Thursday, December 2, 2021


I want to first thank RJ Gray for taking the time for this interview!


RJ Gray is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Explosively Hot Romance. She is also an international bestseller. Residing on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu with her husband, two young sons and their rescue pup, RJ lives an active life. When not writing, her hobbies include whipping up delicious meals, capturing life's beauty with her camera and attending her children's multiple sporting events. Hobbies she shares freely about in her FB Group Gray's Bibliophiles.

Having spent the past fifteen years married to an active duty military bomb technician, and as a veteran herself, RJ has a passion for military and veteran causes. You will find these themes in many of her books.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

My first caseworker (I was a foster child) gifted me a blank journal in elementary school. 

I won a school wide creative writing contest in first grade when I wrote a story. I am not sure I knew I wanted to be a writer, but writing saved me.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

My first friends were books. As a foster child, I moved around a lot. It was new faces constantly. One thing that stayed the same for me were the book characters in the series I loved. 

I loved to read The Boxcar Children, The Babysitters Club and I had a very loved worn and torn Diary of Anne Frank. I read that book about a billion times. Anne was my imaginary friend. She knew what it was like to be isolated and alone. She wrote about her experiences the way I was. She had hope in an impossible situation. I’m sure most people wouldn’t say that Anne Frank was a writing influence, but she was. 

After childhood, I read a lot of Johanna Lindsey, Nora Roberts and Maya Angelou.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life? 

I think all of them are. I write what I know. My friends read my books and say that they see me in every single one of my heroines and my husband in every one of my heroes. 

I’ve lived in many states, travelled to forty nine of the fifty. I am very much a people watcher and really enjoy the interactions I see happen out in the wilds of society, lol. 

While none of my characters are based fully on a real-life person, I know I bring in those experiences.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from? 

Life. Real life is so much more shocking and dramatic than fiction will ever be!

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way? 

My characters talk to me. I sit to write and the words often just flow. I’ve started to do a bit more plotting ahead of time, but… they take over.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration? 

Always. I also have a Pinterest Board (see link below) for each of my books. I pin the characters houses, cars, outfits etc. I think these details make the books richer.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax? 

I recently moved to Hawaii. I love going to the beach and listening to the waves crash around me.

Who are your favorite current authors to read? 

I wish I had more time to read. I haven’t had a lot lately. 

When I do get a chance, I love to read Shanna Handel, Susan Stoker, Renee Rose, Piper Stone and Laylah Roberts.

What are your favorite books by others? 

Right now I am really enjoying the Bachman series by Shanna Handel and Laylah’s Montana Daddies series.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you? 

Absolutely. My newest series, Valhalla, takes place in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We lived in Colorado for a decade, longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere. I birthed both of my children there. It is where I consider home to be. If we ever get a chance to move back, we would in a heartbeat.

Do you write in single or multiple POV? 

Multiple. You get both the main character’s POVs in my books.

What do you find to be your best research tool? 

Google, lol. 

But seriously, I have a large collection of Author themed books I use.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name? 

RJ Gray is my pen name. I only have the one.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference? 

I write contemporary military romance. 

As a military veteran and then spending fifteen years as an active-duty EOD wife, I am intimately familiar with the military. 

My books also, for now, have kink in them.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you? 

I love to cook and never use recipes. 

I am a photographer when not writing. I shoot just about anything that comes across my path. 

I am also a social worker, although currently not practicing. 

I have two beautiful little boys and have been married for seventeen years.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Just write. Tune out all the noise and sit and write every day.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews? 

Not everyone is going to like my books and that is okay. They aren’t for everyone. Sometimes, they make great advertising material.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process? 

The ending. I hate ending books. Seriously. Having to say goodbye to my characters, suck. I get a lot of reviews saying the endings feel rushed. I never want to end them, so I am often rushed at deadline, lol.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused? 

No distractions! When I sit to write, being interrupted can kill my focus and my words.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing? 

Coke zero! I’m addicted. Sometimes I sneak in dark chocolate. I also love peanut m&ms.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink? 

I sprint for forty-five minutes with a group of fellow authors and then we take a fifteen-minute break and chat. Our conversations are hilarious. This keeps me accountable. I am trying to drink more water but do tend to drink Coke Zero a lot.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite? 

I do! I have a playlist on Apple Music for writing. It is a wide variety, very ecliptic. Everything from praise and worship, country, 80s rock to modern popular music.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing? 

All. The. Time. 

I have two kittens who are now about eight months old. They like to come and sit on my keyboard and stare at me when I am writing. 

My dog, Luna, is the best writing pup. She sits at my feet or cuddles next to me.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game? 

Sex scenes. Look, I write them. It’s part of my genre. But, I kinda suck at them. It’s soooo awkward. 

I’ve had a lot of sex in my life (TMI? Happily married for seventeen years, LMAO!) but writing sex scenes and finding a variety of ways to do it is… ugh.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved? 


How do you celebrate after typing THE END? 

Celebrate? Is this a thing? Hmmmm. Maybe I need to start.


I hope you enjoyed my interview with RJ Gray!

Make sure to give her a shout-out and FOLLOW her on all her social media!  You will find a link to a FREE book from RJ Gray at the end of this interview!




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