Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
As someone who loves to travel and see new places, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Learn more at http://www.grace-duncan.com.
Thanks so much, Grace, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
Grace R. Duncan: I couldn’t decide between Tolkien or King. Both have works that have influenced me incredibly—world building, characterization—down to what I wanted to write. King definitely inspired the dystopian works. The Stand was—is—one of my all-time favorite books. I’d want to ask why he decided on some of the things he did for the world.
And I’d love to ask Tolkien how he feels about the… epicness that The Lord of the Rings has become: movies, TV Shows, games. His son had some very firm opinions about it, but I’d love to know what the professor really thought about it.
(Also, I’m well aware I violated the rules of this question. I’ve never followed rules all that well…)
JSC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
GRD: Asked Mr. Grace to put Icy Hot on his balls. (I owed him BIG after that…)
JSC: Do you ever base your characters on real people? If so, what are the pitfalls you’ve run into doing so?
GRD: I have one book in particular that has a character based on a real person. While I wanted to get things as accurate as I could, I certainly didn’t want him to pick it up and go “Whoa, that’s me!” and find myself in a lawsuit. lol! So you just have to be careful to get enough right, but not too much. It’s certainly a challenge.
Then there’s the guy who… well, let’s just say he did not treat me well. And he is often the villain (or, at least, a horrible person) in my books. LOL I don’t care if HE knows. In fact, I hope he’s seen it. (That is a lot more likely than the other guy.)
JSC: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
GRD: Hell no. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. Mr. Grace curates them and I read the ones that aren’t truly nasty. I can take constructive criticism, but the ones that tear the book (or worse, me) apart, I just can’t handle. Besides, I’m well aware reviews are for readers, not the author, so I do my best to look at them from that perspective and just keep moving.
JSC: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?
GRD: Notes. Notes, notes, and more notes. I talk it out with Mr. Grace and let my brain go where it may, then… notes. I try to write it down so I don’t lose it.
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
GRD: Plotster. Sometimes, I start out totally pantsing an idea, then find myself sort of… making a list of “things that have to happen” and eventually, that becomes a plot outline. So, not sure I truly qualify for either?
JSC: What inspired you to write Devotion? What were the challenges in bringing it to life?
GRD: I had been… hesitant to write/read paranormal (especially shifter). I had read quite a few that were just minor tweaks to the same thing over and over. And every one of them took themselves and the characters WAY too seriously. I mean, all the alphas were big, tough assholes. And their mates were always these tiny, weak little things that couldn’t take care of themselves. Then I ran across one that shifted that and I thought… why not just make it fun? Why not use some humor? Make them completely fly in the fact of the overly-serious shifter books. And, thus, that world made the story SO much easier to write.
JSC: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?
GRD: Ezio! My sweet ginger apex fluff. He’s also dumb as a stump (it’s a ginger cat trait, I think), but a resilient little bit, too. In our recent move from Texas to Maryland, he’s been through so many hotels, it isn’t funny. He’s not a fan of the carrier, but he adapts so quickly to the new place, it’s amazing. He loves my lap, but would definitely steal my keyboard too.
JSC: What qualities do you and your characters share? How much are you like them, or how different are they from you?
GRD: There’s always a little bit of me in one of the characters, from my first book, Choices, to the one I’m working on now, Breaking the Rules. In Teman (Choices) and Cody (Breaking the Rules), it’s the submissive in them. But I try to keep it in check because it’s too easy to make assumptions about a character because you know them and you end up confusing the readers because they’re like, “wut?” So, I don’t put all of me. It’s not shameless self-insertion, but there’s always one aspect that those who know me could point at and say, “that’s her.”
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
GRD: So, I’ve always liked mixing things up a bit. I’ve got pure shifters. Pure Omegaverse. Then I did shifter Omegaverse. And now I’ve got Shifter, omega, BDSM. I love experimenting and, truthfully, my most successful book was BDSM, which was almost entirely pantsed. I pushed BDSM boundaries I didn’t think I should, but some of that was the best things readers commented on. So, now I get to push another boundary. Hopefully, Breaking the Rules will do just as well.
(Funny aside: Mr. Grace did not think BDSM would go as well as it did. He has had a lovely dinner of crow after that.)
Will Tanner realize he’s wrong and claim his mate before Finley’s devotion is gone?
Finley Cooper is tired of waiting for his destined mate to be ready to claim him. In deference to human laws, he’s already agreed to wait until he’s eighteen. But now his birthday has come and gone—and his mate has a new set of excuses. Finley doesn’t understand it any more than his wolf does, and he’s beginning to wonder if fate made a mistake.
Tanner Pearce wants nothing more than to claim his mate, but he worries that Finley is too young. Tanner will never forget what happened when his best friend mated at Finley’s age, only to have that mate end up feeling trapped and breaking their bond. While rare, it can happen, and the fallout Tanner witnessed as his best friend tried to deal with the break has haunted him for years.
When Finley finally has enough, he threatens to find someone who will claim him if Tanner doesn’t, and Tanner realizes he needs to come to terms with his fears or risk losing his mate forever.
This title contains previously published material.