Author Karyn Grice answers your questions! Be sure to check out UNFAITHFUL, her new eBook original from Pocket Star, on sale September 29th at the unbeatable price of $1.99!
What themes were you looking to explore in telling the story of Unfaithful?
A. When I write, I don’t “pre-write.” I don’t try to follow a platform. It just happens. The story happens when I type it.
Q. So you try and go into it without expectations and let the process go naturally?
A. Yeah, it just happens. So then, at the end, when I’m finished, I read it and that’s where I find out what it’s about. [laughs]
Q. From where did the inspiration for Unfaithful come?
A. The original title was Infidelities & Indiscretions, and the main character was Myles. But the story changes after you write it. I just throw it out there raw. I wanted to write about this guy with power and how he manipulates women through his lifetime. He was a cheater, unfaithful to his wife and to everybody he met. So that’s where it started.
Q. Originally, this story was supposed to [focus on] a guy?
A. Yeah. You can have original thoughts and it may not happen as you think. Usually what ends up happening is a second book evolves because I keep trying to capture what my first thought was. [But I didn’t do that] with this book. I didn’t do this one twice.
The original story is basically the same story, only Myles turned out to be less of the main character when I finished. This book is about people’s behaviors. (And it focuses on) Melanie, who turned out to be the strongest character and how her cheating and being unfaithful turned her world upside down. And it’s her relationship with Myles, the power figure, and how he manipulated Melanie. He’s much older than she is.
Q. What can readers can look forward to in getting to know your main character, Melanie? What is she like?
A. I want to say that Melanie is a strong person, but…. She’s made so many bad decisions in her life. She had a good relationship with Michael, before she cheated and lost everything. She’s a go-getter. She goes after what she wants. She’s not a weak person. But she made a mistake and she tries to rebound from that mistake. That’s basically what she’s about. I think she craves companionship.
Q. Did these characters derive from people you’ve actually encountered or known, or are they all purely from Karyn Grice’s imagination?
A. Every character that I create has a touch of someone I know. There’s a scene in the book where Melanie and Michael met to have a talk. He asked her, “Do you remember our first date?” She said yeah, that she did, and that it was a time when [on] their second date he gave her a pair of diamond earrings. That story is true about someone I know. When she met her now-husband, on their next date he gave her a pair of diamond earrings. He was serious! [laughs] That’s serious when on the second date you bring a woman a pair of diamond earrings. And I wrote that into the story.
Myles Cochran is an attorney I used to work with. When I decided to write this book, I needed a name. And I liked his name. But that’s all I borrowed from him. He’s in the acknowledgments. At first, I named the character Myles Carver. But then I just asked Myles if he minded if I used his name in my book and he agreed. I just love his name! So that’s where Myles Cochran came from.
It’s little stuff like that. It’s authentic to me. It always makes it real for me.
Q. How long have you been writing?
A. I started writing one day in 2003. I was sitting at the computer at my desk in my bedroom, and I was watching Jay Leno. And I said, “I’m going to write a book!” I turned around, turned the computer on, and I wrote a whole book in six days. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. [laughs] Then I started calling it “the gift.” But it wasn’t the gift. The gift was the writing, not that book. One of my friends said, “See if you can write something else.” I said, “Oh, okay…” Then I started popping out three or four books a year.
Q. Was Jay Leno talking about books, was there an author on the show, or was it just a random thought in your head to start writing?
A. It was a random thought. [And it was] 350 pages in six days. Then all of a sudden I could write. I was like, “wow!” I sent it to my sister and I told her, “Read this and tell me do you think I should keep going, because if it’s stupid, I’ll just stop.” She was like, “nuh uh uh, I wanna read more!”
Q. Growing up, did you always have a book in your hand?
A. Yeah, sparingly, you know, not like I do now. Now, you see me and I have the Kindle in my face. My mom read a lot, so I would get some of her books—Stephen King books—until I found what I really liked and then my reading picked up a lot more.
Q. Your other novels, No Strings Attached and What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas, also deal with love, romance, temptation, and fantasy. What is it that draws you to this type of storytelling?
A. I don’t know. I don’t have a choice. It’s not really my [decision] when I’m writing. It just happens.
Here’s something weird: I’m 51. I like rap music. And I remember this lady saying to me, “Why do you listen to that?!”.It wasn’t my choice. I didn’t decide that that’s gonna be my taste, that I like rap music. It’s just something that gets my attention. But I like it. I don’t know why. I just do.
[So in my writing], I didn’t choose. I know there are things that I cannot write. I probably couldn’t write nonfiction, because it doesn’t interest me.
Q. Fiction is your thing. Why not mystery? Why romance? Because it comes naturally to you?
A. Yeah. And maybe [because] it’s what I like. I believe that would be a better explanation. Because even in movies, and books are like movies… in movies I like love stories, happy endings. I like happy stuff. I don’t like mysteries. I can’t stand suspense.
Q. What can readers of your previous novels find different/unique in Unfaithful?
A. Nothing. [laughs] For me, I think my writing has improved. There’s been a progression in the writing. I think the stories are still good in all three, that was never an issue. But I was happy that I found a better way to express myself.
Q. Other than being purely entertained and engrossed by Unfaithful, could readers potentially learn anything?
A. Yeah, that there are consequences for your actions. [Melanie] had it made. She had a wonderful guy and a bad decision messed it up for her.
Q. And maybe that the grass isn’t always greener?
A. Definitely, yup. Definitely.
Q. Who are some of your favorite authors? Any favorite books? What and who does Karyn Grice love to read?
A. Karyn Grice reads Beverly Jenkins. I LOVE Beverly Jenkins. She’s a romance writer.
Q. Would you say that she has influenced you?
A. No, I’ve only recently discovered her. Maybe in… I’ll say with Unfaithful… yeah, I can say that I was probably influenced by her and my other favorite, Brenda Jackson. They’re both romance writers. Brenda Jackson has written more than 100 books. What I did learn [from them] was how to deal more with the romance part and love scenes… you know, better language and stuff like that. Yeah, I did learn from them.
Q. What does the word “unfaithful” mean to you at its very core?
A. It’s not believing, to me. You’re not believing in your relationship, where you can make that mistake.