BooksLet's Get Lit

Let’s Get Lit: Grace Draven discusses her book, PHOENIX UNBOUND

Writing tips, character breakdowns, fandom fun and more!

Welcome to “Let’s Get Lit!” on Here we will chat with an author about their work and their
favorite fandom things! This edition of LGL will feature Grace Draven, author of PHOENIX UNBOUND! She breaks down some of the characters in her new book, what she’s reading now and gives some excellent writing advice!

Meg Bonney: What can you tell us about your latest novel, Phoenix Unbound?

Grace Draven: It’s a story of two people facing some pretty overwhelming odds to not only survive but also grow and thrive in a world that’s doing its best to crush them.  The world itself is reminiscent of the time just prior to the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of pastoral nomads as significant military powers. And of course, there’s magic. 

MB: Love it! The main character in your book sacrifices herself to save the other women of her village. What else can you tease about Gilene and her choices?  

GD: Gilene is a woman dying by degrees inside, torn by a sense of duty and a resentment of her obligation to fulfill that duty toward an ungrateful people who don’t any value in her as a person beyond her obligation to them.

MB: This book promises some romance! Describe it in five words or less! 

GD: Gladiator falls for fire witch.

MB: What is your favorite romance novel?

GD: Tough one.  It’s pretty much 50/50 between two older novels:  The Pearl by Mary Balogh and Ravished by Amanda Quick.

MB: What is your favorite romance movie? 

GD:  Again a 50/50 split between Notting Hill and The Lakehouse.

MB: Yes, swoon! We all get way too into our fandoms here at What fandom makes you geek out the most? (A book, movie or TV show) 

GD: Harry Potter definitely, Tolkien, Labyrinth, Stargate-Atlantis, Supernatural (I’m a saltgunner and Team Sam).

RELATED: Check out our Supernatural page for the latest recaps and news! 

MB: That’s awesome! (#TeamDean) What is your writing ritual or process like? 

GD:  I never outline and plot as I go, so I’m a true pantser.  I often will write out a chapter’s dialogue first and then go back and fill in the scenery around it.

MB: If you could dream cast anyone to play Gilene in a movie version of your book, who would it be? 

GD: I think Emily Blunt would make an outstanding Gilene.

MB: Tell us more about Azarion, the Empire’s most famous gladiator!

GD: He’s a man who was betrayed and sold into slavery where he suffered a lot of abuse for 10 years.  He’s not a “lay down and die” type of personality and has looked for a way to escape and return to his freedom.

Thus, he’s a man driven to reclaim his freedom, his place in his clan and vengeance against those who wronged him.  He isn’t cruel, but he’s a survivalist and will do whatever is necessary to achieve those three goals.

USA Today Bestselling Author, Grace Draven

MB: We are always on the hunt for a good book. What are you loving right now? 

GD:  Dark Harmony by Laura Thalassa, The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy, and the Portland After Dark series by Mel Sterling (disclosure – Mel is also my editor for my self-published work).

MB: Any advice for writers out there who are still working on getting published? 

GD: Keep honing and refining your craft.  No matter how long you’ve written, you always have something new to learn, a technique to master, a bad habit to correct.

MB: What are you working on right now?

GD:  I just finished the novella A WILDERNESS OF GLASS which is part of the SEASONS OF SORCERY which is currently available.  I’m also working on the third book in the Wraith Kings series titled THE IPPOS KING, and will turn in my manuscript to my Penguin editor for the second book in The Fallen Empire series.  That one is titled DRAGON UNLEASHED.

MB: Great! Can’t wait to check those out! Thanks so much for chatting!!

GD:  Thanks very much for having me!

Need more Let’s Get Lit! in your life? Check out my interview with Matt Coleman, author of Graffiti Creek! And don’t forget to hit me up on twitter if you’d like to be featured on Let’s Get Lit! 

Thanks for reading!


Meg Bonney

Meg is a TV obsessed writer based in the Midwest. She is also the author of the award winning YA-Fantasy novel, EVERLY and tends to be overly caffeinated. Find her on Twitter to chat about TV, books and Bellamy Blake's freckles.

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