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Monday, October 31, 2011

Tortured Soul Give Away

Wanna win an autograph copy of my second book?  Follow my blog and leave your email address as a comment and I'll let you know if your name was pulled.  Names will be pulled November 18, 2011.  Good Luck.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview With TR Graves

INTERVIEW WITH TR GRAVES author of Warriors of the Cross; Guardians of the Cross, and Enemies of the Cross and native of North Louisiana spent a few moments in an online interview with the Underground Book club.

Mrs. Graves is a fellow Good Reads Author and a member of the Underground Book Club.  First I would like to thank her on behalf of the club for taking the time out of her busy schedule to spend with us and be apart of the book club.

*UG (Underground)
*TG (TR Graves)

UG:      When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

TR:       I never had a life shattering realization where I just knew writing was what I wanted to do; instead, my passion for it gradually evolved from 'I wonder if I could write a book' to 'I can't live without writing' over the course of the last four years.

UG:      How long does it take you to write a book?

TR:       Keeping in mind that I have a full-time job and a family of three, I would say it takes me about six months to a year from beginning to end.  This includes writing, editing, formatting, cover selection, book trailer, and publishing the paperback/eBook.

UG:      What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

TR:       I devote my weekends to family and writing.  My weekdays are primarily spent working, commuting, helping my son with his homework, answering book related emails/messages, and marketing.

UG:      Where do you get your information or ideas for writing?

TR:       I'm a nurse by profession.  After spending years of taking care of patients and seeing family members stand by and watch their loved ones die, I decided to create a world I could control...a world where the characters could prevent death.

UG:      What do you do when you are not writing?
TR:       I have two passions besides writing, my work and my family.  My family couldn't be more supportive of me and my writing.  For that, I will forever be grateful.  My work is important to me because there I'm given the opportunity to be an advocate for appropriate healthcare while remaining committed to and compassionate about our indigent population, people whose voices are not always heard.

UG:      Where do you draw your inspiration from?
TR:       Anything and everything.  Each step I've taken (personal and professional) has led me to where I am today.  When writing, each word is drawn from experiences I've enjoyed, suffered, endured, watched, heard...I leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating believable characters and an exciting story.

UG:      When you develop characters where do you draw their make up from?

TR:       I constantly watch people's actions and reactions to situations, so I can embed those exact mannerisms into my characters.  Realism is the only way to make the book come to life.  Many authors tell you to read as much as you can in order to write a great book; instead, my philosophy is to watch as many people in as many conditions as you can in order to write accurate storylines.

UG:      How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

TR:       I've only published one, Warriors of the Cross.  I've written Guardians of the Cross and am now editing it in preparation for its December release.  I've planned out and have begun writing Enemies of the Cross which should be released at the end of the summer next year.  As for my favorite, I am completely torn between Warriors of the Cross and Guardians of the Cross.  With Warriors, I fell in love with the characters and their story.  But, the editing for Guardians breaks my heart every single time I read it.

UG:      How do you feel with negative remarks regarding your book?

TR:       At first, it really bothered me.  Then I researched some of my most admired authors and found even those phenomenal people have endured their share of scathing criticism and horrible ratings.  IN lots of cases, the people rating my book negatively rated my favorite books the same or similar

Honestly I'm a grown woman who works in a HIGHLY stressful environment.  Constructive criticism does not bother me.  In fact, I welcome any piece of advice that will make me or my writing better.  It's the only way to evolve.  What I'm not tolerant of are mean-spirited reviews meant to tear down, demean, demoralize, or belittle others (not just me but anyone who is courageous enough to share their writing with the world).  I'm always disappointed when I realize there are people who think that type of bashing is appropriate or even worst, funny.

UG:      What did you mean when you said you planned out Enemies of the Cross, I guess what I'm asking is do you set up an outline or develop characters and situations one at a time and then add them to the book (such as the way movies are made)

TR:       I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer. Like life, I let the story evolve naturally. I’m not sure I could be creative enough if I knew at the beginning where the story was going to end. Later, I go back and make sure each chapter meets my own personal and critical criteria. If not, I bend and mold the storyline to achieve my expectations. With each phase of editing, I add a new layer of action, emotion, and personality. This helps me to create stories, which may look simple on the surface, but in reality, they are very rich and complex.

UG:      In getting your ideas and information for your book do you find your personality in any of the characters or maybe even friends and family members you know.

I’m confident anyone who knows me will say Allison Faith La Crosse embodies my morals and my ethics. By this I mean, I’m compassionate and tolerant, and I love my friends and family without conditions.

As for her physical characteristics and those of the other characters, I find it easier to write if I envision someone else. I could never see myself objectively enough to create a realistic character. In the end, each character ends up being a good mix of dozens of people’s mannerisms and features.

UG:      Such as the two sisters in Warriors or the mother?

TR:       The only one-to-one matches are The Sisters. My husband’s mother and her sisters have always intrigued me, so I wrote them in the story. They are (were) the most kind people I’ve ever met. They are (were) extraordinarily gifted, one a singer, one a writer, and one an artist. I should also mention that my mother-in-law died seven years ago. Writing her into the series allowed me to 1) remember her the way she was, and 2) feel like she was still with me (even if only in my fantasy world).

Brody and Clark how did you develop their personality?

Brody and Clark evolved over time. With the first draft, they were barely even noticeable. As the story developed and become more sophisticated, they began to take shape and become strong characters who were worthy of Allison and her miraculous powers.

UG:      How important is it to you to grab reader’s attention with your cover?

The cover is the first thing people see. In most cases, it is an author’s one shot at winning people over. Knowing they will only open their hearts and minds to the inside story if they have been intrigued by the outside, I make sure to invest a huge portion of my budget there.

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed and have been given the opportunity to work with the best-of-the-best when it comes to book covers. Claudia with Phatpuppy Art is so easy to work with. I tell her what I’m looking for, and within hours we have the book cover done. I love collaborating with people who have work ethics comparable to mine. Claudia surpasses my expectations every single time. It’s important to mention that she does covers for Amanda Hocking, JL Bryan, and many other great authors. In fact, she was recently hired by a major publisher. Anyone interested can contact her @

T. R. Graves

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finished Tortured Soul

Finally!  It's finished.  I enjoyed writing the sequel to Walkers.  It was a ride and I must say I am extremely proud of the hardwork that went into book II.

Here's what to look for:
Aaliyah will become stronger both mentally and physically.  Daron will mature and create an army of loyal soldiers that will fight for the survival of his family. 

A surprise is in store for Lasette Aaliyah that will change her life and alter her existence.  Now you're all probably wondering who fathered the twins...find out in Tortured Soul.  Find out what type of power they have and who they'll save in the middle of a feud that's been brewing for over 200 years.

Aaliyah will make her decision 'Who she loves and who she'll spend the rest of eternity with'  But will that decision be accepted?

Stay tuned and look for your answers in Tortured Soul, available October 28, 2011.