A woman wakes in an alley, alone, in the dark and dying from her wounds. She doesn’t know her name, has no memory of what happened to her, who attacked her or why. Three men discover her and offer her help. One of her rescuers is a master vampire, and everybody knows their kind can’t be trusted. The other two are were-animals capable of ripping her apart. Before she can protest to their aid, she passes out from blood loss. When she wakes, she is lying in a bed between two strangers she doesn’t recognize and has healed from her near-fatal wounds. Can she trust the vampire who saved her from death and offers her his protection? Can she put her life in the hands of a were-animal as they race to understand their night together, and how she is ultimately connected to the vampire?
This is the blurb for N, Gray’s latest novel, Ulysses Exposed. She agreed to answer some questions for us!
What inspired you to write this book?
While I was writing Creature Features, the idea popped into my head. When I started writing Ulysses Exposed, I just kept getting more and more ideas and realised I could turn it into a series.
What is your writing and publishing process like?
I’m a panster; I get the idea, I write the outline of the story down with additional information, and then I start on the character building. When I have a first draft, I revise and edit and change until I’m happy, and only then does it go to the editor. When I get it back from the editor, I review, update and wait at least a week before I consider publishing it. I get the cover ready, start by posting on social media and when I press publish, I start the ads. I’m still new in the publishing business and still building my mailing list, but when that increases, I will send out regular newsletters.
You’re published independently, would you ever consider getting traditionally published?
I suppose it would depend on who they are and the contract.
You tend to write short fiction but have recently started writing longer stories, what was the motivation for this and what do you find most different between the formats?
Short stories are quick to write and you need to keep the reader engaged from the first word. With longer stories, I wanted to see if I could do it and I did (and I loved it). I can take my time with longer stories, and build the characters slowly. Also, I can include more and longer descriptions into my writing without worrying about going over the word count. But I enjoy writing both.
What are some of the themes you love exploring in your writing?
My short stories tend to gravitate towards death, the different types of deaths and the evil that lurks within. With Ulysses Exposed, it’s a mixture of personal growth, love, good vs evil, and survival.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I still have a full time job and it does become difficult, but I either write 500 words early in the morning, or late in the evenings. I make time to write every day of the week, it’s become a habit now. When I have doubts or new release fears, I push those aside and focus on my current WIP. I prefer to stay busy. Having doubts only hurts and does nobody any good. I also like reading success stories, because that’s where I want to be one day (soon).
What’s next for you?
The second book in the series is ready for my editor, and I am currently writing the first draft of the third book.
Please provide your favourite extract from your novel
I waded through a lake rich and thick with blood. The tree standing on the embankment was as naked and lonely as I. The tree’s bark was charred, and its leaves were burnt; it had been left to die. I swam toward the shore to reach it, but the more I swam, the further the tree was out of reach. When I stopped swimming, the crimson lake drained into the soil below and I was left standing with dried blood caked over my body. Someone called out, but I couldn’t make out the name. A name, no matter how hard I tried to remember, kept echoing further and further away until I couldn’t hear it anymore. The calls stopped, and the silence rang in my ears.