Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Gracie.
I’m glad to be here, Juan and thank you for giving me a forum to reach out to my readers!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m born and raised in New York City, where I live and still work. I write and am published in the romance and erotic romance genre and several romance sub-genres.
When I’m not working and writing, I’m reading, catching up on numerous television and cable shows and movies (I just finished a binge of Luke Cage and am a Marvel fan through-and-through, but I’m still looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman this summer).
What inspires your writing?
Just about anything inspires my writing. An inspired line of dialogue, a person, a place, a name, a picture, a great movie or book that I enjoyed, my own life…Or, a call for submissions that just speaks to me.
When did you start writing m/m romance? And why this genre?
I had dipped my toe into the m/m romance market in about 2008 with a short story entitled Breaking and Entering which featured a wolf-shifter. The response to it, specifically the m/m aspect, was so positive it inspired me to write my first m/m series, Zara’s Bois. Why the m/m romance genre? For the same reason I write romance: m/m romance is a genre I love to read. Also, I had published a few stories that included gay characters in supporting roles and was eager to do a story where the gay characters were at center stage—I thought they deserved as much.
Are you a full time author?
No. I have a full-time 9-5 and squeeze in writing whenever I can.
Who is your favorite author?
That’s a tough question to answer and I don’t think I can nail it down to just one. If I had to, I would say Octavia E. Butler, overall. For m/m authors I’d say it’s a tie between Katrina Strauss and Laura Baumbach. For BDSM fiction, hands-down, Joey W. Hill; no one spins a D/s tale, or creates more in-depth characters better.
How many books have you written so far?
I have upwards of 30 published novellas and full-length novels out. In the m/m genre I have 1 single title—Three Men and a Bounty—and one series—Zara’s Bois. My latest, Lucy’s Liberation, is an M/M/F ménage.
Tell us more about your latest book, Lucy’s Liberation.
Lucy’s Liberation is the second book in my Elk Creek series (spinoff of The Double R trilogy) and, not including my m/m/m ménage Three Men and a Bounty, it is my first ménage a trois featuring an m/m/f arrangement.
Here’s a quick blurb:
“When her much-older abusive husband, Rance, dies, Lucy Peyton believes her nightmare is over and looks forward to a new life of independence. Her hopes for a marriage of love instead of convenience, however, are dashed when she discovers the provisions of her late husband’s will and realizes that Rance is still trying to crush her, even from the grave.
Rance’s nephew, urbane adventurer and thrill seeker, Ki Benjamin, may have just found a reason to settle down in Podunk Elk Creek when Lucy’s petition reaches him in New York.
Prentice Teague has a lot to make up for from his former life, and he gets a chance at redemption when he’s reincarnated as Ethan Crawford. A young cowboy who fell into some dubious company before his untimely death, Ethan now is the target of a corrupt mentor determined to finish the job he started when he shot Ethan in the back.”
How long did it take you to complete Lucy’s Liberation? Did you write it freely or plan everything in advance?
From start to finish, I completed Lucy’s Liberation in a little under 3 months. As with most of my books I did a little outlining/planning and freely wrote Lucy’s Liberation. I usually outline a book a chapter or two in advance and just continue to outline that way as I go until the end of the book.
What inspired you to write Lucy’s Liberation?
I had originally planned Lucy’s Liberation to be the third book in the Elk Creek series but I was so eager to see Prentice Teague (the villain from Maia’s Magickal Mates) with his own book and to redeem him, that I changed the order of the books and started writing Lucy’s book after Lily’s Secrets. The idea of tackling new ground in a ménage (with the m/m/f arrangement) was my other inspiration.
Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
Another tough question, but probably Prentice Teague is my favorite character because he had so many layers and had so much changing and healing to accomplish on his road to redemption.
How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?
I think my mistrustful and skeptical sides are large and essential parts of Prentice’s character. Also, Prentice’s bark is worse than his bite, like mine. He’s tough on the outside but really a cream puff on the inside—again, like me.
When someone reads Lucy’s Liberation, what do you hope they gain from it?
I hope when someone reads Lucy’s Liberation he or she learns that nothing and no one is beyond healing and redemption.
Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?
- Discipline, determination, and a willingness to accept criticism are essential
- Talent can only get one so far
- Taking a book from idea to publication is a demanding process
- Patience is a virtue.
What question do you get asked most frequently from your fans?
Where do I come up with my ideas?
What are you working on now?
I actually have a few works in various stages of progress: the third book in the Elk Creek series entitled Sabrina’s Surrender; the first book in a, mostly, BDSM series (Play On) called On The Edge; and a FemDom trilogy entitled Muses, that I was inspired to write after seeing a call for submissions to an upcoming FemDom anthology (I’ve so far finished two of the stories and am a quarter way through the third, Deadly Interlude (Muses 3): Griffin and Sela)
How do you keep your creative “spark” alive?
In addition to reading a lot, I just generally try to enjoy life—spending time with my family and engaging in pleasurable activities like sports (handball, kickboxing and others) and hitting the movies almost every weekend, especially in the summer.
What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?
Aside from the four things listed above that I’ve learned about the business, I would suggest up-and-coming writers never give up.
Where can we find you on the Internet?
Readers and fans can find me just about everywhere on the Internet:
Facebook (Fan) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gracie-C-McKeever/14630435969
Library Thing http://www.librarything.com/profile/gmac10
Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Lucy’s Liberation with us?
Gladly J See below, an excerpt from my latest release (Release Date: July 1, 2013):
Excerpt from Lucy’s Liberation
Ethan strolled over to the bag on top of the mantle, unbuttoning and carelessly pulling his work shirt over his head as he walked.
Ki watched as the burgundy cotton garment landed over the back of the chaise lounge that he had earlier moved to the far side of the room. He licked his lips at the sight of Ethan’s naked torso, well-muscled and tanned just as Ki had imagined it would be. There was certainly something to be said for all the heavy lifting he must have done in his parents’ store.
Ethan sifted through the selection of blades before withdrawing one he seemed to like.
He turned back to Ki, smiling as he tested the blunt tip with the palm of his hand, bending the blade before expertly swinging it through the air in a zigzag pattern. “There are advantages to the épée, foil or saber. I take it you prefer the épée?”
“The épée suits my purposes.”
“Very well.” Ethan nodded. “En garde!”
His idle chitchat then instant offensive stance almost totally took Ki off guard. Had he not been so enamored by the sight of Ethan’s naked flesh, he would have been better prepared for the stripling’s attack. It took everything in his repertoire of skills to parry and counterattack with a series of lunges and thrusts to force Ethan back on his heels.
Ethan silhouetted and easily repelled the assault, executing a perfect in quartata before stepping back. “I like your moves.”
“You’re not too bad yourself.”
Ethan smiled then whipped past Ki’s parry and flicked his blade against Ki’s shoulder.
Ki winced as the blade made contact and instantly resumed an offensive position. “I’m pleased you found employment at Winchester’s.”
Ethan frowned, still on guard. “Really? Why’s that?” Appel, advance, lunge.
Parry, thrust, passata soto. “You can keep an eye on Lucy while she’s working.”
“Oh, I’ll keep an eye on her, but I hate to break it to you, Cochise. Lucy is her own woman. She’s going to do what she wants.”
Unfortunately, Ethan wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know. He loved Lucy’s independent spirit, but worried that the men at Winchester’s might get the wrong idea about her simply by virtue of her choosing to work there. Just thinking about some other man ogling, or worse, touching Lucy made Ki’s temperature rise, unless, of course, that other man happened to be Ethan. The idea of Ethan touching Lucy still made his temperature rise, but in a totally different and pleasant way.
Ki easily warded off Ethan’s next assault, mounted his own. He seized the younger man’s blade in one smooth line, never breaking contact as he lead it through a full circle to its starting point before he pushed back and soundly struck Ethan on the ass with the side of his blade.
Ethan gritted his teeth and took a deep breath as Ki held in a laugh.
“Before your arrival, I had gotten the impression that Lucy wanted to quit her position at Winchester’s,” Ki said, nonchalantly silhouetting and resuming first position again.
“Is that a fact?” Lunge, thrust, feint.
Riposte, parry, lunge. “But I suppose now that you’re working there it gives her an opportunity to be close to you without raising any untoward suspicions, you and her being childhood friends of course. Not to mention the living arrangements you share with your benefactor and her husband.”
“Just what are you implying, Hezekiah?”
Ah, so it was back to Hezekiah. He’d really gotten Ethan’s dander up then. Ki smiled and launched an aggressive sequence that drove Ethan back across the floor toward the mantle.
Despite the stripling’s obvious agitation, Ethan managed to deflect Ki’s strike with a rapid succession of defensive strokes and steps of his own.
Ki admired his agility and fluid grace. He didn’t think he had ever crossed swords against anyone with whom he was so evenly matched. Ethan was requisitely fast and intuitive but there was something more. It was almost as if he knew Ki’s moves before Ki made them, like he was reading Ki’s mind.
It was time to tip the scales back in his favor, Ki decided.
“You know what I enjoy about this sport most, Ethan?” Thrust, flunge, parry.
Feint, lunge, thrust. “I can’t imagine.”
“The clash of the blades, the elegance and speed of two comparable combatants matching moves, synchronized to each other’s rhythm…” Riposte, parry, lunge.
“Mmm, ‘the art of the foil.’ It’s like a dance, fine art.” Raddoppio, parry, lunge.
Parry, feint, flick. “And you’ve probably heard I’m a bit of an art aficionado.”
“I might have heard something to that effect.” Remise, reprise, retreat.
“But more than art or even a sport, I think the reciprocal movements and skill necessary to stimulate a satisfying climax and surrender are a little more akin to…foreplay.”
Ethan’s swipe went wide of his mark as he stumbled and quickly righted himself before throwing a glare Ki’s way.
Ki chuckled. “Don’t you think?”
“I suppose the moves could be considered…similar.” Lunge, thrust, feint.
Parry, counter, thrust. “So, why does Lucy call you Prentice?”
Ethan faltered beneath Ki’s beat and press but this time wasn’t able to correct himself or counterattack.
Ki went in for the kill, driving the blunt point of his épée into Ethan’s heaving chest then placing the rounded blade against Ethan’s throat. He leaned close—corps-à-corps—bending Ethan over backward. Their faces were only a hairbreadth apart, close enough that Ki’s exhalations rustled Ethan’s dark-chocolate, shoulder-length hair.
“Do you want to tell me now what’s going on between you and Lucy or do I need to seduce it out of you?”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
Thank you for taking time out to hang with us!
Thanks for having me, Juan! I really enjoyed being here and answering your questions!