Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Grace Draven Author Interview

Photo Content from Grace Draven

Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids and a big, doofus dog. She has loved storytelling since forever and is a fan of the fictional bad boy. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2014 and 2016, and a USA Today Bestselling author.


Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living? 
In 2014, my husband and I sat down and did a cost analysis. We discovered that it would be more beneficial to my writing career if I quit my day job as an audit coordinator and diverted that time to writing and building a backlist. It was good timing, because with the release of RADIANCE, it became very obvious very quickly that I needed any and all time to put toward the business of writing.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes? 
 I read The World According to Garp when I was twelve. That was pretty heavy, adult material for a twelve-year old, but I think my mom believed as long as I was reading something, it was all good. That book was my gateway into the world of books, and after that they became the air I breathed, the counselor’s couch, the comfort zone, the entertainment committee, and the window into learning about so many fascinating things. So thank you, John Irving!

In your new book; PHOENIX UNBOUND, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it. 
 At its heart, it’s the story about two damaged, but resilient people determined not to break under the yoke of tyranny and make a good life not only for themselves but for others. Sorcery, dragon bones, battle, wild mare milking, otherworldly ghosts, and human sacrifice are the bling part of the world building and the story arc.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? 
That I can still like the characters I write even when I personally don’t agree with what they think or how they solve issues. When that happens, I know they’ve become a fully realized character.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story? 
I was inspired by the song “The Royal We” by The Silver Sun Pickups. I kept imagining a particular battle scene every time I heard it. The book was born from that.

What was the most magical thing that happened while creating Gilene? 
I never cry when writing my books, even the more tragic scenes. Because I’m mentally working ahead or going over tiny details, I’m somewhat emotionally removed from the story. Gilene, near the end of the story, made me tear up a little. That was pretty magical for me.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
I think I would introduce Azarion to my character Ballard from ENTREAT ME. Ballard was once a warlord with the same single-minded purpose as Azarion, so I think the two men would understand each other very well.

What part of Azarion did you enjoy writing the most? 
Him becoming more understanding of Gilene’s resistance and why she was the bitter woman he met in the beginning of the tale.

Any new and exciting books that you would like to share? 
I’m very much looking forward to the next Innkeeper book from Ilona Andrews, as well as Tree of Dreams by Mel Sterling, and Lionheart by Thea Harrison.

Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around. 
An old passport photo of my husband. I love that picture because he isn’t just smiling in it, he’s laughing, and that laughter shows in his eyes as well as his mouth.

Do you play a musical instrument? 
Not at all. Not my strength. When I took Musical Appreciation in college, I scraped by with a D.

First concert? 
That was a long time ago. If I remember correctly, it was Aerosmith’s Back in the Saddle tour.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? 
Tough one. I think I would trade places with the historical figure of Groa/Gruach. She was the wife of Macbeth MacFindley, King Macbeth of Scotland. Shakespeare’s play did this king a huge disservice. Historical accounts of him describe a man of impressive character and intelligence. I’ve been a fan of his since I read Dorothy Dunnett’s KING HEREAFTER. I think I’d enjoy the chance of meeting and learning about this king from the perspective of his wife, though the whole conjugal bed thing might be a bit awkward/tricky. ~smiles~

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be? 
I would go to the Romantic Times convention in 2016. My original plans were to do just that and meet up with my longtime friend and editor of my self published work. Unfortunately, I had to cancel as my husband was convalescing at home from an injury, and I didn’t want to put the burden of helping him and taking care of the kids on my in-laws for the week I would have been gone. My friend died unexpectedly in late 2016. That chance to see her face to face is gone now. Not going to that convention that year is still a huge regret of mine.

A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.


“Grace Draven’s exciting romantic fantasy features characters who are fresh and original. Their problems and triumphs will keep you reading into the night.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Fierce and captivating, Phoenix Unbound is the story of a gladiator and a fire witch fighting for their freedom against an empire that wants them enslaved. With impossible odds, breathtaking battles, terrifying magic, and an unlikely love, this book is a must read. Grace Draven is a master of romantic heroic fantasy.” —Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Fabulous. Quite possibly Grace Draven’s best book yet. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end!” —C.L. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of The Sea King

“With exquisitely drawn characters and superb worldbuilding, Phoenix Unbound once again proves Grace Draven’s mastery of fantasy romance. This is exactly the kind of sweepingly romantic adventure story that I’ve been yearning for—and I can’t wait for more.” —Meljean Brook, New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Seas Series

“A tale of heartbreak and triumph, Grace Draven’s Phoenix Unbound is truly exceptional. Be prepared to fall under the spell of these fierce, passionate characters and to root for them with all your heart.” —Amanda Bouchet, USA Today bestselling author of The Kingmaker Chronicles

“Grace Draven is one of the finest romantic fantasy writers out there….Tense, gripping, and entirely believable, it hooked me from the first page.” —Thea Harrison, New York Times bestselling author

“Grace Draven weaves a spellbinding book that is impossible to forget….I can’t give this book enough praise. I came into it with stupidly high expectations, and it exceeded them all.” —Laura Thalassa, author of The Four Horsemen series

“Stunning! This book entices and mesmerizes to an astonishing degree. Like an intoxicating elixir, the more I read, the more I craved.” —Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author

“When it comes to fantasy romance, Draven is in a class by herself….A phenomenal start to what is sure to be an amazing series.” —RT Book Reviews

You can purchase Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you GRACE DRAVEN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven. 


  1. The best restaurant is Hacienda Los Guayabos in Lexington Park. Food is comforting and you always run into someone you know!

  2. "What is your favorite restaurant in town and why?" My area is not a great metropolis and, alas, I don't consider it a world-class outlet for restaurants.

  3. My favorite restaurant is Mama Lu in Monteray Park. It is an authentic Chinese Restaurant. It has great dim-sum. It is a place which tourists don't know about and it is only known by the word of mouth.

  4. The local Chinese restaurant in the next town is my favourite place to eat. I live in a mainly rural area and their isn't a lot of choices.

  5. China New Star because they make special drinks for my husband and I and their food is delish and the service is divine! My happy place at least once a week! I'm a lucky girl. Thank you

  6. A pizza joint, next town over, interior, staff, and food is great

  7. My favorite restaurant is Hard Eight Barbecue. Great brisket and sauce.