Q&A with author Judith Graves

What inspired you to become a writer?
I started off as a singer/songwriter, writing lyrics / poetry, and began writing short stories, then novels – and after that – just about any form of fiction. I adore creating characters and the process of worldbuilding, and then putting them all through the wringer.
Your novels seem to be based in the young adult genre, do you have any plans on dabbling in others?
My (thus far!) published novels are young adult / new adult, however I have screenplays, stage plays, and other manuscript projects for adults, as well as a few for middle grade readers.
So it seems that you write "paranormal stories with an attitude". Who would you say is your favorite character/story that you have written so far?
All of my lead characters are snarky, but vulnerable, so I think I’m drawn to the anti-hero archetype. The loner with quirks and emotional defences meant to push others away to protect their wounded hearts. Yeah, those are the characters / stories I love to write.
What is the hardest thing about writing a series?
Keeping things like character eye colours consistent. I have index cards with descriptions / traits, but when you’re flying through a first draft, it’s VERY easy to screw up on those little details. And each novel introduces new characters that may or may not cross over into others within the series, adding to the index card mania.
If you could collaborate with any author, past or present, who would it be?
Ray Bradbury. I think we could hooch up some wickedly twisted tales and I’d try to absorb as much of his talent as possible.
If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which would it be?
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. I read it in school and remember the scads of tissues I went through after reading the ending. I know the book wouldn’t have the resonance / message if it ended any other way, but the romantic in me still wants to see Jesse and Winnie get their HEA.
Are you currently working on anything that you can share?
I’m polishing the last book in the Skinned series, Hour of the Wolf. I can’t share too much as I’m waiting for readers to finish Skin of My Teeth, but I can tell you that Eryn travels back in time. It’s sort of a Doctor Who meets Buffy story that ends the series with a bang.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read everything you can find in your genre…as far back as it goes. This helps you learn the tropes, figure out what works best, and what doesn’t. From there – spin what you've learned into something fresh and exciting.

Judith Graves has multiple young adult novels and short stories published with Leap Books, Orca Book Publishers, Compass Press, and, under the pen name, Judith Tewes, is also published with Bloomsbury Spark. In addition, Judith is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, writes freelance articles for literary magazines, and facilitates writing workshops for both adults and young adults. She lives in northern Alberta with her husband and three crazy labs.