A big hello to my Guest Author today, fellow Astraea romance author, Jennifer Rae Gravely. Jennifer's novel, Set to Love, is out now.
About 'Set to Love':
The championship is her dearest desire, not love. Recently appointed girls’ volleyball coach at Keowee High School, Randi Sly spends the night with rival coach Blake Steele after getting sick from drinking too much wine. Rumors swirl as the two battle for the State crown.
I asked Jennifer to tell us a bit about herself:
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always loved words. As a child, I earned the nicknames motor-mouth and jabber jaws for my love of talking and telling stories. Later, as an avid reader, I wrote mainly to analyze. A triple major in history, politics, and English at Converse College, I viewed life in terms of paper topics! Still, I played with writing short stories and poetry. Then life took over—I became a wife, mother, teacher, and coach—and even though I continued to read, I rarely wrote anything creatively.
About twelve years ago, some teacher friends and I were talking about books and decided to try to write our own. One friend found her groove with the challenge, and has had numerous novels published (Woot! Woot! Elaine Cantrell, fellow AP author). I spent years on two connected novels about the fictional Southern town of Keowee but didn’t have a nibble. (I’ve recently contracted the first of the novels to Front Porch Romance and Drown is scheduled to be released in the spring. Yippee!!!)
However in 2012, at the encouragement of my talented friend, I tried once again to write a novel. This time I submitted the book based on the Persephone myth to her publisher Astraea Press, and to my surprise AP owner Stephanie Taylor liked it and offered a contract. I hugged my daughter, did a little dance, and then set about learning how to truly put together a book through the grueling editing process. Whew! *wipes brow
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
You’d probably be able to tell if you met me more than once, but I love to change my hair color, and I mean drastically. From blond to a deep red mahogany, and even to an orange creamcicle color—sigh—I found myself with one summer. Thus, my heroines tend to have the flavor of the season too. For instance, Persephone, from Knight of the Dead, has long, wavy deep red mahogany hair to match my color when I was writing the romantic suspense. I had light brown hair when I started writing about my volleyball coach Randi. For years when writing about Andie Drown I was a blonde. Guess what color I have today? Black. I know. Big change. Guess it’s time to start a new book. Ha, ha!
Here's pics of Jennifer with blonde hair and with her new black hair. I think you look great with both colours, Jennifer!
What’s your top writing tip for new writers?
Just write. Write and edit. Get someone that will point out your writing flaws as well as pump you up. My cheerleader has always been Elaine and you have to have a fan that believes in you. Writing is lonely. Seek out others and make connections. (Sorry. That’s more than one!)
Great tips, Jennifer. :)
A brief Author bio.
Born in Ohio but raised in Pickens, SC, I graduated from Converse College with a triple major in history, politics, and English before earning my master’s degree in education. Returning to my high school alma mater to teach English and to coach volleyball, my teams won five state championships and seven upper state titles in eleven years. I live with my husband, daughter, seven beagles, and one cat. Set to Love is the second romance published by Astraea Press featuring the fictional Southern town of Keowee.