Author: C.A. Gray
Narrator: Rebecca McKernan
Series: Piercing the Veil Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Wanderlust Publishing
Released: July 19, 2018
Length: 11 hours 46 minutes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Peter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees...until she meets Peter and his father.
When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories...including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.
By day, C.A. Gray is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) with a primary care practice in Tucson, AZ, and she writes medical books under her real name (Dr. Lauren Deville). She lives with her husband, with whom she maintains a facetiously contentious movie review blog, and travels as often as they can get away. When not writing or seeing patients, she does yoga, drinks red wine while eating dark chocolate, and consumes audiobooks like there’s no tomorrow!
Born in the eighties, her formative years in the nineties, Rebecca's taste in music and fashion never really had a chance. Fortunately, you can't tell these things from her writing or voice over work. Her first novel, Trespasser, is as dark as her neon is bright, and you'd never guess from hearing her that she's narrating science fiction in nothing but unicorn pants. Currently residing in London, Rebecca is passionate about travel, and has a good- albeit sometimes dubious- ear for accents. She graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a degree in something or other, has a background in musical theatre, a past career in burlesque, and is a classically trained opera singer. Oh, and she likes greyhounds. And wine.
Q&A with Author C.A. Gray
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Piercing the Veil is set in Norwich, England, because that’s where I studied abroad when I was a junior in college. That experience changed my life, and in many ways I left my heart there. Of course much of it is also set in Carlion, the fantasy world of the former Camelot, too. That was more incidental: they’re British and Arthur is a story everyone is familiar with, so it was easy to borrow! Also, I think all of my main characters have aspects of me in them, because I imagine how I would react in a given situation or how I might say something, and I put that in their heads or their mouths. But I suspect I’m pulling all of my characters from experience, whether it be myself, others, or fictional archetypes. You write what you know.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- The most difficult part of the writing process are those days when I have to make myself write, but I’m really distracted by something else. It’s super hard to focus, and I don’t feel like I’m writing anything worth saying, but I do it anyway. This is where my outline really helps - I brainstorm a world and a general gist of the story, and then I outline the story in broad strokes. Next I outline the nitty gritty, down to what happens in each chapter. Then I write from the outline, in roughly 20 page chunks, editing as I go (whether I’m feeling it that day or not). Enthusiasm comes and goes; writing is a discipline, like anything else.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Audiobooks are the primary way I consume fiction! I listen while I drive, work out, cook, get ready for work, etc. Much as I still love physical books, I just don’t have time to read them anymore.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- I love how Rebecca brings the Ancient Tongue to life!
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- Assuming I could also come back (I wouldn’t want to live outside my own time forever), I’d go to Regency England because I love the Jane Austen era so much. And I’d go to Renaissance Italy -- I’d love to see whether people realized they were in the midst of such a cultural awakening at the time. And I’d go to Israel circa 30 AD, to meet and follow Jesus in person.
- In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
- All my books are series so far, so I can only speak to that! I tend to come up with epic storylines that are hard to wrap up in a single book. I enjoy series also because it gives me more time to develop the characters and get to know them. But sometimes I enjoy reading a stand-alone book if I’m not wanting to invest as much time, and just want a satisfying ending quickly.
- What's your favorite:
- Food: Flourless chocolate cake or chocolate ganache cake from Trader Joe’s. Basically anything dark chocolate, though.
- Song: Right now, “Satisfied” from Hamilton: An American Musical.
- Book: Can I cheat and say the whole Harry Potter series?
- Television show: Most recently, “Sherlock.”
- Movie: Again, can I cheat and say the whole Harry Potter series?
- Band: Artist maybe? Sara Bareilles
- Sports team: I really don’t care but if you twisted my arm, I’d say New Orleans Saints (a family team)
- City: Norwich, England
- Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
- Norwich is! It’s the “home base” setting in the Piercing the Veil trilogy.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- As mentioned before: writing is a discipline, like anything else. You might also think of it as a marathon, rather than a quick sprint… so you have to pace yourself. Create a routine--whatever works for you--and stick to it.
- What’s next for you?
➜Sign up as a host here