Favorite Quote: Opening lines to The Great Gatsby: "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
I was born in London before my mother decided to relocate to France when I was five. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, moving from one dilapidated farm house to the next, and was fortunate enough to always have pets around. My first pony was a black Shetland (that I still own - he's now thirty years old and completely blind), and I rode him almost every day. I still remember setting off at seven in the morning (aged ten) one summer's day, with a pack lunch in my backpack, to go for a ride with a neighbor I barely knew, and coming home to panicked family members at six o'clock in the evening. they were apparently unaware that I had planned on being gone the whole day - which I told them was ridiculous, seeing as I had plenty of food with me. I was one of those kids who never enjoyed school (and often went dressed in my riding clothes, having ridden early in the morning before classes) and would spend the time either reading beneath my desk or outlining stories. Horses have always been part of my life, and last year I moved back to the UK to pursue riding more seriously.
When did you decide to become a writer?I've always written since I was little, it was never a conscious choice.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I never expected anyone to actually read anything I wrote, so the fact that people do, and even like the books, is all that I could ask for.
What genre are your books?
I write stories revolving around horses (which Amazon labels as Teen Equestrian Fiction)
What draws you to this genre?
Horse books are what I grew up reading (and writing). I'm a rider before I am a writer, so combining the two is the best of both worlds.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I've always written since I was little, it was never a conscious choice.
Why do you write?
If I figure it out, I'll let you know!
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I split my time writing and working with horses.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I have to work my writing time around horses, which means I rarely get to sit for more than an hour or two at a time. Generally, I get up at five, and then write for an hour before going out to feed the horses, and then slot in twenty minutes here and there throughout the day. If I've set myself a deadline, then I'll let the horses have an easy lungeing day to give myself more time.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?I always say that I have to know everything that has happened up to the point at which I begin writing in order to understand the characters' motives and the way they respond to situations, and while I usually do know where I'm going, the plot and ending can change. I've written with a chapter-by-chapter outline, and I've made everything up right down to the last sentence, and both work. Generally, I have a few pages of scribbled notes and I go from there.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Letting other people see it!
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Vladimir Nabokov said you have to chase your main character up a tree and then throw rocks at them, and that’s really what I felt like I was doing in Between The Flags, and it was horrible! I remember having to stop writing at one point just because I felt so overwhelmed by the situation Georgia was going through. So having to see her in distress was definitely the most challenging thing about the process.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
The freedom of being in charge of creating something. I'm not good at taking orders from anyone, and writing allows you to be fully in control.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I wish I had an answer to this? (And would love to hear anyone else's suggestions.) I don't know who could play Georgia...I did have someone tell me that they pictured Rufus Sewell as Landon in my book Confetti Horses, which never would have crossed my mind, so what do I know?
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
If I can, I go to bed at eight so that I can spend the next two hours reading. My favourite authors include K.M. Peyton, J.K. Rowling, John Irving, L.M. Montgomery, Daphne du Maurier, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What is your favorite book and why?
I read Wuthering Heights when I was twelve, and I always say that it made me a reader. I also absolutely love The Great Gatsby, Gone with the Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, and anything by K.M. Peyton - her book Blind Beauty is one of my favourite horse stories.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard books?
Paper! But I do understand the appeal of ebooks.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely! I can list so many books that I put off reading due to disliking the cover, only to finally cave and fall in love with the stories.
Who designed your book covers?I did (you can probably tell!) While searching online websites for photos for the cover of my first book, I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I decided to use one of my own. Since then, I’ve taken all the cover photographs.
What is your favorite film and why?
You’ve got mail. That book shop - need I say more?
How do you relax?
I don't! If I can end the day reading, I'm happy.
I don't! If I can end the day reading, I'm happy.
I was probably seven or eight years old when I first heard the Robert Frost line, ‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference,’ It’s something that comes back to me whenever things get tough.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Dream world? Competing my horses at four star level. Realistically, though, I’ll settle for some variation of what I have now - splitting my time between real horses and fictional ones.
It was a pleasure to have read Grace's Loxwood series, and I'm pleased to announce that there is a follow up book to this series ... Road To Success (Loxwood#4).
We appreciate the time you took to answer our questions, and wish you the best of luck in your writings AND ridings! Thanks Grace!
You can read more about Grace at: Amazon Author page