The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is S.C. Grayson! Her debut, Spears and Shadows (Defenders of the Light Book 1) released June 16th 2022.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m S.C. Grayson, and I’m a fantasy romance author. My first book, Spears and Shadows, released on June 16th. I was born and raised in Chicago (and I show my love for my hometown in my books), but I now live in Pittsburgh with my husband and our two adorable cats. When I’m not writing, I’m a registered nurse and a breast cancer researcher.
Congrats on your debut release! How was that experience for you?
It’s been great! My debut has been out for about a month now, and I’m still waiting for the day it will really sink in that I’m a published author now. It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t even know what to do with my personal copy of Spears and Shadows. It’s sitting laying sideways across other books on my shelf, haphazardly shoved in there because I’m out of room. I should make a place of honor for it I suppose, but I just haven’t gotten there.
How long have you been writing?
Fiction? This book is my first foray into fiction, and I started writing it back in 2018. After I finished drafting it, the story sat on my computer untouched for almost a whole year, since I didn’t know if I was going to publish it. At first, I started writing it just for myself, so when I realized I wanted to share it with the world, it took me a while to figure out how I wanted to do that.
In terms of writing in general though, I’ve been at that for quite a while! I’m currently a nurse researcher working towards my PhD, so I’ve written a good number of scientific publications regarding my research of breast cancer genetics. I even wrote a chapter in a genetics textbook that is being published in September! It feels extra special to publish fiction and nonfiction in the same year.
Describe a typical writing day.
I’m not sure I have a “typical” day, considering I don’t really have a writing routine. I tend to write huge chunks at a time, followed by a period of days with no (fiction) writing when I get busy with science. When I am dedicating a day to my writing though, I walk to my favorite local coffee shop and camp out with an iced americano and one of their homemade rice krispie treats. I think I wrote at least 75% of Spears and Shadows while sitting in that coffee shop!
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
This is one of the questions I get asked the most and still is one of the hardest for me to answer. I’m not always sure where my ideas come from when they pop into my head. I do know that what makes me sit down and write is the need to make the kind of stories I would like to read. I started by first book because I had been reading a lot for a period, and I still felt like I was looking for a specific story that I wasn’t able to find. I decided that I owned a laptop, so I might as well fix the problem by creating it myself!
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
First and foremost, I want my readers to be entertained. Especially in this day and age, I feel like we could all use a little escapism. If I offer readers a chance to spend an afternoon engrossed in another world, then I will have done my job.
What is the significance of the title?
To be transparent, the title wasn’t settled on until well after I had signed a publishing contract, much closer to publication. For me, the spear was really important as it symbolizes the start of the adventure. The weapon is what draws Nora, the main character, into the whole new world she discovers. The Shadow is the evil in the story, and while it is a dark and mysterious force, it isn’t the traditional characterization of evil. The concept of an evil that is born from the good, just like light casts a shadow, is a central tenant of the story. So, Spears and Shadows refers to two of the most important aspects of the story. Plus, who doesn’t like a little alliteration?
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Enthusiastic, unconventional, compassionate.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
Sharing my book with my sister and my husband for the first time was incredible. They are the first people to read everything I write. My sister and I have been reading fantasy and discussing it since I could read, so being able to talk with her about a story I wrote was really special. This book really wouldn’t exist without my husband’s support, so handing him the first copy and having him open it to see the dedication to him in the front was a teary moment for me.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
Yes! I have the first book in another series scheduled to release in January. It is called Beauty and the Blade and is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast taking place in a dystopian version of Victorian London that is being overrun by magical street gangs. Spears and Shadows is also getting not one, but two sequels! So all the reviewers who have been saying they want to know more about the side characters, your time is coming.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Write the story you want to tell. You can figure the rest out later.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I write because I love telling stories! I have a job outside of writing that I wouldn’t leave even if I sold a million copies. So for me, this is about sharing books and connecting with people through the characters I create. With that in mind, I don’t think I’ll ever be tired of hearing from readers. I genuinely love to connect with all of you!
Thank you S.C. Grayson for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her latest release, Spears and Shadows today!
Nora struggled with work-life balance even before an immortal sorcerer showed up and turned her career-and her love life, upside down.
Historian Nora Zvezda is gunning for a promotion at The Chicago Field Museum. The discovery of two ancient Greek weapons unlike any she’s seen before might be her big break-but the artifacts are more than they seem.
Trying to uncover their secrets, Nora enlists the help of professor of ancient languages, Dr. Adam Scott, an undeniably handsome man of intrigue. Nora has been too busy to worry about romance, but Adam seems to be overflowing with charm-and secrets, the biggest being his rank among the Eteria, a secret society of powerful sorcerers who’ve been in hiding since the days of the Greek empire.
When Nora’s work with the ancient and mystical weapons draws the attention of the Shadow, a powerful force that feeds off fear and negative emotions, she finds herself thrust in the middle of a perilous, age-old war between good and evil.
To protect herself, she must join the Eteria in their fight, all while struggling not to sacrifice the life she’s worked so hard for. Complicating things further is her undeniable desire for Adam and the feeling that he may be hiding more than his status as an immortal sorcerer.
S.C. Grayson has been reading fantasy novels since she was a little girl stealing books from her older sister’s shelves, and that has developed into a love of writing and storytelling. Her writing is currently focused on fantasy and paranormal romance. When she is not sitting in a local coffee shop writing and consuming an iced americano, Grayson is a nurse working towards a PhD in nursing with a focus on breast cancer genetics. She lives in Pittsburgh with her loving husband and their two cats, who enjoy contributing to her work by walking across her keyboard at inopportune moments (the cats, not the husband).