Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Tag: Grace Lowrie

Interview with Grace Lowrie

I’m delighted to welcome Grace Lowrie over for a cuppa and a slice of cake today- not to mention a chat about her latest book. Why not go and fetch a drink and join us..

Thank you so much for having me on your fabulous blog, Jenny!

What inspired you to write your book?

For several years I worked in a garden centre and as a garden designer; transforming other people’s outdoor spaces. It was a wonderful experience and made me aware of how the simple act of gardening can help to ground and restore people. I wanted to write a love story using the healing power of green places to bring two characters together – thus Safe With Me was born.


What type of research did you have to do for your book?

I wish I could say that I scrupulously researched every aspect of my story before writing it, I admire those authors who do, but the truth is I don’t have that much patience. I consciously spent time sitting writing in a greasy spoon, to get a feel for my character’s working life, but for the most part I relied on past experiences – such as working in a garden centre – and my vivid imagination. Thankfully writing fiction allows for a certain degree of artistic licence.

Which Point of View do you prefer to write in and why?

The three novels in The Wildham Series were all written in first person. They are classed as Women’s Fiction because of the darker issues covered, but I conceived the stories as romances and writing in the first person feels comfortable in that genre. My chapters alternate in POV between the two lead characters, which was both fun and challenging and will hopefully help readers to put themselves into the story.  Conversely the very first novel I started writing (and still haven’t finished) is primarily not a romance and is written in third person to give a slightly removed, overview feel. But even for my first attempt I didn’t make life easy for myself – the POV is inner limited (where the narrator can see inside just one character’s head) but the chapters alternate between four different character POVs. Perhaps it’s not surprising I still haven’t finished that book! In short; I write in whichever POV feels natural for the story I’m writing.

 Do you prefer to plot your story or just go with the flow?

I’m definitely a plotter. Organised and tidy by nature, though not obsessively so, I find a certain amount of control helps keep anxiety at bay. I’m in awe of pantster authors who can just start writing without any clear idea of where they’re going or how they’ll get there – it must be like having a superpower! Before I start writing I need a firm feel for my characters and a beginning, middle and end planned out – especially the ending because I love a good twist.

What excites you the most about your book?

The powerful, almost magical, quality of a close bond forged in childhood. Safe With Me is the story of two souls finding their way back to each other against all odds.


How far would you go to feel safe again? 
Abandoned as children, Kat and Jamie were inseparable growing up in foster care. But their bond couldn’t protect them forever. 

From a troubled upbringing to working in a London greasy spoon, Kat’s life has never been easy. On the surface Jamie’s living the high-life, but appearances can be deceiving. 

When they unexpectedly reunite, their feelings become too intense to ignore. But as secrets come back to haunt them, are they destined to be separated once more?


Buy Links:

Safe With Me will be published on 22nd June 2017 and is available to pre-order:  

Author Bio and links:

Grace Lowrie has worked as a sculptor, prop maker and garden designer. She published her debut romance Kindred Hearts in 2015.

A lover of rock music, art nouveau design, blue cheese and grumpy ginger tomcats, Grace is also an avid reader of fiction – preferring coffee and a sinister undercurrent, over tea and chick lit. When not making prop costumes or hanging out with her favourite nephews, she continues to write stories from her Hertfordshire home.


Many thanks for stopping by today Grace.

Happy reading everyone

Jenny x

My First Time: Grace Lowrie

Today I have the lovely Grace Lowrie visiting to tell us all about her very first story writing and publishing experience.

First Time

My First Time

Can you remember writing the first story you actually wanted to write, rather than those you were forced to write at school? What was it about?

The Dream Cats is a story about two children, James and Jane, who are whisked away in the middle of the night on the back of a black cat. When they wake in the morning they find themselves lying on a knitted blanket beside a pond (as illustrated). The talking cat offers to carry them to a village full of cats, where they are greeted so enthusiastically that James almost falls off his mount. The children are given a cottage to live in, while they make the difficult decision of which cat to adopt and take home…


I’m not sure how old I was when I wrote this story, and sadly I never finished it, but I do recall writing it in the back garden, during the summer holidays (almost certainly whilst sitting on a knitted blanket). Reading it back my childhood obsession with cats is obvious, but what most appeals to me now, is that it is James who falls and Jane who catches him. Girl power.


What was your first official publication?

My first official publication was Kindred Hearts, in March 2015. In all honestly I’d never been brave enough to try to get published prior to that, despite having penned hundreds of poems and short stories over the years. I wrote because I enjoyed it, but never suspected I was any good. Now I wish I’d been braver sooner.


What affect did that have on your life?

My life has changed significantly since getting published. Timing wise it coincided with moving to a new area and changing career, but being published gave me the confidence to return to what I love; make time for my writing and be proud of it. I can honestly say I’ve never felt more content.

Does your first published story reflect your current writing style?

Kindred Hearts is a sexy, contemporary romance novel, exploring the complex relationship between three individuals who have known each other since childhood. It is set in glamorous parts of London but deals with love, loss and loneliness as much as lust. I am currently working on a series of three novels in the same genre. However, I am a bibliophile – I suspect that I am influenced by every book I read and that my writing style is changing and evolving with each new book I write. I hope so anyway.

What are you working on at the moment?

A three-book series of standalone, contemporary, romance novels. Whilst each book focuses on a different relationship, the stories are linked by the fictional setting of Wildham and a cast of reoccurring characters. Themes of isolation, longing and the healing potential of love, weave throughout the series, complemented by a healthy dose of sensuality 🙂

Buy links

 Grace Lowrie+

Author Bio and links

Grace Lowrie was born and raised on the outskirts of London and spent her student years in the eclectic seaside town of Brighton. Since then she has utilised her creativity as a collage-artist, sculptor, prop-maker and garden designer. In March 2015 her debut novel, Kindred Hearts, was released by Cardiff-based publisher, Accent Press. Spurred on by this success, a lifelong passion for reading and a supportive family, she continues to write novels from her Hertfordshire home.


Many thanks Grace,

Great interview. The Dream Cats looks amazing!

Happy reading,

Jenny x 



Guest Post from Grace Lowrie: Why am I sitting here at the top of a roller coaster?

I’m delighted to welcome Grace Lowrie to my site today. Fellow Accent author Grace is posied and ready to launch herself into a life of writing…from a roller coaster…

Over to you Grace..

Why am I sitting here at the top of a roller coaster?

This is the question I’ve found myself pondering ever since Jenny Kane’s generous invitation to guest blog on her site.

roller coaster

Like many people I enjoyed writing creatively as a child, but my recent shift into ‘being a writer’ has been unexpectedly sudden. I’m only a published author as of yesterday and while I am tingling with excitement and walking around with a silly smile on my face, I am also unnerved by the whole thing. You see I am attempting to evolve into an author, having been a full-time garden designer for the past decade.

My occupation was perfectly enjoyable, as was my life as a fine art sculptor before that. I was lucky enough to have lovely clients and I gained immense satisfaction from conjuring up creative solutions and seeing them through to fruition. So why am I giving it all up? Because I just LOVE writing stories, almost beyond reason – more than designing gardens and even more than eating cake (which is a lot by the way).

Am I alone in this?

I wrote my debut novel Kindred Hearts because I found I had fictional characters, specifically the twins, Sebastian and Celeste, living in my head and it was a choice between going mad or putting pen to paper. I honestly felt compelled to write their story and I revelled in the process so much that the dark winter months positively flew by.

And then there’s the mysterious magic of timing, which can be hard to ignore. Last summer I relocated from London to be closer to my sister and her family in Hertfordshire, coincidentally receiving the keys to my new home on my company’s ten-year anniversary. Amid a frenzy of decorating and DIY my fabulous best friend Alice Raine encouraged me to submit my book to Áccent Press and before I had time to really think about it I was offered a book contract. Words cannot convey how grateful I am to Alexandra Davies for taking a chance on me and I want to fully embrace this incredible opportunity, give it my all and if possible, turn it into success.

Of course to do that I need to sell books and that means promoting myself … and the thing is I am a hermit at heart – perfectly friendly but generally quiet, unassuming and somewhat shy – so to suddenly launch myself into the alien world of writing and publishing through Facebook, Twitter and blogging, has been a bewildering and exhilarating jump into the unknown. Thankfully everyone I’ve met online so far has been amazingly kind and welcoming, and I’m able to do part-time admin work to pay the bills. So far so good – I’m happily tucked up indoors indulging my romantic imagination, instead of outside in the wind and rain wrestling shrubs into muddy holes.

But the book market and the romance genre in particular, is highly competitive. I find myself wondering if I am crazy to invest so much energy in something that I may or may not be any good at, and anxiously note that I have set myself up for a fall. After all at this moment in time my role as an author is entirely untested – virtually no one has had a chance to read my book yet!

So why am I sitting at the top of this roller coaster, my eyes wide and knuckles white as I wait to find out if anyone will like my baby?

Because life is short.

I owe it to myself to go for what I want, even if I land on my face (I fell down a flight of stairs at Christmas so I already have some idea of what to expect in a literal sense). So all I can do now is try to be brave, enjoy the ride and hopefully make some new friends along the way.

Kindred Hearts new

Kindred Hearts by Grace Lowrie

When the enigmatic twins from Natasha Graham’s childhood sweep back into her life and draw her into their glamorous world, she is seduced by a potent cocktail of love and sexual desire. But Sebastian and Celeste Walker are two sides of the same coin, darkness and light and everything is not as perfect as it seems. Can Tasha make the right choice when it comes to her heart? Or will the past destroy everything worth saving?

An excerpt from Kindred Hearts:

I spent most of the autumn term trying not to obsess about Sebastian, but it didn’t work. I could tell whenever he was somewhere close by a prickling sensation on the back of my neck and I couldn’t resist subtly looking out for him in the playground. Despite his cold indifference I still got butterflies in my stomach every time our eyes met, so I tried to avoid him as much as possible. But in November the twins had a joint fourteenth birthday party.

I felt shy at first – it was strange seeing everyone outside of school and the crisp, clear night felt eerily magical. But Celeste was keyed up about the fireworks and her infectious excitement soon reassured me. The display was breath-taking and we all oohed and aahed as flashes of fiery light illuminated the sky with transient colour, leaving trails of smoky echoes in their wake. Some of the boys snuck up on the girls in the dark to make them shriek and soon we were all giggling and larking about.

Sebastian hung back in the shadow of the house, watching the rest of us from afar with his usual laid-back manner. Most of his dark straggly hair was hidden under a black beanie, pulled low down on his forehead so that he looked even more brooding than usual, but he laughed along as we made idiots of ourselves. Eventually Celeste went over to him, took his arm, and dragged him down the garden to where we were toasting marshmallows over a bonfire in a big circle. Sebastian was forced to stand between Celeste and myself and as I passed him a skewer, I silently prayed that he couldn’t see me blushing.

Maybe I was just distracted or impatient, but I just couldn’t get the hang of toasting my marshmallows. They caught fire and tasted burnt or simply melted off into the flames, disappearing out of sight. I was just about to give up completely when Sebastian unexpectedly offered me his skewer. Perched on the end of it, was a perfectly toasted marshmallow. He didn’t say anything, just watched me with an unreadable expression as I carefully took it from him, my gloved fingers brushing his. I thanked him, my words coming out in a whisper, but he nodded once in acknowledgment before turning away to comment on something someone else was saying. I glanced around the group but was relieved to find no one looking in my direction. I gently blew on the marshmallow before tentatively putting it into my mouth whole. It tasted delicious and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face as it warmed me from head to toe.

Grace Lowrie

Grace Lowrie

Writing was my first love back when I composed poetry and short stories as a child. Since then I have worked a variety of jobs, run my own garden design business and travelled the world. Now I am rekindling my original passion by writing contemporary romance novels in Hertfordshire, where I also help out with the family business, explore the countryside and bake (and eat) cakes.

Kindred Hearts:





Many thanks for coming by Grace! Great blog. I have been strapped to the writing roller coaster for some time now-  hope you enjoy the ride as much as I have hun!!

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx


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