Welcome Isla Grey!

AsylumHarbor

Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island.  As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster.  But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.

Sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it? Well, just wait till you hear from the amazing author who wrote this story. She’s stopped by today and I’ve forced her to answer some questions. Then she’s going to share a bit from Asylum Harbor, her latest release from The Wild Rose Press. It’s Book One of her Salty Dog series. So let’s hear a bit from Isla Grey:

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  • When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t think of a time where I wasn’t writing.  When I was younger, it was just little bits of rhyming words that I’d write in cards for my grandmother.  Later on, I remember winning a school writing competition and after the principal told me I should keep writing, I think my fate was sealed, it encouraged me to keep going.

  • What inspires your writing?

A little bit of everything.  It could be a unique place I pass while walking or driving on the road or a conversation I hear—some of the stories I can tell just from things I hear people say!

  • Who is your favorite character that you’ve written? Why?

I think Kerr from “Asylum Harbor” has been my favorite.  He’s good but not too good—he has that bad boy streak.  He’s also the type of person who doesn’t let others too close to him, so he’s hard to know.  You have to dig the layers away to find the true character underneath.

  • What would be your dream writing getaway?

I would love to spend a week at the beach during the summer where I can spend the days writing on a deck overlooking the water and I can walk the beach at night for ideas.  Usually when I go on vacation, I get very little writing done.

  • Who are some of your favorite authors or what are some of your favorite books?

There’s so many!  I’m a big fan of J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books.  Right now I’m loving the “Miss Peregrine” books by Ransom Riggs.  I also have a soft spot for Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe for my macabre side.  I also love some of the classics including “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, which is probably my “go to” book and “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier.

  • Tell us a bit about this latest book.

Asylum Harbor tells the story of Devon Brown who packs up and leaves her home to become the new bartender of the Salty Dog on Shell Island.  She’s not looking for trouble or romance, but she finds it in abundance when she finds herself falling for the brash and brooding harbor master, Kerr.

If you’d like to find out more about Isla and her work, you can catch her at:

http://www.islagrey.com/

http://www.islagrey.com/islas-inklings

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIslaGrey

You can find Asylum Harbor at:

The Wild Rose Press and Amazon

Here’s that peek at Asylum Harbor I promised:

“You already got dibs on this one Kerr?”

Porter shot an evil glare at the opposite end of the bar and looked back toward her.  “I’ll see you tonight.”  He flicked his tongue.  “After work.”  He raised his glass in a mock toast and chugged it in one gulp.

The lights dimmed for Victoria’s dance of the night.  Devon watched Kerr, who was usually headed for the exit by now, and breathed a sigh of relief when he remained glued to his seat with his back to the stage.  He wasn’t staying for Victoria’s peep show.  There must have been something about this Porter character that got under his skin in a bad way.

Devon was eager for the quick break.  She hustled to the back as the chords to “Simply Irresistible” began to pelt over the speakers and ran some cold water over her forearm.  A red welt was beginning to show where Porter had held onto it.  She hoped he would be gone by the time she got back.

Making it out before mid-song, Devon rounded the bar when someone snagged her wrist and thrust her hard against the bar, knocking the wind out of her.  She could smell Porter’s alcohol-laced breath as his weight pinned her under him.  One of his grubby hands shot under her shirt while the other wrestled with the button on her pants.  “Let’s give them a real show.”

She struggled to reach the Equalizer, but it remained hidden, out of her grasp.  Devon hoisted her knee toward his crotch, but Porter lost his balance and fell backward before she could make contact.

Kerr towered over him.  “Get your hands off her.”

Asylum Harbor book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDfqmyddcQ4

Looking Past What You See

It’s hard being judged. No matter whether it’s for your gender, your age, your body or any other surface aspect, knowing someone is looking at the outside of you and making determinations about what’s on the inside is discouraging, to say the least.

People are like icebergs. We only see the tip and unless we take the time, we never know about the hidden depths below the surface. It’s easy, and lazy, to look at someone and determine their intelligence, their creativity, their life skills and their worth by an outer inspection, or even a casual glance. Such neglect robs the viewer of the surprise of true character.

This is even more apparent for a writer. Characters need layers as much as they require physical descriptions. There should be hidden depths that add spark to the story and make the reader long for more. I would caution those who wish to hone their writing skills with an admonition: if you are depending on the surface to tell you about the inner person, then likely you are writing stereotypes and not real characters. Be careful you don’t judge away the best part of your story.

A Little Motivation, Please

I decided to spend a weekend somewhere besides hunched over my computer, trying to write something that would sell so I went to my first ever Con, Bubonicon, held here in Albuquerque. And here’s what I got to do there:

GRRM2cropYep, that’s right. I got to listen to George RR Martin read me a chapter of his upcoming Winds of War. George had some advice for those of us struggling to write the stories we really want to: “Sometimes your muses f*^% with you.” Good to know.

Besides George, Bubonicon offered lots of other great writers giving out advice. The best was another of my favorites, Daniel Abraham (who also is half of the writing combo of James S.A. Corey).

danielabrahamcrop

His series, which began with Leviathan Wakes, is being made into a TV show (I read his fantasy series The Dagger and The Coin, which is awesome) and that was what most of the questions centered around. He said something that is a great reminder of what a crap shoot writing can be. He told the audience “This is random. All of this is random chance. I know lots of great writers who work hard and don’t have that success. It’s just random.”

It’s hard to keep plugging along some days. Other times it’s hard not to. Maybe that’s the meaning of being a writer.