Monday, October 6, 2014

Featured Author: Kyra Gregory

Kyra Gregory's newest novel, Grieving Liberty, has just been released, and she's returned to A Blue Million Books to tell us about it. Kyra was one of my first guests on this blog, and I'm happy to have her back to talk about her new work of historical fiction. To read our previous interview, go here. For an excerpt from her book, Secrets Clad in Light, go here.

About the book:

Sebastian and Serena have lived privileged lives, their every desire tended to, with their status as the children of the country's ruler. However, the walls that contain them are not solely those of the palace, but of expectations and politics that come with their positions.

The country's solidifying alliance with Rome upon the return of a childhood acquaintance brings about changes that they never wished to see, causing devastation and despair to touch their lives and loved ones far too closely for them to sit back and do nothing any longer. They become determined to take action, even if it means that their country may not survive. Even if it means that their history would fade into nothingness, at least they would have lived freely.

Interview with Kyra Gregory

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?
I started really getting involved in writing around the time that things in life got tougher. At that time, I was being told about situations of friends that, as a confidante, I couldn’t tell anyone else and, as though in order to deal with them, I wrote about similar feelings and events in stories. That all began almost thirteen years ago now.

What’s the story behind the title of your book?
I tend to choose titles in very different ways; some come to me very easily and some less so. For Grieving Liberty, I chose a number of words that I felt represented the story that I had in my mind and made a puzzle out of it, pairing words and phrases together until one came together that I felt really fit the vision I had in my head.

How do you get to know your characters?

To me, the easiest and most effective way to get to know characters is to just write. I'll write a character with a family member, with a friend, with an enemy, and as their characteristics begin to form within those scenes, their paths within a novel begin to form.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
Serena was great to write because there were many sides to her. She was tender and kind to her brother most of the time, except when he needed her to be otherwise, but then she was witty and cold towards Leonardo, and ruthless in her methods of asserting power over those that didn't know their place.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
There's a turning point in an early chapter of Grieving Liberty that is fast-paced, exhilarating and tragic all in a single breath. That's the first scene to come to mind. 

What song would you pick to go with your book?

"Somebody To Die For" by Hurts.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?

I have a relative that tends to snatch a book from me, open a random page and start reading. To be honest, I could kill her at a moment like that.

Do you have a routine for writing?
Yes and no. It tends to depend on the circumstance. I tend to sit down and start outlining certain details in Scrivener or taking down some general notes. When I'm ready to start writing, I'll pull all my research and inspiration together and just get to it. In other cases, I can be out with people and suddenly be inspired, in which case I'll just pull my phone out of my pocket and write what has just come to me.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Ideally, on a gloomy, stormy day or night, curled up in an armchair or in bed. No music or anything, just the sound of the rain, and with a warm drink beside me. Realistically, though, I can do it anywhere and under most circumstances.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Perhaps it's a cliché but, in those moments, I'm most likely thinking about writing.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?
A library. I like the silence.

Where’s home for you?

Home is where the heart is. It's the place where you feel you can truly be yourself. I'm not too sure if I've found that place yet.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I like having complete control of my work and projects. I want to decide when something is released, what it looks like, in what formats etc. I don't like being told to change things simply to fit some sort of box.

Are you happy with your decision to self-publish?
I'm thrilled with it. Yes, it might be a harder road than traditional publication, or at least that is what some have told me. But for what I want out of publishing, self-publishing meets my needs and desires better than traditional publishing.

What are you working on now?

So many projects that I hope I can keep my head together. It's going to be a hectic few months but, frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

About Kyra:

At the time of writing this I’m a teacher and writer, working my way towards finding a place of my own in this vast world. I’m based on the little island of Malta, balancing all the different aspects of my life through a hectic schedule in order to fulfil my dreams.

I started out writing short stories, just for myself, and then began writing lyrics for a band that I was part of for a few years. As I became a bit more confident, I wrote fanfiction on the popular website but always kept my original works entirely to myself.

At the start of 2012, about 10 years since I first began writing, I felt I was ready to take on new challenges as an author.

Kyra's other books:
Despair & Decision | Lady in Red | Ordinary | Secrets Clad in Light | Butterfly (Forgotten Children, #1) | Chameleon (Forgotten Children, #2) 

Connect with Kyra:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Buy the book:

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | kobo