I was thrilled to be a guest on the WROTE Podcast. Vance and Baz are an amazing duo, and getting to chat with them was a blast. Stop by and listen to my episode, “Weird Stupid Kid Stuff,” where we talk about my writing journey, my debut novel, One Bullet, and my upcoming urban fantasy trilogy (Ooo, ahh!). Enjoy our crazy trip down the rabbit hole!
*howls* What’s up, Wolfe Pack? So, I did an interview a while ago where I was given a whole slew of questions to pick from. Since I couldn’t do them all, I decided to keep hold of the more interesting ones and answer them later on. Without further ado…
What’s your writing process like? Are you a planner or do you fly by the seat of your pants? A little bit of both?
I guess it’s a combo platter. I like to write out bios and jot down any kind of plot I have into an outline. This all grows and changes as I get further into the story. Some things you just never plan for; it all happens on its own.
How much research do you put into your writing? At what point in your process do you incorporate it?
It depends on what I’m writing. I’ll likely do some prep work on it to help with outlining. There are always random things to look-up on the fly. Thank goodness for Google.
What kind of settings are you drawn to when you write?
I’m mostly a paranormal and historical genre writer/reader, so I love a variety of historical places, and for paranormal I tend to be drawn to modern era.
How tactile/sensory is your writing? How focused are you on sensory details vs. emotional/intellectual details?
I like to think I balance all of that fairly well. For me, part of the experience of a story is the sensory information, which I think can be left out a lot – especially smell, for some reason.
Do you write anything other than novels/novellas?
I love writing fanfiction. Seriously, talk fandom to me.
How did you choose Ninestar Press?
It was still in their first year, and I ended up reading one of their books (Finding You, Finding Me, by Bailey Queen). That led me to their site, and I was really impressed that in such a short time, they had such a great line-up of books and authors. I wanted to be apart of that.
What times of the day are best for writing for you, personally?
Late night, into morning.
What from your past inspires you?
I think we all, as authors, carry our life experiences into our stories in some shape or form. I’m no exception. Typically, that tends to be events that are particularly emotional – good or bad. I have random fond memories that make it into stories that add to a character’s life and make it feel more real – such as some holiday traditions that slipped into One Bullet. Or I’ll find certain characters taking on traits of people I know – again, for good or bad. There have even been very specific events that have been immortalized in my writing.
Do you write to a playlist? Do specific stories/books have specific playlists? Do characters?
I make playlists for all my books, with all different kinds of music. I also have general “mood playlists” if I’m just trying to get a certain atmosphere to work with.
Do your characters have signature alcoholic drinks?
They do not, but I did create custom tea blends for the main cast of One Bullet. I may have to try and come up with some drinks now. Might I start off by suggesting a real life version of a Galaxy Shot from my soon-to-be-released series, Inquisition Trilogy?
Who supported your writing first?
My mom. She has always encouraged me with everything I do, and that included writing. While I’ve always been nervous to show other people my work, she has been on that small list of people I could trust. I know she won’t just tell me what I want to hear. She’s a great proofreader, and I’m able to bounce ideas off of her.
How emotionally entangled do you get in your writing?
I have been known to cry with my characters. I become highly invested with their lives, and I think the obsession shows.
What types of stories do you want to tell?
Stories that resonate with people, that feel real. I want to tell the stories that I, as a reader, am looking for – and often have trouble finding.
Thanks to Rebecca Langham for hosting me on her blog, ceLEStial books. It was a lot of fun!
What’s one book you remember reading in high school? What stood out for you during or after reading it?
I loved the books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, namely Hawksong, the start of her Kiesha’ra series. I also fell in love with Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak series. I’ve just always loved paranormal books, and these two authors really captured my heart. They had memorable characters and stories that have stuck with me to this day, and their books still have a place on my shelf.
What aspect of your book One Bullet are you most proud of?
I’m proud that I stuck to my guns – so to speak – and kept it sex free. It’s a problem I have, as a reader, to find romance books with little to no sex in them. I’m of the opinion that if it doesn’t move the plot forward or develop the characters further, then you don’t need it. You want sex (without plot)? Read an erotic novel. No, my style of writing is sweet romances, filled with fluff and low angst, because that’s what I like to read, and there’s not enough out there.
Originally, I had Ethan going out of town for work, but once I got into that section of the story, it no longer really fit with the rest of what was going on. I only wrote a small section for that part before deciding to scrap it, but I kept it around for just such an occasion:
Ethan had only been gone overnight but Shawn still smiled brightly when his phone beeped and it turned out to be a text message: I’m home.
He tapped out a quickly reply, sending it off: Get some rest.
“That your boy?” Davies inquired, inclining his head towards the phone as he stirred his coffee.
“Yeah, just got back.”
Davies only shook his head. “You two are hopeless,” he teased.
That statement may have been true but it didn’t bother Shawn in the least. He was happy to get off of work, planning to run home to change before heading over to Ethan’s to make him some dinner as a surprise. Except when he dropped his keys in the dish and hung his coat by the door, he heard the TV on low in the living room.
He smiled softly at the sight that greeted him. On the couch was none other than Ethan, curled up with the throw blanket tossed over him haphazardly, slumbering peacefully. It warmed Shawn’s heart, realizing that it was his house that Ethan referred to as home.
He bent down to place a kiss on Ethan’s forehead. He didn’t even stir and Shawn couldn’t help but find him completely adorable.
Thanks so much to Ceillie for having me!
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
To ignore most writing advice. We all do things differently, and there’s typically no right or wrong answer.
What’s your favorite emoji?
I don’t typically use emojis, but I’d have to pick the paw print for obvious reasons.
Where do you like to read? What do you need for a good long reading session?
My bed is the best place. I can just relax and shut out the rest of the world. But, in truth, I will read anywhere, at anytime, any chance I get.
What are your top 3 go-to book recommendations?
At the moment, those would likely be Finding You, Finding Me, by Bailey Queen, According to Hoyle, by Abigail Roux, and Beyond Band of Brothers, by Dick Winters. Apparently, I’m on a historical kick.
This interview was originally posted for Friday with Friends on Lila Leigh Hunter’s blog. Go check it out!
Casey: Thanks for stopping by again.
Shawn: No problem.
Ethan: What day is it?
C: I’m surprised Shawn managed to drag you away. You’ve been playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, right?
E: It is epic. I think I’m like 30 hours in already? I dunno.
S: Someone’s using his vacation time.
E: I’m not stupid, alright?
C: Have you started romancing anyone yet?
E: Not yet. I’m thinking of hooking up with Gil. I don’t think I’ve found all the options yet.
C: Who did you romance in the original trilogy?
E: No one, until they finally gave us Kaidan.
S: I feel my brain melting just talking about video games.
C: I guess I’m not asking you what your favorite game is then.
S: Moving on?
C: Fine, here’s one for you, Shawn. Read anything good lately?
S: Actually, I’m reading Beyond Band of Brothers, about Dick Winters and the 101st Airborne.
C: Easy Company. (grins) So, you took my recommendation then.
S: It’s very interesting. I think I’ll read Brotherton’s works next.
C: Ethan, have you been out with the gang for some free-running since the last time I got to tag along?
E: Of course. Are you gonna let us show you some more stuff, or what?
C: My knee says ‘no.’ How about Shawn? I thought he was-
S: I like living, thank you very much.
E: Such a worry wart.
C: What would be your idea of the perfect romantic date?
S: Probably a nice, private booth in an upper-scale restaurant. One of those places with low mood-lighting and candles on the table.
E: That’s easy. A horseback ride by moonlight, and a picnic to stargaze.
C: When are either of you taking me out?
E: (laughs) Sorry, taken.
C: Which House would you belong to in Game of Thrones?
S: “Winter is coming?”
E: It is indeed. And I want a direwolf.
S: Well, my dragons and I will see about that. House Targaryen, in case you couldn’t guess.
E: Which way did the coin flip?
S: Considering I haven’t gone mad yet, I guess the fates gave me the sane side of the coin. Though it’s a near thing between you and Davies.
C: I talked to Sebby just the other day, but haven’t heard from Davies in awhile. How’s he been?
S: A pain in the ass.
C: When isn’t he?
S: See? This is what I’ve been saying.
C: So, since Ethan’s taking his vacation days now, I guess you won’t be going anytime soon, but where would you like to vacation together?
E: I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii.
S: That’d be nice. I want to go to Ireland and Scotland at some point.
C: That’s where your family’s from, if I’m remembering correctly?
S: Mostly Scotch-Irish, yes. Some German on my mom’s side.
C: And Brant’s an English name, right?
E: I’ve got the entire UK in the gene pool. (laughs) Dad’s English with some Irish and Scottish somewhere back in the bloodline. Mom’s Welsh and Italian.
C: Last question, and be honest now. What’s your D&D alignment?
E: Neutral Good, leaning towards Chaotic.
S: What in the hell is D&D?
E: Dungeons and Dragons.
S: Do I look like I’ve played that?
E: He’s Lawful Good.
C: I assume asking about what type of character Shawn would play is pointless then.
E: I think a Paladin would suit him.
S: How do you even know about this game?
E: Sebby and I lived in the nerd dorm, and he was into it. Anyway, I thought about playing with them, and I was planning a Druid character.
C: Good choice. What was Seb’s character?
E: Ranger. An elf too, as I recall.
S: I give up on all of this.
Once again, thank you both for hanging out with me. Always great to see you guys.
Welcome back! I’ve been talking with Shawn Greyson and Ethan Brant from One Bullet. The guys and I hope you enjoy the second part of the interview.
Casey: Favorite movie of all time?
Ethan: My dad loves old western movies, so Magnificent Seven is a favorite. Or Tombstone.
Shawn: Maltese Falcon.
C: Ethan, have you thought of getting a tattoo?
E: Honestly, I don’t know. Zach’s a really good artist, so I know I’d be in good hands with him, but it’s so hard to decide.
S: You should get a shooting star.
C: Shawn, one of your closest friends is Davies-
S: That’s debatable.
C: When did you first meet?
S: After he was promoted. I was already a detective and never worked with him before.
C: So how long did it take before he started calling you Princess?
E: (laughs) I’m guessing within the first week.
C: Ethan, you met Sebastian in college.
E: Yup. Seattle U. Sebby and I were in the same dorm, so we crossed paths a lot and ended up hanging out for meals and stuff. We just clicked.
C: Did you end up rooming together?
E: Oh, yeah. After he left, I was stuck with this total jerk. But Sebby got an apartment in the city, so I pretty much stayed with him.
C: What’s a skill or talent you’d like to have?
E: I’d love to be able to play guitar like Matty, but I just could never get the hang of it.
S: Maybe riding a horse?
E: (laughs) You are pretty bad.
S: Hey, I tried.
C: So, Shawn, you love to read. Who are some of your favorite writers?
S: Arthur Conan Doyle, George Orwell, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, Tolkien-
E: Anyone from this century?
S: (pause) J.K. Rowling?
C: (clears throat)
E: Casey’s totally my favorite.
S: Wolfe’s alright.
C: So much love. Alright, how’s this one? Is there a song you associate with each other or your relationship?
S: “Witchcraft” comes to mind.
C: Frank Sinatra. Nice.
E: “I Do (Cherish You)” by Mark Wills.
C: What is a trait you most deplore in others?
E: Disloyalty or bigotry.
S: Those too.
C: If you were a superhero-
E: Shawn would be Captain America and I’d be Hawkeye.
S: I have nothing to say to that.
C: I was going to ask about powers, but that works too.
C: Alright, guys, one more question. And this one’s important now. What’s your Hogwart’s House?
S: You’re a Gryffindor.
E: I think you would be too.
S: Nope, Ravenclaw.
S: I took the quiz.
E: Of course you did.
S: Bastian would be a Hufflepuff.
E: Matty’s totally a ‘Puff.
S: Agreed. And my sister’s a Slytherin. No doubt.
E: (laughs) Does that make Davies a Slytherin too?
S: You have to ask?
E: What’s that say when I’m surrounded by ‘Puffs and you’ve got the Slytherins?
S: That I win.
E: Psh. Whatever.
Well, thank you for hanging out with me, guys. It’s been a lot of fun.
Be sure to check out the follow-up interview!