Six months ago, Tessa and her friends saved humanity by preventing the spread of a deadly virus. Now, they’ve returned to their normal lives in their cabin nestled amid the Appalachian Mountains, slowly recovering from the havoc wreaked by her ex-boyfriend.
When Rusty, a goblin born into slavery, begs Tessa to return to the Otherworld to aid him in freeing his family, she agrees. There they find the most unlikely of residents—Matthew. With no love lost between them, he’s quick to inform her there is a twenty-year-old bounty on her head and the person who concocted the deadly virus wants to collect. Tessa is caught in a race to learn magic, help Rusty, get to her elven family and, oh yeah, save the world—again.
Tell me about yourself. What’s a day in your life like?
I own a solo psychology practice. So I get to the office and see clients all day. If there’s a break in the day, I’ll try to write a scene or two. On weekends is when I buckle down and write. I aim for 10,000 words (40 pages) until the first draft is completed.
When you were a child, what was your dream occupation?
I sang into my hairbrush so often I got pretty good at it. I never pursued singing as a career but I have taken voice lessons because I love it.
Describe an incident in your life that’s helped mold you into the person you are today.
I was in the 9th grade and my best friend and I were fighting. We hadn’t talked for three days when she passed me a note in gym class. She and her boyfriend had a fight and, while she was still mad at me, she wanted my advice. That’s the moment psychology became my career choice.
Who are your favorite authors?
My nook is filled with Kim Harrison, Molly Harper, Jennifer Estep, Yasmine Galenorn, and Celia Rivenbark.
What are you passionate about?
People. I love to sit at the beach, in the mall, or anywhere and watch people. We are fascinating.
What would I find in your couch cushions?
Um. I checked. Crumbs (I’m a snacker) and hair ties that my cat, Diva, apparently hid from me.
What’s your biggest fear?
Dying before I’m done.
It’s 10:00 on a Friday night. Where are you?
Falling asleep on the couch. I’m a happy homebody.
What sets you apart from other writers?
I take my psychological training and push into everything I write. For my characters sanity is optional and death is a constant possibility.
We’re in a bar and I’m buying you a drink. What’ll it be?
Coffee. I’m addicted.
What are you currently reading?
Kim Harrison’s Into The Woods.
How do you deal with rejection?
I keep sending the story or book out until it finds a place. I started in poetry and I could wallpaper a bathroom with the rejection letters.
Where did the idea for your novel come from?
Bloodlines is the second in a fantasy series. It follows Contagion which started with the deaths of millions of humans in the viral outbreak of 2012. I wanted to write the story of an elf who didn’t know she was an elf but felt out of place in humanity.
Do you have advice for aspiring writers?
Write what you are passionate about. You’ll reread your books four to five times before they’re released so it’s a good thing if you enjoy them.
What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author?
I started out very new when I first expanded from poetry to fiction. Someone rewrote an entire poem of mine and critiqued it like it was fiction. I learned a lot but had to rewrite the entire prose.
What does your main character think about you? Would he or she want to hang around you as their author?
Yes, because Tessa would want therapy. Her life is upside down, her boyfriend was involved in the plague, and she now shares her childhood home with a goblin, a dragon, and a family of fairies.
Who would play the starring role(s) if your book became a movie?
If you had to choose one…which song would sum up your story?
Pink’s “So What” is close. Tessa would pick Pink since she’s learning to kick ass would want to be like Pink.
If you’d like, provide an excerpt and/or back cover blurb:
The forest was beautiful. The plants were between six and seven feet tall with all different colors of flowers. The scent was not overwhelming, but she could tell when it changed as she passed each plant.
Her mind wandered as they walked. The knowledge that her elven family was here somewhere sat in the back of her mind and refused to budge.
Do I look like them? Do I have brothers and sisters? Do they know I’m alive?
The questions repeated over and over as she walked. Every once in a while, she would slow down as she let her mind wander, and Jasper would gently nudge her from behind. Tessa quickly learned that a gentle nudge from a dragon could knock her over if she wasn’t careful.
“Thanks, Jasper,” she said as she brushed dirt off her knees.
“I’m so sorry, Tessa. I saw them moving away and wanted to catch up.” His scales flushed pink and he pulled his wings to his belly.
“It’s okay.” She patted his head. “It’s my mind wandering that has my feet slow.”
“Do you want to ride?” He lowered his head so she could climb into the saddle.
“I’d rather walk but if you could walk beside me, I’ll hold a wing and you can pull me if I slow down.” She grasped the elbow part of his folded wing and was amazed at the soft leathery feel. They moved fast to catch up to the group, which was now headed by an impatient goblin with his arms folded.
Did Matthew walk this same path when he was sent here after high school? What did it feel like for him to suddenly be in a different world? A part of her wanted to sit down with him and ask these questions, because if he was evil, it meant she didn’t see it and that would hurt more. She wanted to hear that it was his trip here, an additional rejection to add to the bullying from Earth that drove him to be so angry he could commit genocide.
I loved him once, but did I know him?
Would you like to say anything to your readers / fans?
Thank you are two very small words to express how much I appreciate you reading my work. I do this because these characters inhabit my imagination and I love to find out what they are up to.
Where link-wise can your readers / fans stalk you?
http://www.graylinfox.com I recently redesigned the website. I don’t blog as much as I used to, but that’s because I’m writing more.
On twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GraylinFox
As a writer, it can be difficult to find enough time in the day to get everything done. Would you like to share your favorite ‘quick and easy’ recipe?
Oooh. My healthy smoothie shake:
One cup chocolate milk (soy or almond is best)
One frozen banana
One heaping tablespoon of Peanut Butter
Optional: Scoop of protein powder.
Blend and enjoy. The peanut butter takes over the flavor and the banana thickens it up.
I’m currently writing the third story in this series. Then both Rusty, the goblin, and Jasper, the dragon, are asking for their own small novellas.
How to Stalk the Author:
I can be found at http://www.graylinfox.com
On twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GraylinFox
Thanks for stopping by today, Graylin! I wish you much success with your book! :)