BlackHippieChick’s Interview with April Grey
BHC:Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an ex-theatre junkie living in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, with my husband, teen aged son, cat and dog. Writing is like methadone: it keeps me out of the theatre while still giving me my creative fix. I can write from home instead of wandering The Great White Way.
BHC:Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?
I fell into it after a lifetime of being a voracious reader of various genres. After twenty years working Off-off Broadway and in law firms as a paralegal, I felt the need to take things at a slower pace. One day I was in Jefferson Market Library and imagined my name on a book. That was it. I took writing classes and began my journey. Now I’m a published writer, teacher, and editor.
BHC:When did you decide to take that step that made you a published author?
I’ve had some false starts in my career. I sold my first short story to Pulphouse over 20 years ago. Unfortunately the publisher had to fold before my story saw print. I was in a Ph.D. program in theatre, got married and had a son before I took up writing again. A friend was into fanfic. What’s that I asked. Before I knew it I was getting my own fans as a fanfic writer. After a year or so I decided to go back to original writing. I completed six NaNoWriMo‘s, also wrote a bunch of short stories and began sending them out. It was the short stories that saw me in print and published in e-zines.
BHC:Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?
I teach art at a private school right now. I’m licensed to teach English as a Second Language in propriety schools in NYC. And I’m on the editorial staff at a e-pub house. That and taking care of my family keeps me busy. However, I’m never too busy to read and make art.
BHC:If you had to sum it up Chasing the Trickster in 30 or less words, what would you say?
A Celtic fertility god accidently arrives in New Mexico and pisses off the Trickster God of the Southwest. The Trickster’s plot to get rid of the interloper has strange results.
BHC:What inspired the idea behind your book?
I’m a fan of the writings of Jung and Charles DeLint. Jung wrote about the Trickster Archetype just as DeLint wrote about both Old World gods and New World gods here in America.
BHC:Do you have a favorite character in Chasing the Trickster? Who and why?
I’m more than a little in love with Pascal Guzman. He’s like a knight from the middle ages. He has loyalty and faith, and is willing to put his needs aside for the people he loves. He’s also flawed. He can be petty and stubborn.
BHC:Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Nina Weaver is going to get through their biggest challenge.
Nina’s going to grow as a person. She’s faced with some ugly truths in the book. Eventually she discovers she’s not broken, but rather empowered through tragedy. A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until put into hot water–that was said by Eleanor Roosevelt.
BHC:Will you share with us a short preview of Chasing the Trickster?
“Are you sure you love me?” I said.
Pascal gripped my hand tightly and kissed it. “I love you, Nina. I think, no, I know you’re the right woman for me, and when the time comes, yes, I’ll ask for your hand in marriage.”
I wanted to laugh, but knew better. “When did all this happen?”
“At Grey’s Papaya. Seventy-second Street and Broadway.”
“Amsterdam, actually, seventy-first is where Broadway and Amsterdam cross.” I was rambling, doing the soft shoe shuffle as my body fought between high alert and arousal.
“You were eating a hot dog and had mustard on your nose. I knew I loved you.” He said it all with a straight face.
“You left without saying goodbye the very next day.” Mustard. I guess I should be happy I’m a sloppy eater. What if it had been onions?
“I couldn’t stand you being in love with him.”
“Joe?” I frowned.
“Yes, I was jealous—you were so happy with him.”
“Oh, just oh?”
I didn’t know what else he wanted me to say, so I took the plunge. “I figured out yesterday that Krampus without you probably isn’t much. He’s like a talented sock puppet. You’d been cueing
him in on what to say and he’s been using his mojo or whatever to whammy me. Am I right?”
“I do love you, Nina.”
“I think I love you, too. I just have a hard time believing this will ever work out.”
“Why? Why are you so negative about us?”
He kissed me, this time on the mouth, and my toes curled. And, it wasn’t Joe doing that. I was able to sense the difference now, especially in the physical stuff. I pushed him away. “Because
as much as you claim to be hurt by your wife lying to you, using Joe was a lot like lying to me. I didn’t like it in the least. I understand your reasons, but still—” A bead of sweat rolled down and
stung my eye. It was hot and here we were locked in the van with the windows up.
BHC:What message do you hope readers take away from the book?
The Trickster archetype teaches us many lessons, most of them harsh. We need to be humble and not so certain of our own intellect. Pride goest before the fall.
BHC: As a multi-genre author, how do you juggle going back and forth between the different genres? Do you have a preferred genre? (multi-genre authors only)
My short stories range from off-beat romance, to science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and horror most, but not all, with elements of romance. I think romantic elements tie them together.
However, my novels have been urban fantasy. I feel most comfortable working in novels that are set in our time and have romantic and supernatural elements.
I’m currently playing with two novellas set in the early nineteenth century: a steampunk adventure and a gothic Regency. That is a stretch for me.
BHC: Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Chasing the Trickster is book one in the Cernunnos series. The next book in the series, St. Nick’s Favor, will be out late this year or early next. Two more are planned, Cernunnos Unleashed and Rose and the Woodwose. I don’t have plans for more than four books in that series at the moment. I do have ideas for some gothic short stories called Penny Dreadfuls that I’ve been toying with.
BHC:What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?
I enjoy being part of a community that enjoys reading speculative fiction. My membership in various writers groups such as the Horror Writer’s Asso. and Broad Universe have enriched me as an author. In general, writers are cool people to hang with.
BHC: What type of hero do you like best?
BHC:What type of heroine do you like best?
BHC:Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again?
I’m traditionally published with anthologies and e-zines but nothing with major publishers. I have chosen to self-publish because I can then control my promotions. I can give away whatever and whenever I chose when I self-publish. That’s not the case when working with a separate publisher. Also, some contracts really are not good for the writer. I’d rather self-publish and give my stuff away for free than be forced to permanently lose the rights to my work.
BHC:What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Start small. Write short stories and get them published. Easier to learn your craft. And it’s better than a trunk full of unpublished novels.
BHC:What are you reading now? Why did you choose that book?
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because it’s not fantasy; however, by a tenth of the way through I was in tears and hooked.
BHC: Does where you live or have places you’ve been influenced your work?
Yes. I have lived in NYC since I was 18 but as a child traveled throughout the US. I also visited Canada, Great Britain (lived as a teen in St. Andrews, Scot.), and France. These childhood memories often crop up and I sometimes place my stories there. As an adult I’ve also been to Germany and Holland.
BHC:What challenges did you face in getting your first book published?
After submitted to 49 agents and getting a few nibbles, I got cold feet. I’d just heard too many bad things about agents and publishers because everything is up in the air. Eventually I decided that I didn’t want to go with an agent and the traditional route. An e-book publisher was greener for the environment and less stressful to me personally. Now I choose to self-publish, again for the freedom from worry.
BHC:Have you ever literally deleted or thrown away a book you’ve written?
I lost two 50,000 word drafts because of a hard drive and back up failure. Those were the 3rd and 4th novels for the Cernunnos series. Heartbreaking, but if I do re-write I know they will be better written.
Where can your readers find you?
My website: www.aprilgreywrites.com
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomapril_grey
Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
Chasing the Trickster is in both ebook and print.
Best head to my Amazon page for my short fiction and the anthologies I’m in.