Meet the Author
Interviewer (I): What made you decide that you wanted to write?
Grant R. Philips (GRP):
Growing up I suffered from a reading comprehension disability. This made me hate books. I did everything I could
in school not to read. It wasn't until 7th grade that I read my first book from cover to cover. Our English teacher
said we were going to read 4 books that year. All were by S.E. Hinton. The first was THE OUTSIDERS. After
reading that, I was inspired. Aside from being just 16 when Hinton wrote that story, the author was also a young lady.
It was much more difficult for women to publish then. (Hence, the initialed first name S.E.)
I started writing short stories and set a goal for myself, that I would sell my first novel before turning 30. It was
July of 1999 that I signed a contract for my first novel. The book was released February 2000. I turned 30 that
I: Do you have a particular writing routine?
GRP: Mornings. I get up
at 2:30 AM Saturdays and Sundays and write until around 8 or 9, when the wife and kids start to stir. Otherwise, I'd
have to take time away from them during the week, and that wouldn't be fair. As it is, nearly every weekend I drag them
along to book signings at malls all over Western New York. (They're great though, supportive). I like to try to write a chapter per day. Then during the
week I concentrate on plotting. I keep a notebook with me most of the time. Ideas come when Im least ready for them. So
the notebook comes in handy.
I: Where do you get ideas?
Great question. No answer. They just come to me. I get a story idea, basically, beginning,
middle and end. Then it is all I can do to get it down fast enough. I always know the end of the story. And
it is a matter of working toward that goal. I never use an actual outline. Too limiting, in my opinion. So
far, I have been fortunate. I have not suffered from any writer's block and have a notebook filled with ideas still
What else do you have in store for us?
My first book is already published, KING GAUTHIER AND THE LITTLE DRAGON SLAYER. It was released in September 2003. I
recently sold a Young Adult novel called SOUNDS OF SILENCE to Star Bright Books. This
story deals with a 12-year-old boy who becomes deaf and attends school at the Rochester School for the Deaf. I worked closely with students and staff to research for this book and am thrilled that a publisher shares
my enthusiasm for the story. The book is due out in the fall of 2004. And in preparing for its upcoming release I have been taking clases in American Sign Language. I love ASL
and feel it should be offered in all schools. It is a beautiful language, and perhaps more important than learning
a foreign language first. And I also recently signed a 4-book deal for a middle grade mystery series with Quiet
Storm Publishing. The second, JAY WALKER:
4TH GRADE NOIR THE CASE OF THE IMPRACTICLE PRANKSTER will be out in the fall of 2004.
I: Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
GRP: Well, I work full time as an employment law paralegal for the Eastman Kodak Company. I am a freelance reporter for a small community newspaper. As I mentioned, I write book reviews for several e-zines, and teach creative writing classes on how-to-sell
short stories, and give presentations at a variety of locations like Barnes & Noble, libraries, and schools.
married. My wife and I have three kids.
Two boys, and the youngest is a girl. All three of our kids take dancing
lessons. The boys do street jazz, and our daughter does tap. My kids are also very involved in sports, so I cant possibly coach them all. But I at least work at being an assistant coach as often as possible.
Except for the kids playing sports, I am not much of an outdoorsman. I
like to be inside, air conditioning in the summer, heat in the winter. Give me
a book and a couch and Im happy. Aside from enjoying being a writer, I like to
point out how lucky I am to have the wonderful family and friends that I do. Without
them, none of this is possible. My wife and kids are great, supportive, and encouraging.