Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case. (From Goodreads)
Books by Cecilia Gray
- What made you decide to write retellings of Austen’s work?Girlfriend power! My girlfriends are very important to me - I see them every day. Who hasn't imagined being girlfriends with Emma or Elizabeth Bennet? It got me thinking - what if Jane Austen's heroines all went to the same boarding school? Would they be friends? Enemies? The series grew from there.
- Which Austen book is your favourite?Persuasion. Probably because I'm a huge fan of angst and nothing says angst like pining after a guy for nearly a decade.
- What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing the books for the Jane Austen Academy Series?I wanted each book to be read as a stand-alone while preserving a sense that the series was moving forward. That was tough, and I didn't really succeed, although there are two books that take place outside the Academy - Kat's story in WHEN I'M WITH YOU and Emma's story in ONLY WITH YOU - that are the easiest read as standalones.
Have you ever thought about doing retellings of other classics? If so, what ones?I sometimes think up ideas, like for retellings of classic fairy tales, but there's always someone who has already written the story and done it better than I imagined it.
- Of all the books you’ve written, which was your favorite to write?Emma's story - Emma was my favorite character to write in general. I love how she's fearless in going after what she wants.
- Do you have set times you set aside for writing?No - I wish!!
Are you a planner when it comes to writing? If so, how in depth do your plans go?With THE JANE AUSTEN ACADEMY series I didn't really need to plan because Jane Austen had been nice enough to do that for me (thanks, Jane!) but in general, yes, I'm a very methodical writer. I won't write the first sentence until I know the book's last sentence.
- Besides writing, what are some of your other interests?I love to dance and box and do archery. I recently took up knife throwing but am terrible at it, which is probably why no one will join me.
What’s your favorite book?OMG, I can't pick a favorite. It's too much pressure. I can feel my books staring at me from the shelves.
What would be your top piece of advice for aspiring writers?My advice is always not to get too caught up in advice. Everyone has a different way of approaching writing, scheduling writing, and executing on their writing. Just try everything until something works. And if something stops working, try something else.
- Any final words?
Thanks so much Cecilia for joining me on my site. I enjoyed working with you on this interview.
Please note: All gifs in this post were provided by the author and are credited to Giphy