Posted on May 13, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing Grace Harper, a British author who loves to write about strong women and handsome men. She writes steamy romance novels that will warm your heart.
The writer of the Brodie Series, Geary Series and the Red & Black Series, Harper immerses you in stories of love or, rather, love's pursuit to bring together two people who were meant for each other. It's not always quick or easy, but it will happen eventually.
When Harper is not writing, she can be found mooching about in stationery stores. She might have a Maltesers addiction but is not ready to stand up and own that just yet.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
GRACE: I wrote my first 1 million words on a laptop while I sat in an old armchair, with my feet on tiptoes to balance the laptop.
I now have an office in a spare room that has bookshelves, a desk, all the stationery I don’t need (love journals), but I am at my most productive in that armchair with my legs turning to fire with the heat from the laptop fan.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most like to trade places with?
GRACE: I used to work in a country manor hotel when I was a lot younger. It was up for sale at the time, and it was in the middle of nowhere.
We used to have a lot of famous people stay with us, mainly musicians to keep away from the public eye when they were on tour. The drive itself was more than a mile long, total seclusion.
I had dreams of buying the manor house and turning into a luxury recording studio for artists to write their next album. They could stay and write songs, record the tracks and stay away from the public. I had it all planned out.
That dream never came true, so I wrote the story instead about how I saw it play out. I’d like to trade places with the main character, Erin Devlin, just to see what is like in that mansion, making music history.
SADYE: What has been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
GRACE: I didn’t turn to write until eight years ago. I was turning forty and wanted to make my fortieth year count for something.
One short story turned into a trilogy, and it was when I finished the final chapter that I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.
The challenges are also the most rewarding. Getting storylines in the middle of a serious discussion on what to have for dinner. I’m thankful for the notes app on my phone to jot down a sentence or two.
I’m surprised that the stories haven’t dried up. I have story arcs for another twenty books, all mapped out for release through to 2024. I can’t wait to write each and every one of them.
I have never been so optimistic about sixteen-hour days until I started to write romance stories.
SADYE: What period of history would you most like to travel back to and why?
GRACE: This answer has never changed since my school years when I learned about Elizabeth I. I would go back to that era in a heartbeat. A formidable woman in a male-orientated world.
I would go back and live that life, be her lady in waiting, and ask where she finds her courage to keep going.
We all have our ways of keeping putting one foot in front of the other, but for her, she had trap doors at every turn and still became an iconic queen.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
GRACE: My stories are about issues that stop us from getting what we really want.
Whether they are male or female, rich or poor, we have these perceived ideas that we can’t do something because a parent, teacher, or peer told us we couldn’t.
Sometimes they are so convincing, we believe them. I write stories that are about love, for another, for a career, for a world just out of reach.
Every man I write about is decent even if he needs others to guide him to be decent. Each woman I write about is strong even if she doesn’t know it yet and loves unconditionally even if she doesn’t know how to show it.
They have humor and a little bit of me in every story.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
GRACE: I am 70 percent deaf. As science moves on I now know what kind of deafness I have, how long and why.
But for more than forty years I didn’t understand why I saw mannerisms, habits, patterns in others that I only saw.
I could tell a liar in 50 paces, or someone with hurt feelings a mile away. It’s because I stopped listening a long time ago and started watching instead.
I have all these skills I never knew I had. I thought I was making up stories about people, but more often than not they were accurate of the person’s life or situations.
I am super observant, and that skill makes for an awesome writer. I had to hone it to the rules you have for writing, stick each type in the correct genre, and I am never with writer’s block.
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Categories: Author Interview