Grace Draven: Turning Ordinary Fantasy into Extraordinary Reading!

So, what happens when a sweet southern girl turns into a traveling army child then grows into a rebellious teen rocker chick?  Well, she ends up becoming a world-wide bestselling fantasy phenomenon, of course!
Along the way, Grace also developed a keen sense of humor, kept her sweet, kind heart and honed her talent of observation and human nature into a woman who is truly a joy to know.
Her books stand out because they artfully champion those average people who rise to become truly extraordinary - just like the woman who creates them.
Read on and we’re sure you will agree.  Grace is not only an author to love, but a woman to admire.

InD: Let’s get to know you a little bit better. Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?
I was born and raised in central Louisiana. My mother’s second husband was in the Air Force and he transferred to Madrid, Spain. I lived there for 2 1/2 years, which was a really amazing experience.
InD: How old were you when you went to Spain?
I was around 11 and I stayed there until I was almost 14. That was probably a good age because I could really soak in the language, pick it up really fast and retain it. If I tried to do that now, it would be a lot harder and take longer. I love the culture, but it was a bit of a shock because I was raised in a small town. Madrid was completely different, but it was wonderful. I came back to the U.S. and lived with my dad in Houston from the time I was 14 until I moved out of the house.
InD: Where are you now?
I am currently in the Texas Hill country, just south of Austin, but I lived in Houston for 37 years.
InD: That is beautiful country.
It is beautiful. Hot, but beautiful.
InD: So, tell me about your childhood years in Louisiana.
Obviously, we grew up to have an appreciation for Cajun food! My grandmother was an excellent cook and a very fascinating person. English was her second language. She spoke fluent Cajun French. I always got a kick out of it. Unfortunately, they never taught my mother to speak it and it was never passed down to me.
InD: Why was that?
From what I've heard and read, there was a stigma attached to speaking it, and it was discouraged from being passed down to the younger generation. Nowadays, there has been a resurgence. It is considered part of the culture of the state of Louisiana and is a wonderful thing to embrace.
InD: I’ve always thought Cajun to be a rich culture, but I can understand and see the historical problems.
It is a rich culture. I would hate to see a language so heavily tied to a culture die out. It is different from the French spoken in France. It’s considered non-standardized or Louisiana French. It also includes words that were brought in from the Caribbean and the Choctaw tribes in the area, so you have a sort of melting pot involved.
My grandmother spoke it when she was mad or arguing with my uncle, so she may not have wanted me knowing what she was actually saying.
InD: Now that would make me want to learn it more! Do you remember your childhood as a happy childhood?
Yes. There was the good and the bad. I certainly remember we were not inside all day playing games on computers and stuff like that. We were outside from sun up, until the sun went down. It was like, you head out and don't come back until you’re called for dinner.
InD: My idea of Louisiana in the summer is that it’s really hot. What would you do outside all day?
When you are a little kid, you are hot and sweaty, dirty and barefoot anyway, but you're out playing with your friends and having a good time, so as long as you didn’t get stung by a wasp or bitten by a snake, you stayed out all day.
InD: What did you enjoy doing?
Well, I bossed my siblings around (I’m the oldest). I loved to swing on the swing set at my grandmother's. I remember trying to get as high as I could and then throwing myself out of the seat to see how far I could land. And, I would play with the dog.
I think one of my most cherished memories is, I used to sit on the back of my grandmother's porch with her. We would have two bowls, one of them was unshelled peas or beans and we would either shell peas or snap beans on a summer evening. You could hear cicadas singing in the background and it was so peaceful. That is such a good memory for me. It captured not just a moment in a childhood but a moment in a particular time. 
InD: I guess our generation feels kind of bad that our children’s generation may not get to experience those things. Maybe they will have different ones that are just as dear to them.
That is how I try to see it. So many really wonderful memories come from such minor things. I remember my uncle chewed tobacco and when I was around seven, I complained and begged and cried and whined and pleaded with my uncle to let me try some of his Red Man. It smelled wonderful. Well, I guess he had enough of me complaining, he let me try a little bit and it was horrible stuff! I never asked him again.

Read the entire interview in the November 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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