What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.
What/who has influenced your writing?
Without a doubt, Louis L’Amour has been a large influence in my writing. I met his wife once, after he had passed away, who told me that persistence was the key to his success. I was in high school at the time and decided I could do this writing thing then, because I’m stubborn! Other influential authors are Janette Oke, Lori Wick, in the Historical Christian Romance category. Classic Christian writer, Grace Livingston Hill has been a recent and most loved discovery. I can’t discount some of the current young adult writers out there like Suzanne Collins for writing about difficult situations
What do you do beside write?
I am a mother of two, a part-time bookkeeper, President of Women Writing the West, and a writer. I work outside of the home a couple days of the week. I have a home office in the basement (I call it the studio - much less depressing) so when it comes to writing, I write when my oldest son is at school and the baby is napping. When nap time is over, I answer WWW emails and market Moonshine Murder while playing with the baby. I “unwind” on my treadmill, although here I’m working too. Believe it or not, I use this time to catch up on my reading – done much easier with a Kindle then back when I used to use “chip clip” to hold the book open! Evenings are family time, though. When I can, I am outdoors, backpacking, hiking, or skiing in the winter.
Do places you visit pop up in your writing? How so?
Yes! I write historical fiction, so I’m often writing about places I’ve experienced and filtering those locations through a historical lens. My novel, Moonshine Murder, for example is set in the 1920’s in Durango and Silverton, Colorado. I grew up backpacking through the San Juan Mountains, and the location is described in accurate details throughout the novel.
Synopsis: It’s 1925. The small cabin deep in the San Juan Mountains is the only home seventeen-year-old Lenora Giovanni has ever known. But when her father dies from tainted moonshine, leaving her alone, she is forced into a life of danger. Lenora is determined to find whoever sold the poison to her father--a determination that leads her into working as an undercover agent in the town of Durango, Colorado. She meets Rusty, a young moonshiner who guides her through the world of bootlegging. As Lenora gets to know this intriguing young man, three things become clear: Her father was entangled in a scheme of deception. Rusty is keeping secrets--secrets about her past. And she is falling irrationally and unconditionally in love with him. Faced with betrayal, Lenora is tempted to protect Rusty and preserve her father’s memory, rather than bust the illegal moonshine business that destroyed her family. How will she choose: with her head or her heart?
Bio: Erin S. Gray writes historical fiction for adults and young adults. She backpacks through the very mountains about which she writes and was inspired to begin her novel, Moonshine Murder, after stumbling across an abandoned cabin during a trek deep in the San Juan Mountains. Erin is the 2013 president of Women Writing the West, and an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. A graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in English, she lives in southwest Colorado with her husband and two young sons. For more information about the author, visit www.erinsgray.com