An Interview with SD Grimm, author of Phoenix Fire
S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction, which is to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and identifies as rebel scum. Her patronus is a red Voltron lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her favorite meal is second breakfast.She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency, her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog, and you can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com
Thank you so much for having me! I’m excited to be here!
I’m not going to be reviewing your newest novel, but from your other published novels, is there one that is your own personal favourite?
I tend to love the novel I’m working on at the time most. And I love all my novels for different reasons. The epic feel in the sword and sorcery series with a world that was so much fun to create in my Children of the Blood Moon series is so fun, but what I love most in it is the character relationships. And in Summoner, Cody—oh my gosh, I love Cody—and his growing relationship with Allie is my favorite. I guess I love the characters the most.
Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?
Mine is actually a middle grade novel. It’s not the genre I’m currently writing in, but there might be a day I dog it back out. For now, though, it’s fine where it is.
Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?
Both? I generally let ideas percolate for a year or more, but that’s because I have SO many that I simply can’t keep up with them. Last year I wrote two novels, and the year before that, I wrote three. This year I hope to write four. And I pull them all from the little greenhouse of growing ideas in my mind palace.
I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?
I vary between spaces. The couch, loveseat, bed, dining room table, moving vehicle while someone else drives, and occasionally my actual desk. I use my laptop most often.
Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?
I have a group of beta readers and critique partners that I can call on for early readings. And, yes, many of them are family members who will tell it like it is. And hiring an editor was a process of auditions in a way. But now that I am a freelance editor as well, I have many connections in that field.
I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?
My favorite way to read is with a hardcover book. I love the feel, the smell, the sound of a turning page. But since being introduced to e-readers, I would say I do most of my late-night reading there. And there’s this amazing little bookshop downtown called Serendipity Books. It’s entrance is through a dark alley (well, the one I like to use). How perfect is that?!
I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and do you have a favourite author who sticks in your mind?
My favorite genre is hands-down YA fantasy and sci-fi.
1. childhood? C.S. Lewis and Jack London
2. adolescence? Richard Adams
3. young adult? Brian Jacques
4. adult? Too many! Maggie Stiefvater, CJ Redwine, Cornelia Funke, and Mary Weber.
Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. Since you manage your own profile, please tell me as much as you are comfortable with in regards to your preferred platform and an estimate of time you spend doing it [and whether you like doing it!].
I love IG the most. I use FB to connect mostly with friends I’ve met all over at writers’ conferences and things, whom I don’t live near. I use Twitter, but feel buried a lot. Instagram is my favorite because pretty pictures plus words. I spend waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too much time on SM sites responding and liking and posting and checking. So it’s something I’m trying to time manage better, TBH.
About Phoenix Fire:
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.
Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.
But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.
With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.