Author of the Month: P. Grace Lawson

What is your genre? What draws you to this genre

My genre is a hybrid of fantasy, speculative, and horror fiction. I have been a fan of horror since I was young. I used to stay up Friday nights watching Creature Feature with my mother. Some of the earliest books I read were Dracula and Frankenstein. I have also imagined different worlds all of my life.

What is your purpose?

My purpose is to share my imagination and storytelling with the world. It took me almost 40 years to learn my purpose. I always wanted to be a forensic pathologist and when I realized I didn’t like science enough to go to medical school, I was rootless for the majority of my adult life. There were hints I should be a writer over the years, but I ignored them. I finally discovered my purpose at the age of 55.

Who has influenced your life as an author?

Who hasn’t? Every person I have interacted with and every book I have read have influenced the person I am today.

What is your favorite marketing technique? How do you get your book in front of readers?

I’m still new to being an author, but I enjoy book signings. I use social media, ads, and word of mouth to get my book in front of readers.

What is something you want readers to know about you?

I embody courage and resilience, and bravery–themes prevalent throughout my book. My parents died in the same year when I was 11 and I could have let that moment negatively affect my life. My sisters and I developed an unshakeable bond and have been together ever since. I left Talladega, Alabama after high school and attended UC Berkeley. My sisters followed in my footsteps and we live near each other. I have always embraced diversity, even while growing up in the deep south. I am above all, a southern Black woman. I cook banana puddings, neck bones, hot water cornbread, etc., and still have a southern accent despite living in California for almost 40 years.

I am a horse-crazy adult. I love spa mud baths. I love going on drives to nowhere, especially along country roads.

What’s the best part of being an author?

Writing is pretty effortless for me and my imagination knows no bounds. When I’m writing, it doesn’t feel like work, yet, I can write for hours and not realize how much time has passed. I write when I want and I don’t have to interact with people unless I choose to do so.

What’s the worst part of being an author?

Marketing my book. I’ve gotten better at talking about my books and myself thanks to the multiple podcasts I’ve done, but I’m not totally comfortable.

What was the hardest part of writing the story?

I wasn’t an English major nor had I taken creative writing classes, so I would say the mechanics of creative writing was the hardest part for me.

If you were to write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?

I Am Me, You Are You, and It’s All Good. For the longest, I felt like I was unattractive, a bookworm, weird, etc. I was that child who stopped and examined roadkill to see the decomposition changes. I had French and German penpals and was friends with the few white kids in my class. I read incessantly and practiced the piano and saxophone. I was painfully shy, yet I was a basketball cheerleader and the band’s drum majorette my senior year. I’m often the only Black woman at horse barns and events. I’m adventurous and I do things that frighten me. Whew, this is beginning to sound like an ad for a dating site. I am single, by the way.

What is something readers would be surprised to know about you?

I hate the sun and hot weather. Growing up in Talladega, Alabama, the hot and humid weather was the bane of my existence. I now live in Northern California, and the hot weather is still the bane of my existence even though it’s not as humid as the south. I’m almost like a vampire or the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz. I’m melting. I’m melting. On the other hand, I love thunderstorms and rain.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

The book is about women freeing themselves and power. The Old-Generation is suppressing their power. The New-Generation is coming into their power. The antagonists are trying to hang onto and expand their power.

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