Hello all! Today we have the lovely Ofelia Grand over at BookWinked. She talks about herself and life as an author and about her new story in the Holiday anthology. She is the one who initially contacted me about the anthology and the one I had the most contact with. I can tell you, she is awesome and lovely to work with! Without further ado, give a warm welcome to Ofelia!
Hi, and thanks for having me. I should have predicted this question and prepared some witty response. Being witty is not one of my strong suits I’m afraid. I’m a thirty-two-year-old Swedish woman, I’m living with my husband and our three children in a way too small flat on the Swedish west coast—we’re house hunting. I’ve been on parental leave for the last five years, my kids are five, three and one. Before that I was a teacher, still am I guess, I’m just not working at the moment. I write, I read, I bake, I try to escape cleaning and doing laundry but no success so far.
What inspired you to write your first story? This can be the very first story you ever wrote or your first published story.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I remember doing mermaid stories in first grade—it was when Disney came out with The little Mermaid. I liked painting tails and long hair, and then I scrawled a line above the picture and stapled it all together. I wish I still had them, I’m sure they were kick-ass stories.
But what made me sit down as an adult and actually write—God, this is going to sound bad—I was reading an awful book. I don’t even remember which one, but I forced myself to finish it, and when I had I thought I can do better than that. And I’m still trying to.
You have a story in the holiday Anthology Boughs of Evergreen. How did you come to write a story for this anthology?
Oh, I didn’t. I saw an open call for holiday stories from around the world at Dreamspinner Press’ website and wrote a story about a Swedish Christmas—needless to say, they didn’t want it. But by then Jonathan Penn, who’ll you meet here tomorrow, was working on his story for Boughs of Evergreen and he asked Debbie McGowan at Beaten Track Publishing if From All of Us to All of You could be included, and she said yes. So I just got lucky! Now, I’m quite happy about getting that rejection because this has been really fun, and it’s for a good cause.
Can you tell us what your story is about?
Sure can! Simon is a somewhat confused young man who hates Christmas, he hates every holiday but Christmas is the worst. The story starts with the celebrations of Saint Lucia Day, and that’s where he meets Hannes. Simon is instantly drawn to Hannes, only problem is that Hannes isn’t gay. But Simon and Hannes end up spending some time together, and they’re developing a friendship. The closer they come to Christmas the more anxious Simon gets. His stomach is knotting by the mere thought of the coming holiday. Simon’s dad is an alcoholic and he always celebrates with “Christmas whiskey”. All Simon wants is to have a Christmas where he doesn’t have to see his father passed out on the sofa while the rest of the family is watching From All of Us to All of You at three p.m. on Christmas eve—but why should this year be different from any other?
Funny question: you are author-napped to a remote island full of holiday themed booby traps and riddles. Name two of your characters you would want with you.
From From All of Us to All of You? I’m not sure I would want any of them *laughs*. I wouldn’t bring Simon, he has his head in the clouds and just wants to escape the holidays, he wouldn’t do very well with booby traps and riddles. And I wouldn’t bring Simon’s parents, they’re not reliable. That leaves Hannes and Monica. Monica is a crafty woman and I’m sure Hannes would be good for something.
You are a author. What are your plans for future books?
Ah well, I wish I knew. I wish I had more time to write, but with three kids running around there just isn’t. But I try to write a little every day, sometimes I succeed sometimes I don’t. I’m working on a story at the moment, but it’s far from done, hopefully it’ll turn into something, though.
All proceeds for this anthology will be donated to the LGBTQ organisation The Trevor Project (in the USA). What is so important about this organisation and why donate all the proceeds?
I can’t take any credit for coming up with the idea of donating the proceeds, that was all Debbie I think. But for me it’s about everyone having somewhere to turn. Lesbian, gay and bisexual young people are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, questioning are three times more likely, and nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about ending their lives. The mission of The Trevor Project is to end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people. Who does not want to support that? I know I do.
Do you believe Prince Charming or Princess Charming exists? Or only in the books?
I believe in many P. Charmings. I have one and I wouldn’t want to trade him for any other, but I don’t believe that just because you’ve loved once you won’t be able to love again. The love you have for your second P. Charming might not feel the same way as the love you felt for your first P. Charming, but I don’t think it would be any less. And who’s to say you can’t have more than one P. Charming at the same time?
In books there’s quite often only one soul mate, and that’s okay—books and reality are not the same. And we all want the MC to find his or her one and only, don’t we?
What do you find the most fun part about your writing process?
Coming up with the plot. I never have it figured out beforehand so it’s like I’m telling myself a story. I know some things I want in there, and I usually know how my MC reacts to different things, but the rest just happens as I write.
What was the hardest part of writing your story?
From All of Us to All of You was actually the easiest story I’ve ever written. I didn’t have many days until deadline, so I just told myself to keep it simple and get as much “Swedishness” in there as possible. I have a kindred spirit in Simon, he reminds me a little of my sister so he sort of just came to life for me. I think it was to get Hannes believable that was the hardest part. I never meant to write a Gay for You story, it just happened to become one.
You can find Ofelia at any of the following places:
If you are interested in buying Ofelia’s story, you can go to any of the following links:
Are you interested in donating to the Trevor Project? Go here for more information: