Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Blog Tour Author Interview with Giveaway: Girl at the Grave by Terri Bailey Black

Book info:
TitleGirl at the Grave  
Author:  Terri Bailey Black
Genre:  YA Gothic romance
Release Date:  August 7th, 2018
Publisher:  Tor Teen

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother's legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. 

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.


"With its vibrant, atmospheric setting and lush, captivating prose, Girl at the Grave is a searing Gothic story of love and murder that will burn in readers' hearts and minds long after reading." ―#1 New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco

Girl at the Grave kept me up late at night with its non-stop secrets, twists, and scandals. An entertaining homage to classic Gothic romances that will keep readers guessing until the very last chapter.” ―Cat Winters, author of Odd & True 

Author Interview:

1.  What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.? 

By nature, I am a total seat-of-the-pants writer. Before I start typing, the story is black and white and grainy. I see the beginning and end, some major plot points, and lots of blank white pages. I do try! But it’s a trickle of slow thoughts.

Then I start typing and the story bursts into full color. The creative juices flow.

For instance—dialogue. When I start writing a scene, I know the overall goal (Valentine learns her mother might have been innocent), but I have no idea what the characters are going to do or say. As I’m writing, the characters just start talking. I hear them. I see them. Ideas pop into my head faster than I can type. Those ideas don’t come when I’m staring at an outline. They come as I’m actually writing the scene.

However . . . that’s a slow way of writing. I definitely think outlining is fabulous and force myself through it. I’ve read many books on it. I know how. I try.

Here are some things that have worked for me—and not worked.

Everyone loves post-it notes except me. When I move one sticky note, several others have to be moved, and it’s a constant picking up and re-sticking. For me, post-it notes are too permanent for my ever-shifting ideas.

I like index cards on the rug because they’re easy to slide around and rearrange. And—bonus!—you don’t have to vacuum for a while. I bought cute magnetic clips so I could put the index cards on a magnetic bulletin board, but I ended up preferring the rug. Just easier to move things around.

I love handwriting a random stream of plot ideas in a notebook. It wakes up a different part of your brain. I never read it again, it’s just my brain thinking through the story without worrying about pretty sentences.

I could talk about this forever, but I’ll move on!

2. Are you part of a writers group that gets together and helps each other with their writing?

Yes! Not only is it super helpful (even necessary), it’s FUN! Writing is solitary and stressful. It’s wonderful to have friends who get it—both emotionally and at a writing level to point out what’s both good and bad about your chapter.

I had an online group for a while that never met in person (living across the globe, literally) but was still very rewarding and helpful.

Now, I have a local group of six writers that meets once a week, rotating homes. We have a great time and have become very close. We each bring a chapter, via email, and all sit together with our laptops. Someone else reads your chapter aloud and everyone interrupts along the way with comments like: “I can’t picture where they are. So much awesome chemistry in this scene! You used that word three times.” It’s a weekly deadline to have a polished chapter to share. Our group has had five books published this year!

How did we meet, you ask. Two of us were in a book club together. She met someone . . . who knew someone else . . . who knew someone else.

3.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?

I always have lots of ideas. The problem is choosing the best one to write. Right now, I’m trying to finish one manuscript while the next story is crowding into my head before its time!

I’m very visual (grew up in a family of artists), so it usually starts with a picture in my mind. For instance, GIRL AT THE GRAVE started as an image of a little girl in the 1800s with wild curls and dirty feet staring through a schoolhouse window. Then I wonder—what put that person in that situation and what happens next?

I love writing first chapters because it’s that initial image in my head that captivated my interest. The ending is also usually clear. It’s the middle that can feel muddy until it’s written.

4.  How important are names in your books?  Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning?  Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I looove choosing names. They have to sound right, obviously, and work for your character’s personality and culture. But equally important, I think, is how the name looks on the page. Our eyes skim as we read—we SEE the word. I don’t want lots of short names that all look the same or start with the same letter. Usually, once I hit the right name it just feels right.

I recently changed a character’s name and my critique group screamed in protest. So back to the original name I went!

I love the website Behind the Name, and for last names Behind the Surname. I get frustrated by all the ads on the Nameberry website but still use it. I have a few name books on my shelf. My favorite book divides them by nationality, which I think is important. These days, people name their baby any old thing, but if you’re writing anything historical, ethnicity and religion played a big role in names.

About the Author:
Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in Southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California. Girl at the Grave is her debut novel.


-->  Giveaway:

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

 6 winners will receive a Copy of GIRL AT THE GRAVE by Teri Bailey Black.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour schedule HERE.