Jean M. Grant

Readers love to get to know authors. I love to get to know fellow writers of women’s fiction. Today I’m interviewing Jean M. Grant. Her book, Will Rise From Ashes is an amazing, immersive read. I loved it!

Q. Tell us why you write women’s fiction – and other genres as well.
A. I began my writing journey in the Scottish middle ages. My first love has always been medieval romance (and yes, later, Outlander, ahhh Jamie Fraser). Castles and crags, warring clans and cultures, sweeping landscapes of mystery and moor, lairds and ladies, gallantry, and greed. So much fun! After spending a good deal of time hanging out with my medieval heroes and heroines, I jumped ahead in time and wrote a contemporary novella. At the same time, I delved into a contemporary women’s fiction story.

Q. Why do I write across genres?
A. Simply put, I have diverse interests. Maybe too many? By writing different genres I feed various passions. Maybe I am too faceted, a bit scattered, and just write what my heart tells me. Going back and forth in editing between my brogue Scottish men and my modern voices can be tricky, but it keeps my brain sharp (and exhausted). I also write in both first and third person. 

Q. Will I delve into another genre?
A. Never say never. I’ve found my niche in historical (with paranormal elements) and contemporary romance, and women’s fiction. This year, my focus has been on two books, one contemporary romance and another more mainstream/women’s fiction (I’m still figuring out what this book is going to become). I am a hybrid writer of romance meets women’s fiction.

Finding a thread. There is a central thread weaved into all my stories: journeys of hope, spirituality, and of course happy-ever-after. Or as I like to say: stories of heartache, healing, and hope. My women’s fiction usually has a romantic element, too. Even though I write across genres and sub-genres, I find that I home in on a central theme with each story. Each character has an emotional wound and backstory they must heal (in some way or another), and I always end with hope.

Q. What an intriguing title! What is your book about?
A. Will Rise from Ashes started with a different name: Will Not Fade Away. It was hard to relinquish that title. I loved the tie into my protagonist’s son, Will. My editor thought it was a confusing negative title, so we changed it. The new one encompasses it all: Will AJ, my heroine, rise from the ashes of her life and loss? Will the world rise from the literal ashes of a devastating volcano? And will her son Will(iam) rise from the challenges as a person with special needs? 

Q. What inspired this particular story? To what extent are your books are realistic? In other words, are places and people based on real places and people?
A. Some ideas percolate. Some are lightbulbs. One (not yet published) I got from my aunt telling me an interesting story about how her mother dealt with grief. Some ideas are also fleeting and lead to other, grander ideas. I’m a storyteller, dreamer, and nature-lover. I lace my stories with a bit of me and a bit of this and that. For my contemporary stories, I fall upon my own life experiences: heartbreak (of various forms), loss of my mother and sister when I was still young, travels abroad, parenting struggles, my love of the outdoors, to name a few. I felt compelled to write a mother’s journey with her autistic son, so Will Rise from Ashes was born. Toss in my love of science and my son’s love of volcanoes, and well, we have the backdrop: a widow on a journey across the country with her son trying to find her other missing son, in the wake of the Yellowstone volcano eruption. Along the way, she meets a man walking his own path of healing and redemption. This book was my toughest, but most rewarding (including a trip to Yellowstone for research, of course!), to write. But that’s a story for another time.

Fitting It All In

Q. What personal qualities make a wriler?
A. I live by the 3 P’s: Patience, Perseverance, and Putting the Time. The hardest part for me as an author has been grooming myself to be patient during the ceaseless waiting game that is publication as well as overcoming the roadblocks: rejections, bad reviews, naysayers—a very long list. I’m not a thick-skinned gal, but I do learn and continue to grow, just like my characters.

Q. Fun times! What’s your favorite thing to do?
A.Hike and hang with my flowers and plants. (Travel, too, in pre-COVID times). I still travel and hike as much as I can safely within New England. Finding hikes in cold winter is a challenge, but I love a place nearby that is an old rail trail, the rocky walls laced with magnificent icicles in mid-winter. My family loves to ski, so I hang out in the lodge with coffee and my laptop (though this year may be different). Now that fall is upon us, my perennial gardens are pruned and nestled in their mulch beds awaiting spring, my veggie garden harvested, and my fruit trees and bushes snoozing until next year. My pantry is bursting with raspberry jam and applesauce, and my freezer with frozen tomatoes and bags upon bags of frozen berries.

Getting to Know Your Book

Author Name: Jean M. Grant


Author Bio:

Jean has a penchant for misunderstood creatures be it sharks, microbes, or wounded characters. A scientist by training with a background in marine biology, microbiology, and immunology, she now spends her days as an author and champion for her children. She draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration.

Awestruck by the historical romance genre years ago, she dove deep into mystical Scottish medieval stories and thus was born her “hundred” trilogy. She has expanded her novel adventures to include contemporary romance and women's fiction. Two of her books won InD'tale 2020 RONE awards. A Hundred Breaths was a runner-up in its category and Will Rise from Ashes took first place in its category.

A nature enthusiast who adores the national parks, Jean also writes for family-oriented travel magazines and websites. When not writing, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her children, while taking snapshots of the world around her and daydreaming about the next story.

Book Blurb:

Living is more than mere survival.
Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can't lose another loved one.
Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ's fear of driving and Reid's military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ's anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family's present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.

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Publisher and ISBN: The Wild Rose Press,
ISBN digital: 978-1-5092-2512-5
ISBN print: 978-1-5092-2511-8

Buy Links: (profits go to indie booksellers)
Amazon US
Indiebound (order through the local bookstore)
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

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