Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Grace R. Duncan for taking the time to talk with us today.
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Genre/Sub-Genre: Science Fiction
When Duncan stumbles into a pharmacy in search of something to fix his broken leg, he’s surprised to find someone else there. Like the rest of the post-pandemic world, it appeared empty. Instead, he discovers Mark, a former nurse who walked away from his profession after losing too many patients to the virus. Despite swearing he’d never practice medicine again, Mark patches Duncan up over Duncan’s protests. He even finds an abandoned house in the tiny town, and they settle in until Duncan heals enough to look out for himself. Much to the chagrin of both, they find themselves caring for each other.
Duncan welcomes it, thrilled at finding someone he can trust. However, he’s well aware of the shadows in Mark’s eyes and understands Mark’s reticence as he learns the story. But as he’s starting to do things for himself again, Duncan realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave. He’s not sure if can get Mark to let go of his fears so they can stay together and love. But Duncan’s damned sure going to try.
A fellow author once told me that we are like magpies. We collect tons of little things from all the books we read, and invariably they make it into our own work. It might be a turn of phrase or a simple concept or the way something works. It might be the quirk of a particular character.
We can’t help it, it’s how we work. We read. And everything we read, we absorb.
I’ve more recently started reading just about anything dystopian in our genre I can get my hands on. I love the ideas behind it, the possibilities that come from societal breakdown, and the ability to start over. This started for me back when I was in fifth grade and read a book called, The Girl Who Owned A City.
However, it wasn’t until I read a book much more recently (though still long enough ago) that the concept of starting over like that really took hold. I’d seen the book on shelves hundreds of times but at the time, the 1138 pages intimidated me (I hadn’t even dreamed of reading The Lord of the Rings yet!). Not to mention the cover didn’t give a damned clue to the content. So, I’d passed it up. Until about twenty years ago, when it made its way onto the TV screen as a mini-series.
I watched the whole thing in fascination, not even leaving for commercial breaks. I was too afraid to miss something.
Well, I went to the bookstore the next day and bought it. And read it. And even around full time work and a toddler, I inhaled that book in four days. Then flipped it over and started again.
The Stand had officially become my all-time favorite book.
I recognize that dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories aren’t new. But it was something I’d never had my attention drawn to, and thus, never read. But when King’s book took hold, well, it was all over, at that point.
So, when I sat down to write my own post-pandemic world, it was pretty much impossible for it not to influence me. I will never, in all my years, forget my first impressions of the chaos that came in the first part of King’s book.
Of course, I had no interest in the overall good vs. evil thing. My story was a bit more micro than that. I wanted to look at a few survivors. I wanted to see what they could do in this world, and if they could find someone that could maybe make them happy for the uncertain future they had.
Well, when I figured out that Duncan had been a bartender-studying-library science, it was a very quick jump to him being a voracious reader. And I think it actually would have done a discredit not to reference King’s The Stand in the story, especially after how much it affected me.
DUNCAN SPENT the first two days in the house… bored out of his mind. He alternated between sleeping way more than he would have expected for only having a broken leg and trying to read. But despite The Stand being one of his all-time favorite books, he found it difficult to concentrate.
One problem he had was that the story felt a little too real for him, now. Not some of the more out there stuff, of course. He wasn’t having weird dreams of old black ladies summoning him to some farm in the middle of nowhere, and he sincerely doubted the disease that’d taken so much of the population was grown in some government lab. But he’d never forget the mental images the book had given him of empty streets, abandoned cars, chaos, and messes, and he’d seen way too much of that come to life in the last few years. So, despite his assertion that it was more ironic than crazy… Duncan had been forced to set the book aside.
The Stand is a story I will forever appreciate. I still, even when I haven’t read it in a long time, think about the world. I hope someday I can manage something even a fraction that memorable.
About the Author:
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Praise for GRACE R. DUNCAN
“I really enjoyed the characters, and loved watching them on their journey. Duncan does a great job of giving a really detailed story, and taking us on a great ride as two men find their happily ever after.”
—Joyfully Jay, on “No Sacrifice”
“There were so many wonderful themes going on in this story, I was wrapped up in them all and couldn’t wait to see how Grace brought them all together.”
—Love Bytes Reviews, on “No Sacrifice”
“I don’t really read a lot of historical fiction but some of it is damn good, including Grace Duncan’s Choices… The world building is excellent and draws you right in. The character development is also wonderful.”
—Mrs. Condit & Friends Reads Books, on “Choices”
Grace’s website: http://www.grace-duncan.com
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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