Grace in the Wings received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Kari Bovee.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Grace in the Wings, September 19, 2019
What’s the book’s first line?
Grace Michelle braced herself for a possible spectacle as she threaded her way through the shimmering swarm of the wealthiest and most famous people of New York City.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
When Ziegfeld Follies costume designer Grace Michelle’s sister, Ziegfeld’s brightest star, dies mysteriously, Grace steps from behind the curtain of her introversion and shyness into the bright lights of Broadway fame to find the truth— only to learn that someone might be out to get her, too.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
I’ve always been fascinated with the stage and show business. I used to watch all those glamorous old movies when I was a kid, and I still do. I’ve also dabbled in theater. I had seen the movies The Great Ziegfeld and The Ziegfeld Follies and was mesmerized by the costumes and sets. The spark of an idea was born, but it wasn’t until years later that the story started to take shape. Years ago, I had a horse trainer who, at the time was in her seventies, and she told me that her mother was a dancer with the Ziegfeld Follies. I decided I would do some research and look her up. I never found her, but I did find some fascinating stars and amazing stories, so then I decided to build the story around a costume designer. Like many artists, my protagonist is introverted and prefers to work back stage, behind the scenes. I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like if she had to become a star, and be in the limelight. I also pondered the question of what would it take for her to do it. And then, the story took off from there.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Aside from the fact that it is a murder mystery that explores both the glamour and darker side of show business, the theme centers around the idea that sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone to find out who we really are and how strong we really are. Grace has to step away from her insulated backstage world (and her dreams) in order to find the truth about what happened to her sister. In doing so, she discovers her own strength, and that she doesn’t need to rely on anyone but herself. It’s about empowerment—which is a recurring theme in all of my books.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
The most distinctive thing about Grace is that in the beginning, she is shy and introverted, and dependent upon others for her safety and well-being, but by the end of the book, she is a take charge woman who is fully aware of her talents and is able to use them to benefit herself and others. I guess in a way, she reminds me of Princess Diana, who was clearly an introvert, but who was thrust into world and a life that she often found difficult to manage, and definitely out of her comfort zone. But, she realized that she had a talent for connecting with others, and she used that to eventually become “the People’s Princess.” It was so tragic that she was taken so young. Imagine what she could have accomplished!
If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?
I love this question. For Grace I would choose Jennifer Lawrence—she has the range to play both innocent and tough. For Chet Riker I would choose James Norton (Grantchester). He is classically handsome (would look great in a fedora!) and he plays tortured really well.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve written stories since I was in the third grade. My life has taken a few twists and turns from that goal, but when the time was right, I was able to pursue the dream.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
No. I have another series called The Annie Oakley Mystery Series in which the iconic Annie Oakley is an amateur sleuth solving crimes in the Wild West Show. I also have another mystery series on deck that takes place in the Southwest with an archaeologist as the protagonist. Those stories center around ancient Native American and Spanish culture and religion. Grace in the Wings is the first book of the Grace Michelle Mystery Series and I have ideas for two more—well, several more for all three series. I have a million ideas for novels!
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I write full time, but my other passion is horses. I have four of them. For the past decade I have been studying natural horsemanship—horse whisperer kind of stuff, and it has led me on a journey of self- development that has changed my life. Learning about horse psychology and horse behavior has taught me so much about human behavior. My horses have carried me through some tough times in my life, and I can’t imagine ever being without them. They are spiritual and soulful beings who can bring out the best in you if you treat them properly.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
I try to do a little bit every day. Sometimes, life gets in the way, but even if I can do the smallest thing, like write or edit a page or even a paragraph, that makes me feel good. When I’m really in the zone, and working toward a deadline, I will often spend 2-6 hours a day writing. It’s marvelous when that happens!
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
The best part of being an indie is being on my own schedule. Also, having the flexibility to make changes and try things along the way. As an indie, I have total control over the book, editorially and aesthetically, and that’s an awesome feeling. I suppose the hardest thing is doing all of the publicity, promotion, and marketing, but I’ve had a publicist and a virtual assistant thus far, and that has been really helpful – even though I still do a lot of it.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Make sure your book is the best it can be, and then find a really great editor. I use a developmental editor and a copy editor, as well as proof-readers. Some authors are daunted by the cost of editors, but it is so worth the money. I want to put out the best product I can, and I know I need help with that. It’s too hard to see the work objectively after you’ve read over it a million times. It’s good to have some distance, and another (or several) set of eyes go over it—at least once.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
That would depend on the deal. At this point, it would have to be an excellent deal. I like the idea of having an advance and a powerhouse behind me, but there are also some risks in that—for instance, earning out the advance, and also, if the book isn’t successful, then it’s an ordeal to get back the rights and start all over. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it, but the situation would have to be just right.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
Of course, I would love both, but connecting with others and bringing them enjoyment through my work is what really motivates me. There is nothing better than getting a fantastic review, or having someone tell me that my work has touched them in some way. I want to inspire, educate, and entertain, and if I’ve done that, I’m satisfied!
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
This is an impossible question to answer. There are so many, but I will give it my best shot! Of those no longer with us, I would have to say the Bronte sisters. They weren’t writing for fame and fortune, they were writing because they had something to say about love and society. They came from such a humble background, and were so isolated from the rest of the world, yet they had this incredible insight into human nature, particularly the dark side, which I find fascinating.
Which book do you wish you could have written?