We are very happy to welcome Andrew Grey to the Smoocher’s Voice blog today. Andrew is a prolific writer with more than 80 books under his belt.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Check out his Web site at http://andrewgreybooks.com/ and Facebook fan page All the Way with Andrew Grey.
Check out all of the Love Means books on Goodreads:
Jodi: There are nine books in the Farm series. Love means … Patience, which releases today, May 23, on Dreamspinner Press, will be book 10. Tell us a little about your inspiration for this series?
Andrew: When I was nineteen, my mother took me to an Amish bakery. While I was there, I saw this kid a little younger than me. He was beautiful with bashful eyes and black hair. That memory surfaced and he became Eli.
Jodi: There are characters in your other books that experience PTSD. Did you do research on PTSD for this book?
Andrew: I did research and found that in some cases, people can lose touch with reality. That was where I started with this story.
Jodi: No matter how many of your books I read, Eli and Geoff are still two of my favorite characters. Are these characters completely fictional or are they based on real people?
Andrew: They are completely fictional although there are elements of myself and others in them.
Jodi: Will some of the other characters from this series make an appearance in this book? Which characters are still living and/or working on the farm with Geoff and Eli?
Andrew: Other characters will make an appearance, especially Eli, Geoff, and Adelle. Some characters have moved on while others are still around. I like to think that part of the fun in these stories is seeing the characters you love change.
Jodi: Do you plan to have additional Love Means books in this series?
Andrew: Love Means… Endurance is written and is expected to be released early next year.
Jodi: You mentioned there will be a new Range book this year. When is that book tentatively scheduled to be published and what will the focus be?
Andrew: A Chaotic Range is scheduled in November and is David’s story. He needs to find love now that Mario has moved on.
Jodi: You have written short stories, novellas, novels and series. Which style do you prefer?
Andrew: I definitely prefer novels and for the large part, with the exception of holiday stories, I will be writing novels moving forward.
Jodi: Is it difficult keeping track of characters and chronological timelines for your series books?
Andrew: Yes. I have to constantly look back and make sure I am being consistent. Sometimes I make mistakes though. I also have great editors who help as well.
Jodi: With so many books to your credit, do you have any favorite series or characters?
Andrew: Geoff and Eli are my favorite. (I will let you all in on a secret, in Love Means… Endurance, we return to Geoff and Eli)
Jodi: Many of your books are written in third person point of view. Does writing in third person point of view provide more opportunities to explore each character’s personality than it would if the books were written in first person?
Andrew: Yes. I like being able to give both points of view. With first person, you only get the POV of the person telling the story. I have used first person as well for some stories. It depends on the story and character.
Jodi: If someone is not familiar with your books, where would you suggest a new reader begin reading?
Andrew: I find this one of the hardest questions to answer. Each of the series is special to me. I would suggest to start with one of the following: Love Means… No Shame, The Good Fight, A Shared Range, or Love Comes Silently.
Jodi: Many of your books explore issues of societal concerns. What inspires you to address these issues in your stories? Are there specific issues that are closer to your heart?
Andrew: I am always looking for the beginning of a good story with interesting characters and a unique conflict. Societal issues also enable me to add to the books a sense of place and urgency and I hope they touch people’s hearts and open their eyes while entertaining them at the same time.
Jodi: At the RainbowCon conference in Tampa, Florida, you mentioned that societal changes can be effected by works of fiction. You mentioned Jane Austin and women’s rights. How have fictional works in the LGTBQ genre effected change?
Andrew: The broadening audience for LGBTQ fiction has opened hearts and minds throughout the country. This in turn has helped bring about the demise of DOMA, DADT, and I believe has furthered the cause for marriage equality. The fiction we write and love to read can change minds and help change the world.
Love means … Patience is available on Dreamspinner Press
Years after his discharge from the Marines under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Cody Culver lives in a PTSD-induced world all his own. On a mission, under misconceptions that Geoff and Eli are the enemy, Cody breaks into their farmhouse but is quickly brought back to his senses by a frying pan to the head. After receiving much needed help in the hospital, Cody has nowhere to go. Luckily, kindhearted Eli knows just where to turn.
When Eli asks former Marine Brick Hunter to help, Brick isn’t sure he wants to get involved. But Brick has worked through his own PTSD, and like it or not, he owes Eli a favor. With Cody struggling to rejoin the real world and Brick agreeing to take him in, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought possible.
Though Cody tries to stay in the here and now, he sometimes flashes to unexplainable traumatic events — events that don’t fit his usual war zone delusions. As the “delusions” grow more frequent, it becomes apparent they might not be delusions at all. Cody may have actually witnessed a murder.