Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Brunch 9/15/13


First and foremost, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to Harper’s Sunday Brunch Interview!
Thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here.

So, can you tell us what makes Kelley Grealis tick? What got you started on the path to becoming an author?
I wrote a lot when I was younger. I wrote poetry mostly, but attempted my first novel when I was in the 6th grade. I didn’t make it past the first 5 pages!

I set writing aside when I started high school. My parents decided to send me to catholic school, so I thought I needed to focus on my studies to ensure they got their monies worth. I paid my way through college, so between going to school full time and working, I had little time for writing. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about writing at this time.

I accredit my career midlife crisis for renewing my passion for creative writing. In 2009, the company I had been working for was acquired and the future of my job uncertain. That event caused me to reflect on what I was doing for a living. There was nothing wrong with what I was doing, but I realized that I was professionally unfulfilled. I felt that there had to be something else out there for me.

At this same time, I had just finished reading a popular book series, the premise of which was so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself. I stewed over this for a bit before declaring to my husband that I was going to write a book. I started writing The Descendant the next day.

What are you currently working on? Would you care to share a snippet?
At the moment, I’m gearing up for the release of my second book, The Search (Book 2 in The Descendant Vampire Series). The Search will be published on August 27. I need to start working on the third book in the series, which I intend to be the last book unless I write myself into a fourth.

Excerpt from the opening scene of Chapter 1; Allison caught in the midst of her illicit vampire behavior.

We reached the apartment and I punched the security code into the keypad as I steadied Joe with my left arm. The lock clicked and I pushed the door open. We entered the dark apartment, the only illumination coming from the cityscape visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Which city, I hadn’t a clue. I’d traveled to so many cities over the past several months that they all looked the same. This was just another metropolis with an overabundance of skyscrapers, congested freeways and plenty of places like the lounge to inconspicuously pick up an easy meal, like Joe.

“Where’s the light?” Joe groped the wall in search of a switch.

“We don’t need light.” I grabbed Joe by the shirt and pushed him against the wall. I pressed my body against his as I kicked the door closed with my other foot.

“I like it. A woman who takes control and knows what she wants.”

“I know what I want, alright.”

Joe panted with anticipation. I could feel his heart beating beneath his shirt, now damp with perspiration. I yanked at his collar, exposing his neck. Though the room was dark, my eyes could see the vein thumping under his skin with every beat of his heart. I licked his neck and the saltiness was enough to make the venom angrier. It swirled more powerfully in my stomach and steamrolled through my veins. Desire was flush throughout my body; I yearned for nourishment. My legs tingled with anticipation. I opened my mouth and felt my fangs emerge; a drop of venom numbed my tongue for a second. I threw my head back, ready to strike when the light flicked on.

“What in the hell?” I shouted at Joe, assuming he had found the light switch.

It took his mortal eyes a few seconds to adjust to the surroundings, which was enough time for my fangs to retract without him noticing. Joe rubbed his eyes with both hands and I realized he couldn’t have turned on the light; the switch was out of reach. I turned around.

“Hello, Allison,” a female voice greeted from across the room. 

“Marlo?” I was shocked by the unexpected appearance of the woman I had once, not too long ago, considered like a sister.

Do you include some of your own personal experiences in your books or do you prefer to use your imagination? 
Both. There’s a lot of me in the Allison you see in Chapter 1 of The Descendant (Book 1 in The Descendant Vampire Series). The angst that Allison feels about not being able to find her life’s calling is how I felt as I was going through my career mid-life crisis. But that’s the extent of me in that book. From there, I twisted everything into a fictional tale that reveals the origin of the vampire. One of the liberating things about being a writer is the ability to let your imagination run wild with a story. 
Why Paranormal books?  What made you choose this genre over others? 
I’ve loved all things vampire since I was a little girl when my mom hooked me on the reruns of the original Dark Shadows TV show. Once I decided I was going to write a book, it was natural for me to want to write about vampires, and once I made that decision, I knew exactly what I was going to write about. I had an observation after reading a bunch of vampire books and watching loads of vampire TV shows and movies – the vampire was always just there. I had never heard a story about the origin of the vampire, or the stories I had heard I simply didn’t think were plausible. I decided I was going to write a novel about how the first vampire came to be with the hope that my theory would make people wonder if it could be possible that vampires exist. 
Though I currently write paranormal, I have plans for a political thriller and contemporary romance. 
Do you have a specific process or a ritual you go through when sitting down to write? 
When I wrote the first draft of The Descendant, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I started writing the middle of the novel first, then went back and wrote the beginning, ending, and everything in between. After taking writing classes, I learned techniques to make me more efficient as a writer. I now start with an outline and then have that outline up on the screen as I write each chapter to ensure I hit on all of the elements I want included in a chapter. 
Where do you find your inspiration for your plots?  Do you have any tricks of the trade you would care to share? 
The inspiration for The Descendant was my desire to spin a tale about the vampire’s origin. I did so by tying their creation to popular biblical stories and I did this because my favorite types of stories are historical fiction or fictional tales woven around biblical stories. The Descendant is the vampire book I had always wanted to read, and since I never found it, I decided to write it. 
Inspiration for other novels I plan to write come from real life events. I like to take things I see and twist them into fictional tales. 
What is the oddest place/situation where an idea for a book/plot has come to you? 
In the shower! It was a Saturday and I was in the middle of writing The Descendant. As I was sudsing up my hair, I had an epiphany about one of my plot elements. I scrambled to rinse my hair, grabbed a towel and went running through the house to get to the den, while shouting at my husband to not talk to me so I wouldn’t forget my thought. 
What makes a book stand out and perk your interest? 
It’s all in the way the author paints their world and draws me in. Voice and the tense are factors for me as well. For example, I don’t prefer to read books written in present tense. I stopped saying that I don’t like to read certain genres. Having met some terrific authors, I’ve broadened my reading horizon and have read really terrific books in genres I wouldn’t have previously read. It all boils down to how I connect with the book’s voice. 
We all have our favorite authors.  Can you share some of yours and tell us why you like them? 
I’m a big fan of Boyd Morrison. He writes action/thrillers. If you haven’t read books by him, start off with The Ark. It’s a story about the quest for Noah’s Ark, but is so much more than that. I like the way he blends his engineering background into the stories he tells. 
We all have a pet peeve, care to share yours? 
My biggest pet peeve is lack of personal responsibility. If you say you’re going to do something, do it, and if for some reason you can’t, at least let me know there will be a delay. 
When you’re not writing, what are the things you enjoy doing to relax? 
I like to exercise and belong to a local fitness place that offers a variety of classes that keep me interested.  Of course I like to read. I also enjoy gardening and watching sports. I’m a diehard Cleveland sports fan. My husband and I both have motorcycles so we enjoy riding. We also like ATV’ing and traveling. 
Thank you so much for joining me here today, Kelley.  I know my followers will enjoy this spotlight as much as I have conducting it.  Good luck on all your future endeavors. 
Thank you for having me! I appreciate the opportunity. Best of luck to you as well!

A Little About Kelley
What do most people do when they go through a midlife crisis – buy a sports car or get a makeover? Not Kelley Grealis. Her career midlife crisis reignited her passion for creative writing.  

A worker-bee by day, writer by night, Kelley is the author of The Descendant Vampire Series. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two cats, riding her Harley, enjoying what few days of sunshine there are in Cleveland, and dreaming up the next story she wants to tell. Kelley is a graduate of both Baldwin Wallace College and Cleveland State University. Connect with her at

Twitter or @KelleyGrealis


Allison Carmichael is thirsty for blood and hungry for answers.
Lured away from her illicit extracurricular activities by news about her kidnapped husband, Allison rejoins her adopted family that’s promised to help her find him. Allison's search is detoured, however, by sinister vampire politics, the seeming good will of her fanged family, and the return of her nemesis. Circumstances unfold that shatter the foundation of her world.

In order to successfully play the game she has been thrust into, Allison must battle loss and betrayal and accept unexpected love.

THE SEARCH is on for answers, but when answers are found, will they be what Allison was looking for?



Mortal death or eternal damnation? If those were your choices, which would you choose?

Allison Carmichael is frustrated with the doctors who can’t diagnose her seemingly common ailments. Her frustrations are further compounded by her inability to discover her life’s calling, a purpose she desperately desires yet which has eluded her for thirty years.

A car wreck throws Allison into a life she doesn’t recognize filled with vampires, centuries-old secrets, betrayal, and vengeful enemies she never knew existed.

When Allison discovers the source of her ailments and the truth about her biblical lineage, she wishes she hadn’t searched so hard for the answers she thought she wanted.

Faced with an impossible decision – sacrifice her mortal life or damn her soul for eternity – which will Allison choose?

And can she decide before the choice is made for her?

THE DESCENDANT – A Vampire Tale of Biblical Proportions


1 comment:

  1. Hi Harper - thanks for hosting me for brunch today! I appreciate it!