I had the pleasure of meeting Aly when we shared a table at the 2017 Writers on the River event in East Peoria, Illinois. I couldn’t have asked for a better table mate!
Her latest release, A Home for Love, is available now!
Tell us about you! Can you share some interesting tidbits we may not know?
I’m a middle daughter but one of five siblings. Not at all exciting. Here is something fun though – my dad is an electrician. He taught all of us girls how to fix things. I have my own toolbox (with my maiden name etched on the tools) and I can change an outlet or light switch no problem. I’ve been known to climb into an attic to help wire a ceiling fan too!
What inspired you to start writing?
I was on the couch recovering from surgery when my husband really did challenge me. It might have been his way to get me moving. It worked.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
My children are my world. I’ve always been the team mom. They haven’t needed me as much so our labradoodle is my snuggle guy. He will always need me.
I have read passages of my latest novella to my boys. It’s fun to hear what they are thinking. Both are creative thinkers.
What was your debut novel, and how has your writing process changed since your debut?
“The Racer’s Widow” is the first story I wrote. I had no idea what I was doing but I was so happy when it was completed. Then – I had a friend who I fed chapters to and asked if she cared what happened.
Now – more thought is put into the process. I don’t exactly plot but I have a plan of beginning – middle – end.
“A Home for Love” was the first novel that I used multiple beta readers for. That is something I plan to continue with future stories.
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process and why?
I love when that initial idea sparks to life. I’ve been known to use the notes feature on my cell phone to write down ideas.
The mental gymnastics I put my brain through is exciting.
I have to say it’s the rush I feel when a project is completed that keeps me going.
What is your most challenging part of the writing/publishing process and what do you do to make it easier?
I am not a fan of the editing process. It is an essential piece to publishing. I’m working on educating myself as well as working with and editor who understands me. I have found if I step back for a while and then tackle edits, I’m in a better mindset to understand what needs to be done. Rushing is never a good thing.
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you find balance?
My family (like most) is constantly on the go. The saving grace this past year is my oldest started to drive. Both boys play tennis for their high school so my taxi driving duties have gone down a ton. Finding time between work, family and writing is a struggle. I job share, so on my off weeks I binge write. This is all new to me so I’m still sorting it out.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
My younger self needs to be patient. She needs to listen to the experienced voices that offer advice. She also needs to seek out other writers. Being a part of a writing community has given me a place to go and be with other like-minded people. It’s reassuring to be with a group.
What do you love about writing romance?
Ah, romance. I’m a Cinderella loving girl and have always enjoyed that HEA (Happy Ever After). Let’s face it – parts of living in this world stinks. Escaping into a book that you KNOW will have a HEA allows you to sit back and just enjoy!
What kinds of things do you find romantic in real life? Can you share a story?
Ugly, happy tears of joy. My own Prince Charming arranged a surprise anniversary vow renewal. Same color roses, same song. The tropical local and gentle ocean breeze were a welcome change to the gray November sky of our first wedding in New England. So yes, a surprise romantic gesture grabs my heart.
Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?
I do read my reviews. I’m grateful that readers take the time to let us know their thoughts (good and bad). In the end, I listen to what they say and keep that information for future stories.
What is the craziest, funniest, or most surprising thing that has happened to you since publishing your first book?
Surprising for me is the interest in the Racer’s Widow series in Brazil. It really shouldn’t surprise me since Brazil is very passionate about auto racing, but it still does. I’d love to have the series translated. It’s on my bucket list.
“A Home For Love” is my most recent release (April ’17). I’d love to write the next Homecoming book in November for NaNoWriMo. I’m working on a new series as well (editing) and a novella. I’ve never had this many projects going at once. Its exciting.
Is there any other news you would like to share?
News to share – This Fall I have a few things in the works for writing. It’s also the time of year that my family takes a vacation. My kids get two weeks off in October which is very nice. I’m looking forward to this time – high school will be over before I know it so these trips will be ending all too soon.
Also by Aly Grady
Five Facts Just for Fun!
1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
By the 90’s I switched gears and started listening to Country. Garth Brooks – No Fences album was a favorite.
2. What was the last gift you gave someone?
Dad’s 75th birthday present – he loves going out to eat so I gave him a Red Robin gift card.
3. What were you like as a kid?
Me as a kid – bad hair (perm or so short I looked like a boy), not athletic but still played soccer, loved dance class, many friends but not outgoing enough to be the one to approach the crowd.
4. What was the last thing you binge-watched & what did you think of it?
Last Christmas (Gasp – I know, a long time ago) Mom and I binged Season 2 of Outlander. I wish I hadn’t because I’m addicted. Loved it.
5. What is the one thing (other than your loved ones) that you cannot live without?
I can NOT live without music. Any kind of music. Symphony (I’m a Pops season ticket holder), XM The Pulse and The Highway are my go-to channels.
A HOME FOR LOVE
Having thrown in the towel where men are concerned, Charlotte Cavanuagh devotes her energy toward expanding her design business and finding a new place to live.
Despite his love of family, recent losses have left Luke Anderson with no desire to embark upon a new relationship, allowing him to give his contracting company his undivided attention.
But when Charlotte and Luke work together on a customer’s dream home, their budding friendship results in more sparks than either of them ever expected.