Friday, April 08, 2011


Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Grace lives near London and is addicted to cats, acting as housekeeping staff to five mischievous moggies.

Grace believes intelligent people need romantic fiction in their lives as an antidote to the modern world. As an avid reader Grace turned to writing romance as a release from the emotionally draining side of veterinary work. Her debut novel ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is now available from most eBook stores including Amazon price $2.99.

How did you start out your writing career?

The strong compulsion to write hit me after a school reunion. Friends I hadn’t seen for twenty years reminded me how the teacher used to read my stories out to a silent class…it was one of the ‘Eureka!’ moments, when suddenly I remembered the deep satisfaction of writing.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learnt that writing for the love of it, regardless of whether you published or not, is a hugely rewarding process. My day job is demanding, working with animals is tough on a physical and emotional level, and writing is my therapy. Everyone needs a means of coping with sadness and stress…and writing that daily dose of escapism keeps me sane.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

That’s a good question! There was no grand plan, A Dead Man’s Debt is a book born out of my love of the historical romance genre and wanting to write the sort of page turning romance I love to read. If it gives other people pleasure to read it, then I will have achieved my end.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

That would be the heroine, Celeste Armitage. She was fun because she was ham strung by society’s expectations and yet determined to do her own thing. Even though the rules of the day dictated a woman must marry and be subservient to her husband, she was having none of it, even if it meant defying her parents and being exiled from society. Although this is historical romance, there are many parallels with the modern world and having the courage to break out of the mold to achieve your ambitions.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

I do have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie from my fellow Solstice Publishing authors. There is a Yahoo Chat Group where we share good and bad reviews, hints on marketing and generally support one another through the ups and downs. As a debut author I didn’t know what to expect when Solstice signed me, but the generosity of those more experienced authors in sharing what works and what doesn’t, is humbling.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

The aspect I most love is the actual writing, losing myself in the characters and setting…the worst is finding the time!

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

Marketing, marketing, marketing!
As a debut author it is so difficult to spread the word about a new book. I wish I’d discovered Twitter, Face book et.c a full year before I sent the manuscript out and started linking up with people way back then.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

DO – write because you love it, regardless of whether you get published or not.
DON’T – give up the day job when you sign a publishing contract – because the people you meet everyday can be wonderful inspiration for characters AND so few authors can make a living wage from writing.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

Writing is a job like any other. You need time, space and concentration for the creative juices to flow and get into the zone. My pet gripe is when the phone rings, I answer and say ‘Well, I am in the middle of writing…,’ and they take that as a cue for an hour long conversation. But there again, I’m funny about the all pervading intrusion of phones these days, so that’s probably my problem…

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family; I have a husband of 22 years and two teenage sons. I’m also addicted to cats – we have five – and spend a great deal of time ‘hand polishing’ (stroking!) them and talking like an idiot when no one is watching.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I’m active on Twitter (Grace_Elliot), Facebook, Goodreads and Library Thing. I also have a blog which is updated twice a week and a website
This is all a revelation to me as I’m a technophobe – but having discovered social networking only in the past few months I’m loving it…in fact I’ve even taught my eldest son to Tweet! There are so many lovely people out there who I would never have known otherwise and I’ve made some awesome friends.

Our theme for this month is Ebooks. Do you own an ereader and if so, what the last book you downloaded? If you don’t own an ereader, do you see yourself purchasing one in the future?

Oh you are going to regret asking me about eBooks!

After a shaky start, I now love eBooks! I had a Sony eReader 550 but found it clunky to download books and the screen uncomfortable to read. However I was fortunate to be given a Kindle for birthday/ Christmas and I’m in LOVE with it.

I downloaded a book whilst waiting at the dentist – how awesome is that?

I also think eBooks will be great for the romance genre. Paperback romances have some very suggestive covers that, speaking personally, I would be embarrassed to leave lying around at home. Having an eReader no-one knows what you’re reading – it could be Shakespeare or a comic - no one can judge you. Result!

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know that family are the most important thing in my life. I can be many things; independent, selfish, focused, insecure, a rock, a good mother… – but whatever I am, it means nothing without the love and support of my family.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I’m currently on the final draft of another Regency Romance, this one is called ‘Eulogy’s Secret’. I still have the dreaded blurb to write, like a coward I’m leaving that till last, but it is a story of mistaken identity and pre-judging people…to be unveiled later this year.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I love hearing from readers and can be contacted via:

My blog:
Twitter. Grace_Elliot
Facebook Grace Elliot writer.

Thank you LaShaunda for hosting me today, it’s been a pleasure, I love visiting the Shades of Romance community.
Grace x

A Dead Man’s Debt’

Celeste Armitage has a plan…and it doesn’t include marriage.

Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country, where she finds a sketch book of nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This cynical lord is the exactly sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the sight of him!

Lord Ranulf faces ruin as a blackmailer uses his late brother’s debts to destroy the Charing’s reputation. When Ranulf unexpectedly falls for the rebellious Celeste he must chose between true love and family duty…but then Ranulf underestimates Celeste’s resolve to clear his name and unwittingly places his soul mate in mortal danger….

“Historical romance at its best.” OnceUponAChapter 5/5
“Totally engrossing…sensual and evocative writing.” FictionBooks. 5/5
“Breathtaking sensuality…page turning drama…a wonderful talent.” The Romance Reviews. 5/5

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LaShaunda said...


Thank you for being our featured author today. I like cats, but they don’t like me, highly allergic to them. I received my kindle as a Christmas/birthday gift too. Best present ever. I can hoard all my books and not feel guilty about taking up space.

Many blessings to you and your writing.

Grace Elliot said...

Thank you LaShaunda! I cant imagine what life would be like if I were allergic to cats - doesnt bare thinking about!
Thank you for the best wishes,
Grace x

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