Author Interview: Grace Burrowes

Oh my goodness Readers, today I have the fabulous Grace Burrowes on the blog. I know you cannot see me but I super giddy and doing my happy dance. I have been fascinated with her stories when I picked up The Heir, book one in the Windham series. Ms. Burrowes’ writing is amazing and it is addicting. Once you start reading a series you devour it. It’s like cake but with no calories (even better!). 🙂

RRG: What made you decide to write and publish your amazing stories?
GB: I’ve been a voracious reader of romance for decades. When my daughter left home, the story ideas started appearing in my head, and at a point when my keeper authors hit a simultaneous lull, I decided I’d try writing one of those stories. I’ve never had a TV in my house, so I had plenty of time to write. Writing is the best fun I’ve come across, so I hope many more books are in my future.

The publishing part was an afterthought, when enough friends and family had nudged me about it, and I had a couple dozen completed manuscripts. “Oh, why not give it a try?” says me. That was three yeas ago…

RRG: I’ve read you come from a big family; did this influence the Windham Family series?
GB: I’m sure it did, if for no other reason than I needed a series long enough to dedicate a book to each of my siblings and to my daughter. I’ve written smaller-family series, but with a big family, you have time to get to know each sibling, and to find the cross-currents and subtle connections. You can see each family member, especially the parents, from many different perspectives, and that creates all kind of possibilities for plot twists, secondary characters, and resonance between books. Starting off with a long series also let me focus on characterization rather than re-discovering the Windham’s world from book to book, because the family brought some of the same world from book to book.

11214727RRG: Speaking of the Windham’s, Valentine is one of my all-time favorite heroes, what inspired his character?
GB: Individuation is one trait that characterizes a big family, at least in my experience. No two siblings in my family have the same profession or live in the same part of the country. Valentine Windham used the piano to carve out an identity different from his siblings, particularly different from his swashbuckling oldest brothers (Bart and St. Just), his bookish and lawyerly next brother (Westhaven), and his charming next brother (Victor). His musical proficiency became his identity, the only thing people noticed about him, and the only thing he thought he had to give other people—his sword and his shield, so to speak.

I hid on a piano bench between the ages of ten and twenty, to the point that I could support myself through college accompanying ballet classes, teaching piano, and playing at wedding receptions and class reunions. I spent hours and hours and hours on the piano bench, associated only with musicians, and saw myself ending up with a PhD in music history.

Ha. My back began to hurt, musicians can be an odd lot, and the academic hurdles between me and a PhD were large (student loan-large). I turned my back on music, and headed for political science, which was the straightest path to college graduation…. This decision was equal parts grief and relief, but also bewildering from an identity standpoint. When it came time to torture Valentine as a hero, I knew exactly what to do. Eventually, he knew what to do too!

RRG: What does your family think of your writing?
GB: Their attitude has been, “Well, of course you’re published. You always could write well.” In other words, supportive but mostly clueless. This is probably common for writers. My mother (age 90) has read some of my romances, and tells me in all sincerity, “You know, you could write real books if you really wanted too.” Yes, mama.

RRG: What do you like to read?
GB: I have my keeper authors, still: Joanna Bourne, Jennifer Ashley, Judith Ivory, Julie Anne Long, Tessa Dare, Carolyn Jewel, Meredith Duran, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, JR Ward, and others, but I also love to read biography and period sources. The early modern British writer strikes me as having a verve and command of written self-expression that I haven’t found elsewhere.

RRG: Is there a genre you’d like to try but haven’t yet?
GB: Mystery. I’m an avid fan of Charles Finch’s Charles Lennox mysteries, which are set in the High Victorian, and are a pure delight to read or listen to (we have the same audio narrator, James Langton, who is a genius). Those have led me to other mysteries, and particularly if there’s a romantic element to the tale, I gobble them up.

RRG: Can you tell us about your latest series set in Scotland?
GB: The MacGregor Family series focuses on the tribulations and true loves of the Earl of Balfour, his siblings and extended family, and has been a pure delight to write. It’s set in Scotland in the early 1850s, when Victoria and Albert were enjoying Balmoral Castle with their brood. The change of scene has been great fun, spending time in Scotland even greater fun. The third book in the series comes out in February, “The MacGregor’s Lady,” and the fourth will be my 2014 Christmas tale, “What a Lady Wants for Christmas.”

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Favorites:
Quote: “Be kind, tell the truth.” Ram Dass
Season: Autumn
Place you’ve been: Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland (beautiful river, lots of big trees, laddies in kilts, whiskey, and tablet, (a kind of whiskey flavored fudge))
Time of day: dawn
Animal: Impossible to choose between a horse and a cat, though dogs are lovely too, bunnies have a lot to recommend them, cows are delightful, goats entertaining, sheep sweet, and pigs thoughtful. Then there are the raccoons, possums, and skunks who visit my porch regularly, and well, I love animals. No need to choose.

I would like to thank Grace for taking time out of her schedule to top stop today. Readers, if you haven’t read any of her books just pick one up and start reading it. You will love it and want to read all her books. -RRG

Connect with Grace on her website and Facebook.

You can find the The Windham Family Series, The MacGregor’s and The Lonely Lord Series on AMAZON and B&N.

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30 thoughts on “Author Interview: Grace Burrowes

  1. Wonderful, insightful interview! I love your mother’s reaction, Grace. Oh mama…
    I can’t believe it’s only been three years worth of books! Here’s hoping/looking for decades more.

    • Nancy, my dad’s reaction was unprintable, then Mom lit into him about how hard it is to get published, and what an accomplishment a single book is, and he’s been quiet ever since. Go, Mama!

      • I’m so glad your mama recognizes your accomplishments, because you so write “real books”! I aspire to write books my mom and dad would both like. Dad was a big fan of Janet Dailey and Sandra Brown and he lived for the big family sagas that were mulit-generational, you know, the kind you need the Cliff’s Notes or a chart to follow? Glad there are many more of yours to enjoy!

  2. I love all of her books, she’s well aware of this fact, I’m reading Andrew right now and have a number of her forthcoming books on order through Amazon. I think I learn something new about Grace in each interview of her that I read.

  3. I’m involved with Grace Burrowes books, I have been introduced to her heroes and heroines in each book and I have a memory of them as if they were real, because the surrounding players are the next book, or the one after that fleshed out. My mind is constantly searching with some tidbit of storyline she gave me in a prior book and I want to piece it together with the current offering. Remember, I’m reading them as published not as written. Each book certainly stands on its own, but together there is a wealth of more intertwining relationships. These are storybook characters but they are real to me. ‘Nuff said. I’m a Fan.

  4. Awesome interview ~ but Grace does everything well that I can tell.

    Grace ~ Have you read Jennifer Ashley’s/Ashley Gardner’s mysteries. I just gave the first one to an artist friend for her 93rd birthday. I haven’t read them yet but I’m sure they are up to the caliber of her other releases =)

    Oh and Grace, for bunny breeds that are just awesome in the love and cuddle department try the Flemish Giants and English Lops. They are a major handful, eat a lot and then there’s clean up but they are the most lovable rabbits. My daughter had one of each for a while and they were adorable, especially the English lop with his ears that dragged on the floor. She raised and showed Mini-Rex for years and they were great too. I could hold them because they were smaller. Show and tell at school was awesome with the babies 🙂

    • Glittergirl you and I have something else in common besides the fabulous Grace Burrowes- Glitter and Sparkle. My favorite color is sparkle! 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by and posting your comment. I have never touched a rabbit. Maybe it’s time I do!

      • Glitter & Sparkle are my anti-depression devices =). Rings on all my fingers, bracelets, earrings, lapel pins, glittery gel nails ❤ Works better than prescriptions!

        Rabbits can make nice pets but you have to be careful if you're new to them. Ask someone at your local fair about breeds and personalities. Some of the most popular at pet stores are awful as pets (Netherland Dwarf). The bigger breads tend to be sweeter but are a commitment to care for. If it's cage trained (and not a chewer) it can be a house pet but only one. They are territorial and mark if there's more than one. The males tend to bond better with owners ~ females tend to get hormonal ;-). Most pet stores are NOT a good source of information. We loved our Mini-Rex's…think velveteen rabbit.

  5. You already know I’m a big fan of yours, Grace. Although I love all your heroes, I think Valentine is still my favorite. 🙂 Please ignore your mama and keep on writing these un-real books. 🙂

  6. Lovely interview! I never knew you have a PhD in music, Grace! You must have felt especially in your element when writing Valentine. I love your books, Grace, and look forward to more. ^_^

  7. Reblogged this on bookworm2bookworm's Blog and commented:
    Bookworms!
    I almost missed this blog post! You all know how much I love this woman and her books, so here is Lindsey with an awesome interview!
    Please stop by her blog to comment!

    Thanks,
    Mel

  8. I enjoy your writing and enjoyed the interview. Big families are nice but overwhelming as well. My husband and I have 6 children and recently celebrated the birth of our first grandchild. Thanks for sharing 😉
    Happy Holidays

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