Interview and Giveaway: Inhale by Kendall Grey
Kitt: Hi Kendall, we’d like to welcome you to Paperback Dolls! We’re so happy to have you here.
Kendall: As the Aussies say, I’m thoroughly CHUFFED that you invited me! ;-)
Kitt: Since this is your first time at Paperback Dolls, can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Kendall: I’m a former teacher turned whale fanatic turned urban fantasy writer. When I’m not writing, I visit schools and talk to kids about whales. It’s an AWESOME job.
Kitt: When did you first start writing? What made you decide – ‘ok, this is it, I’m writing a book’?
Kendall: I started writing INHALE on August 1, 2008. I’d enjoyed writing since I was a kid, but I couldn’t ever finish anything. While I was on a whale watching trip, I read TWILIGHT, and thought, “I could write a book.” I had no idea it would take me almost 4 years to get it polished enough for publication, but it all worked out in the end.
Kitt: Do you have any authors that you took inspiration from or influenced you the most?
Kendall: I discovered JR Ward after I’d written INHALE and LOVED her voice. Like me, she doesn’t pull any punches. Her words and characters are raw, in-your-face, and intense. The conflicts in her stories are gut-wrenching. Characters are forced to make hard choices. I respect that. The publishing world is saturated with too much “nice,” in my opinion. Give me raw, painful conflict any day!
Kitt: When you want to get away from your own books and take a break, what do you read?
Kendall: Not much! *BLASPHEMY!* I’m a very slow reader. It takes me weeks to read one book, and with three kids and my own writing, it’s really hard to find the time. My writer friends scold me. “You have to be a reader to be a good writer,” they say. I know it’s true, but it’s a real struggle for me to get through a book.
Kitt: Can you tell us a little bit about your debut, Inhale?
Kendall: It’s an urban fantasy romance filled with whales, Elementals, and Sentinels. It takes place in the real world of Hervey Bay, Australia and the dream world of, well, the Dreaming. :-) Whale biologist Zoe Morgan starts understanding the whales she studies. She dreams about them and the handsome guy who rescued her from drowning. Gavin is a rock star/human-protecting Sentinel who’s lost control of his Water Elements and wants nothing to do with her. But he’s not getting off easy. The Dreaming has plans for both of them. :-)
Kitt: What made you choose Whales over other paranormals and beasties? Or will we find them in your Just Breathe trilogy as well? Is there a particular reason that you chose Whales over other sea life creatures?
Kendall: I included whales because I love them. I follow them. I know a good bit about them. It’s a very strange combination for sure—whales, dreams, Elementals—but I found a way to bring these seemingly disparate pieces together. Also, the publishing landscape is saturated with vampires, werewolves, angels, and demons. I wanted to write something fresh and totally different from anything else out there.
Kitt: What makes your Elements different from the Sentinels?
Kendall: Elementals are half-human/half-magical beings that possess massive quantities of one particular Element—Earth, Air, Fire, or Water. Their Elements drive them. Sentinels are humans who can control all the Elements, albeit to a lesser degree. Because Sentinels manage all four, they’re entrusted to keep the Elementals from getting out of control and wreaking havoc on the Wyldlings (humans) on whom they feed.
Kitt: What was your motivation behind making Gavin a Rock-N-Roll God?
Kendall: Rock stars are hot. Plain and simple. I have a thing for black clothes, tattoos, piercings, and generally badassery. :-)
Kitt: Are any of your characters, such as your heroine Zoe Morgan, based on other people? Do you have mental images for your characters?
Kendall: Some of the characters have roots in real-life people I know. Zoe is the person I wish I could be. I adore her. She’s smart, but not in the ways you might think. She’s vulnerable, but doesn’t let weakness keep her down. As for mental images, YES! If they ever made a movie of INHALE, I’d know just who to cast—except for Gavin. I still haven’t found anyone who quite lives up to my image of him.
Kitt: If there is a lesson that each of your main characters need to learn what would it be?
Kendall: Zoe needs to let go of some self-doubt. Gavin should think things through a little better. His impulsivity gets him in trouble. ;-)
Kitt: Was there a particular scene or part of the book that was more challenging to write, if so, can you explain?
Kendall: Most of INHALE was pretty easy to write, but making the words work the right way was another issue. I rewrote the beginning of this book at least 20 times. It’s still not perfect, but it’s the best I can do. There’s so much info I wanted the reader to know, but I had to “leak” it so it didn’t turn into a “back-story fest” with a bunch of explanation and no forward movement.
Some readers have criticized the opening of INHALE because I dump you right in the middle of the action, in a strange world with strange terms. All I can say to that is, “Trust me.” Some things may be confusing at first. Answers will come, I promise. Try not to over-think it, and just let the story happen. Patience is a virtue. HAHA! BUT…for those who need help with whale or world-building terms, there’s a glossary in the back of the book. ;-)
Kitt: What can we expect next from your Just Breathe trilogy?
Kendall: EXHALE (book 2) will probably be out around the first of July, and JUST BREATHE (book 3) will follow in August or September. EXHALE picks up right where INHALE left off. Readers will see Gavin and Zoe’s relationship develop, and some new characters are introduced. Scarlet (our Fyre Elemental villain) is back to her old tricks, and mysterious Sinnder is just as enigmatic as ever. :-)
Kitt: Do you have Just Breathe all pre-plotted and planned out?
Kendall: Oh, yes. I’m almost done drafting JUST BREATHE (only about 15K more words to go), and EXHALE is in final edits.
Kitt: Do you create play-lists to go along with your books? And if so, where can we find them?
Kendall: I do! You can find a short list of songs by character at http://www.justbreathenovels.com/Just_Breathe/Characters.html. They don’t all play on the playlist page due to copyright issues, but you can at least view the song titles.
Kitt: So, what’s next on your “to-do” list? We know you are busy promoting your new book, but are there any new works in progress we can be anticipating? Or are there any other genres that you’d like to explore?
Kendall: After this trilogy is out, I plan to write a spin-off for one of the JUST BREATHE side characters. I also have a completely different story in mind that my husband and I plotted. It’s more of a social commentary comedy. I’m working with a couple of erotica writers on an anthology idea this summer too. So, I’ll be a busy bee!
Kitt: We want to thank you so much for taking the time to visit us and answer our questions! We are super thrilled to have you on Paperback Dolls. Best of Luck to you!
Kendall: That you guys so much for having me. I had a blast!
About the Author
Kendall Grey is a whale educator and urban fantasy writer. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her ghost husband, a random rainbow, a gossamer-winged fairy, a wild imp, and a ferocious miniature long-haired Dachshund who keeps them all in line. INHALE is the first book in the “Just Breathe” trilogy.
Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…
After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.
Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country. Read an Excerpt.
Giveaway provided by Kendall Grey. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to the rules set by our Giveaway Policy. Ends 05/19 International
INHALE, an urban fantasy romance by Kendall Grey, is now available in and e-book for (MOBI) and Nook (EPUB). INHALE is the first book in the trilogy. Kendall is donating all profits from the sale of the trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face. Watch the to find out why.
Kendall encourages interested readers to consider purchasing an e-book instead of a paperback. E-books save trees, cost considerably less, and bring in much more money for the whales.
Thank you for supporting INHALE, and most importantly, the whales that need our help.