Today we are joined by the very funny and talented Judith Graves. This Canadian author is celebrating the release of her YA novel.
1. Could you start by telling us about book 1, Under My Skin, from your Skinned series.
JG: Sure. Under My Skin (UMS) is all about the tough choices we have to make in life. Eryn, the main character, is forced to follow orders of an organization her father rejected. The same organization that disapproved of her father (a human hunter) marrying a wolven (a paranorm with the ability to shift from human to wolf form), a species the Council trained Eryn’s father to track and kill. Now they’re promising Eryn some answers about her missing (possibly dead) parents. All she has to do is lay low in the Redgrave. But following orders isn’t easy. Especially after Eryn gets involved with a group of teen hunters battling a paranorm invasion. Eryn is torn: Is knowing her parents’ fate worth standing idly by while paranorms destroy the town of Redgrave (and the humans in it)?
2. A strong heroine makes a great story. Please describe your heroine Eryn.
JG: Eryn is gutsy. She brazens things out and doesn’t like to admit she needs help. She’s also super conflicted on so many levels. Is she human? Is she wolven? Does she fall for the noble hunter, Alec Delacroix? Or does she get swept away by Wade Gervais (hey, that rhymes!) and all his darkness? And then there’s the whole she-might-kill-people thing. You can’t get much meatier than our Eryn. ;)
3. I leaned that you have an alter-ego who enjoys singing and writing songs. Does this talent influence your writing?
JG: Oh…you do your research. Nice. Yes, I’ve been know to folk-rock out with indie bands, host a few open mics, busk on street corners. Music/lyrics/poetry have always been my version of therapy. My father taught me and my brother to play guitar when we were little. I’m forever grateful. Without the music, the words wouldn’t have followed.
I have a hearty dislike of country music. I wrote a bluegrassy spoof, Told Ya So, to celebrate my hatred. Here’s a verse for your amusement (or mine):
Our love was a hick song from the start
’Cause you blew into town and blew up my heart
You made me yours by that big Elm tree
Braved Daddy’s gun and ya married me.
I’ve posted a few songs I recorded with various bands on my website if you’re feeling brave: http://www.judithgraves.com/
4. Is it true what they say about librarians?
JG: OMG! What do they say? Is it sexy? LOL…. Here’s what I know about librarians:
1. I’m technically not one. I’m a Library Technician (2 years of college vs. 4 years of university and a Masters in Library Science). But library techs ROCK!
2. We do wear hair buns. But they’re those messy buns and they’re sexy, and you wear them too! (I’ve also been known to hold my hair up with a pencil.)
3. We’re not quiet or meek or mild. I used to carpool to work with another library tech….on her motorcycle. I got my first tattoo (along with two other library tech friends) on a dare. And don’t you dare try to “shush” us—only we can do that. ;)
4. How many books are you anticipating in your Skinned series? Are you currently working on any other projects you would like to share with us?
JG: Skinned is made up of Under My Skin, Second Skin, and Skin of My Teeth. I have a fairly dramatic ending planned and feel the story will be complete. But never say never, right? I’m working on another paranormal series with my writing buddy and fellow Leap Books author, Kitty Keswick, which has an amazing cast of characters—all of them cross over between books. It’s a nightmare to plot, but we’re having fun. Kitty’s first novel, Freaksville, is a must read. It was released in January—an awesome werewolf tale. On a different note (that’s a musical pun, get it?) I also have an edgy contemporary to finish, Losing It. This is a story about a girl who is obsessed with losing her virginity—she’s on a mission and has a list of potential devirginizers to evaluate. Unfortunately she falls for a guy who’s not on the list and is just out of rehab. The kicker? He’s taken a sixth month vow of celibacy.
5. I read that you love all things paranormal. But, do you believe in all things paranormal?
JG: I do love the unexplained, the gothic, the paranormal. I far prefer to speculate on the existence of vampires, werewolves, witches, windigos, demons, etc.—creatures of our folklore, our imaginations, than to face the very real, horrific, HUMAN monsters who live among us.
6. Lastly, how do you like to unwind after a long night of writing? Any guilty pleasures?
JG: I love buying TV shows on DVD and watching two episodes at a time. That’s how I discovered Supernatural, True Blood, Buffy, Angel, etc. And don’t take me to a karaoke bar unless you plan to stay a while.
JG: Thanks for having me, Elie!
Judith, thank you for the interview and congratulations on your book!
For more information about the funny Judith Graves, visit her at her website or at LEAP books.
Under My Skin hits shelves March 27! Follow this link to order your copy. **The official launch party will take place on March 27 on The Wolfy Chicks Blog. See you there!
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