Today I’m featuring fellow Astraea Press author, Jennifer Rae Gravely. She was generous in agreeing to share her Path to Publication story, and was very understanding and kind when I forgot to post it on October 10th when it was originally supposed to run 🙂
Without further ado, here’s Jennifer!
Thanks, Christi, for sharing my story and having me on your blog. I’m so excited to be here!
I’ve always loved words. As a child, I earned the nicknames motor-mouth and jabber jaws for my love of talking and telling stories. Later, as an avid reader, I wrote mainly to analyze. A triple major in history, politics, and English at Converse College, I viewed life in terms of paper topics! Still, I played with writing short stories and poetry. Then life took over—I became a wife, mother, teacher, and coach—and even though I continued to read, I rarely wrote anything creatively.
About twelve years ago, some teacher friends and I were talking about books and decided to try to write our own. One friend found her groove with the challenge, and has had numerous novels published (Woot! Woot! Elaine Cantrell, fellow AP author). I spent years on two connected novels about the fictional Southern town of Keowee, both novels still looking for the right home. (I regularly receive rejections on Drown and Rivers, but I haven’t given up hope. *sighs)
However, at the encouragement of my talented friend, I tried once again to write a novel. This time I submitted the book based on the Persephone myth to her publisher Astraea Press, and to my surprise AP owner Stephanie Taylor liked it and offered a contract. I hugged my daughter, did a little dance, and then set about learning how to truly put together a book through the grueling editing process. Whew! *wipes brow
After Knight of the Dead was released summer of 2012, I decided my next book would pertain more to what I know—volleyball. So last fall I started work on another Keowee romance, finishing around spring break of this year. I sent to Astraea and waited patiently, biting nails and checking emails daily. But I received a contract and began again to edit, this time applying lessons learned from the first book.
I adore the story of Randi and Blake and have numerous prequels, sequels, and short stories started based on the characters created in Set to Love. But alas, I’m heavy in my high school volleyball season so writing is on the back burner until after playoffs.
The championship is her dearest desire, not love. Recently appointed girls’ volleyball coach at Keowee High School, Randi Sly spends the night with rival coach Blake Steele after getting sick from drinking too much wine. Rumors swirl as the two battle for the State crown.
About the Author
Born in Ohio but raised in Pickens, SC, I graduated from Converse College with a triple major in history, politics, and English before earning my master’s degree in education. Returning to my high school alma mater to teach English and to coach volleyball, my teams won four state championships and six upper state titles in ten years. I live with my husband, daughter, seven beagles, and one cat. Set to Love is the second romance published by Astraea Press featuring the fictional Southern town of Keowee.
How to find Jennifer: