USA Today bestselling authors, Graceley Knox and D.D. Miers may be long-lost sisters, but their moms continue to deny it. They are most definitely the co-writers of the Kresova Vampire Harem series, as well as a multitude of other upcoming projects they can't wait to share with readers. Together they tend to share the same brain, finish each other's thoughts, laugh way too hard at inappropriate comments, drink enough coffee to qualify for an intervention, and talk about their fur babies. As our Authors ot the Day, they talk about their latest book, Girl Bitten, reveal what it takes to co-write books, explain what they do with new ideas and much more.
Please give us a short introduction to what Girl, Bitten is about.
Girl, BItten is about Sasha Keleterina, who’s a genetics student in Portland OR who gets attacked by a vampire on campus. So now, she’s turning into a vampire, and trying to help them find a cure for a virus that’s affecting the vampires in the area. Arsen, our hero, is doing his best to help her as she changes, but his rival, Nikolai is determined to keep Sasha and the cure for his clan only. She’s placed in the middle of a centuries-old war between two ancient vampire clans and struggling to adapt to her new normal while fighting to hold on to who she was.
What drew you to write a series about two vampire covens at war?
G: This is a series where the titles came to me first, and then I was like: what do I like in a vampire book? What hasn’t been done? And then I went from there.
D: Who WOULDN'T want to write about vampire covens at war? The second Graceley pitched the initial idea, I was in!
Why vampires, what fascinates you about them?
Well, vampires are damn sexy. Even if they sparkle some times. There’s something mysterious about the thought of living forever, not being sick, following some ancient customs, breaking the rules, and not having to worry about things like carbs.
Did you plan for the start for this to become a series? Can the books be read as standalones?
Yes, we planned for a trilogy. And no, they should be read in order as they all follow Sasha on her journey.
What is it like to co-write a book? How do you decide who writes what?
G: It’s something that isn’t easily explained. I never thought I’d co-write with anyone. But then I met Dee, and we just clicked. I think something, and she’s saying it out loud. We basically share the same brain. Finishing each other's sentences, having the same ideas etc. We’re never not talking, so if one of us has a question or is unsure it’s a quick fix.
D: It's true! I've co-written with a few people and tried it with a few others, it's VERY hard to find the right partner. I've been lucky to find Graceley! The best way to describe is like kindred spirits. Like we have known each other our whole lives! We tend to outline and create the concept together. We spend a healthy amount of time arguing but it's awesome because we have such a deep love and respect, that we can be thoroughly honest with each other. Then from there we Divi up scenes. If one of us is struggling, the other jumps in and then we read over each other's chapters and add/remove.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do each of you have?
G: Oh man, secret skills? Does acquiring a ridiculous amount of books and mugs count?
D: I'm a sketch artist and I love to garden and cook!
Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
G: Well, I’ve got a day job. So my writing routine is all over the place. I write when I can super early in the morning, late at night, and during the weekends. Typically I can get through about 3 chapters in one “writing session.” If not more. It really depends on my mood and if my small zoo of animals lets me focus.
D: Well my days tend to be chaotic! Have a 4 year old at home with me so it takes a lot of commitment to get things done. Usually I start of with a reviewing the Outline and then re reading previous material. Then it's time to write. Whether it's crap or not, I just do it. The words eventually come and alot of my best work is in the first time through a draft.
Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
G: For this series, not really. I mean we always pull characteristics or quirks from people we know, but I personally didn’t model any of them after anyone in particular. Dee?
D: Not really for me either. But I’ve definitely based other characters on real life people in other books. Hazard of knowing a writer, you always end up in our books one way or another!
Do reviews and reader feedback shape your work? Or do you feel like it's better to avoid the feedback—both positive and negative—so that it won't interfere with your vision?
G: I LOVE feedback. Good and bad. There are a few people we trust implicitly, so if they tell us, hey, this part...what the hell were you thinking? We look at it and go in and aim to fix it. But we typically don’t write to what readers want per say, that would take all of the fun out of it. There will always be people who didn’t mesh with our books. I’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt. If someone gives me a 1 or 2 star, I remind myself that they do that to people I idolize too… so I’ll take that same rating!
D: I think for me is a mix of both. Feedback is essential to growing. If 30 ppl are saying the same complaint, you need to listen. But it's also important to remember that everyone has an opinion and you can't let the one or two negative ones become roadblocks.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?
G: I love the lore we create. These two races of vampire stemmed from our Kresova Vampire series, so it was fun to make them different.
D: It was definitely the interactions between Nikolai, Sasha and Arsen! They have a great dynamic.
Do you work on multiple books at once or do you tackle them one at a time?
G: HAHAHAHA, we work on about 6 books at once. We both have ADHD, and so many ideas swirling around. Typically we add a new series idea at least three times during every book we write.
D: If we ever only work on one book at once, I think we’d both die. Graceley isn’t kidding about the series ideas. We joke about oh, yeah, slate that one for 2035!
What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to only the genre that you write yourself?
G: I love young adult, fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and I’m also a huge fan of contemporary romance, but I’m pretty picky with that genre. One of my all time favorites is Shayla Black.
I read a bit of everything, predominantly fantasy or paranormal. But I also love true crime contemporary romance.
What are you working on right now?
G: We’re working on Girl, Forsaken, Favor, and two new series coming out this summer. I’m also working on the 4th book of my Wicked Kingdoms Series.
D: I’m working on the next book in my Relic Keeper series as well as our co-written books.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
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