My name is Grace, lover of books, keeper of secrets, editor, and cookie connoisseur. Being the youngest of four children has given me insight and passion for the people and activities which form the pattern of my day-to-day life. Dancing has given me a physical escape while writing allows me to put that passion into words. Being homeschooled, I've had the opportunity to step into a magical wardrobe before breakfast, go on covert missions in Wal-Mart, and chasse' to the Nutcracker. So allow me to share with you the stories and novels which color my dreams, quotes that ricochet in my mind, and characters that I hope you will love just as much as I do.
What inspired you to become a writer?
A few things, actually. My sister for one. I remember she dedicated one of the stories she wrote to me, and I remember thinking, "Someday, I'm gonna do that for her." But also, I've always loved storytelling, although I am one of the few authors who can say that I did not like reading growing up. I detested it. "Reading can be fun!" my mom would say. "It's like an adventure on every page." "It's like school on every page," I would respond. When I was given a book, all I saw was that there usually were no pictures, the font looked teeny-tiny, and the chapters were some thirty pages. But between seventh, eighth, and ninth grade, something just kind of clicked between me and books. It helped that I found a book I actually loved. My eldest brother gave me "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," and after that I couldn't get enough of books. I guess I just want to tell stories as well as the authors of whose books finally got through to me.
Which of of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”? Why?
Ooh, tough questions. If we are talking in general, out of all the stories I've ever written, I would have to say my pride and joy is a little work called "Essence of Hope." It's not published. It's not even finished. But I cherish that story above all the others. Why? Probably because I didn't get in it alone. My best friend and I came up with the initial concept of four siblings separated at birth and brought back together to save the kingdom. It has gone through many-a-draft since then and I have never forgotten it. Not for a moment.
Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?
I think the procrastination ritual differs from one person to another. (I'm talking about with college essays, here.) For the creative writing process, it's a miracle when I can pull up one of my stories and write, which means I'm constantly in the "thinking about it" phase, writing down quotes, thinking about character backstories, how they would react, the bonds that form. Probably a good sixty percent of my writing ritual has to do with creating backstory. The past is just as fascinating to me as the present. When I do sit down to write, I make sure and always have a glass of water next to me, for when my hands need a break. Sometimes I put on movie soundtracks (my favorites are "Pirates of the Caribbean" and any of "The Lord of the Rings"). At any rate, though, once I sit down and really start hashing it out, there is not pulling me out of that world for at least a couple hours.
If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?
"Mace for Dinner and Other Stupid Stories".
If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be?
Just because I could probably sustain a conversation with her, Jennifer L. Armentrout. She writes paranormal fantasy, both YA and adult genre. I would love to have a conversation with C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, but I doubt I would be able to keep up with their philosophical minds or their Cambridge vocabulary. Hahaha!
We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?
With great difficulty. I wish I could say that I spend all my free time writing, but in truth I spend a lot of it trying to let air out of the vents, so to speak. If I'm in the middle of a writing project than I absolutely make time for it, but it is one of those things where I'm like, "Okay, after work I have to pull out some chicken for dinner; I need to do some laundry; I have to read that essay for class tomorrow... AND THEN I'll write." I find myself praying a lot for time to write, or the energy or something. My life is heavily dependent on prayer.
What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?
The greatest piece of advice came from a good friend who told me not to wait until tomorrow to make my dreams happen. He said that if I wait for the "perfect opportunity," it may pass me by, or everything else will. Seize the day, make it happen, don't wait until tomorrow, and above all keep God first.
Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?
All of my stories are available on Amazon.com or for Barnes and Noble Nook. http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Yee/e/B009ROMSY6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1396361640&sr=8-1 and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/grace-yee?store=allproducts&keyword=grace+yee. For whatever reason only the first four books in my one series are available for Nook. Sorry about that. You can keep up with me via my blog http://www.graceyee.blogspot.com/ . That's where I do all of my updates for writing, stories, and of course the oh-so-fun blog post.
Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis....
My next release should be in May, I believe, but don't quote me on that. I'm doing a collaborative project with about five other authors and each month we all write a new segment to the story, so whenever my turn comes along, I will put it on my blog. The story is called "Colony Zero". Very sci-fi and so much fun to write! It takes place several hundred years in the future. Genetic purification has made everyone on Earth physically perfect. No genetic defects. But there are some people who slip through the cracks, born blind, with Down Syndrome, etc. These people are rejected by society and shipped off to another planet called Colony Zero. A small team of specialists is sent there every decade to check on the "Zeroes," as they call them, although no one really expects the Zeroes to live. Well, on one particular mission, the team gets quite a shocker when they are taken captive by the Zeroes who are far from dying off.... Yeah, it's pretty fun. :-)