Today is my stop on the Defense of an Other blog tour and I am pleased to welcome Grace Mead on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some intriguing answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I enjoy every draft after the first, when I’ve narrowed the questions and issues to resolve and can focus on honing the prose, description, and dialogue, but I most enjoy most reviewing a finished product that’s good enough that I disbelieve that I wrote it.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Luther Jackson, a character you don’t encounter until the second half of the book is my favourite. He comes from a challenging background and makes hard choices, but what’s best about him is the result of persistently trying to be a better person.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Without doubt, coffee. I drink about two pots of caffeinated coffee each morning, before switching to decaf around noon. I hope my primary care physician doesn’t read this.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
At times, I’m overeager and write the first draft without sufficiently thinking it through in advance. As a baby lawyer, I was told I wrote too quickly and should be forced to write everything by hand to slow me down. Though I still use a computer to write, I’ve overcome this almost entirely for the writing I do at work, through habits of researching, reading, listening, note-taking, organization, thinking, and writing. I also edit hard copy drafts. But because I didn’t have a clue about how to write a novel before writing the first draft of Defense of an Other in 2007, there was much wasted motion.
How do you research your books?
I’ll describe my approach to later drafts, rather than the wrong turns I took early on. I read everything possible on Kindle: I highlight as I go, and I’ve found a browser plug-in that permits me to download the highlights afterwards. For legal cases, I use pdf copies of everything possible, highlight, and then insert a text box on the first page with my typewritten notes with parenthetical references to the pdf pages. But I wasn’t that disciplined when I began writing this book in 2007, and I’ve gone through several computers with imperfect back-ups since. As for internet research, I’m still searching for the best way to download and store what I read there, and I’ve recently been working with Pocket and Microsoft OneNote.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A combination. I have separate list of the cast of characters, with names, roles, physical descriptions, and some biographical information. I outline, but I tend to include it in the draft. So I outline each chapter within the chapter itself, and then, as I write, I replace the outline. I create new versions of drafts for even daily changes, so it’s not unusual for me to go through 100 drafts of lengthy legal brief if time permits. For the novel, I went through hundreds of drafts, though knowing how many is impossible because writing it spanned three different personal computers and 11 years.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
This is a tricky question because conflict drives all great novels, and as much as I love science fiction, for example, I don’t want to live in a dystopia. So I’ll go with the sort of novels I read to decompress. I’d live in the Seven Shores apartment complex in the romance series by Melissa Brayden, which is set in Los Angeles and with characters that include writers, designers, firefighters, and a coffee shop owner. Sort of like the L Word, but with less drama.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Sasha Young, the leader of the crew in Rae D. Magdon’s Lucky 7. She’s tough as nails, can fly a spaceship, and is great in a fight. Though all my friends need not be able to fly spaceships.
About the book
Defense of an Other begins in the French Quarter with a day in the life of a young lawyer named Matt Durant gone horribly awry. After a few beers, Matt works up the courage to visit a gay bar, where he meets a stranger named Joey Buckner. When Matt and Joey duck into an alley behind the bar to take a leak, three drunks target them for a hate crime and beat up Joey, which forces Matt to attack and kill one of the men. Matt is then arrested for murder, thrown in Orleans Parish Prison and calls his boss for help, forcing him out of the closet. The novel then follows the course of his trial and explores its consequences.
About the Author
Grace is a practicing lawyer born and raised in Louisiana who graduated from Dartmouth College and then became the Editor-in-Chief of The University of Chicago Law Review. Her 17-year career has included a one-year clerkship for the appellate court with jurisdiction over Louisiana federal trial courts and 16 years of civil litigation.
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4. Ends on 18/11/2018
I'm just a twenty-something year old girl who has a passion for everything related to books, films and writing. I'm a part-time librarian, sharing my love of books and films with the world. I'm from the UK and love everything about the country. If you want to know more about me, feel free to follow me on twitter, add me on Facebook or e-mail me! :-)