Interview & Contest: Jeanette Grey

Jen: Today we welcome Jeanette Grey to Romancing the Book.  Jeanette, will you please share a short bio with us?

Jeanette: Sure! I’m a thirty-something former high school science teacher. I grew up in central New York, lived in Chicago for a brief time, and am now a Yankee trying to make it in the South, where I live with my husband and my pet frog. I write erotic contemporaries as well as futuristic romances.

Jen: Tell us about Unacceptable Risk and where it can be purchased.

Jeanette: Unacceptable Risk is a cyberpunk romance – in other words, one that’s set in a high-tech, not-so-distant, vaguely-dystopian future (think The Matrix or Blade Runner). It’s about a woman named Plix who is trying to save the world, and her friend Edison who is trying to save her. She keeps him at a distance to try to keep him safe, but after watching her put her life at risk, he’s unwilling to just stand by anymore.

It’s available from Samhain Press, as well as distributors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Jeanette: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’d shirk projects at school to write poems when I was in third grade, and all through high school I worked out my teenage angst with little short stories. I never pursued it seriously until a couple years ago, though, when I started trying to put the little snippets running through my head together to make real stories. The first thing I ever published was a sexy M/M Christmas story that came out last year.

Unacceptable Risk is my biggest publishing contract so far. I got the news in my email while I was in an airport on my way to Europe for a week-long vacation. I squealed so loudly I think TSA officials were ready to arrest me.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Jeanette: My mom used to write Star Trek novels when I was kid, but nothing ever came of them. My brother has been seriously pursuing writing for some time now, and I’m sure he’s going to make it big someday.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Jeanette: Coffee. Quiet. That’s about it.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Jeanette: I started writing seriously toward the end of my (admittedly short-lived) teaching career. I was in a dark place at that point, feeling very unhappy with where my life had ended up. I took a long hard look at my life and decided what I wanted was to be a writer. Ever since then, I’ve thrown myself into it with single-minded determination. I know what I’ll have to go back to if I don’t succeed, and so far, that’s been all the motivation I need.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Jeanette: I love writing romance, and I can see myself branching out into other areas of that, such as paranormal. I occasionally consider trying my hand at YA or upmarket fiction, but for now I’m happy where I am.

There’s no genre I would rule out, but characters and relationships are the most important things to me in building a story, so I would be hesitant to write in any genre that wasn’t character-driven.

Jen: How much influence does the editor have over the story or characters?

Jeanette: I had a fantastic relationship with my Samhain editor, Jennifer Miller. She made two major suggestions to tweak Edison’s character arc in Unacceptable Risk. I considered her reasoning and decided she was absolutely right, and we worked together to get the changes made.

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? If you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Jeanette: I’ve always wanted to write a Regency romance, but I’ve never felt confident enough in my research abilities to give it a try. So I would love to do some undercover research in Regency-era London. Preferably as a member of society, but as a servant to someone very fancy would work too. I’d bring a digital camera with extra batteries, a pack of ballpoint pens, and a stash of chocolate.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?

Jeanette: This may sound crazy, but Stephenie Meyer was a huge inspiration. I loved her story and her characters, but thought there were some weaknesses in her writing. I thought to myself, “Well, I could do that!” And then I realized that didn’t really mean anything unless I did.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?

Jeanette: I published a fairly heavy story earlier this year called, Letting Go. One of the main characters was the primary caretaker for a very sick relative. I got a number of comments about the story being a downer, which surprised me. I think there’s little more uplifting than love rising from the ashes of personal tragedy, and learning that we can take comfort and strength from the people around us.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Jeanette: I just finished an erotic contemporary romance that I’m hoping to polish off and begin querying early next year. I’m also writing another cyberpunk romance that will probably end up being set in the same universe as Unacceptable Risk.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Jeanette: Website: http://www.jeanettegrey.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jeanettelgrey
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeanettelgrey
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4507045.Jeanette_Grey

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Jeanette: How often do you read outside of your preferred genres? If an author you liked wrote something in a genre you don’t usually read, would you give it a shot?

Contest details:

  • The prize is an e-book copy of Unacceptable Risk.
  • The contest is open to anyone over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Wednesday, December 28.

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