The byline of Landra Graf’s website reads When Strength and Passion Collide – and that is definitely the vibe you’ll get from her collection of novels. Landra began her writing career with 2014’s What You Need, the first book of the 1Night Stand series. Since then, she’s released eight additional sagas with her signature blend of sci-fi, alternate history, and erotic romance. Read on as Landra spends her time in my Spotlight dishing on her favorite writing craft books, why she craves the HEA in her stories, and why she’s focusing on writing stories for her favorite reader: herself.
In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a lover, a child, a mother, a sinner, a saint…wait, that’s a Meredith Brooks’ song.
No, I’m just a gal from the North who moved to the South. I love to read, to learn, and tell stories. I’m shy, but once you break through my barriers it’s hard to get me to shut up, much to the disappointment of my mother. Come to think of it…it may be where my son gets it from!
What do you love most about the craft of writing?
The words – how they blend together to form such fantastic dialogue, conflict, scenery, and so much more. There’s nothing that writing can’t do and the words, those simple things, make writing what it is.
Tell us about your last project.
I’m going to go with one of the books from my soul, The Raven Who Caught The Canary. It’s Book Two in my Raven series, an alternate history romance set in the 1930s. During the era where Germany ruled Europe, my hero and heroine are trying to fight against the royal dictatorship by stopping them from building the English Channel with the Brits. Too bad my heroine is a spy for the Germans and my hero is their Public Enemy #1. It’s all second-chance romance, betrayal, action, and adventure.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The summer between sixth and seventh grade. I started writing and getting ideas for fantastical stories about human/demon hybrids trained to be assassins.
What drew you to writing romance/erotica?
My love for romantic comedy movies and books. I just love the happily ever after (Hello Dolly! was my favorite movie growing up) and how the good guys win.
Which book(s) have influenced your writing style the most?
Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debora Dixon, Romancing The Beats by Gwen Hayes, and anything by Sherry Thomas (let’s be real – the woman writes pure beauty).
Share a piece of your work that showcases our writing style best.
He stepped in close. “My little canary, it’s best we get you indoors.”
She stiffened as memories flooded her. Those blue eyes, the moment they met. Her on the stage belting out something about love being for fools. He’d stood there, a predatory gaze focused and intent. Instinct had her taking brisk steps to get as far away from the man who’d made her act an idiot all those years ago. Why the hell— How the hell did he get here?
Escape failed when her slipper snagged on a rock, and he grabbed her arm and held her upright. He’d always been able to move her around like a ragdoll, but, in this instance, he didn’t let go. Instead, he guided her into the house, across the foyer, and leaving her by the piano bench.
“Sit,” he commanded as he closed the doors, shutting them into to the room alone. “We’ll need some privacy.”
His firm, assured steps brought him back to her side. Where had he come from? How had he found her? She’d once thought of him as her hero, her personal one. When he hauled her up into his arms, she closed her eyes, the savage kiss he placed on her lips stirring up an arousal she hadn’t experienced since he’d stranded her on this godforsaken continent.
She melted into his familiar embrace. Knocking his cap from his head, she twined her fingers in his hair, their tongues dancing. He groaned. Then passion fell away to reality, to hard truths. Eva bit his lip, and he dropped her. Luckily, she possessed enough sense to land on her feet.
“You’re not happy to see me?”
Growling, she hauled off and slapped him. “Go to hell.”
“I think I’m already there.”
Name three of your best writing tips.
- Show up to work—say it and doing it are two different things.
- Finish what you start — you can’t fix a blank page.
- Set little goals — start with small goals and work up to big ones. It’s about creating a habit of putting the words down that gets things really going.
Dead or alive, name the writer you wish were your mentor and why.
Sherry Thomas because of how she writes, what she writes. From rich worldbuilding to dialing into mysteries, I’m in awe and I think she could teach me a lot about the art of storytelling.
What would you say is your own interesting writing quirk?
Eh, I’m not sure I have one…I love to write what I say I won’t or something that someone says can’t be done. For example, I swore I’d never write a Scottish romance. I did!
Shout out an indie writer whose work you love.
Kendall Grey, Courtney Milan, and Beverley Kendall
Do you have any specific writing goals in your radar?
Write some good books and that’s about it. I’m turning this year into focus on my craft. I’m spending my energy creating stories for me versus writing for submission calls. It’s all a part of challenging myself to become a better storyteller.
Landra, thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links: