Thursday, July 19, 2012

Interview♥Giveaway with Tracey Garvis Graves, Author of On the Island

Today I am honour enough to have Tracey Garvis Graves, the author of On the Island here on FireStarBooks for an interview. Enjoy!

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started out as a reader. As a child, my nose was always buried in a book and my friends teased me for using “big words” all the time. I always chose books above my reading level so some of those words naturally found their way into my vocabulary. If you ask my best friends they’ll tell you they always knew I’d write a book someday, but I’m not sure *I* knew it.
I attended the University of Iowa my freshman and sophomore years of college, and I had the opportunity to take a fiction writing class taught by a member of the Iowa writer’s workshop. I loved that class. I took another fiction writing class at the small liberal arts college I transferred to in Des Moines (where I ultimately obtained a business degree that I’ve never used). The instructor wrote a comment on one of my short stories that said: “If you keep writing, I really think you will be published someday.” I still have that short story with her handwritten note.
I didn’t start to think seriously about writing a novel until I’d been blogging for a couple years. It was on my bucket list and I decided it was time to just go for it. I’d never written anything longer than a blog post or short story, but I decided
there was no better way to learn how to write a novel than to sit down and write one. 18 months later, On the Island was complete.
  1. Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters/plot?
For On the Island, I started with my love of the desert island premise. I am a huge fan of the T.V. show Lost and I still remember, quite fondly, going to see The Blue Lagoon with my mom in 1980. I was thirteen and it was one of the first rated R movies I’d ever seen; I begged her to let me see it! I also liked the movie Castaway, but it bugged me (and I mean really bugged me) that it was only Tom Hanks and Wilson (the volleyball) on that island. I started wondering what it would be like to put two people on that island who really shouldn’t be together, but who would form a bond as strong as the one between a man and something you find on the shelf of a sporting goods store. I let the idea simmer for a good three months before I decided to start outlining. In time, the idea grew and developed, but it also underwent many changes as I was writing. A very major plot point for On the Island came to me when I was nearly done with the first draft. I wasn’t expecting it and no one was more surprised than me.

  1. What was the most difficult part of writing On the Island?
The research! I have never been to the Maldives, so I spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with the climate, topography, flora, fauna, etc. I watched YouTube videos of seaplanes crashing and endless footage of people starting fires using the bow and drill method. I studied dehydration and malnutrition, the tsunami, hodgkin’s lymphoma, and dengue fever. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever want to write such a research-heavy book again.

  1. What is up next for you writing wise?
I've shifted genre slightly and I'm working on a novel that will probably be categorized as women's fiction although there are also strong romantic elements. It's called Covet and it's the story of Chris and Claire Canton, a couple whose marriage has unraveled after Chris loses his job during the height of the recession. When he finds another job after a year of unemployment, Chris thinks their problems have been solved. Unfortunately, he has to travel extensively which leaves Claire more adrift than ever. Claire's chance meeting with Daniel Rush, a local police officer, sets in motion a series of events which will cause all three of the main characters to question their choices and deal with the aftermath of their decisions. It's an emotional read, and I think the issues this couple has to deal with will resonate with readers (or at least I hope so).
After Covet I will be returning to straight-up contemporary romance. That book is only in the outline stage, but I’m very excited to get started on it. 

Thank you for participating in the ON THE ISLAND Event! This week in addition to reviews and posts, select blogs are hosting a word from the author's favorite quotes in the book as a Scavenger Hunt! There is one quote from Anna and one from T.J. Visit each stop this week to find the hidden words (they will be numbered for order) and after July 22nd, submit your answer to the quotes here! Random winners for books and swag will be chosen and notified by July 29th.

Also, next week July 23-27, there will be even more events and chances to win the book and swag!

  • Monday, July 23 at 8:00 pm CST - Chat with the author Tracey Garvis Graves! We will be chatting with the author on Savor Chat: Come join us! (You can sign in with twitter or facebook)
  • Each day look at #ontheisland on twitter for random shout outs to win books and swag! @Tale_of_Reviews
  • ON THE ISLAND releases in bookstores Tuesday, July 17th! If you see the book in stores or 'in the wild' take a picture. Please tweet it and use hashtag #ontheisland. Or you can post it to facebook! Please submit twitter and facebook links of your post/tweet here!
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  1. I buy extra copies of this book to give as gifts to friends. So good...

  2. What a great interview. Thanks for sharing the opportunity to get to know the author better!

  3. Awesome interview! Thank you for sharing! This book has definitely been added to my summer reading list!

  4. Thank you SO much for this awesome giveaway! Looks great and good interview! :)

  5. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  6. Thanks so much for this giveaway. You rock.

  7. I am so excited to read this. I am on vacation next week and will be reading my e-book. I would love to have it in print!

  8. What a really great interview....

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  9. great interview! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! can't wait to read it : )

  10. I've heard a lot of great things about this book.


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