle within the week.

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  3. Back when my ankle wasn't broken and our household routine wasn't ALL MESSED UP, my most precious efficiency was making sure the coffee was brewing as I got our kids' breakfast to the table. I'm a much better momma when I've had my coffee.

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  4. Wasn't it Margaret Mitchell who busted the daylights out of her ankle? She was laid up for a year and spent it writing "Gone With the Wind." Don't believe the dear lady had children, though. Here's s speedy recovery and children who can learn how to start mom's coffee.

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  5. Generally, I'm very weak in this area, and get flustered if I have to multitask. The only exception is when I'm preparing for hosting holiday dinners for my family. Then I'm baking, cooking, mixing, cleaning, and doing laundry all at the same time. Guess the adrenaline gets going, and I'm motivated. Bonnie bonnieblue at wowway dot com

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  6. Grace it's funny to realize that you're almost 10 years younger than I am. lol I have loved all your books that I've read and am sure I'll love the 3 I've got now that I need to actually get off the computer and read. And PLEASE, don't put my name in the drawing as I've already got Darius and I wouldn't want to deprive anyone who needs it of a copy to read. I see your first commenter is Mary Balogh,the lady who introduced me to Regency romances. I've read many of her books but probably have just as many that I need to find and read. I also love Mary Jo Putney's books. Since I'm retired/disabled I don't have the problems many of your fans have with time, or maybe I should say not enough time, to do all that needs to be done. My only dependents are my 3 cats and they aren't the least bit demanding unless the plate I feed them out of is empty. I'll be spending a lot of time indoors now that hot weather is approaching as I don't tolerate the heat and humidity we have very well so I should be able to catch up on all my reading. Right now I've got 10 paperback in my bedroom to read, 3 of them are Grace Burrowes books.

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  7. It's not very original, but I set out the next days clothes so I don't have to think in the morning. That's always a questionable thing before the coffee kicks in. I also make notes if I have to remind the boys to bring anything to school.Marcy Shulerbmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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