Gracie C. McKeever
Gracie C. McKeever is a writer/poet from the Bronx, and has been writing since the ripe old age of seven. But not until 1994 when she earned her first byline (her short story FORGIVEN published in a brand new genre fiction magazine out of Colorado) did she begin to take her talent seriously and believe she could take her writing to the next level: completing a novel. To date she has finished several novels, two poetry collections, and is proud to have joined the ranks of the e-published--a growing list of authors who have caught the "new wave of the future".
Since her first byline, Gracie's work has gone on to see exposure in various lit and art magazines and other venues. Of particular note: poetry, short stories and novel excerpts have been heard over the airwaves on KFJC's morning show, Dancing In The Fast Lane With Ann Arbor (Unbedtime Stories) out of Los Altos Hills, CA, in the Silicon Valley; articles, poetry and novel excerpts have been published in Street News ("World's Oldest Active Homeless Paper"); and she has read her poetry on Pseudo On-line Network (Street News Review).
Born and raised in New York City and living two subway-stops away from the celebrated "Bronx Bombers" (Go Yankees!), Gracie is a incontrovertible "aunt material" and shares her apartment with her cat Misty (the nieces and nephews are in the will, but the cat is not .)
Gracie can so far modestly lay claim to these awards and Honorable Mentions, though she remains ever optimistic of bigger and better things for her writing career:
- Honorable Mention, Quincy Writer's Guild Contests, 1993 and 1994 for fiction and poetry.
- Byline: 1994 Summer Poem Contest, 1997 Sense of Place Poem, and 1997 Inspirational Poem (2nd Place).
- Runner-Up 1994 Red Shoe Diaries Contest.
- Semi-Finalist 1996 Writers Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition (Miles To Go, a young adult novel).
- National Writers Association (NWA) 10th Place 1997 Novel Contest (Dancing In the Dark M/C Adult)
- Quarter-Finalist 1997 Writers Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition (Never Let You Go, M/C Adult).
Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/profile/graciecmckeever
Q: What made you start writing and when did you start?
A: I've been writing since I was seven. Telling stories was just always something I loved to do. That and acting them out for my family.
Q: What are your two favorite books of all time, and why?
A: Off the top of my head, I would have to say "The Stand", by Stephen King. I love most of Mr. King's early work (haven't read anything past "The Dark Half"), but in "The Stand" I especially enjoyed his attention to detail, his ability to draw a picture, his multi-dimensional characters, and his ability to draw forth the reader's emotions. Then there's Octavia Butler's Parable books ("Parable of the Sower", and "Parable of the Talents" -- okay, I'm cheating a little, that's technically three books, but I can't mention one Parable book without mentioning the other). Like King's "The Stand", they were epic tales of everyday people rising to the occasion and heroic proportions. Both "The Stand" and the Parable books are tales about admirable people who strive and survive.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: I love Octavia Butler's work, and have read most of her books. I've just recently gotten onto the Dark-Hunter series bandwagon, and would have to include Sherrilyn Kenyon as a favorite. Tina Wainscott's books and characters are inspirational to me. And Shannon McKenna and Lori Foster are auto-buys.
Q: What type of books do you write? Is there a reason you write (for instance) historical romance rather than science fiction?
A: All of my titles are romances. More than half of these (three out of the five published, three recently completed manuscripts and my current wip) are paranormal romance. I've always been intrigued by the supernatural (an I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and Star Trek fan from way back). I enjoy learning about the unknown (reincarnation, esp) and trying to make it known. I enjoy exploring the possibilities of life after death, which is probably why several of my books deal with reincarnation in one form or another. And the optimism of a romance's happily ever after is an appealing payoff.
Q: Do you ever use real people as the inspiration for characters in your books? If so, why do you choose those particular people?
A: I use composites of real people - pulling needed characteristics from several people for one character. I use people who have characteristics (i.e., loyalty, intelligence, courage) I admire (or in the case of a villain), characteristics I hate.
Q: If you include love scenes in your books, are they difficult for you to write? How do you decide whether to include a love scene at that point in the book, and if so, how explicit to make it?
A: Love scenes are some of my favorite scenes to write. Coming up with creative ways to say put slot A in slot B stretches my creative muscles (not to mention dog-earing my Thesaurus). The characters usually let me know when they're ready to "get busy", and it's not always where I've decided they should, but we manage to work it out so that everyone is happy. So far the first scene of consummation usually works out to be somewhere midway in the book. I tend to keep the bedroom door open on all my love scenes (writing scenes I like to read), and my characters seem to like it this way too.
Q: Out of all the characters you've created, which is your favorite, and why?
A: Hmm, that's a toughy, but I'd have to say Kelly Butler from my first novel NEW LIFE INCOGNITA. I admire his ability to adapt and deal with adversity and reversal. He goes through some extensive changes by book's end, yet still maintains his earthiness and doesn't lose the basic belief systems that have seen him through the difficult points in his life to make it to the hero and his happily ever after.
Q: What traits do you like or dislike in a hero or heroine?
A: I like honesty, strength, optimism, the ability to deal with adversity. I dislike arrogance, vanity, selfishness. Thankfully, my characters' likable traits far outweigh their dislikable ones .
Q: What comes first-the plot, the characters, or the setting?
A: Most times, I come up with a name first (I collect "unusual" sounding names in a stenobook for future reference, and when the right premise comes along that fits the name, I use it).
Q: What's your current writing project? How did you come up with the idea?
A: My current WIP is a paranormal romance featuring a male centaur-turned-human-male, and a psychic woman who owns a ranch. I don't remember exactly how I came up with the idea. I remember wanting to write a paranormal with a little twist, something featuring a mythical being with a little more world-building than I'd been doing, and initially kicked around the idea of a merman first before settling on the centaur. I might still do the merman story somewhere down the line (if I can ever finish this one...I'm halfway through now).