Kendall Grey and the Big Ten
Kendall Grey. The one word that comes to mind when I think of her is: FIERCE. And I mean fierce with all the power that word carries. A couple years ago I began following Kendall on Facebook. I can't even tell you how she swam into my sonar screen (yes, that's a water analogy f*ckers). HAHA! And hell yes, I'm going to use language in this interview because Kendall evokes that kind of powerful shit. She has a healthy and vocal fan base who are just as edgy and crazy amazing as she is. And this chicka can tell a story that will make you think, "Holy shit, did I just read that?" She just recently hit the 100,000 ebooks sold and was so f*cking humble about it...I would've been running around town shaking champagne bottles and letting the bubbles fizz in people's faces. You gotta love her. Let me introduce Kendall...
1. What is the first thing you remember writing that made you realize you were a writer/author?
I’ve always considered myself a writer—even when I was a little kid—but I didn’t think of myself as an author until I published my first book, INHALE. The moment it really hit home that I was an author was the first time someone recognized me at a book signing. I thought, “One of my friends must’ve told her it was me. No way she knew who I was.” I still don’t expect anyone to know who I am.
2. What sparked your muse for your Just Breathe series? Hard Rock Harlots?
I’ve always been fascinated by rock stars. I worshiped them as a teenager and dreamed of living the rock star life. My obsession with rockers has always been—and probably will continue to be—the drive behind a lot of my books.
Every whale I’ve ever met also played a huge role in my decision to write the Just Breathe books. J
3. You always mention your family. How do you balance the demands of writing with family?
I don’t feel particularly good at balancing anything in my life, but when the Demonlings are in school, I try to use my time during the day for writing-related stuff so I can give them attention when they get home. I have three kids, so it can be challenging to keep up with who needs homework help, who needs lunch money, and who needs me to quiz them for the test tomorrow. I’m pretty scatterbrained most days!
It’s also very important to make time for my husband. Resident Geek and I have been married almost 20 years, and “us” time is critical to maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. Now that the kids are older, we’re a little more comfortable leaving them alone for a couple hours here and there.
4. How does it feel writing erotica? Have you ever turned red/giggled when writing a steamy scene? Tell us everything you want us to know about it.
I never intended to write erotica, but Letty Dillinger banged on my skull one day, and in true Letty fashion, refused to shut up. I rarely turn red while writing, but sometimes when I go back and read something, I think, “SHIT! Did I write that? Wow!” That, or I figure gremlins snuck into my files while I slept and dropped some really dirty-birdy words in there. ;-)
5. I recently read a post you made about depression. What can or are you willing to share about this aspect of your life? What would you like people to know?
My depression is a vicious cycle. I can predict exactly when it’s going to hit and how it’ll affect me. The only thing that varies is the duration of the episode.
I always fall into a deep funk after I publish a new book. ALWAYS. I equate my value as a human being to book sales. Yes, I recognize how unhealthy (and ridiculously STUPID) this type of thinking is, but my emotions don’t listen to my logical brain, and they surge in damaging ways, even when I gird my loins and expect the worst.
I’m never good enough as a writer. I compare myself to others who sell more than I do. I let bad reviews tear me down for weeks, sometimes even months. A book could have 100 glowing five-star reviews, but all I see are the three one-stars that say I’m a horrible writer. Worse, I believe them. I take everything personally. Social media makes it way worse because when I see everyone else hitting lists, killing it in sales, and selling to New York publishers, I feel even crappier about myself. Yay for them, I think, but back to the dark place for me. L
It’s a never-ending battle. I am literally my own worst enemy.
Sometimes, I wish others would make an effort to UNDERSTAND what depressed people go through. Not judge us, call us whiny bitches, or tell us to shut the fuck up and deal with it. Trust me, if I could deal with it, I would. If I could magically wish the pain and negative, self-defeating thoughts away, I would. If I could be happy all the time, I promise, I would damn sure be happy.
I don’t have any effective coping strategies, but when I get sad about book stuff, I try to remember what Letty Dillinger from the Hard Rock Harlots says: “Make art, not house payments.” I got that line tattooed on my arm so I wouldn’t forget. The money won’t mean shit when I’m gone. But the ART might.
6. What fascinates you about life?
The element of change. The ability of living things to adapt. I look back on my life and laugh at some of the things I used to think. My old beliefs were real and important IN THAT MOMENT. They’re not any more. I have new beliefs and will undoubtedly change those sometime in the future too.
We have to give ourselves (and others!) permission to CHANGE and to be okay with it.
People love to pull shit out of your past and wave it in front of your face: “In 2010, you said X. Now you’re saying the opposite. Hypocrite much?” Maybe technically I am a hypocrite. But what if I changed my mind? Experience and hindsight give us the wisdom to ADAPT and become BETTER.
We have the right to change.
And why wouldn’t you want to change? The same-old, same-old is BORING! I hope I never stop learning, assimilating, and growing. That’s what life is all about: EVOLUTION.
7. Why do you write?
I wish I knew. I think about giving it up daily, but I probably wouldn’t be happy doing something else. The characters and stories keep coming back, no matter how hard I try to silence them.
Maybe I write because I have to.
8. What message would you like to give about whales? It’s obvious they are special to you. How did that come about?
Whales are precious to me because I’ve seen them up close and been moved to my core by their beauty, greatness, and intelligence. They’ve CHANGED me as a person. They’re way smarter than we are, and they know things we don’t.
Whales are also strong indicators of the health of our oceans—oceanic barometers, if you will. When whales die off suddenly or strand themselves, they’re telling us something is wrong in the ocean. We need to listen. Our future may depend on them.
9. If you could only read one book over and over again stranded on a desert island, which book would you choose? Why?
This sounds so arrogant, but I rarely read other people’s books, so it would probably be one of my own. I’m not sure which. I don’t think I’ve written it yet. I love re-reading my books because they’re like journals or snapshots of where my head was at a particular moment on my own personal timeline. It’s fun to see how I’ve grown and how my attitudes and perspectives have changed. (See? CHANGE! It’s a thing! ;-)
10. At the end of all days, what do you think is the only thing that’s real?
Emotions and experiences are real. You can’t take anything with you when you’re gone, so I try to get the maximum enjoyment out of the important things: my family, myself, and the beautiful world around me. I want to FEEL everything, even when it’s not rainbows and moonbeams. Feelings make us who we are: smiles, tears, scars, and all. Bodies may die, but I think the non-tangibles we leave behind—knowledge, memories, love, art—contribute most to the evolution of the human race. That isn’t just real. It’s history-making.
Where you can find all Kendall related goodies!!!!
Web site: http://www.kendallgrey.com
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9iR5OwoEWmK_C5jnOgNWWA
Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Kendall-Grey/e/B006BA1V06/
When I think of Kendall, I think of her like this:
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© Janell Rhiannon 2016
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