Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spend Some Time With Eryn Grace!!!

Hey, hey, hey!! The weekend is waiting in wings and rearin' to go!

With the summer heat licking at our heels, I thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on the benefits and blessings of winter since we won't likely see another chilly day for a good long while.

Please help me welcome Eryn Grace to the TLN Hot Seat! Her latest release, HEARTS OF COMPASSION, is guaranteed to lift your spirits and cast away the doldrums.

Sit down and take a load off! Hi-Oh, here we go . . .

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Eryn Grace is a calm story, quiet at times, but passionate about her beliefs. She likes to stand up for the weak and helpless, to give them a happier life. She’s not a pushover, but is used to rising to the challenge for a happier ever after ending.

2) Using three words, describe your voice.

Simple, straightforward, loud.

3) From Newbie to Published- How have you grown as a writer?

When I look back at my first writing attempt, I had never heard of POV—point of view. I thought books should be like television shows, where the viewer could see all action, from an omniscient viewpoint. But that’s not true. In writing, the author has to be true to the point-of-view. They can only do or see what’s in front of them, never in a scene where they’re not present, and can’t even see their hair or eyes unless looking in a mirror. That was hard to understand, but once I wrote first person, it all became clear to me.

4) What advice would you give an aspiring writer looking to submit to publishers?

Make sure your manuscript is as clean as possible, your hook blows them out of their seats, and your plot is bigger than life. I give myself that same advice…and trust me, it’s tough.

5) Give us a sneak peek of a typical writing day? What kind of goals do you set?

I don’t set goals. I have so many interruptions during the day, if I get a few pages written, fine. If I write ten thousand words, that’s fine too (and I have done that in the past). I write a first draft very fast so I don’t forget the plot, since I think in scenes. I get up early (like 4:30) to get a shower, work until I get my kids up at 5 and 5:30, take them to school, then get to work. Writing is my escape in life, since I have no other job. Therefore, it’s like watching television to me…fun and enjoyable, posing my ‘characters’ and putting them in rotten situations.

6) Any tips on promotion? What works for you?

Promotion and marketing are the toughest things for me. I’ve learned how to make emails from HTML code, which makes them pretty. I’ve had websites that I do myself, so that’s not difficult for me. But competing against all the other writers out there is very hard for me. Creating a blog, joining Facebook, and sending out emails to potential readers seem to be the best plan for me right now.

7) What can Eryn Grace fans look forward to in 2010?

I have a book that released with Red Rose Publishing on December 3, 2009. I have quite a few other books written just waiting to find a home, and some day, plan to have all of those in print. But first, I want to see how this one does.

Red Rose buy site:
Facebook page:

Rylee Fitz, lonely daughter of a millionaire, is forced to work at a homeless shelter in up-state New York as a team building exercise for her job. Since her goal is to get her immediate boss' job, she jumps at the chance.

Ben Colson, the homeless shelter's lawyer who was fired when he'd been working for Rylee's father, is bitter from having to start over again. He also wants to move on with his life, but no woman ever fits the bill.

To her horror, Ben makes Rylee do manual labor and teaches her that brooms don't need to be plugged in to work. When he takes the time to actually treat her like a human being, Rylee finds herself falling for him. She just hopes he finds it in his heart to deal with her problems, and can forgive her family for treating him badly.


"Are you okay?" someone asked from behind her.

She turned and faced a man in a sweatshirt and jeans, certain he was homeless, too. His chin was covered in stubble and he looked exhausted. He was muscular and sexy, with light brown hair, blue eyes, and strong facial features. But he was lower class, in her mind, because she was sure he was homeless.

Rylee raised her nose slightly, in her mother's upper class snottiness. "I'm fine. I think you belong over there…with your kind."

"My kind?" He raised one eyebrow, almost chuckling while he crossed his arms. "What kind would that be?"

"The homeless." She pointed ahead of her. "Over there."

He raked his eyes down over her, almost in cruel judgment. "No one wears dresses here…or heels. Are you lost?"

"No, we've been assigned here from the city. I'm with Grahame Designs, but you probably don't know anything about that." She waved him off, ignoring him.

"Is that right?" He chuckled, his arms still crossed. "I organized your trip here, and I'm going to be your boss for the next week."

"You? Who are you?"

He reached out to shake her hand. "Ben Colson. I'm the lawyer for the Guardian Home for the Needy."

She shook his hand, feeling confused. "I don't know your name. I thought you were a homeless—"

He leaned closer, and she realized he didn't smell like the rest of the room. He'd showered recently, the scent of the soap filling her nose. "We call them clients. They're people, too."

"Are you sure?" she whispered. "They almost seem crazy to me."

He chuckled, put his hand on her back and walked her toward the table. "Not at all. They're people and God loves them, too. They're down on their luck and you never know when it could happen to any one of us. This job is so important and rewarding, much more than my regular law practice. You'll figure it out, eventually."

"I don't think I ever will. I can't imagine either of us ever being a client

An article on the craft of writing from Eryn:
When writing a scene in a book, make sure you’re true to the point of view. This means that the character ‘seeing’ the scene as it unfolds is the point of view you should stick with throughout the whole scene. For example, in the following scene, it’s in Jane’s point of view, third person (in this case):

She watched him get into the car. “Please don’t leave,” she said. “I promise to be nicer at the table.”

He stuck his head out the car window. “I’m not having iced tea poured down my back any more. Sorry, babe, but I’m sticky and I’m going home for a shower. You need to find someone else to teach you how to behave in public.”

He backed the car out of the driveway, then she watched the car race off down the street. She knew she’d never see him again, but he did look hilarious, all wet.

Here’s the same scene, from Bill’s point-of-view:

He felt awful, the scent of iced tea with lemon permeating the air around him. While stalking out to the car, he still thought Jane was beautiful. He got into the car and turned the key.

“Please don’t leave,” she said. “I promise to be nicer at the table.”

Like that would happen. His fingers even stuck to the steering wheel! He took a deep breath and stuck his head out the car window. “I’m not having iced tea poured down my back any more. Sorry, babe, but I’m sticky and I’m going home for a shower. You need to find someone else to teach you how to behave in public.”

Before she could whine, he backed the car out of the driveway, then tore off down the street. He wondered if she needed mental help.


Now this is what you’d see on TV, in omniscient viewpoint, if you could hear what they’re thinking. I’m labeling the sentences with the character’s POV (point of view) when they’re thinking.

She watched him get into the car as she stood outside, worried she’d never see him again (HER POV). He thought she was beautiful, but hated his fingers sticking to the steering wheel. (HIS POV)

“Please don’t leave,” she said. “I promise to be nicer at the table.”

Like that would happen. (HIS POV) He took a deep breath and stuck his head out the car window. (HIS POV) “I’m not having iced tea poured down my back any more. Sorry, babe, but I’m sticky and I’m going home for a shower. You need to find someone else to teach you how to behave in public.”

Before she could whine, he backed the car out of the driveway, then tore off down the street. (HIS POV) He wondered if she needed mental help, (HIS POV) while she knew she’d never see him again. (HER POV)

In this passage, you can ‘hear’ what’s going on in both character’s heads. You’re in both points of view and that’s a huge faux pas. Most agents would send out an automatic rejection for something like this. The word for this is ‘headhopping’ and not good.

So be very careful that every scene, chapter, or even the whole book is in only one point of view.

Now, there's some food for thought! I'd like to thank Eryn for hanging out with us today. I know I sure enjoyed savoring the feel of winter. Sheesh! I get hives just thinking of triple digit temps being just a hop, skip, and a jump away. If you'd like to get a full helping of what Eryn Grace has to offer, click on over to her

Thank you, TLN'ers! Here's hoping your weekend is easy, breezy, lemon squeezy! I've got the perfect tune to get your toes tapping! Get cooled off with a little
FISHING IN THE DARK by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band! Catch ya' back next week!


Eryn Grace said...

Thank you for this opportunity, Sarah! We had snow today (like at least 6 inches), so I was thinking about this story.

Here's wishing everyone the best in their writing!

Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Eryn and Sarah,
Great interview and thanks for the POV pointers. POV is not my strong spot by any means. I'm adding Hearts of Compassion to my reading list.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Eryn and Sarah,
Nice interview. Best of luck with Hearts of Compassion, sounds like a great read.

Eryn Grace said...

Thank you so much! Writing that story was challenging. I used to work in D.C. and watched the homeless. Once, I was approached by one who demanded money from me, scaring me. It made an impression on me, making me realize these are just people, too.

As for POV, it's not an easy topic to understand. But if you ever write first person, it just 'clicks' and becomes really obvious when reading.

Susan R. Mills said...

Sounds like a good book. Great interview!

Laurean Brooks said...


I love your voice and your characters. Rylee and Ben jump right off the page in dialogue. I can imagine a few laugh-out-loud scenes with these two. Woo-hoo!

Great writing, interesting storyline.

God's blessing on your writing,


Eryn Grace said...

Thank you, Laurie!!! I don't know if it's funny, but just wish I were as rich as Rylee, who doesn't know how to plug in a broom. Man...wouldn't THAT be cool to have never used one! :)

C.C. Wiley said...

Hi Eryn and Sarah,
Sarah~Thanks another great interview.

Eryn~Congratulations on the sale of your first book! I popped over to your website and read those wonderful reviews. They made me want to purchase your book all the more.


Eryn Grace said...

Wow...thank you so much, C.C.! That's great! I wish I had more books to sell...some day, I hope!

Thank you, everyone! I'm walking on clouds from all the nice comments!