Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Bookish Confessions of Urban Fantasy Author Miriam Greystone

Debut author Miriam Greystone writes urban fantasy stories filled with magic, romance and the occasional centaur. She fuels her creativity with an insatiable appetite for reading and frequent episodes of Doctor Who. She lives just outside of Washington DC with her husband and children, and when she isn’t hunched over her laptop, she can often be found baking or going on long hikes with her family.

Her latest book is the urban fantasy, Truthsight.

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About the Book:

Doctor Amy spends her nights running a secret clinic for supernatural creatures. When she is forced to use her magic to save the lives of a centaur infant and its mother, she vows never to regret her decision, no matter the consequences. Not even when the Mages capture her, beat her, and condemn

Before the sentence can be carried out, Amy is abducted by a mysterious being named Rowan, who demands she use her healing abilities to save his father. But when Amy fails to save the ailing man, her actions unintentionally force Rowan into an exile that will soon turn into a death sentence.

Now Rowan and Amy must join forces with the creatures who were once her patients and fight to uncover the one secret that may be powerful enough to save them all.
her to die.

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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I write because I think in stories, and writing is the most powerful way I know to try to understand the world around me and the people in it. I am inspired to write often with life is difficult, and I really need to work hard to come to terms with it. Writing allows me to get inside the heads and hearts of people who I might otherwise struggle to empathize with, or to explore what would happen as a consequence of certain choices. It is a safe place to explore both what is best and brightest about the world, and also to bravely peer into life’s darkest corners.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

For a very long time my writing was strictly private, something I did as a way of processing things and escaping reality. I had no intention of becoming an author, in fact, for a long time, no one buy my husband knew that I was writing at all. I was very superstitious about not showing anyone my writing, almost feeling that if other people knew I was writing, then I would have to measure my writing up against the standards of the world. I feared that then my writing would stop being a safe, free place for me where I didn’t have to care what anyone else thought. I thought that if I showed my writing to others, I would lose the ability to simply write what was in my heart. But that changed slowly. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to share my characters with others. I was fortunate to find some supportive first readers, and gradually began to hope to share my writing through publication. Over time I found that sharing my writing with others motivated me to write more, rather than less.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Unfortunately, I am not a great multi-tasker, and I can’t really take notes while reading or watching a movie. But sometime I have gone back to a really good book after finishing it, and really studied favorite passages, to see how exactly the writer made the scene so good. If you pick up one of my favorite books off the shelf, you may find scribbled notes in the margins, or repeated underling of a favorite phrase.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I have several day jobs, actually, in addition to being the happy mother of several gorgeous, brilliant, and energy-filled children. My main day job is working as a sign language interpreter, a job which I find is uniquely beneficial to my writing career. As an interpreter I slip discreetly in and out of the most intimate moments of other people’s lives. I get to see sides of people’s personalities that most are never able to glimpse. I have interpreted in a variety of unusual and intense settings, and everything I have learned during those times has helped make me a better writer.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

1)Remember that the story you are trying to write is one that no one else will ever be able to tell. It is yours – something uniquely of your making. Even if you feel like it isn’t coming out right, or you are hearing lots of criticism, remember that no one else could take your place. You are that story’s creator, and you can be proud of that.

2) Writing a book is a ridiculously hard thing to do and you have to keep going. Both in revising and also in sending things out for publication, and in trying to get your published writing into the hands of actual readers. Persistence is the only possible way to get to where you want to go – even then there are no guarantees. 

3) Always read. When you are stuck and can’t figure out how your plot is going to come together, when your writing is flowing really well and feels easy and natural, when you are in between writing projects and just living your life – always, always read.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

There are lots of things that get in the way of my writing. Most of them are quite important, like my family and my need for rest and downtime. Then there are things like social media that can also take away from my writing time. I try to limit it as best I can, but I’ll admit that it can sometimes be a struggle.

What hours do you write best?

My most productive writing time is determined more by “where” than “when.” I write best when I am out of my house. This is because there are always people in my house. Short, adorable people, with round faces and doe-like eyes who want one more story, or a glass of water, or to give me one more hug before they go to sleep. And there are always dishes in the sink, and lunches to pack, and about a hundred jobs that urgently need doing. The best way for me to write is to physically remove myself from the house, to sit in a quiet place where no one needs me, and I can actually concentrate, at least for an hour or so. Anytime I am out of the house is my best time to write.

How often do you write?

As often as I can, and that varies widely depending on the week. Sometimes six days out of seven. Sometimes two or three days per week. I make it work, whatever it is.

Are you an avid reader?

I read all the time. I read my favorite books over and over again. One of the biggest threats to my writing time is my to be read pile!

What are you reading now?

I just finished re-reading Niel Gaiman’s book Anansi Boy’s. It’s so good – I cry every time, just because I am enjoying it so much. Today I went to the library. I checked out a collection of Neil Gaiman short storied, a Laurell Hamilton book, and a volume of a new urban fantasy series that I’ve hears some good things about.

What are you currently working on?

I have two projects underway right now. I am writing the sequel to Truthsight, and that book will (hopefully) be coming out from City Owl press before too long!! In addition to that, I am doing final revisions on another novel of mine. This novel, Echoes, is a re-imagining of the Siren myth in modern day Washington DC. I am excited that those revisions are almost done!

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