April Grace has always lived in Milton Keynes, and now lives with her boyfriend and, a few nights a week, his two cheeky sons. She has been writing young adult novels for twelve years now, which all started when she decided to write stories on Wattpad while she was supposed to be working hard on modules for her A Levels. (But she did go onto study Creative Writing at university the following year, so it all worked out in the end.)
While she isn’t writing or editing, she works in an arcade, where she has the best friends who are always happy to listen to her ranting about her books.
She couldn’t be more grateful for all of the love and support.
April can be found at:
Author Website: https://april-grace.com/
Freelance Editing Services: https://hookedonwordseditorialservices.wordpress.com/
Tell me what inspired you to write your (debut) novel?
My first novel, Steel Princess, is a YA fantasy with slightly futuristic elements in a fairy-tale inspired world. It’s not a retelling, like my other WIP, a dark retelling of Snow White, but it has definitely been influenced by many of the Grimms’ Brothers stories. When I first wrote it, twelve years ago, I was eighteen and writing a futuristic version of the UK, which was quite a bit different. It wasn’t until lockdown times that I decided to add in the magical touch to the MC’s story, and make her a princess of sorts. But a few things about that version have remained the same, including my narrators’ names, a few of their friends, and the fact that one main character, Silver, is a gynoid. So, twelve years of writing and editing overall!
What came first, the characters or the world?
Definitely the characters, but the more I played along with their journeys, the more vivid the world came in my mind. Because you have both the Steel City which is ruled by the cruel gynoid queen, and the enemy kingdom of Panyria. Two polar opposite worlds. And finding my main characters’ places within these worlds was great fun to mess around with. So not only did Silver have a purpose: to destroy the cruel queen, but Eden was determined to find his family as well.
What can you tell us about your next book?
It’s a retelling of Snow White, called The Girl Behind The Glass, from the perspective of Snow White, a new stepsister she finds herself allying with when her father is murdered by her stepmother on his wedding night. Frost is the winter princess, lonely since her mother’s death and her father’s three year long courtship to a new princess, and Winnie is the daughter of the mayor of the cursed Mirror Village, a city controlled by the witches that the two girls soon find themselves needing the assistance of.
What did you do before (or still do) you became a writer?
I have worked in quite a few literary roles, including in a popular bookshop, in an Ingram Spark warehouse, as a Literature Intern Manager for a London based charity, and I have also been running my own freelance editing business for almost three years now. I currently run my business, write and publish my books while also working as Teaching Assistant in a school and as a General Assistant in an arcade.
Which author(s) inspire you?
There are so many. But a few recent faves are Elise Kova, Danielle L. Jensen, and Emily Blackwood. Anything YA or new adult fantasy gets me every time!
How much (if any) say do you have in your book covers?
I tell my designer some ideas, but she always has amazing concepts for me to choose from, and her work is beautiful, so I feel very lucky to have her. Check out Josephine Blake at Covers and Cupcakes if you’re interested, she’s great.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Absolutely. You’d have to drag me out of that local library kicking and screaming. Well, maybe not literally, but I loved it there.
What were your favourite childhood books?
North Child by Edith Pattou was a beloved one, as were any books by Sophie McKenzie, or Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series. A heart-breaking take on the world of racism, but really well done. I read those books countless times as a child and still have them sitting on my shelf now.
Do you have a favourite bookshop? If so, which?
Waterstones, definitely, or if I’m in London, the big Foyles or Waterstones stores. They’re huge, and always have really cool events on too.
What books can you not resist buying?
Anything by Teri Terry. Anything that has fairy-tale themes or a pretty cover, and I’m sucked in.
Do you have any rituals when writing?
I always listen to music. Not anything specific, just whatever I’ve been listening to at the time. It just helps me get into the zone a bit more.
How many books are in your own physical TBR pile?
Too many to count!
What is your current or latest read?
Elise Kova’s A Dance With The Fae Prince, a great fantasy read!