*What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Go to a summer a concert OR sit around a firepit roasting s’mores with friends
*If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Enjoy this time…middle school is a whole other beast!
*For what are you grateful?
My family, close friends, the gift of writing
*At what age were you the happiest? What triggered such joy?
I’d like to think that I can find happiness at any age. But, my college experience was truly unique. Going to a small, liberal arts school far from home created a magical world. With smaller class sizes and a location tucked practically in the middle of nowhere, everyone stayed on campus, and we really got to know and bond with other coeds. We learned who we were as young adults and made friendships for life. It was also the time when I had two fantastic internships. I have so many fond memories of those days.
Now about you as an author…
*What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
GROWING UP --
Laura Ingalls Wilder – Little House on the Prairie series
Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden, A Little Princess
S.E. Hinton – The Outsiders, That was Then This is Now, Rumble Fish, Tex
The popularity of book clubs a few years back brought my attention to a lot of fantastic writers I had never heard of. But, having the opportunity to meet two of my favorites — Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks — definitely made an impact on me as a writer.
*Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
No one personally influenced me to be a writer. It is just something I always was. Since I can remember, I wanted to be a soap opera writer, and my family supported my dreams. An assignment in one of my beginning college courses was to contact someone in the field that I was interested in pursuing. I was beyond honored when William J. Bell, creator and head-writer of The Young and the Restless, answered all of my questions and encouraged me to keep pursing my dreams. And I did!
*What is your favorite aspect of writing? *Your least favorite?
FAVORITE -- My favorite aspect of writing is creating a new world through imagination. I like having those precious moments to escape the rest of life and pour my heart into the written word.
LEAST FAVORITE -- Not having enough consecutive time in one day to get on a good roll of writing.
*What aspect of writing would you most like to improve on?
*Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
My laptop 😊 …and alone time.
*Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books?
My books deal a lot with emotional trauma and internal battle – grief, PTSD, depression, etc. Also, one of the characters usually has some type of fame associated with them.
*What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
Just that — the business side of it all. I like to write. But to be an author, you need to understand cover art, editing, branding, marketing…
*Tell us about your latest release: (blurb, excerpt, cover)
A chance encounter leads to a road never imagined and the possibility of dreams coming true.
Going on tour with a band was never on Maya Shriver’s radar. But then neither was being a widow in her mid-thirties. And finding happiness again? Well, that was out of the question.
When danger erupts, Maya is abruptly thrown together with Hawk Brannigan—a country singer’s right-hand man. And she finds out that, once again, life can change in an instant. Suddenly, Maya is not only in a new career but she’s also allowing herself to love again.
As Maya begins to unpack her grief and move on, a misunderstanding from the past may cause the couple to travel in different directions.
“Hi, Mai.” He greeted me with a hug.
I looked in his eyes, wondering if I could pre-read them…wondering if I could predict the future…if I could tell how everything was going to go…how he was going to react…if it was the last time I would look in those eyes…if that had been our last embrace. “Hi.” I got the one word out.
“I’m glad you’re here. What’s up? What took so long?”
I had originally planned on coming hours before—us spending more of the day together. But a mid-morning phone call had changed all that. I had needed to regroup and take as much charge of the situation as I could before finally making my way to his Tennessee townhome.
“I…I had to take care of some things.”
He had my hand and was leading me through the hardwood hallway into the similarly floored family room. “If it’s about the move…”
“Come on, sit down.” He started toward the neutral-colored sofa. “I want to talk to you about th—”
“Hawk….” I didn’t sit.
So neither did he. “Maya? What is it? What’s wrong?”
I dropped his hand and turned from him. I looked down at the brown and white Oriental rug, over to the inactive brick fireplace with expansive art piece of the Nashville skyline above, to the beige-carpeted stairs leading up to the rest of the home, and to the door leading to the back yard. Finally, I glanced at the three framed photos of his family. I looked anywhere but at him.
*How did you decide on your story plot?
Most of my stories begin with me thinking, “what if this happened to me.”
*How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
NAMES -- Character names come from a lot of places. Some came to me in a dream. Others, like Maya, evolved as the idea of the story came about. Since the original idea of that book came from the Riviera Maya, I researched the name Maya. Noting that a variant of that name means “fertility,” I added something to her character that really made the storyline complete. Speaking of, I use baby name resources a lot to look for not only meanings but names that begin with a certain letter or have a common heritage. Some names are also variations of people and places I know.
LOCATIONS -- I generally try to use locations I am somewhat familiar with—places I haved lived or visited. Also, when writing about the entertainment/music industries, Nashville, NYC, and California are musts.
*Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
I tend to like scenes where the couples are either arguing or sad. There is so much more emotion and vulnerability put into those, rather than the happier moments. My favorite scene in Every Mile a Memory is Maya’s second visit to Hawk’s townhome. But, I can’t tell you why. You’ll have to read 😊
*Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
I am sure there is a little bit of me in every female lead. I am like Maya—independent and a writer. But, I am also like Lara, especially with her allergies to strong scents! Those gals have a lot more drama, though!
*About the Author:
There really wasn’t any other path. Grea Warner knew from a young age that she wanted to write. She was born to write. First it was in diaries with little metal keys and in written tales that she slipped to friends in study hall. School newspapers, a college television drama, and the soap opera world were next. After producing and writing a local show, she decided to delve into the world of the novelist. When her fingers aren’t tapping out her latest book filled with angst and romance, Grea can be found hiking the trails or jamming to her favorite country artists on the radio.