Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Welcome Grace. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It depends on the book. In this series, the horse-craziness of the main character is definitely me but the rest of her personality is not. I usually take little pieces of me and put them into my characters but rarely base a character totally on myself, though I have based personalities on others I know.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Haha! Where do I even start with that? One moment while I consult those who have witnessed my antics… Me at my High School prom. I was shocked at the crudeness of dancing and the ridiculousness of some people, but since I was already there I decided to protest by also being ridiculous. I then proceeded to perform dance moves I knew or that my brother and I had come up with, such as “taking out the trash,” “the shopping cart,” and “scooping the poop.” I wasn’t shy about telling people the titles or teaching others how to do the moves. When all was said and done, I got more laughs than dirty looks, so mission accomplished.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started doing role plays over instant messenger with my friends in Middle School. I had never tried writing before, just read a ton. My friends introduced me to it and I was hooked, I have been writing ever since.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Pretty much everything except horror or erotica. I read speculative fiction, science fiction, some fantasy, horse books, classics, and books in the Christian genre. I enjoy trying to expand my horizons and finding new books in different genres.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Haha! Keep my sanity? I think I lost that a long time ago. I pray a lot and depend on God. I also get a lot of support and help from my husband, especially on those bad days, and that keeps me going.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I try to choose biblical or Hebrew names for a lot of my characters. For some of my characters, I look up the meaning of the name, other names just come to me, and sometimes I just take a few minutes to think about what I feel that character would be named in real life.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Chasing my dreams. My husband and I moved from Illinois to Missouri and are both pursuing writing careers and also own a business.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A horse, of course! I just love horses and to me it just makes sense that I would be one if I was an animal. I also enjoy just running around and enjoying the wind in my mane (hair).

What is your favorite food?
Pickles! Always has been. J

I really love pickles, too. I used to can a lot of pickles, but I haven’t lately. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Marketing was really difficult for me. When I first started writing, I just kind of thought if I wrote a good book and put it out there people would find it. I also didn’t know much about SEO, target audience, etcetera. I read a lot of material out there for writers and my husband has experience with marketing so he helped a lot as well. Now I have come to realize it’s just part of being an author and has it’s ups and downs like everything else.

Tell us about the featured book.
A spunky kitten on a daring rescue, a neglected mare full of love, and boys that recur like warts make teenager Ruth Deloach’s life far from boring. For every kind person that comes to the ranch there seems to be two warts. The attitudes and temperatures of southeast Missouri starkly contrast the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but Ruth doesn’t have time to adjust before her father holds an open house for their horse ranch, Meredith Meadows. Ruth’s overbearing older brother seems to just add dangerous sparks to her frustration as she tries to figure out who she has to be nice to and who she actually wants to be nice to. At first, the horse lessons on the ranch start making Ruth feel as if she is back in her comfort zone until she gets tossed by one of the horses. Sometimes the best way through life is to laugh through the tears, warts, and her own attempts to mow the grass in a straight line.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Ruth attempted to shrug off the day’s crushing humidity as she crossed the driveway from the barn to the house, brushing a strand of charcoal-colored hair from her face. She was still discovering how much more intense the heat in Missouri was compared to Wisconsin, where she previously lived.

She wondered when her father was going to see the horses they had tested the other day. The sound of crunching gravel contrasted the peaceful country sounds as the vehicle of Emmett, the hunk of a farmhand who had just been fired for lying, deplorable behavior, headed out of the driveway.

As he drove out of sight she saw grandpa Malachi’s green, beat-up pickup pulling up the drive with his two-horse trailer bouncing behind. She paused on the front porch, waiting to see if he had anything in the trailer.

Grandpa pulled around the driveway loop and stopped in front of the house. The sunlight glistened on his almost white hair as he got out of the truck. "Hello, Ruthie," he said as he slammed his driver door shut.

Ruthie? Since when is my name Ruthie? "Hello Grandpa," she responded. "What's the trailer for?"

"Horses." He approached the front porch at a leisurely pace.

Ruth rolled her eyes. "I figured that, but what horses? Whose horses?"

"Yours and your father's I suppose. Your dad told me to bring the trailer just in case you decided to bring any of them home with you today." He had reached the porch and he climbed the front steps with deliberation.

"So you think he'll buy a horse today?" Ruth couldn't contain the grin that spread across her face.

"Apparently he thinks he might." He gave her a quick hug; the periwinkle eyes that matched hers twinkled pleasantly. "Why don't we head inside and see if he is ready to leave?"

I hope we bring home Embera, Ruth wished silently as she followed her grandfather inside. The red-tinted, part-Arabian mare had quickly stolen her heart.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.wordsbytwo.com. I am also on social media. I would love to connect with people!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gracem_author/

Thank you, Grace, for sharing some of your life and this new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts (Horse Haven Book 2)

Comment conversation starter question: Do you like horses?

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Connie said...

I like horses but I haven't had a chance to ride but a few times. Our neighbor has horses and granddaughter and I often pet them through the fence.
Thanks for sharing Grace's interview and first page.
Connie from KY
cps1950(at)gmail (dot)com

Mary Preston said...

A fun title and the story sounds wonderful.

Mary P


Cathy said...

Love horses as had several while growing up on a ranch. Appreciate the interview/background as Grace is a new author to me. Thanks! Cathy - TX

Grace Marshall said...

That reminds me of my mother when I had a horse in High School. She would always pet my horse through the fence but didn't have a lot of experience riding. You can just enjoy horses by petting them or looking at them, though. They are amazing creatures!

Thanks! I do my best to have fun and interesting titles, I'm glad you like it.

It must have been pretty awesome to grow up on a ranch! Living in the country is a wonderful experience.

I look forward to connecting with everyone more in the future!

Grace Marshall

Caryl McAdoo said...

As a little girl, I was quite obsessed with horses...all things horses. Finally old enough to check books out from our elementary library, I read everything possible on horses. The librarian would order more books for me to read. Finally, when I was nine, my daddy took me to get my own shetland pony. I named him Twinkle Toes (similar to Merrylegs in Black Beauty) and he rode home in the back seat of Daddy's car in my lap. He was only 6 months old. SO, I couldn't ride him for two years, but I was in heaven!!

Great interview, Lena! Glad to meet you, Grace! Blessings to you both!

Grace Marshall said...

I can definitely relate to that, I read a ton of horse books in elementary school. To this day I remember where the "Pony Pals" books were located in my elementary library.
That's so sweet that you got a Shetland when you were nine, and what a cute name! Horses really leave an imprint on your life.
I'm glad you stopped by the blog and hopefully we can connect more in the future!