Cecilia Gray writes sweet stories about smart girls and nice guys.
When she isn’t writing, she’s into books, movies, TV, food, and hanging out with her friends.
Q. Why are your books so short?
A. I’m a spazz. My attention span is short, my writing bursts are short and my stories are short…er…than average. Kirkus wrote that “despite its brevity, Fall For You presents a world just as resonating as those created in some novels triple the size” so hopefully I’m getting away with it.
THE GENTLEMEN NEXT DOOR FAQ
Q. How are The Gentlemen Next Door series and Kiss a Belle series related?
A. A Delightful Arrangement features Franny. Franny’s best friend is Chastity, the heroine of An Illicit Engagement. Chastity’s sister is Cassandra who stars in A Dangerous Expectation. Cassandra marries Gray Abernathy who had previously broken an arranged engagement to a very young girl for her money. The young girl grows up, marries and becomes Lady Rivington who is a friend to Lady Hanna Morton, heroine of A Flirtatious Rendezvous.
Lady Rivington is one of the Belles from Kiss a Belle. Gray Abernathy’s brothers are all featured in the Kiss A Belle series.
THE JANE AUSTEN ACADEMY FAQ
Q. How did you get from Clergyman (for the hero in Mansfield Park) to tattoos (for the hero in the retelling, Suddenly You)?
A. My SAT worthy answer is over here on Tumblr.
Q. Why is DRAWN’s ending so open-ended?
A. It’s so funny you say/write that because to me, it’s not open-ended. 🙂 The main character tells the story in two ways – in drawings and in text. I promise you, the answer to your question is answered one way or another.
Q. Where did you get the idea for DRAWN? (Related question: Why would the CIA care about graffiti artists?)
A. To this day, a pervasive critique of DRAWN is that readers find it implausible that the CIA would engage in a mission involving graffiti or street art, which is ironic because DRAWN was inspired by true accounts of how the CIA has used pop-culture and popular form media to influence public opinion.
I’ve always been interested in CIA operations, particularly during The Cold War when The United States and The then-Soviet Union were engaged in increasing hostilities and an arms race. You might notice that the cloak and dagger techniques used by the heroine in DRAWN harken back to these old-fashioned techniques from the 80’s.
Dozens of articles have been released about the CIA’s use of abstract art to fight the cold war and communism, the most cited being in The Independent. In other parts of the world, graffiti is sometimes considered not only criminal but tantamount to treason. Before starting the book I’d read a news story about how graffiti had caused such problems with community uprising that Egypt had declared war on political street art.
Inspired by the CIA’s real life use of pop culture appropriation and graffiti’s affect on political unrest, I sought out to create a character who often felt like her true feelings were silenced – until she was able to draw them.
Tada – (tens of thousands of word later…) DRAWN!