March 9, 2017

Now Live: SECRETS OF A RELUCTANT PRINCESS by Casey Griffin {Giveaway/Interview}

 Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen
At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on. 

*What would you be doing right now if you were not an author?
 I’d definitely still be at my current day job, but I’ve always liked to keep busy with something that gives me a creative outlet. Since I’ve been published, I’ve had to prioritize my time, and obviously writing is my passion, so a lot of hobbies have taken the back burner (I’ve been knitting the same scarf for three years). So if I didn’t have writing in my life at all, I’d probably still be doing photography as a side profession.

*5 years ago: what were you doing? 
Five years ago I was just leaving nursing and starting my “day” job operating heavy equipment in the Alberta Oil Sands. I now operate truck, grader, rubber tire dozer, and soon, excavator.

*Do you have a certain writing ritual? 
Rituals tend to be steeped in routine, and there’s nothing routine about my life, so the same has to go for my writing. My day job keeps me in a remote camp for ten days at a time, working thirteen-hour days. Then I go home to my busy family for ten days, so I have to use every spare moment I can.
When I’m getting close to a deadline and it’s crunch time, I become a night owl and work through the night when it’s the most quiet, going to bed when everyone else is waking up. My creativity and focus has always been best during those hours.

*What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I think my toughest criticism might have been to do with the first book I ever wrote. That book was “the one.” Oh the hopes and dreams I had riding on that book. I was going to be the next J.K. Rowling. Aren’t we all?

I recall the first time I ever queried an agent. Strangely, they didn’t want “the one.” But that was okay because the next agent would. Oh, wait…they didn’t want it either. But how about those agents over there? Nope. I was persistent, though. I went through a lot of agents. I kept telling myself that maybe the problem wasn’t my book. Maybe it just wasn’t for them. But it was a big, resounding “no” from everyone.

It was the toughest criticism because I was still so new to writing and, well, it was “the one” (cue dramatic music). However, it was also the best thing that could have happened. I’d always heard how hard the rejection process was, and that it’s not for the faint-hearted. But I’d lived through it and made it out the other side. And you know what? It was okay.

I learned one thing for certain: it wasn’t them. Haha. It was the book. So I just wrote another—and another, and another—until I improved my writing skills so that the problem was no longer my book. It pushed me to be a better writer. That’s why I always tell people “You never fail until you stop trying.” Okay, well, Albert Einstein said that, but I agree with him. That doesn’t mean that you have to keep trying with “the one.” It means keep trying to improve your craft, and you’ll eventually get there like I did. 

*Ever fangirled over another author? Who was it? 
Actually, I’ve run across Diana Gabaldon a few times at writing conventions. She’s brilliant. She captivates the whole room when she speaks. For the most part, I maintained my composure (I think). Okay, well, I got a bit giddy and awkward. But I’m awkward at the best of times ;)

*Is there an author you'd like to meet?
Probably Stephenie Meyer. She was a huge reason why I started writing in the first place, and I’d love to thank her in person for it.

*Biggest writing pet peeve? 
It’s so annoying when I’m interrupted during an awesome thought or scene, and when I finally get back to it, I just can’t pick up where I left off. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

* Do you read other's reviews of your books?
Ugh! Yes. And I shouldn’t. In my head, I tell myself that maybe I’ll gain better insight for my next book. Maybe I can just take it like constructive criticism and grow as a writer. But reviews are not meant for this. While some actually are very insightful and useful for me, some can be downright painful. I can see how it would be easy to let the opinions of others stifle the writing process, to become afraid to make mistakes or take chances in order to become a better writer. Will this stop me from reading more? Probably not. I just…can’t….look…away!

Fav Color: Pink!
Fictional Character you'd like to spend the day with: Wonder Woman
Fav food: Pizza
Fav song and/or singer: Hooked on a Feeling – Blue Swede
Guilty pleasure: Snuggling up and watching a show (probably because I don’t get to watch TV very often)

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

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