Monday, March 12, 2012

Interview: Judith Graves

As part of the Second Skin blog tour, help me welcome back the witty Judith Graves.

Ellz: When we last left Eryn, she was fighting creatures big and small, but not fuzzy and cute. Does she catch a break in Second Skin?

It’s unlikely Eryn will catch a break anytime soon, but that’s okay. As long as she’s catching the bads, big or small, she’s at least getting something out of her lot in life. AKA - half-human, half-shapeshifter, stumbling through the minefield of her past half-blind and fully confused by the guys in her life.

In Under My Skin, Eryn goes against her training and lets a core group of people into her life – as much as she’s able to at the time. In Second Skin the crew face a demon who knows all their deepest fears and that newfound trust and openness is well and truly tested.

ELLZ:   Eryn has a bit of a love dilemma.  What are some pros and cons of each of her prospective love interests?

That she does. Eryn has two hot guys vying for her heart. Alec, a human hunter who tracks down rogue paranormals and banishes them from our world – will he turn against Eryn when he discovers all that she is capable of? And Wade, the only vampire to also have inherited magic from his witch mother – he’s impulsive, powerful, more than a little lost and his wildness calls to Eryn’s inner beast.

Eryn’s own two warring natures, that of human “beauty” and paranorm “beast” are reflected in her volatile feelings for Alec and Wade.

But the real questions the SKINNED series asks, beyond which guy should she choose – if it comes down to that – is what kind of being will SHE choose to be? 

ELLZ : I know you are a crafty and talented, lady. I have seen the evidence on your ultra-organized storyboards. What is the most challenging part of the writing process for you? 

Um…the writing. :P That’s why I’ve developed an extensive planning process for each project BEFORE I type a single word. Okay, I might spew out a few pages as an idea strikes, but I know enough about my process now to STOP COLD. To not be so enamored with a concept/character/scene that I go ahead full steam without the bones of the story firmly in place.

Under My Skin was the first book I ever wrote. And yet I wrote that sucker over, and over again – telling the same story, but each time discovering how to tell it BETTER.

To save myself countless deleted pages and nixed scenes I now plot. To death. In this storyboarding stage I’m able to brainstorm a million ideas, follow plotlines and twists, and then cull it down to the most dramatic moments. All without rewriting pages, chapters, scenes. It’s as easy as tossing out an index card, shuffling it to a new place, or swiping a few words off my whiteboard.

Sure, I’m still surprised by choices my characters make when I sit down to actually write, but they usually enhance the structure I’ve developed at that point, not punch so many holes in the plot it becomes Swiss cheese.

ELLZ:   It seems the Skinned series is growing in length. Readers can look forward to a fourth and potentially fifth book. Have you decided on an ending or are the characters changing the story as your write?

I was contracted with Leap Books for a trilogy, however, when I started writing scripts intended for television I began thinking of SKINNED in terms of episodes. I realized I didn’t have to narrow the Redgrave world down to three books and focus primarily on the love triangle (which is pretty much how I had the trilogy outlined). I had created quirky, cool and mysterious minor characters with stories and complications of their own just begging to be brought to the forefront.

I decided a world where so many paranorm creatures converged was the mother load of “creature of the week” type plotlines and too much fun to abandon just yet. I’ve extended the original story arc over four and possibly more titles if they get approval by my publisher.

ELLZ:  Are you working on any other projects you can share with us?

I have several screenwriting projects in the works, a few pilots that will hopefully get pitched, and a few spec scripts. I co-write most of these with my amazing writing partner Dawn Ius:  (also writes YA under the name Dawn Dalton) – she’s an author you want to watch. Big things coming. Huge.

You can get a sense of her writing in an anthology we both contributed to: SPIRITED. Dawn’s story, Thread of the Past, and my tale, Strangeways Versus The Wraith, are just one of 13 haunting tales. Other contributing authors are bestselling Maria V. Snyder, Canadace Havens, Kitty Keswick, Jill Williamson, Halli Dee Lilburn and more! Proceeds from SPIRITED go to 826 National, a literacy-based charity.

ELLZ:  Create your own ice cream flavor based on Second Skin, what's in it?

Oh, there’s a fun question. I can’t create just one. How about, Fresh Meat, Blood Noir, Singe You With Silver, Dagger to Your Heart, Triple Scoop Love Triangle, Bitter Betrayal, and possibly my fave…Death Mint.

Sounds gritty and full of flavor! Thanks for the wonderful interview Judith and congratulations on your second book!

For more information including purchase links, visit Judith at her official website. New to the series, read my review of Under My Skin. Don't forget to add Second Skin to your goodreads list!

But wait... want more Judith, here is her first interview at Ellz Readz!


Judith Graves said...

Heya Elie, thanks so much for hosting me on the tour! I'll be monitoring all the posts along the way and any comments before the end of March will be entered in the draw for the tour grand prize. Swag, baby, it's all about the swag. :)

Hope to hang with you again for the launch of Skin of My Teeth!


Elie said...

Judith, it was my pleasure. You are fun to interview, your humor and vibrant personality reflect in your interviews as well as your writing. I would love to have you back for book three!

donnas said...

Great interview. I really like the sound of her series and am looking forward to giving it a try.

Van Pham said...

Awesome interview, I haven't heard of this series till now. I'm looking forward to checking this series out!

♡♥♬ Louis ♬♥♡ said...

thanks for the great interview, I am completely new to this series but now I am really excited to read "Second Skin" and the Sinned series

Lioness said...

Hi! Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
I have never heard of a vampire-witch before. It will be an interesting experience

cigam9 at gmail dot com

SaraC said...

Triple Scoop Love Triangle sounds delish!

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