Please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Kelley: I’m currently writing The Descendant Vampire Series. The Descendant (book 1) was published May 2012 and The Search (book 2) will be published later this year.
Dubbed a vampire tale of biblical proportions, The Descendant reveals the origin of the vampire through the experiences of a woman who discovers that she’s a descendant of the first vampire. The search is on for answers in book 2 as Allison’s journey picks up where it left off in book 1.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
Kelley: It was in 2009. I call that period in my life my career midlife crisis. I was unhappy with my day job and felt that there had to be something more for me out there. At that same time, I had just finished reading a book, the premise of which was so simple that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself. Later that night, I declared to my husband that I was going to write a book. To this day, I think that he thought I was nuts, but he never questioned me and I’ve been writing ever since.
Every writer dreams of getting “the call”. What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?
Kelley: I never got the call from a literary agent. I found the process of querying agents in order to find a publisher quite tedious and time consuming. I did it for awhile, but after attending a writer’s conference and learning that my chances of landing an agent were essentially equivalent to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, I decided to independently publish.
I guess my version of “the call” is the first time I received a proof of my paperback. I was home alone and certainly knew what the package was. I opened it, held the book in my hand, then set it on the kitchen counter. After staring at it for a few moments, I said aloud “I did that. I did that,” and pointed at the book. Then I proceeded to jump up and down and scream before taking pictures and posting it on Facebook.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Kelley: It’s not so much writing advice as it is just plain good advice on this writing adventure and I don’t really recall where I heard it. The saying is, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. For me, this really hit home as I don’t like to ask for things. But in this industry, if you don’t ask, you’re not going to get anything. I’m now asking for book reviews and donations for events and asking for my book to be carried in book stores, and surprisingly – most people say YES!
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
Kelley: I think the perfect hero is imperfect. No one is perfect in the real world so why should a literary character be perfect? I prefer bad boys with long hair and tattoos, a chip on his shoulder but a soft spot for the people he loves (think Jax from Sons of Anarchy).
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
Kelley: I love to ride my Harley Davidson. My husband taught me how to ride years ago & riding is a great stress relief. I also enjoy working out, but my favorite activity varies like the wind. I was a runner until I injured myself. I’m now hooked on TRX boot camp classes. I used to play softball and love playing volleyball. I garden. I used to collect unicorns and now collect bathing suits. I have a serious bathing suit shopping problem.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Kelley: I’m sitting here thinking about this question and I guess I’m not that adventurous! Publishing my first book – putting my baby out there into the world – was quite the adventure! I guess I’d also have to say ATV’ing with my husband in Southern Ohio.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
Kelley: I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. I’d like to visit the Outback and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. My husband doesn’t want to deal with that long of a flight, so I joke with him that we’ll fly to Hawaii and spend a few days there, then go to Australia for 10 days, then back to Hawaii for a few more. I really need a fairy godmother to afford that trip!
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
Kelley: I’ll try new things, but nothing crazy like tripe or anything Fear Factor style! I love spicy foods (the hotter, the better).
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
Kelley: LOL – my husband just answered this for me – electricity, because he says that I can’t go primitive camping! He’s right! When we go camping, I require clean bathroom facilities with running water and electric outlets!
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
Kelley: Time alone with my hubby and no cell phone, Facebook, texting distractions. A bottle of wine at a table for two in a dark corner with a great meal and conversation, followed by a dip in the hot tub and more wine.
How do you describe yourself?
Kelley: Perfectionist, over achiever, can’t sit still (how else do you explain working a full time job, followed by a work out, followed by an evening of writing and saving a few hours for my hubby). Fun, energetic, up for a good time but when I want to be left alone, please leave me alone. Firecracker (that’s another one from my hubby). Loyal, passionate, patriotic.
How would your family and friends describe you?
Kelley: I haven’t a clue! Hopefully they’d say something from the list I provided above.
No interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?
Kelley: Salsa & chips! Throw in a margarita and bingo – you have one happy camper!
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
Kelley: Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather after a long hot summer, I love the changing leaves and pumpkins and corn stalks. Plus Fall means it’s football season!
Kelley is giving away the following prizes on her tour:
$25 Amazon gift card & signed paperback of THE DESCENDANT
TWO (2) runners-up will receive an eBook of THE DESCENDANT plus a Descendant can koozie & bookmarks
THE DESCENDANT by Kelley Grealis
The Descendant reveals the Biblical origin of the vampire through the experiences of a modern day woman who discovers that she is a descendant of the first vampire.
Allison Carmichael wakes from an accident with no memory of the past three years. She doesn’t recall her husband’s death or how she alienated her friends, and she definitely doesn’t remember her new boyfriend Vincent Drake – a charismatic man with a penchant for rare and unique possessions. The only things familiar to Allison are her seemingly common ailments – insomnia, lack of appetite, erratic body temperature – which have gone undiagnosed and are vtly who, and what, Allison is – a mortal descendant of the first vampire. He is a vampire who has watched over Allison and her ancestors since the Biblical times of Cain and Abel ensuring their secret is kept. Once he realizes Allison’s symptoms are accelerating and transforming her, he’ll stop at nothing to have her.
Allison discovers that she is a descendant with a lineage dating back to the Biblical times of Cain and Abel and is the first of her kind to exhibit signs of vampirism. She must decide between risking her mortal death if she cannot control her symptoms or fully transforming into a vampire and damning her soul for eternity. A decision made even more difficult once Allison discovers Vincent has manipulated her life, and everyone in it, so he could have the first descendant-turned-vampire all to himself.
Kelley Grealis was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a B.A. in Accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Masters of Businss Administration from Cleveland State University.
She has loved all things vampire since she was a little girl, and it was that passion combined with thirteen years of Catholic schooling, that inspired her to write THE DESCENDANT.
Kelley lives in a Cleveland suburb with her husband.
Connect with Kelley:
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/kelley-grealis.html
Kelley Grealis’ THE DESCENDANT
1 Year Anniversary Blog Tour Schedule
May 20 – May 26
5/20- Book Monster Reviews (guest post)
5/20- Literal Addiction (guest post & review)
5/21 – Wicked Readings by Tawania (spotlight & review)
5/22- Romance Junkies (interview)
5/22- The Reading Cafe (spotlight & review)
5/23- Jocelyn Dex Blog (spotlight & review)
5/23- Musings From An Addicted Reader (spotlight & review)
5/24- Books-n-Kisses (interview & review)
5/24- Urban Girl Reader (interview)
5/25- Paranormal Book Club (spotlight)
5/26- Page Flipperz (Spotlight)