Sunday, January 1, 2012

Interview with T.R. Graves

  Warriors of the Cross - Now Available Guardians of the Cross - Coming 12/2011 Enemies of the Cross - Coming 9/2012
Warriors of the Cross (Now): Allison La Crosse, beginning a challenging family medicine residency, leaves the protection of her family. With the transfer, her worst nightmares come true. Her closely guarded mystical talents – those which seldom appeared before the move – unleash themselves from her confinement and reveal their presence with very little provocation. Allison’s most terrifying power is her compulsion to cure the dying with her touch. Given her career, this gift would be valuable if she were not drawn like a magnet to the ailing person's every symptom. Some of which are fatal.

Guardians of the Cross (Christmas 2011): Allison La Crosse's world is in a tailspin. After learning she has the power to cure the dying with her touch (a lethal curse when wielded), she is viciously attacked. More unsettling than the violence is the identity of her assailant. Devin turns out to be the first person she ever saved and her mother's killer. When her soul met Devin's an unimaginable bond was formed. Now, Allison must save Devin from his twin brother's control or kill them both. If she fails, she'll lose Clark and Brody forever.

Guardians of the Cross (Mid 2012): Enemies of the Cross will be the most exciting book of The Warrior Series. Continuing the life-threatening adventure, Allison reunites with Devin, the first person she saved – from the womb – and her mother’s murderer. After he reveals secrets never meant for her to know, she becomes more torn and confused about her destiny. In the end, her only options are to scrutinize her undying commitment toward the people she loves, learn how to control her deadly powers, and fight the Satan’s Sect members with everything she has.

1. What (and how many books) have you released? What are they about? See above. The Warrior Series follows a doctor who discovers she has the power to heal the dying. Unfortunately, she can't control her newfound abilities and almost does when she takes on their symptoms.

2. Which, if any, character do you feel has the most of your characteristics (or acts like you do)? As a healthcare worker, Allison La Crosse - a woman who wants to help the expense of herself - would be the closest to who I am. Though, her physical characteristics are those of my very, very lovely daughter who dreams of being a physician herself.

3. How did you get the idea for your work? What lured you to your topics? Ideas come from everything I've every experienced or witnessed. As a nurse, I've watched people die, and I've grieved with those family members. As a mother, I know unconditional love. As a friend, loyalty is key to trust. In order to achieve realism within my paranormal universe, I make sure each of these aspects is tightly woven within the series.

4. Which scene was the most intense, or most visual, for you to write, personally? In Warriors of the Cross, there is an almost rape scene. Knowing this is one of the most violent acts that can be taken against another human being, this scene was very, very difficult for me to write. At the same time, I felt it was important because only the worst of the worst would assault someone in such a manner. Also, I work within The Texas Medical Center. Our hospital employs a team of forensic nurses because so many people are raped every single day. My goal was to bring attention to a horrific act that happens far too often.In Guardians of the Cross, Brody and Allison's relationship escalates when he petitions to become her Consort Guardian. Through a magic connection, they begin physically craving each other. Writing some of their more intimate scenes was hard. While I'm comfortable Brody's and Allison's reaction toward each other is as 'real' as it comes, I get nervous to the point of hives when I think about others reading and critiquing these scenes.

5. If you could cast any actor/actresses to play your main characters, who would you select? Allison La Crosse would be Blake Lively or Dakota Fanning. Brody Kennedy would be Zac Efron or Drew Roy.

6. If you could meet anyone or see anything from your novel, characters or otherwise, what and/or who would you choose? If I could recreate anything from The Warrior Series, I would give myself the ability to heal the dying with the touch of my hand.

7. How did you go about selecting your cover? I am fortunate enough to have the privilege of working with Claudia McKinney from Phatpuppy Creations. She's created many, many book covers and works with me to decide which of her pieces best suit the story-line.

8. What, if any, is/are your next upcoming project(s)? When can we expect them? Enemies of the Cross will be released mid to late 2012.

9. Why did you become (or decide to become) an author (or start writing)? Writing helped me and my daughter's relationship because it opened the lines of communication...allowed us to begin talking about real-life issues in a safe and non-personal context.
10. What do you love the most about being an author? I love creating a world completely in my control. There are just too many things we can't prevent (accidents, illnesses, death,...). The world within The Warrior Series is mine to develop.
11. What or who inspires you to write? While my friends and family are my biggest inspirations, I never would have had the passion to cure the dying if not for my patients and their distraught/grieving family members. There are very few things more gut-wrenching than watching a parent lose his/her child.

12. What is the top cause you champion? I've spent most of my nursing career working in non-profit hospitals. It's beyond complicated, but most hospitals have no incentive to create a world where affordable healthcare exists. If someone has a serious illness and no insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or money, they are left with very, very few options. Unless they are dying at that very moment, hospitals can turn them away without treatment...even if their illness (i.e. cancer) will eventually kill them. As a compassionate human being, this reality is mind-boggling. I'm lucky enough to work in a non-profit hospital whose mission is to take care of those who fall between the cracks of the current healthcare system.

13. What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in becoming an author? Treat writing like it's a job even if you have a full-time job, an exhaustive commute, and a family who needs you. I'm clocking a solid 90-100 hours per week between working, commuting, and writing. I believe anyone interested in becoming an author should understand how much time it takes to achieve any amount of success.
14. What is the one thing your readers should know about you? I'm a person who thrives on constructive criticism. Too often, people are afraid to mention something they dislike about the book. When I read someone's comments and see an opportunity for the book to be better, I take their suggestion and run with it. The series is more important to me than my ego. If someone's right, I thank them for their feedback.

15. What is the one thing you want your perspective readers to know about you? My characters, their emotions, the setting (Galveston) is so real I've had people contact me and say they felt like I was writing about their family. I've had others visit Galveston and make the 'Warriors Tour' in order to visit the places frequented by Allison and her friends.
16. If you could do anything (for a career), besides being a writer, what would do? I am now and always will be a nurse first and author second (no matter how many books I sell). Nursing is one of those careers you can never really leave.

17. Aside from writing and reading, what are your hobbies? I have very little 'free' time, but jewelry-making is a hobby I LOVE. Also, I spent several years before I became a nurse working in flower shops. As such, I enjoy making arrangements, wreaths, and decorative gifts.

18. What is…?
…your favorite author? Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus. Her writing style is very familiar to me.
…your favorite book or series? Besides The Warrior Series, I love everything Sookie Stackhouse.
…your biggest literary inspiration? My style of writing is unconventional. My series refuses to be categorized into one genre. My storyline is unique. Because of this, I would say there is not one person/thing which could be considered my literary inspiration. Instead, it's everything I've ever read, watched, and heard.

19. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what artists? Yes! Yes! Yes! I love Kings of Leon, Eminem, Pearl Jam, Diana Birch, Sarah Reeves, and....
20. Is there anything, specifically, that helps you write (or is unique about your writing process)? While I never have it, I prefer to write in a quiet and calm room (with a little Kings of Leon in the background).

21…. Thank you for participating! :)
Thank you so much for having me!!

Where to find T. R. Graves:

Where to find Warriors of the Cross:

Where to find Guardians of the Cross:


T. R. Graves said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Miranda! Your questions were great and really made me stop and think. There are always many reasons authors begin writing. This interview made me analyze those reasons in a way I'd not done before.

Clarification: Enemies of the Cross will be released mid 2012.

Thanks, again!
T. R. Graves, Author

Miranda said...

Thanks for participating! I'm so glad you had fun! It was wonderful to feature you! :)

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