Q & A with Kimberly Gray

Last September at the Seascape Writers Retreat, I had the pleasure of meeting Kimberly Gray, who had been awarded a major grant for aspiring mystery authors. Kim has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her work and what winning the grant has meant to her career.

First, about the grant she won: The William F. Deeck – Malice Domestic Grants for Unpublished Writers. Founded in 1993 and sponsored by Malice Domestic, Ltd., the grants are presented annually at the May conference. The grants recognize promising works in fiction and nonfiction which demonstrate commitment to  the “traditional mystery” style (no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex—think Dame Agatha) that is known as malice domestic.

The awards consist of $1,500 to allow recipients to attend a writers’ conference or workshop. For nonfiction, the grant may be used to offset research expenses. It also comps the recipients’ attendance and lodging at the annual conference in Bethesda. The grant period is currently in progress; the deadline is November 15. More details may be found at the MD site.

Kim Gray was awarded the grant in May, 2009. She’s here to share a bit about herself and to help promote the  Malice Domestic grant program by encouraging other writers to apply.

RDL: Kim, what is your writing background?

KG: I love mysteries! About 12 years ago I took a writing workshop with author Barbara Lee. She encouraged me to write what I loved to read. Up until that point I was writing essays and poetry. I had a few poems and essays published in college and high school magazines

RDL:  Tell us about your grant-winning project.

KG: My project that won the grant has the working title of Ghost Of A Chance. It is a paranormal mystery set in Baltimore City. The story revolves around Lottie Gershwin and her mother-in-law, Margot. Together they need to solve a murder… Margot’s.

RDL: What’s the status of the story now?

KG: The book is finished and is in the process of revision now.

RDL: How did you use the Malice grant?

KG: The grant gave me the means to attend a few workshops I would never have been able to afford. One in particular was Seascape, where I had the opportunity to work with many talented published and non-published writers.

RDL:  How did winning the grant affect your career?

KG: Winning the grant has opened doors to editors and agents a little easier. It has helped to give me faith in my talent and encouraged me not to give up on my dream.

RDL: Thanks, Kim! Best of luck with Ghost of a Chance.

Kim Gray is a writer and artist. In addition to her promising new work in the mystery genre, Kim also writes essays and poetry. When she’s not writing, cooking, traveling or listening to local bands, she’s working at Studio C .

You may (try to) follow her on Facebook–if you can keep up with her.

7 thoughts on “Q & A with Kimberly Gray

  1. Hey, Kim and Ramona!

    Very cool interview about the Malice Grant and your book, Kim. I am looking forward to seeing Ghost of a Chance in print, so I’m glad to hear that winning the grant has made access to agents and editors a bit easier. That’s good to know, too, for writers who are considering applying! I am also in the process of revising my mystery novel, which you know, so I can empathize with your labors. Revision is often the best part of writing and can even be fun at times, but there is no denying that it is a lot of hard work. Hang in there with it. I’m cheering for you!



  2. As a former grant winner for Death of a Cozy Writer, I can only say, apply already! There is no downside…as mentioned here, just the process of applying helps you focus on what you want your book to be.


  3. Congratulations, Kim! As a 2005 recipient of the grant, I can say that being awarded the grant was a tremendous experience. Going to the Malice Domestic conference was just amazing, and I used the grant to take online writing classes and do research for my novel-in-progress. Most of all, it gave me the confidence to hang in until I got my first mystery novel contract, at a time when my confidence was starting to waver. I would encourage any unpublished mystery writer to apply for the grant!


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