Meet author Marguerite Gray
Marguerite Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, Bring Me Near, Draw Me to Your Side, and Wait for Me—Revolutionary Faith Series. She enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism, and a MA in English. Presently, she is an online High School Spanish and French teacher and a part time librarian who lives in North Louisiana with her husband.
Tell us about your newest book.
I’m excited about my new series, Gardens in Time. Labor of Love is book one set in 1560 Florence, Italy. Ana lives at Pitti Palace with her Medici distant cousins. She’s trapped between two worlds, not really accepted in either. As a companion to the Medici daughter, Ana is well-educated, having all the manners and perks of the royalty without the title. Yet, she longs for her simple life in the country, now distant memories. When Marco arrives, the valley between the worlds widens. Could she maintain her garden plot and life without disruptions? Not as long as something sinister lurks in Pitti Palace.
What inspired you to write Labor of Love?
I love gardens and garden creations. I’ve traveled all over Europe and had great adventures in some beautiful gardens, as a child and as an adult. I also love history. What would it have been like to live at Pitti Palace when the gardens were coming to life? I found the date of the creation and attached a fictional story to the famous Medici family. My characters roam the gardens that I love.
How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
Labor of Love is a young woman’s journey while living in the ruling Medici family in Florence, Italy in 1560. She lives between two worlds, not promised a place in either the royal family or her family in the country. As her future is planned for her and an evil scheme develops, she wonders if God’s plan can overrule the rulers of the day.
What genre do you focus on?
I write historical Christian fiction. I focus on the motto: Entertain. Encourage. Educate. The fictional element allows the reader to enter a world with conflict, romance, intrigue, and secrets. The element of faith gives the reader a glimpse into how people face life’s changes, challenges, and choices with or without a noticeable and acknowledged belief in God. As a lover of history, I read and write historical stories, always wanting to learn something new. This genre encompasses all of these elements. A great package.
Why do you write?
I’m a reader first! Since I was a child, I’ve read everything I could wondering about the imaginations of the authors. Soon, I started creating stories of my own. It just took me a long time to write them. I find that I cannot stop writing, published or not. I’ll never be able to write novels for all my imaginings.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
I research for about three months, using about twenty-five resources. I type all the notes and then outline the novel. For a ninety thousand word novel, I give myself three months to write the first draft. Everyday, I schedule three-four hours for writing. I have to be flexible because I work fulltime teaching online. Since I am a pen-and-paper gal, the next step is inputting into a Word document which ends up being the first major edit. While it is with my personal editor, I relax and breath. Once it is time to edit again, I set aside two to three hours a day. Eventually, my “baby” is published.
How have you changed or grown as a writer?
Oh my! I’ve learned so much. I’ll admit it has been painful at times with rejections and loads of red marks. The lessons from critics and editors are worth all the strain, worries, tears, and fatigue. Even after six published novels, I feel I’m constantly changing and growing—for the better.
What is your favorite pastime?
Reading hands down. But I love to travel and hike where I can always have a book available. The outdoors revives me and gives me that energy boost to get things done. My favorite travel destination is the next place, wherever that is, on my calendar. For spring 2022, Peru and Scotland/England are my vacation journeys.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
Revolutionary Faith is a five-book series set in 1772-1782 Charles Town, South Carolina during the American Revolution. The journey covers the struggles of rumors of war and war in their hometown. The characters have to make decisions to fight, to marry, to flee, or to stay. Elizabeth’s life begins with peace and love of a faithful British family until the brewing political conflicts interrupt and call her to pick a side. That decision colors her life in every facet. Hold Me Close (1772-1773) Surround Me (1773-1774) Bring Me Near (1775) Draw Me to Your Side (1776) Wait for Me (1777-1782)
What are you working on now?
I recently completed a Christmas novella set in France in 1879 that will be part of a multi-author collection. Next, I am finishing a 50,000-word novel, the first in three books as part of another multi-author island collection. Book Two in the Gardens in Time series is Promise of Purity, Hampton Court, England in 1661. It is at the publisher’s now. I’m always writing, researching, or editing.
Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Labor-Love-Gardens-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B09B4BJ8FM/ref
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Facebook author: https://www.facebook.com/margueritemartingray/
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