Series-Gravel Ghost Series Book One
By- Charyse Allan
Genre- YA Thriller
Expected Publication Date- December 16th, 2014
Seventeen-year-old Payton Morros is a killer. Adopted as a child, and groomed into the profession by her new parents, she longs for a normal life. But lethal assassins at the top of their game can’t exactly quit their day job. Her only escape from her predetermined destiny is spending time with her best friend Conner, if only for a little while.
When Payton is sent to Chile for an assignment, she discovers a devastating truth that challenges everything she knows about herself and her family. Abandoning the mission, and on the run, she must unravel the secrets of her past before she loses all sense of herself. Or worse, before she jeopardizes everyone she cares about.
Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?
Payton’s favored way to take out her targets is by poking them with a needle filled with a poison she personally designed.
How did you choose your title?
My husband is actually a big part of my title choosing process. I like the title to be based on what the MC experiences through the entire book. In Gravel Ghost, Payton is living a life of little substance, but she has hope her life will get better at some point. I really liked the idea of having the title have something to do with Death Valley, because she feels her life is empty and hollow, a lot like Death Valley. Then my husband started talking about the flowers that bloom during the short rain season there and how the flowers could represent Payton’s hope. I picked out my favorite flower and made the month that it blooms the same month as Payton’s birthday.
Did you selfpublish or publish traditionally and why?
I self-published. I did try the traditional route for about a year with a different project and a couple months with this one. Throughout the process I learned a ton and realized how much is taken over when you publish traditionally. I didn’t like the idea I wouldn’t have any say in how my cover looked or when the book came out and the process usually takes a very long time, even once you’ve found an agent. I decided I would much rather go with a more hands-on approach and do all the legwork myself. I’m kind of OCD, so I like that I get to control all aspects of the process and make it truly mine.
What do you consider the most important part of a good story?
I think the most important part of a good story is the voice. If you have a great voice for all of your characters, not just the MC, you draw people in, make them laugh, make them cry, make them want vengeance for your characters and so on. People connect with the unique characters who have their own personality, which goes beyond just having a favorite kind of drink or favorite color, etc.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I would say I’m probably a little bit of both. I like to write out a short outline or summary before I get started, just to see what direction I want the book to go. Once I have that I just let the story lead me. If I come across an area, which just doesn’t want to be written, I don’t write it. I believe if something isn’t right for the story, it doesn’t belong, so I go in a different direction until it feels right.
Read anything good lately?
I think my two favorite books of the year are Deeper and Harder by Robin York. I also really love #Nerd by Cambria Hebert, Final Life and Final Stand by Rose Garcia and the Gentry Boy series by Cora Brent.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love yoga and running. I also enjoy baking, gardening and doing cool home crafts, such as building furniture, refinishing furniture, painting or really any kind of craft; I like to challenge myself.
What advice would you give an author just starting out?
I would say to just do it and don’t stop! There are tons of people out there who say they want to write a book, but they never get around it. Finishing a novel is a huge success, finishing the second and third ones is an even bigger accomplishment. If you truly want to be an author, never ever stop writing, even if what you’re writing doesn’t come out pretty.
What's your next project?
The second novel in the Gravel Ghost series is scheduled to come out in the middle of March and the third shortly after. I also have an upper-YA, contemporary suspense series in the works, which I’m hoping to get out shortly after the final GG novel, if not before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charyse Allan grew up in Arizona dancing and riding horses. She is an avid reader, but didn’t become one until high school. This is also when she realized her passion for writing, however it wasn’t until a couple years into her marriage that she tried her hand at writing a novel.
When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found in Northern Arizona, tending her garden with her husband and best friend, while their two kids and two crazy dogs run around the yard. Charyse is also a big fan of Holy yoga, juicing and being a vegetarian—she misses bacon like nobody’s business.
Website: charyseallan.com or charyseallan.net