Friday, 8 February 2013

Review & Interview: The Descendant by Kelley Grealis

The Descendantby Kelley Grealis
Justine's rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
The Descendant’ by Kelley Grealis is not your every day vamp book. But what it is, is easily one of the best written books, I have read in a while.

Kelley Grealis’ flow and weaving of the back-story into the current time was very effectively created and developed. ‘The Descendant’ is most definitely a serious read. Be prepared and get yourselves ready for that. There’s absolutely no YA vampire fluff here.

Kelley Grealis successfully had me crying before I made it to chapter four, and pissed by chapter nine as I started to figure things out. This really was a rollercoaster of a book that struck a nerve on so many amazing levels. As for the ending - you know I am a stickler for an ending - Kelley Grealis did me proud! She successfully gave me an ending that left me feeling fulfilled with a clear conclusion, while leaving a crack of an opening for more. Bravo! 4.5 fairies! 

Goodreads Synopsis
Allison Carmichael wakes from a car wreck with no memory of the past three years. She doesn’t recall her husband’s death or how she alienated her friends, and she definitely doesn’t remember anything about her new boyfriend Vincent Drake – a charismatic man with a penchant for rare and unique possessions. In fact, the only things familiar to Allison are her seemingly common ailments – insomnia, lack of appetite, erratic body temperature – which have gone undiagnosed and are worsening.

But Vincent knows exactly who, and what, Allison is – a mortal descendant of the first vampire. He is a vampire who has watched over Allison and her ancestors since the biblical times of Cain and Abel ensuring their secret is kept. Once he realizes Allison’s symptoms are accelerating and transforming her, he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

Allison discovers that she is a descendant and the first of her kind to exhibit signs of vampirism. She must decide between risking her mortal death if she cannot control her symptoms or fully transforming into a vampire and damning her soul for eternity. A decision made even more difficult when Allison discovers that Vincent has manipulated her life, and everyone in it, so that he can have the one thing no one else in the world has – the first descendant-turned-vampire.

THE DESCENDANT – A Vampire Tale of Biblical Proportions

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  1. Tell us a bit about yourself. 
was born and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area and still live in the area.  I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer.  Actually, I had a fleeting thought that I might want to be a journalist, but that career aspiration fell by the wayside along with wanting to be a model and an astronaut.  But I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger.  I graduated college with an Accounting degree (and am a CPA) and also earned my MBA.  In 2009, my passion for creative writing was reignited and that’s when I decided to write a book!

I’m married and have two cats.  Maverick looks like Jinx from the movie Meet the Parents, and Jasmine is a fluffy Persian cat.  I ride a motorcycle and love sports cars.  I enjoy running (when I’m not injured), bicycling, reading and gardening.  I love 80’s big hair rock bands – Guns-N-Roses, Bon Jovi, Tesla, Poison, Motley Crue – I love them all!!

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?
A culmination of events in 2009 brought me back to my passion for creative writing. At that time, the company I worked for had been acquired and the status of my job uncertain. I started thinking about what I did for a living and realized that it was not professionally fulfilling. At that same time, I had just finished reading a popular series of books, the premise of which was so simple that I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it myself. That night, I declared to my husband that I was going to write a book, and write a book I did! I published my debut novel, The Descendant, in May 2012.

  1. How did you come up with the title The Descendant?
The Descendant is a book that reveals the biblical origin of the vampire through the experiences of a woman who discovers that she is a descendant of the first vampire.  The title seemed a natural fit.

  1. Describe Allison, your main character, in three words.
Independent, Loyal, Strong-willed 

  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that I’m not the grammar queen I thought I was!  I’m that person that will correct actors on TV shows when they misspeak.  I thought I knew a thing or two about the English language, but I saw the light the first time I reviewed my editor’s comments!

I also learned that there is a method to the writing madness.  After being rejected by literary agents, I figured I was doing something wrong, so I took some on-line classes.  I learned about fiction fundamentals – 3 act structure, 9 dramatic elements – and several other things like character development, building scenes, etc.  It was invaluable information that I believe helped strengthen my story.

  1. How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me three years to write The Descendant but that was because I didn’t know what I was doing!  I wrote the first draft in six months, then took classes and rewrote the manuscript based on that, rewrote some more, hired an editor, enlisted beta readers, hired services to format my paperback & ebooks, etc.  It hopefully won’t take that long for the sequel – The Search.  I’m hoping to have it published in less than a year & a half since I started writing it.

  1. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Search is book #2 in The Descendant Vampire Series.  It picks up with what Allison has been doing for the past several months since book #1 ended (don’t want to say too much and ruin it!).  The title alludes to several searches – for a special someone, for meaning in her life, for answers, for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.  You are going to see a very different Allison in this book! 

  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I work my day job from 7:30 until 4:30, which puts me home usually just after 5:00.  I’ll change my clothes, grab a bite to eat (sometimes), and then work on my writing until 8:00.  I cut myself off at 8 to spend time with my hubby.  I try to squeeze in writing time on the weekends too.  I don’t set daily/weekly word count goals; that causes me too much stress.  I give myself general timeframes and try to stick with that.  Like now, I want to get my manuscript to my beta readers no later than the end of March. 

  1. What book are you reading now?
I’m reading two books at the moment:  An Affair to Remember by Norma Budden and I, Alex Cross by James Patterson.

  1. What new author has grasped your interest?
I’m a big fan of Boyd Morrison.  If you haven’t read The Ark, do so! I loved the story because it combined the story of Noah & the Ark with a thriller plotline. 

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you!  And I mean that sincerely.  I wrote The Descendant for me; it’s the type of vampire novel that I had always wanted to read.  It was a big decision to publish it – to send ‘my baby’ out into the world.  I can’t tell you how much it means when a reader sends a message letting me know how much they’ve enjoyed the book, that they’ve read it twice, that they’re telling their friends about it.  It’s such an awesome experience to be able to share my passion with others and have it be so well received. 
Random Questions:
  1. What’s in your fridge right now?  Not much – I’ve been too busy writing!  Let’s see: Greek yogurt, sliced veggies & dip, chicken, brussel sprouts, and ingredients to make chilli (which I was supposed to have done 3 days ago!) 
  1. What song do you sing at the top of your voice every time you hear it?  Everything by Guns-N-Roses; they’re my favorite band. 
  1. Other than writing, what special or unusual talent(s) do you have?  I can twitch my bottom eyelid without moving the upper. 
  1. Where did you last go on holiday?  Costa Rica
  1. If your house was attacked by feral aliens, and they were zapping your house with their Über super bombs, what five items would you save?  My hubby, our 2 cats, my engagement/wedding ring & my Mac computer! 
  1. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
The Girl Who Did Too Much!  I can’t sit still and I don’t like downtime.  When I’m not at work, I’m writing; when I’m not writing, I’m marketing my book.  When I’m not doing those things, I’m at the gym, cooking, gardening, running, etc.  Hopefully the subtitle would be: And Did It All Very Well.
Thank you so much Kelley for taking the time to answer our questions. We truly love getting to know our authors that little bit better.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful review and the opportunity to be interviewed. I appreciate all of your support!!


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