January 24th, 2020
I asked Abbigayle where she would like to chat:
So, Laura asked me to pick the place for our interview, and anybody who knows how indecisive I am—not to mention how in the middle of nowhere the town of Orangeboro is—knows I could only pick here: Benny’s Pizza. We’re sitting in the corner booth, right next to an inconspicuous closet door that’s painted the same beige as the walls. The door blends in so well you almost can’t see it. I only know it’s there because I know the owners of the pizza shop, two guys named Bob and Joe, personally. I even know that Joe happens to be an elf, coming from inside that door. No, he doesn’t live in a closet—that’s Harry Potter—no, the closet is actually a portal to a different world. I just call it the elf world, but it might have a different name. For now, let’s focus on the pizza shop.
It’s a pretty homey sort of place, just what you would expect from this town. The booth is comfortable and the table is clean hardwood. The menus have an elvish word puzzle on the back, but you won’t want to mention that to anybody (It’s a secret). And I don’t recommend ordering anything—not if it has pizza sauce on it, anyway. Bob makes the worst sauce I’ve ever had and he’s the only one doing a lot of cooking since El’s gone and Julie went to college. In fact, we probably won’t want to have anything, unless Laura would like some coffee—that I know is good. I come here way too often for the coffee, and the stories, of course.
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Abbigayle Grace: I pretty much grew up with it. My family has always been very into books, which nurtured my imagination and love for the written word. And when I finally grew “too old” to play games with my siblings and our imaginary friends, I decided to keep it all alive through writing.
L: How long have you been writing for?
A: I started writing very soon after I learned to read, which was when I was four, but it didn’t really take until I was about twelve, when my parents published their first kids’ book. That was when I decided I might actually like to try getting published too.
L: What are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently working on a number of projects, but chiefly editing my second book, which is Book 2 of The Pizza Shop Chronicles, Goblinprince. If you’ve read Book 1, Elfboy, you’re probably wondering how the series can go on since I killed off one of the chief characters, but it does. There are about four more books left, and they will be worth reading.
L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
A: I find that almost every book I read inspires me in some way or another, by at least giving me something new to think about.
L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
A: Writing isn’t that hard, editing isn’t too horrible, the publishing process wasn’t that nerve-racking, but getting used to the fact that I am a published author and people actually like my writing? That is hard. I’m still not fully adjusted to that.
L: What is your favorite writing trope?
A: Least favorite? I feel like I don’t know enough tropes to answer this question properly, but I’ve never cared much for love triangles (and, yes, I write them), and I do love me a well-written enemies-to-lovers.
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
A: I love to be outdoors, especially doing stuff like rock climbing, and I taught myself several varieties of needlework after learning to crochet from my mom’s cousin. I also enjoy doing some art now and again (I did my book cover in colored pencil).
L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
A: That’s a tough question. I’m going to say The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. It took me over three months to read, but I really loved all the stories and characters. It gives you a new look at Middle Earth.
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
A: I think my biggest regret is forgetting to include the one character’s dog, Ollie, in the finished product. I feel like he would’ve given readers a better understanding of the character. But other than that, I try not to have regrets since I’ve found they weigh me down.
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
A: I’m self published and it’s been interesting. There was a bit of red tape just to set up my KDP account. Everything after was pretty easy though, and I’ve been doing fairly well sales-wise.
L: What are you currently reading?
A: I’m reading The Magician’s Sin by Alexander Thomas. It’s a fantastic book, and I’m really enjoying. I’m also beta reading for a few of my writer friends.
L: What genre do you read?
A: Even though I write a hundred percent fantasy, I tend to read pretty much anything from encyclopedias to fantasy novels and everything in between.
L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?
A: I’m pretty flexible about this sort of thing. I like to draft in my notebook and edit on the computer. Other than that, I pretty much write anytime, anyplace.
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
A: I enjoy upbeat music that I can sing along to, but tend to tune out background noise of any kind while working. An especially handy talent when trying to read or write among younger siblings.
L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?
A: “Suddenly”. It’s the one adverb that I will try to avoid using at any costs because it often comes across as a lazy way to start a sentence. Suddenly, I ran out of coffee. “I ran out of coffee” just sounds better (except when it actually happens).
L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
A: I really have more of a favorite “type” of character. And they’re generally the ones that die. Examples are King Finrod Felagund from The Silmarillion, Prince/King Ninus from The Crown of Three by J.D. Rhineheart, and Dustfinger from Inkeart by Cornelia Funke.
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
A: I get a lot of my inspiration from dreams and random thoughts that occur throughout the day. Other times, it comes from challenges I set for myself, like “create a really awesome character in five minutes”.
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
A: A lot of times, I think new writers don’t really need advice. It’s definitely a good idea to learn as much as you can about the trade, but most of that learning comes from hands-on experience. The only way to get that is to write, and write a lot.
Abbigayle Grace is an avid writer from Pennsylvania and currently lives in Kentucky where her writing is inspired by her beautiful surroundings. She has always been obsessed with books – both reading and writing, as well as actively spending time outdoors. Her magical love of nature is vividly captured within her stories. Her stories are adventurous, mysterious, magical and humorous, while her Christian faith is apparent in her characters as they face tragedy and turmoil.
Elfboy – After both his parents die, Chris is thrust into a new life with his widowed aunt and 14-year-old cousin, who live in a rural Kentucky town, where Chris has to start high school after being homeschooled his whole life. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a fellow student who everyone warns him to stay away from because of some terrible secret where eight people went missing.
But, no matter how Chris tries to avoid him, he ends up bumping into him and finds himself caught up in a murderous plot where he barely escapes being one of the next victims. He becomes swooped up in a mysterious adventure where the local pizza shop, and even the school’s weird principal, are all involved. Is anyone who they seem to be? What is going on in this little town, and, wait, where did you say we’re going next?
Buy it here!