"Q&A With A.R. Grosjean"
Book: Mother of The Dragons
Author: A.R. Grosjean
"A.R. Grosjean writes full time in Fort Wayne, Indiana. But she came close to not becoming a writer at all. When Amber was a child, she had been bullied, laughed at, and mentally abused by her classmates and some members of her family. When she was ten years old, Amber couldn't take the pain anymore so she attempted suicide. It failed.
She was at the end of her rope and just wanted it all to go away. But a year later, Amber discovered writing and fell in love with the idea of escaping into other worlds. She had already been doing that mentally but now she could put those worlds onto paper where other people could visit those worlds too. It was an idea no one else approved of and told her she couldn't do it, but she proved them wrong.
Still facing the problems of her life, she pushed through the darkness and continued writing-creating worlds that brought sunshine to her life. Sharing those worlds is all she wants to do."
1. “Mother of the Dragons”, tells a story of a woman that is turned into a beast. What sparked this idea and made you want to tell this story?
I wanted the story to be different, some kind of new love story. The exact place where the idea came from? It's really hard to say, the idea just popped into my head lol. I do like dragons. I worked on this story for a few years, hitting that delete button so many times. I lost the original story itself but it was molded into what it was meant to be. I believe.
2. What do you hope readers get from this story?
There are a few things in this story. For one, things are not always what they appear to be. You think someone is your ally but come to find out they were never on your side but the person you thought of as your enemy was really your friend. And being a true believer in second chances, that had to be thrown in there.
3. What was your writing process like for this book and how has your writing process changed since your first written novel?
I have to go back 30 years to compare my writing now as to when I wrote my first novel. For one, I'm more open to ideas now and I love how I can twist those ideas making them more unique telling a story in a way it hasn't been told before.
I love twists! When I first started, the computer era hadn't started yet so everything was written long-hand. I had to use black ink when writing my stories and when I edited, I would rewrite the whole book. On one side of paper. And I wrote sloppy. I think I was the only one who could read my handwriting lol.
Since I was just a kid, I really didn't construct my sentences all that well so I read a lot of books on writing and improved my skills. My imagination hasn't lost all of that innocence that I had those days but it still had matured enough.
By the time I was in high school, I was able to type out my books and began sending my stories to publishers. From day 1, it took 20 years to finally get published. I did have a few years when I didn't write at all plus I was holding out trying to get one book published before the others.
It was when I decided to let the other stories shine, I was finally published. That first book was finally accepted a few years later. Now I write on a laptop, saving my work on backup places like a flash drive, drive, and cloud.
4. This book is basically two stories in one, both past and present, how hard or how easy was it for you to write a story so complex?
In high school, I took 'Creative Writing' and part of the class we had to write in our "journals" during the first 5 minutes. One of the stories I came up with was a group of men telling stories around a campfire. I've always loved telling stories around a campfire.
I used that idea with this book, the main character telling the story and then I went into the story she was telling like it was being played out. I'd seen it done with movies and thought the idea was creative and seemed more suited to this story in particular. I really didn't think of it being difficult. I just let the characters do the work, using me as a tool to put the story onto paper.
5. Do you see yourself in the main character, Dawnrae, at all? If so, in what aspects?
I like to think I put myself in all my characters. Well, at least the main ones. It helps me see their point of view. I've never been popular but more of an outcast so putting myself in the shoes of a maiden felt more comfortable.
6. What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?
That has changed over the years. I used to write more than one book at a time, switching from one story to another when I got stuck. I'd read a paragraph and then just keep going and since my memory isn't that good, I would quickly forget the other story I had switched away from.
I wasn't getting anywhere fast with that process, plus every time I had a new idea I was dropping the other stories to pursue the new idea. I was starting them and not finishing them. So I told myself it had to change. I needed to finish my stories.
Now I write one story until it is done. Take a break. Edit. Begin the publishing process when ready and then begin the next story. I push myself to keep going when I hit writer's block. If nothing happens, I take a break. Then get back to it.
I try to have conversations with my characters if the breaks don't work, ask them what they think I should do. Once I allow myself to let them take the wheel, the story usually picks back up.
I haven't had writer's block in a while now because the characters usually take over. I just try to keep up.
7. How has important is being a writer to your life and what has being a writer taught you about life?
Being a writer has taught me to be open-minded. When people hear me say that, they automatically think it's a sexual thing and then I have to correct them--it's got nothing to do with sex.
For me being open-minded means seeing both sides of the table. I can see from more than one perspective. And understand it. I can empathize on both sides too. It's important to me because I'm not that depressed, anxiety stricken young woman that I am in my real life.
I am strong and driven when I'm writing. It's really hard to explain, I really am a different person when I am deep into a story. And that enables me to cope with my personal life.
I have a lot of issues in my life and when I'm at the keyboard, I can be whoever I want to be. I can be a hero instead of that scared little girl who runs home crying every day.
8. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
Yes! I plan on writing until the day I can't write anymore. I hope that's the day I die. I've got all my books planned out for the next few years, if I'm able to publish 2 books a year, I'll be busy for more than 10 years from now. And that's only if I don't have any more ideas popping up between now and then.
There are more ideas every day lol so I hope I get the chance to write for another 30 years. That would be awesome!
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Facebook: A.R. Grosjean
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