Between the Sheets with Grace Grant
Romance Narrators: Pop the champagne! You were just nominated for your first SOVAS! For those that don't know, what are the SOVAS? And tell us all about the project that's taking you there.
Grace: Yes!! I’m very excited about this. The SOVAS stands for the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences and they are an organization that supports and celebrates everyone who is trying to make a living in the voiceover industry, from radio to commercials, podcasts to audiobooks. Their awards are called the Voice Arts Awards and they happen in November...coming up.
This year I’m thrilled to be nominated for Lauren Blakely's fantastic and funny book Part-Time Lover, which I co-narrated with the wonderful Shane East for Lyric Audio. I love Lauren's writing, her characters are always witty and strong, and I always love working with Andi Arndt in any capacity. Plus the meet cute for these two characters makes me laugh every time I think of it.
Romance Narrators: Speaking of Lauren Blakely, can we talk WANDERLUST for a moment? How was that experience? And did you know the cover is featured on a huge Audible billboard right outside of NYC?
Grace: I just saw someone post a picture of that billboard recently! So cool. This book was another highlight of 2018 for me, first of all because it was my first Lauren Blakely title, and secondly because Richard Armitage was the male narrator. And he (despite his recent slimier role in Oceans 8) is always dreamy. I'm pretty sure the billboard has more to do with Richard (and that cover model!!) but I might have shrieked when I saw it anyway :)
I recorded my section of Wanderlust in Audible's studio in NJ, which was fun because it always feels luxurious to have a director/producer in the booth with me. I'm so used to doing most of my work alone, sweating in a tricked out closet/booth at home. The only bummer is that Richard recorded his section in a studio in London, so although I paused often to listen to other recordings of his to keep his voice in my head, I didn't actually get to meet him in person. Next time hopefully.
Romance Narrators: Grace Grant. Great pseudonym! How did you land on this classy moniker?
Grace: Funny you should say classy, because Grace Grant is (in my mind) the sophisticated 1940's movie star I always wanted to be!
Practically speaking it came about because Grant is my actual middle name, and Grace is what I used to tell people my middle name was when I was a kid. I've since come around to Grant being a cool middle name, but the two together remind me of Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn, Irene Dunne and all my other favorite ladies of the silver screen. I highly recommend The Philadelphia Story, Double Indemnity, The Awful Truth, and My Man Godfrey if you're looking for some satisfying film watching. PS. If anyone ever wants to have an old movie slumber party, count me in! There are so many still on my list to see.
Romance Narrators: Tell us about DIRTY HEADLINES. This was your first collaboration with author LJ Shen, yes?
Grace: It was. Just last month I had two books come out that were authors I hadn't collaborated with before, that I really enjoyed. LJ Shen for DIRTY HEADLINES and Ava Harrison for ABSOLUTION. They’re different styles, but I really like both of their writing. Ava's story is darker, and a little more mature in terms of the relationship issues (the male protagonist is a single father getting over his wife's death) but with a heroine that has such a big heart I loved voicing her; and LJ's protagonist, Jude, is young and smart, with a sharp wit, and I got to play with being a little edgier which is a side I like to let out when narrating.
Romance Narrators: You voiced the entire Beautiful Series for Christina Lauren. They're such wonderful writers. What was that journey like?
Grace: I was lucky because the Beautiful Series started coming out near the beginning of my journey narrating romance, so I think I grew along with it. I was always waiting to see whose story I would get to read, and then record, next, and I love this group of friends that Christina Lauren created. I think because they are such good friends they translated that into writing about friendship as much as romance in this series in a way that rings true. Plus there is the right amount of awkwardness and humor that I am always drawn to in relationship stories. And it was my first collaboration with Sebastian York, who is always a pleasure to work with and listen to.
Romance Narrators: It’s November and folks are gearing up for Thanksgiving. What does a typical Thanksgiving look like for Grace? Do you go all out and eat all the things?
Grace: I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. I have 18 first cousins on my mother's side, and growing up the family would gather in DC together to eat everything in sight. We usually had between 30-40 people for Thanksgiving dinner. And my sister and I would design everyone's place cards. Now the family is spread out all over, but I still get excited for whichever chosen family and friends I spend the day with.
I've found a new love in making pies. I won't say they are exceptional pies yet, but I keep trying. Chocolate Pecan, Chocolate Mousse, and Salted Caramel Apple are some favorites. My pie-making partner (my husband) is all about the presentation, so I let him focus on the lattice work while I worry about the taste.
And aside from dessert, stuffing is what I look forward to the most.
Romance Narrators: Yum. We’ll be expecting a fully-latticed Salted Caramel Apple pie on our doorstep asap, thank you! ‘Til then, where can people keep up with you online?
I have a website at: https://www.msgracegrant.com
a twitter account @msgracegrant
and a Facebook page
And I'm trying to get better at updating all of them. Sometimes social media gets away from me....
Links to people mentioned in interview:
Lauren Blakely: https://laurenblakely.com
Lyric Audiobooks: http://www.lyricaudiobooks.com
Part-Time Lover on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Part-Time-Lover-Audiobook/B07CQ913GN
Dirty Headlines on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Dirty-Headlines-Audiobook/B07J2QQPMV
Absolution on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Absolution-A-Novel-Audiobook/B07J164PLN