Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There’s a piece of me in every character—even the villains. I’ve got a favorite quote that sums it up nicely:
“For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.” (John Milton)
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Belly dance at a restaurant.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I noticed blank wall space and whipped out my handy-dandy Crayolas.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Wow. If there are words on a page, I’ll read it. Any genre. My favorites, though, are historical, particularly Regency or medieval.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Apparently you’ve heard the rumor that I’m sane. Huh. Well, if I weren’t anchored to the solid rock of my savior Jesus, I’d be loony tunes for sure. Days when I don’t fit in my quiet times with God’s word and prayer are usually not so good.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most often I use census data, other times I’ll make them up according to the character’s personality.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Homeschooling my 4 kids, and I’m soon to reach the finishing line. 3 down, 1 to go.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A boxer, as in the canine variety. They’re cute, loyal, playful, and get to eat and sleep all day.
When I was in junior high, my parents raised registered boxers. What is your favorite food?
Mine, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When I began writing, I didn’t know what I was doing. It took me a long time to figure out what showing versus telling was all about. Best advice I ever received was to buy a copy of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, which cleared up the mystery for me.
Tell us about the featured book.
People go missing every day. Many meet with foul play, some leave the social grid by choice, but others are never accounted for. Such is the fate of successful linguistics professor Cassie Larson. She leads a life her undergrad students hope to attain, until she tumbles into the North Sea and is sucked into a swirling vortex…and a different century.
Alarik, son of a Viking chieftain, is blamed for a murder he didn’t commit—or did he? He can’t remember. On the run, saving a half-drowned foreign woman wasn’t in his plans.'
Ragnar is a converted pagan shunned by many but determined to prove his Cousin Alarik’s innocence. He didn’t count on falling in love with Cassie or the deadly presence of evil that threatens his village in Alarik’s absence.
Undercurrent is a story of the sacrifice involved in forgiveness.
Please give us the first page of the book.
A thread-thin shaft of sunshine needled Alarik’s closed lids, but he’d not open them—it would hurt. His woolen tongue tasted of soured goat milk, and Thor’s own hammer beat against his temples. He hadn’t felt this bad since Björn’s wedding feast.
Something dripped a slow rhythm against his lips, trickling off into his beard. He toyed with the idea of swiping it away, but that would require too much effort.
A quiet rumble, low and throaty, moaned from afar. No, not far off. Near. And it carried a message of pain.
He blinked open his eyes, then swallowed back the shock of light and spit out a string of curses.
“Ja,” he answered, voice raw. His vision emerged like one who’d been in the depths of a fjord and risen from black, to gray, to stunning blue of day. He focused on a hand, palm open, relaxed, not more than an arm’s span above him. Deep red drops fell from a pallid fingertip and splattered onto his face.
He jumped to his feet, warrior instincts alert, and reached for the knife at his side. Gone.
His head jerked to the sound. The room reeled, and his stomach lurched. “Ragnar, by the gods, what has happened?”
“Go.” His cousin lay ashen in color, tunic slashed and stained, breath light and quick. “You...will be...blamed.”
“What blame? What has happened?” Ragnar turned his head, and Alarik followed his gaze to the object silently indicated. A body sprawled over a wooden keg, slaughtered and mutilated, seeping away the last of its lifeblood. A man’s body, with Alarik’s blade driven hilt-deep into the carnage.
How can readers find you on the Internet?www.mmgriep.com or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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