Born in England, C.M. Gray spent most of his youth growing up in the Essex countryside. A beautiful part of England, close to the Suffolk border, but he was born with the need to expand his horizons, so as soon as he could get a passport at the age of just seventeen he packed a backpack and went exploring!
A slightly risky decision, and one his parents were not too taken with, yet a number of years later he is still traveling…. but with a slightly larger bag. Over the years, C.M.Gray has been lucky enough to live and travel in many many parts of the world, met some incredible people and experienced some amazing places. In fact, he has now lived for more years outside of England than he ever spent living there – It is, after all, a very big and exciting world!
During his journey he worked and trained as a carpenter and a house restorer… picked more types of fruit over the years than he knew existed – from grapes in France to avocados in Israel. After living in Israel for a year, he was lucky enough to be invited to travel with the Bedouin in the Sanai desert for several months and then moved on travelled around India and then called a Buddhist monastery in the HimalayanMountains home. A short while later he had changed tact, bought a suit and did a stint as a stock broker in the clamor of central Hong Kong.
To celebrate the millennium he traveled back to Europe, then found and restored an old farmhouse in deep rural Burgundy, France… but then looked to the open road and spent an number of years in Amsterdam… but the winters were cold so he went south again in search of the sun.
Always vowing to return and sink some roots back in English soil… he hasn’t quite got there yet, but maybe someday, it seems there are just too many interesting places out there to see first! He does, however, live a little closer to England now, just outside of Barcelona in Northern Spain, in the middle of the forest with his dogs and two wonderful children, he claims the Pyrenean mountains and forests of northern Spain are a great place to write and let his mind do the traveling.
As you will have noticed, his writing is mostly fantasy and he says that many of his experiences in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East come to life in his writing. He has seen and done some pretty strange things on his travels, and bumped into some amazing characters, so writing fantasy is almost like writing fact for him… you just wouldn’t believe it if he presented it as fact – there are people and things out there in this world of ours that would simply amaze you!
To explore his life and writing more, please visit his webpage and blog at https://author-cmgray.blogspot.com
Thank you for joining us today, C.M. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
C.M.: Hi, and thanks so much for inviting me today. A little about me…. Well, I’m an Englishman, but I actually live in a forest just north of Barcelona in Spain… Oh dear, that makes me sound like some kind of hermit or Hobbit doesn’t it, let me re-phrase that… I live in a ‘house’ which is in the forest just outside of Barcelona, with my two children and several dogs. The only neighbours we have are the wild boar that we hear crashing through the forest all around us; they drive the dogs potty, but it’s a great place to write!
I’ve lived all over the world and spent several years in Asia, living in Hong Kong, The Philippines and India, so coming to Barcelona actually brings me a lot closer to home!
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
C.M.: I got the writing bug late one evening when I had a ‘waking moment’ and became disgusted with myself for watching far too much television. A friend came to visit me one evening and asked what I was watching and I just couldn’t remember, nor could I recall what the previous programmes were either… I was just numbing my brain! Have you ever done that?
I decided that because I like reading so much that I would try to write… except that the first few efforts weren’t really that good, but it was fun, I enjoyed it! I discovered that writing was like reading a great book, watching a good film and playing a fantastic video game all rolled into one!
Why did you decide to write stories for teens?
C.M.: To be honest, I didn’t set out with the idea of writing for teens. I just didn’t want to write steamy romance, anything with graphic violence and I don’t feel the need to use profanity. So I write for my own tastes, which is why I say my books are for Young Adults of all ages! If you read some of the reviews I’ve been getting on Amazon you will see that a large part of my readership is from adults. I write for everyone who enjoys a good story, I think of myself as a storyteller first and foremost!
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
C.M.: Sometimes it is a little tempting to push the blacker side of a situation, or to describe in a little too much detail when one of my characters enters a dangerous situation. However, the knowledge that readers as young as twelve will be reading my story holds my hand and I gear it towards something I would like my own children to read. So in short, no, it is a joy to write for a younger audience, but beware… I don’t write fairy tales, demons walk the pages of my books…
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
C.M.: Young people have as crazy an imagination as I do. Adults tend to question things a little too much where a younger reader will happily smile and go with the flow of the story. I love trying to trick or surprise my readers, and when I get an email from someone exclaiming how they were shocked or delighted at something, or how they’ve never read anything quite like it, it makes it all worthwhile!
C.M.: The Flight of the Griffin is actually the first book in a trilogy, but it’s okay, I just finished the sequel called Chaos Storm and the third will be along soon. In The Flight of the Griffin, we get introduced to the crew of a boat called The Griffin, four boys between the ages of eleven and fifteen. They are having a hard time trying to survive and one of the boys, Pardigan, decides to rob one of the city’s richest merchants. What he finds send the crew on a quest to unite three magical items and bring them together to stop the whole world tipping into Chaos. A girl, Mahra joins them. She has a few magical abilities and she aids them, acting as their guide as they try to follow clues and find these items. However, all does not go smoothly as a bounty hunter and group of demons follows, hot on their trail, trying to halt their quest. The Flight of the Griffin is a roller coaster ride of an adventure that will have readers of all ages turning pages and reading by torchlight under the blankets until late into the night!
What inspired you to write it?
C.M.: I wanted to write a fantasy adventure and I’ve always enjoyed reading stories where the heroes have a quest to complete and clues to follow to accomplish their goal. I started with just the first line and began to write with no plan nor any idea where my imagination would take me; it was a huge amount of fun to write and I hope the result will delight you as much as it has so many other readers.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
C.M.: The Flight of the Griffin can be purchased on Amazon as a Kindle eBook here – http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Griffin-C-M-Gray-ebook/dp/B007TKUD7Y
And as a paperback from Lulu here – http://www.lulu.com/shop/cm-gray/the-flight-of-the-griffin/paperback/product-21280036.html
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
C.M.: I have a wonderful website and blog at http://author-cmgray.blogspot.com Here you can read the first chapter from all of my books and find out a whole lot more about me and the reasons behind each and every book.
What is up next for you?
C.M.: Well, my first book is called Shadowland and it’s the story of Uther Pendragon, father to the legendary Arthur, King of the ancient Britons, friend of Merlin and wielder of the magical sword Excalibur. Shadowland is proving to be hugely popular with over 150 reviews on Amazon. I’m now working on a sequel to that which should be available summer of 2014.
Do you have anything else to add?
C.M.: I would only like to say many thanks for allowing me to be here today, it’s been a delight! I would also like to add, in the words of Pardigan, one of the crew from the boat, The Griffin – ‘Growing old is inevitable, growing up is not!’ Enjoy your reading, enjoy The Flight of the Griffin and let your imagination fly!
Thank you for spending time with us today, C.M. We wish you much success.