For my next Author Spotlight I’m joined by the very lovely Beck Grey. We talked about writing characters you fall in love with, book hangovers, nerdy goodness, and why they love fake boyfriends with a twist.
Over to you Beck…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi! I’m Beck, an avid consumer of MM Romance audiobooks and player of nerdy things like D&D and RPG video games. I’m a relative newbie to the whole published author thing but I’ve been writing and putting stories into the world for almost ten years. I’m fairly introverted until you get me around my friends and then you’d never guess it.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
Without a doubt, I’m a pantser. I have the barest of plotlines drawn out and then the characters start talking in my head and the story goes off plan fairly quickly. I tend to start with character ideas and then pick a trope that fits them, and the rest kind of fills in as I write.
Describe your books in only three words.
Sweet, sexy, emotional
Can you tell us a little about your latest release?
I just released Book 2 in my Love in the Pacific Northwest series. It’s called Embrace Me, and it’s a story about Quinn MacDougall who is a sweet guy who puts everyone else first, and Tadhg (pronounced like tie with a g) Byrne, a Deaf man who left a bad relationship and a toxic situation to come home to Seattle to rebuild his life. It has language barriers, loving but demanding families, crappy bosses, and sexy guys in speedos.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
Embrace Me. It’s a story I really wanted to tell about equality, fair treatment, loving someone for who they are, even if it’s difficult.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
As a young kid I hated reading. Books were boring, and I didn’t see the point. And then I discovered books about magic and impossible things with amazing characters that became my friends and I learned all about that thing we call the book hangover where you just want to go back and be in that world again. It made me want to write characters like that and put them in stories that other people would want to immerse themselves in. I wanted to write sweet stories that would be safe spaces for people when things outside the pages were maybe not so great. And it was all thanks to one book, a very long time ago called The Mummy Market. Unfortunately, it’s now out of print or I’d own it.
What inspired you to start writing?
The actual inspiration that made me put my first words on a page was a very popular RPG video game that had LGBTQ+ characters and for the first time I could romance other characters and have a relationship that reflected my experiences. And when the game was done, and I had to wait for the next one, those characters really started taking up space in my head and having conversations and telling me stories about things that weren’t in the game. So I put them down on paper and my first story was born! That was many years before my first indie published story.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I suppose my typical writing process is to write the MCs, pick an appropriate trope, jot down a vague plot, and then dive in. I have a full-time job, so I do most of my writing in the evenings and on weekends. I have some wonderful online author friends, and we all jump into Zoom most nights and keep each other company as we write.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
Definitely the characters. I know my MCs long before they have stories of their own. For my current seven book series, I had almost every MC on paper with ridiculous amounts of details like favorite ice cream flavors and how they met their best friend before I wrote the first book. Most of them have appeared in the first two books and the rest will show up fairly soon in books three and four.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Glitterland by Alexis Hall. It has everything I love in a story: Amazing, incredibly detailed and flawed characters, love, snark, humor, accents, and glitter. Everyone needs glitter. And let’s be honest, there’s no getting rid of it once it’s been spilled.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I’ll answer, but I’m going to qualify this because I have a sub-trope that I’d write over and over if I could. So I’m a huge sucker for Fake Boyfriends, BUT… give me all the best-friends-to-fake-boyfriends-to-lovers stories! That gets me every time! It’s a guaranteed one-click buy for me. Why? Because I’m a sucker for besties having each other’s backs and then not realizing they’re in love with each other until the light bulb goes off. Give me all the sweet, oblivious lovers all the time.
What would be your three desert island books?
You know, for a moment I read that as dessert and wanted to know where the dessert islands are because I’d buy my plane ticket right now! But since we’re talking desert island, and I’m assuming there is no wi-fi (insert sobbing noises here), It would be Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlie Novak’s Strawberry Kisses, and Keira Andrew’s Honeymoon for One, because those are my comfort reads when I’m feeling a little beat up by the world at large. Now, if there’s wi-fi, I have my audiobooks…
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
Embrace Me. Model Alex Mackenzie is my face-claim for Quinn, though I have no idea if he can act. I guess we’d find out! And I don’t know who I’d cast as Tadhg, but it would definitely be a Deaf actor. My face-claim for Tadhg is model Paul Kelly.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
If I have any additional time, you’ll find me listening to MM romance audiobooks, laughing with friends, drinking red wine, printing and painting minis, and playing D&D because, yes, I’m that much of a nerd. I may also spend some time learning new accents because it’s D&D and everyone needs that level of silliness. If I have some significant free time, there will be video games, mostly RPG. If there’s cake involved at any point, it’s a win!
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Triceratops. Wait. Isn’t that everyone’s favorite?
Beck Grey writes sweet, sexy, LGBTQ happily ever afters and lives in the Northeastern United States with their two adorable dogs. They spend their weekdays buying things with their employer’s money, and devote their evenings and weekends to writing stories involving hot characters, favorite tropes, and happy endings. 😉
For more information on Beck and their work you can find them on their website, where you can also sign up for their newsletter, Instagram, BookBub, Goodreads, and Twitter. You can also join their Facebook Group, Beck’s Blanket Fort, for more news and updates.