Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fabulous New Fiction: 2k10 Debut Author Judith Graves

I have a terrific debut author and novel to introduce to you today - Judith Graves, and her intriguing paranormal UNDER MY SKIN. I have a special fondness for Judith after watching her on a vlog post when she fed her yellow lab (I love labs) a carrot as a treat (we've always fed our dogs carrots!) Here's Judith on her writing:

Congratulations on the publication of your debut novel, UNDER MY SKIN. Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?

Thanks, Janet! Congrats to your own fine self. ;)

Eryn, the main character in UMS, is forced to follow orders of an organization her father rejected. The same organization that disapproved of him—a human hunter—marrying a wolven—a paranorm with the ability to shift from human to wolf form—a species the Council trained Eryn’s father to track and kill. Now they’re promising Eryn some answers about her missing (possibly dead) parents. All she has to do is lay low in Redgrave. But following orders isn’t easy. Especially after Eryn gets involved with a group of teen hunters battling a paranorm invasion. Eryn is torn: Is knowing her parents’ fate worth standing idly by while paranorms destroy the town of Redgrave (and the humans in it)?

I was inspired to write UMS to explore the idea of mythological creatures from different parts of the world having to duke it out over the last bit of unclaimed territory. I wanted characters who would be forced to choose sides. I wanted the lines between those sides to be very blurred and the characters to be conflicted. Hopefully UMS does a good job of laying this foundation for the SKINNED series.

How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?

UMS is my first novel to be published and it’s also the first novel I ever wrote. It’s changed so much since the initial draft. While I didn’t start off consciously writing for teens, most of my fiction features main characters of college age or younger.

Can you describe your path to the publication of UNDER MY SKIN?

I’ve always had two artsy-fartsy loves in my life. Music and writing. For a long time performing as a singer/songwriter was my main focus, but eventually the urge to write longer works of fiction demanded more and more of my time. Since I also had a full time day job, something had to give. I decided to take the plunge and give writing the focus and attention I had been giving music. Within a few months of doing so, I had sold UMS. For me, the road to publication came down to some heavy-duty decisions. What was I prepared to do to improve my writing and what was I willing to give up?

So we need to search for your music! Hopefully you didn't give it up completely. Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

I can’t stress how important critique groups are for a newbie writer. Whether an online group or a few loyal writer friends who aren’t afraid to tell you when something sucks the big one. Get other eyes on your work. Read other newbie writing. You soon see where you’re making similar mistakes. You’ll learn to write as you learn to constructively critique.

Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?

Right now my life revolves around work, writing, my husband and our two nutbar dogs (a chocolate and yellow lab). We’re on the lookout for a black lab pup. I have her name picked out: Raven. Soon we’ll have all the flavours! (Can you tell we don’t have kids? lol….)

Oh, but dogs. :) Do you have any new writing ventures underway?

I have a few projects in the works - the rest of the SKINNED series, another paranormal series I’m co-writing with fellow Class of 2k10 author, Kitty Keswick, and an edgy contemporary. All are young adult novels.

Do you have a website where readers can learn more about UNDER MY SKIN?

Yup, my website: or at Leap Books:

Thanks for coming!

Thanks for having me on your super cool blog, Janet!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

First novel written and first novel published? Very impressed! And slightly jealous. Congrats to you! And very cool to learn about your passion for music.


Denise Jaden said...

Great to hear more about the music (and the dogs!) I'm seeing UMS everywhere it seems! Congrats, Judith, and thanks for the interview, Janet!

Judith Graves said...

Thanks guys - yes, first one, but it did go through 7 major drafts (almost like writing a few books

And Janet - yeah, us doggie folk seem to bond. My pups would love to go hiking with yours someday. ;)

Janet Fox said...

Judith - you're on! We should have a new yellow lab in the next year...

Thanks for coming by, Kristina and Denise!