Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Author Spotlight: February is Full of Grace

Hello! Today I'm featuring February Grace and her debut novel, GODSPEED. I've known February as a writer and poet, blogger and tweeter, painter and friend. She's wicked talented.

Here's the lovely February:

 And here is her lovely book:

Abigail’s young life was saved by the kindness of strangers: Schuyler Algernon, the man who found her collapsed on cold city streets, and Quinn Godspeed, the doctor who risked everything by breaking the law to keep her fragile heart beating.

As the truth about what she’s become and her feelings for her savior overtake her, Abigail is forced to ask what constitutes life, living, and what dark secrets are contained within Godspeed’s past and the walls of Schuyler’s house.

And now on to the dirt! Time for some interview questions!

1. You've had your own share of medical issues. No need to get specific, but did that influence the creation of your characters and/or your plot?
The short answer is yes, to both. Just one quick example for you, one character has issues with her vision. Given my history of problems with my sight, I was able to describe that in a way that I don't think a person who hadn't experienced it would be able.

Also, it was in my mind that a team of doctors at one of the best hospitals in the country said that I "Set them back a hundred and fifty years" as far as what they could do for my eyes, so it helped me think about how praciticing medicine might be different in Godspeed's time, which I never specified but I thought to be somewhere between 1890 and 1910 or there abouts. So yes, at least something good came from my long history as a patient-- a unique perspective on the characters.

2. Steampunk is such a thrilling genre! How did you end up choosing steampunk as a setting/world for Godspeed?
I consider Godspeed to be a literary romance with what I call "Steampunk embellishments". I tried to read the popular Steampunk books, because I've always been crazy for the gadgets, the clothing, the clocks and all manner of gearwork. Trouble for me was I'd get to the zombies or gore and stop reading. They felt more horror to me than anything else. So I guess in the end I wrote the book I wanted to read when I went looking for Steampunk influenced stories.

I know it probably won't be "steampunky" (is that a word? It is now!) enough for the hard-core fans of that genre, but for a reader who wants a story that's a little less jarring and completely zombie free, this might be the ticket. I hope they'll give my characters and my hybrid world a try.

3. Please tell us how you got your name, February. If this answer is simply "I was born in February" please skip to question #4. :)
February Grace is my pen name, and has been for about four years now. It actually began as the name of a character I wrote in an online adventure series I participated in. I think I invented the fictional Bru way back in early 2007.

After I got my sight back and decided to get more serious about my writing I knew I wanted a pen name, something memorable and different- and that name was the one that came back to me. Since I was so used to being called bru already as a nickname because of the character it took no time at all to get used to using it every day. Now it is who I am, in writer form :~) And besides, I have so many nicknames pretty much the only people who call me by my 'real' name work in doctor's offices.

4. Some advice for other writers please! It can be about the process of writing, or publishing, or just living.
Oh, wow. Well, I would never presume to give anyone advice on technique, or anything like that because in so many ways what makes 'good' writing is so subjective.

From the path I've taken, though, I would just offer this: follow your heart. If you want to be traditionally published, then keep going on that road. If your heart says you want to venture out and try doing it independently, then sieze the day. Don't let anyone demean the road that your heart tells you is the right one for you.

Yup. If you go indie follow your heart...and hire a great copy editor!

Thank you Bru, for coming by and sharing your wisdom with us!

You can find GODSPEED on Amazon and Lulu
And you can February on her blog, Pitch Slapped, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads!


Richard said...

She sounds like an interesting person. Will check out her blog.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yay for Bru!! :)

I agree that we all have to choose our own paths and follow our own hearts - so important! :)

I enjoy steampunk too - but I have to say I've never read a steampunk book with zombies!

February Grace said...

Lydia, I want to thank you so much for hosting me, your support means so much! You're a wonderful friend and I truly appreciate this, and you, more than words can say.

Hi to everyone who is visiting!

Richard I hope you'll enjoy the blog if you do stop by and Jemi, I guess I was picking the wrong steampunk books! Maybe you can email me some recommendations. <3


inluvwithwords said...

Great interview. Sounds like an intriguing book. I've never read steampunk. Maybe a book with "steampunk influences" would be a good place for me to start.

Sub Radar (Mike) said...

I was really intrigued after reading the part about vision... as a fellow glasses wearer, I can relate.

Susan Oloier said...

February's books is on my TBR list. I recently discovered her through Elle's blog--where I happened to be today :-)
Thanks for the interview, Lydia.

Crystal Pistol said...

Godspeed sounds like a book I would enjoy. :)

Glynis said...

Lovely interview and name. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Yay Bru! Thanks Lydia. Bru is such a multi-talented lady, it's nice to see her spotlighted here.

Theresa Milstein said...

Lydia, great blog title. I couldn't agree more! Great to learn more about Bru. What a cool pen name.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved the interview Lydia and Bru. Godspeed sounds really interesting. I'm adding it to my TBR list. And I love the title.

February Grace said...

Just wanted to say hi to everyone this morning and thank you again for all your kind words!

I also forgot to mention another detail about the pen name: the original idea for using February as a first name was actually inspired by a Josh Groban song with February in the title! So there you have it, now you know the whole story :~)


Libby said...

I thought February Grace was too perfect to be your given name. :) The book sounds wonderful. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

LOVED your book, Bru!! Congrats to you--can't wait to read the next one!

Barbara Watson said...

The concept of literary romance mixed with steampunk is so intriguing! Thanks for featuring the book and the interview with February. And February, I needed that bit about follow your heart. In more ways than one today, so a special thanks for that.

Shelly said...

I will def. be taking a look at Godspeed- sounds like a great read!

Coleen Patrick said...

Love the interview Lydia! Off to check out her links. Thanks :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Lydia, another great guest post. Bru, I prefer my Steampunk zombie-free so I'd probably like your book.
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

M Pax said...

Great advice, February, and great name. Steampunk is fun. I'll definitely check it out.

Waving at Lydia.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I think I have this one on my Kindle! Cool, it will now jump the queue. I love that Bru wrote the steampunky book she wanted to read (I'm not into zombies either). Best of luck!


alexia said...

I love that pen name. And I keep meaning to read some steampunk!

Leslie Rose said...

Best pen name EVER. Gorgeous and it flows beautifully. Fascinating how you used your own challenges in your story.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Great interview! I've read Bru's blog and I love her advice about following your own path. I'm looking forward to reading her book.

Wendy Lu said...

You have the coolest pen name, February! And I especially love "Bru." Thanks for this interview, it was fun to read. :)

I appreciate you saying that "what makes 'good' writing is so subjective," because it really is. There's always a book out there for someone - what one reader may think isn't that great may turn out to be the best kind of story for another reader.

~Wendy Lu

The Red Angel Blog

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for a great interview ladies! Godspeed sounds interesting; I may need to check it out. :)

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Rachna Chhabria said...

February sounds like a wonderful person. Her book Godspeed sound great, as does her pen name. Wishing February lots of publishing success.

Bryan Russell said...

Great interview. And as someone who has had a litany of eye troubles, the story sounds fascinating.

nutschell said...

now that is a cool author name! I love February's advice for other writers:)

BTW, Lydia, congrats! I just gave you an award. Check it out here

Happy weekend!

February Grace said...

Hello everyone,

I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my most gracious host Lydia and to all of you that have commented that I have not been more present to respond here the past few days.

Right after my last post here I received sudden, shocking and devastating family news out of the blue (which I will likely blog about on my own blog after I get my bearings a little) and I have been in something of a state of shock or crying ever since.

I haven't been able to think of words to say in response to your wonderful remarks but believe me reading them at this time has been a wonderful and unexpected source of comfort, since the only thing I can try to do is keep busy and keep my mind focused on what I have, and have accomplished.

One of those things I have accomplished is finishing Godspeed and sharing it with the world, and reading about your interest in the book is truly heartening.

I hope that you will enjoy it when you read it and that the characters will win a little place in your heart, as they have so completely taken over mine.

Thank you again for all your comments and kind words, I promise I have read every single one. Thank you for visiting my blog too, and thank you again, Lydia, for having me; you are the best.


Heather said...

Excellent interview and advice. Follow your heart, love that! Best of luck to February with her novel!

Nas said...

Lovely interview! Loved reading about February and her books, Lydia!

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