Hello, my name is Grace Fay and I am a homeschooled Texan living in Dallas with my husband! I was homeschooled all the way through high school, and am the oldest of nine kids. I definitely also plan to homeschool my own kids one day! I write under my maiden name, J. Grace Pennington.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was about five years old, so over twenty years! I started publishing in 2012, when I was twenty-two years old, but I've been writing basically all my life.
What gave you the writing bug?
I was an early and prolific reader, and one afternoon I was bored while my mom was taking her afternoon nap and decided to write a book of my own. I've always loved stories.
Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Yes--at five years old I wrote (and illustrated) a small book called "If I Had Three Wishes." The first wish was that it would be a sunny, windy day with bunnies hopping on the grass, the second wish was that I had a pony, the third was that I could fly, and then I said that if I could have four wishes the fourth would be to be able to see God with my eyes.
What type of books do you write?
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I write in various genres, but primarily I write young adult science-fiction. My YA series, Firmament, has four books published and I'm working on books five and six. I've also published a YA dystopia called Implant and a Western mystery called Never, as well as a steampunk fairtale in the Once: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales collection. But I also have general fiction, fantasy, and screenplays in the works. I just love stories in general!
How do you find time to write?
As a homemaker, my days are fairly flexible so it's more about making the time to actually sit down and put words on paper. I try to have set times each day to write, word goals, and deadlines to keep me motivated and committed. I also will fit writing in while cooking if need be. I find it helpful to get out of the house when possible to write--to the library, the coffee shop, Barnes & Noble, or even McDonald's!
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Creative and non-confusing plots. Characters are my strong point, but when it comes to getting them into interesting and coherent situations, I struggle and usually require several rewrites to string together a decent plot.
What is the single most significant thing you can tell us about your writing career?
To me, the most important thing about my writing is to communicate truth--whether that's directly through non-fiction, or a display of truth through the narrative of a story. It can be explicit to my worldview or it can be more subtle and implicit. It can be an overt message or just a manifestation of the truth that laughter doeth the heart like good medicine. Regardless, I try always to communicate truth to my readers and to bless, encourage, and entertain them.
Can you tell us about a character in your current work in progress?
My work in progress is the sixth book in my Firmament series. The book is called No Man and part of it follows the starship's helmsman and first officer, William Guilders, on his quest to help a man he doesn't particularly like. I'm really enjoying exploring Mr. Guilders' character right now. He's a stoic, principled, unemotional, highly intelligent older gentleman who is thrown completely out of his element and out of his comfort zone for this journey, and it will be interesting to see how he reacts and the choices he makes.