Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grace Doll: An Interview and Giveaway with Author Jennifer Laurens

Grace Doll had everything a girl could want: Fame. Fortune. Beauty.

 The Book
Grace Doll had everything a girl could want: Fame. Fortune. Beauty.

Everything except, of course, her freedom. So when a powerful movie producer forces an experimental treatment on Grace--one that's purported to make beauty immortal--she stages her own death to escape him.

With the help of trusted friends, Grace slips into hiding. She's forever flawless, forever young and forever pursued by her past.

But when a stranger arrives on her doorstep, holding the key to a life she thought she'd left behind, Grace must decide between the safety she's known... and embracing the role she was born to play.

An Interview with the Author
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Choosing to stay away from ANYthing negative in this business. I overcame it by finally realizing you can't please everyone and by staying away from social media sites.

Is writing a full-time career for you?

Yes. I get up, get the kids off to school and write from 9 - 4.

Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how the main characeter is going to get through their biggest challenge. 

For over 70 years she's been in hiding. Then a stranger knocks on her door, threatening her secret life. She has to decide if she's going to keep living life as she has, or move forward and not allow her fears, or her past, to control her future. Because she feels an attraction to the stranger, she decides the move forward is worth the risk.

What has been your greatest challenge in writing Grace Doll? 

The story happens over a short period of time. I think creating a real feeling of caring between Grace and Brenden over that short period, was the hardest.

What message do you hope readers take away from the book? 

That relationship based books are still great books to read, even if they aren't about otherworldly creatures and other worlds.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 

As with all of my books, there's always something of me or my past in them. Brenden's life with his father is directly based on my own life with my real father. His feelings about his father are feelings I've had about my father.

Which character in Grace Doll will be the most difficult to part with?

I hated seeing Rufus Solomon finally get what he deserved, because I'd love to write more of him--and may, if I start at the very beginning of Grace's 'discovery' - he was a blast to write.

While writing Grace Doll, did you connect with one character more than the others? Who and how? 

Brenden. I based his relationship with his father on my own estranged relationship with my Dad.

What kind of research was involved for the book

None, I worked in show business and I'm familiar with the family dynamics of both characters.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write? 

Yes. Hard with 6 children.

What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book? 

The complete package of the ebook, with the book trailer, soundtrack and the Grace Doll Happy Ending video embedded in the copies. It's such a different story, those elements really add to the reading experience.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

I'm juggling 3 different stories at the moment. We'll see which one rises to the top for first completion.

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?  

When someone tells me Heavenly changed their life, their way of thinking about handicapped children -- hands down, that's the best.
Do you write your friends or family members into your books? If so, did they figure it out?  

Yes and yes/no. It depends on how obvious I am. In one of my earlier books, I wrote my mom into it and she never got it--yet she was the mom of the main character!

How do you unwind after a long writing session? 

A walk. Or a veg session in front of the TV.

Who or what has most influenced your writing? 

I adore Scott Spencer, Nora Roberts, Markus Zusak and Josephine Hart

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

It used to be clean.
How do you feel about book trailers and do you have any?

I LOVE book trailers and have them for all of my books. They're fun to make and an extension of my creative process. My YouTube channel is Dancewriter. Or you can look up any of my book titles on YouTube and see them.

Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again? 

Absolutely. I love having complete control over the creative process and I have learned so much.

If you had a chance to rewrite, is there anything about your book you would change?


What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Read across all genres.

What are you reading now? Why did you choose that book?

Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts ( for the 50th time ) Because no one weaves character and scene together like she does.
 From Grace Doll

I lean toward her. Her rapid breath teases my heartbeat into an eager pound, her chest rising and falling to the rhythm of my heart. I’m so close her breath slips into my parted lips. I expect to see surprise in her eyes—maybe warning. Instead, her blue gaze is heavy-lidded, almost dreamy. This isn’t a dream. I’m going to kiss you.

            Her scent drifts into me.
            “Brenden.” Her whisper floats around my senses. No, don’t wake me. This is my dream.
            “I can’t,” she says.
            She swallows. “I don’t have relationships.”
            “It’s a kiss. Not a relationship.” But that’s a lie. I’m not here on Dad’s errand anymore, I’m here for her. For me. The realization that my heart has changed fills me with thrill and desire. For us.
            “I don’t kiss,” she whispers.
            She can’t be serious. No, she’s just being seriously harsh to send me a clear message, and it hurts more than I want to accept. But the look in her eye confuses me—regret—and conviction.  I’m pressed into the seat by disbelief. What happened to this beautiful, healthy, vibrant girl to make her want to choose life without relationships? We’re silent for a long, long, time. The deafening roar of the plane engine fills my head. Does this mean she’s resolved to never have love? The thought is like the riptide, pulling me into dark suffocation.
            “How…” Words crawl out. The comment stings my brain into dullness. “Is it because you’re in mourning?”
Her expression is vacant. Dead. “I’m taking care of Oscar,” she says, resignation heavy in her voice. “You, of all people, should understand what that means.”
 “What about when Oscar’s gone? What then?”
             She turns away. I know how it feels having to accept fate, to face being alone.
            My hopes and fantasies take her answer like a sledgehammer to my heart. When Mom was dying, I wanted comfort I couldn’t have. I didn’t want to feel alone.
Gently, tentatively I lay my hand over hers, bringing her face round again. Her hand trembles beneath my palm, and the shuddering moves. Fascinated, I reach over with my left hand and gently cover her wrist, just in time to catch the traveling vibration up her arm. Her eyes close, her head falls back against the seat. Her body soon looks as though it’s gone completely lax. Beneath her shirt, the rise and fall of her chest grows more rapid.
            “What happens when I touch you?” I whisper.
            Her lips part, but she says nothing. Her eyes remain closed. Euphoria draws over her fine-boned features like she’s in the middle of a blissful dream.
            I lean close.“Tell me.” I squeeze tighter hoping to urge the words from her lips.
            “Let me go. Please.

Get your copy of Grace Doll!

Meet the Author
I write YA books. Whatever my heart desires, I write. I don't have someone over my shoulder, in some office somewhere telling me what I can and cannot write. Or should and shouldn't write. I listen to my heart, the center of my muse, and trust my instincts.

I've written since junior high school. An only child, I grew up writing big stories about big families. I also write YA under the name of JM Warwick. My hometown of Palos Verdes, California figures in much of my work, as does my current home of Pleasant Grove, Utah and other favorite places. I love to travel.

They say "write what you know" and I do. I am a mother, I have six children, five cats and a huge doberman/dane dog. I have a supportive husband and we've been married 25 years. Our lives, though challenging with a handicapped child who has autism, are centered in our family.

My life experiences have worked into all of my novels. Some more heavily than others, but parts of me are in each story. I love stories rich in family drama, where family members overcome obstacles through love and miracles.
Connect with Jennifer!

Tour Giveaway  
$10 Amazon Gift Card + Copy of Grace Doll & Swag
Copy of Grace Doll
(Paperback open to US only, Ebook Internationally)
Ends 11/15/12


  1. Stunning book cover and the book sounds like a beautiful and touching read. Thank you for joining us today Jennifer!

  2. Thanks for participating in the tour!