Grace Parkes

Grace Parkes

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Latest Book: Before Her

Where did the inspiration for the book come from?

As I grew up in a small village, this story resonated with being a lesbian in the land that time forgot. I also worked in a pub and dealt with lots of drunken men! I feel like I drew on a range of experiences from my teenage years which helped me create the world in 'Before Her'.

Why was the story so important to you?

As a village girl, I found it heart warming to delve back into that village life, even with the need of some new excitement within it. Unfortunately, there was no 'Frankie' in my village...

Tell us about the characters

Cara - She feels stale in her bar job, in a dull village but she loves her best friend Jenny. Cara is a friendly girl with a warming personality. She had aspirations to move to the city and delve into a new life but time flies by when you're comfortable. Jenny - Quirky, fun and heartbroken. Jenny was devasted about her ex girlfriend who broke her heart when she caught her sleeping with another woman. Jenny loved living with Cara. They had been best friends for years. Jenny is happy go lucky and finally tries dating again. It works out quite well for her... eventually. Frankie - Mysterious, great with power tools and have a killer smile. Frankie turns women's heads. She is strong, tall and has a charm. Deep beneath her muscles is alot of pain and hurt. There is much emotional turmoil that she hiding, but you have to read to find out more.

As a writer...

How do you deal with bad reader reviews?

They do suck, especially when you put everything into your work and it's your baby. The thing is 'I'd rather be someone's shot of whisky than everyone's cup of tea'. You can't please everybody as much as I'd like to. Some bad reader reviews host good information and feedback which has made me think about future books. You win some, you lose some! If you let bad reviews take over you, you'll never move forward!

How do you feel about readers reaching out to you? What is the best way they can do that?

I absolutely love it when readers reach out. Twitter is the best way!

What can you tell us about your work in progress?

I'm currently writing in first person which is very different but i'm loving it. It feels much more personal and direct. I hope you like it!

For new readers what book should they read first?

I would definitely say start with Before Her or Please Mistress. Quite honestly, I think they are my strongest books. My releases from last year including Guitar Girl and Her Secret were books to learn from. I learnt so much from these and I hope to learn more with each book.

What is your favourite word?


As a person...

What is your favorite food?

Chinese. I love Chinese takeaway!

What is the favourite thing you own?

My piano. I enjoy playing it every day. It's really beautiful!

What superhero power would you want to possess?

Invisibility. I'd really like to be a fly on the wall in some interesting places.

Where/what is your happy place?

At home with my animals and my girlfriend. I feel very lucky to have a lovely home life and a great creative space to write in.

What is the best part of the day?

It has to be breakfast. I often think about what I'm going to have for breakfast when I'm in bed the night before! My favourite is smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.