Denise Grover Swank Gets Lost in a Story

Hi everyone, Susan here. Today I'm thrilled to host Denise Grover Swank on Get Lost in a Story.

Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She writes urban fantasies without vampires and werewolves. She also writes romantic comedy mysteries set in the south. Denise has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading, or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.
 The book...
Redemption is the fourth and final book in The Chosen series.

The first book, Chosen, starts the series off: Emma will do anything to protect her precognitive son Jake, even accept help from Will, a stranger with a dark past. But Will's been hired to deliver Emma to a powerful group. Even though the job screams trouble, nothing prepares Will for Jake's declaration: Will is The Chosen One, prophesied protector of Emma.

What They’re Saying...


It is the final book in Swank's The Chosen series and let me tell you, it takes you on the most emotional ride of all of them. You will laugh, you will cry, the pages will seem to fly by, and you WILL be left wanting the series to go on and on. --Gothic Mom’s Book Reviews
As with the three previous books, the action, plotline and ingenious premise dragged me into Redemption before I could even take a breath… This was a brilliant conclusion to a phenomenal series. --Just My Opinion Book Reviews

Get your copy...

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Let's chat with Denise...


Susan: Denise, thank you so much for joining us today here at Get Lost in a Story. I have to ask you straightaway—I’ve never been good with math—how many hours do you get in your day? I’ve only ever gotten 24. But you’re a single mom to six children, and you’re writing three—no, wait—four different series, plus a few shorts here and there. Do you simply not sleep, or have you figured out some mathematical formula for extending your day?
Denise: Sleep? Sleep is for the weak. LOL Okay, I sleep, but not a lot. I get a lot of my writing done from 9 pm to 1-2 am. But I’ve been trying to write more in the afternoon, which usually means trying to turn off my internet. I never say I’m bored. I’m always doing something. I juggle the business side of writing with the actual writing—throw in my kids and their activities—and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Susan: How many hours a day do you write? Do you have a schedule?
Denise: When I’m writing a book it usually takes me a week or so to get into it. I know some authors can easily switch from series to series, but I’m not one of them. It usually takes me several chapters to get back into the character’s head(s) but once I’m there, it’s like a sprint to the finish. I’m pretty consumed by the story and I spend the last couple of weeks writing five to eight hours (or more) a day. I wrote the last 65,000 works of Redemption in three weeks. But it took me over a month to get the first 30,000.


Susan: Do you reward yourself with a treat when you reach a writing goal? What kinds of treats?
Denise: Ha! Yes. My writing reward is whatever my current TV series obsession is and I watch it on Netflix. With Redemption it was “The Big Bang Theory” and the Korean soap opera “Boys Over Flowers.” I give myself a word goal (on big writing days it might be 2000 words) and then I get to watch an episode (or two it’s shorter) when I meet my goal.

Susan: You are very reader-focused. I’ve noticed on your blog, you actually have a poll asking what your readers want. Very cool! Have you been surprised with the results?
Denise: I love my readers! They are loyal and they love to share their love of my books with their friends. The reality is that I’ll never please everyone. I have plenty of one and two star reviews on all of my books to prove that. I appreciate and valuable the trust my readers have put in me and I’m interested in what they want to read. This summer I wrote three prequel short stories in The Chosen series. I knew what two of the stories would be and I had several ideas for the third. So I ran a poll on my blog asking my readers what story they most wanted to read. I wasn’t surprised with the results of that poll. The majority picked the story I thought they would. 
But some things do surprise me. One of the most frequent comments I get it is to “write faster.” I’m releasing four novels plus multiple short stories a year. I don’t know how I can write any faster. So I posed the question on Facebook: Would you rather I write full length novels less frequently or would you rather have shorter books published more often? Every single person who answered said they wanted full length novels. That surprised me. 

Susan: Have you given any thought as to how many Chosen books there will be?
Denise: There are four novels in the series and three short stories. I want to write two or three more prequel short stories. I also want to write a prequel novella. But I might continue the series in another year or so with different characters. I asked my readers if they were interested in this idea and the overwhelming answer was yes. It’s not easy to accept new characters in a series so I love that they trust me.

Susan: Do you travel much? What is your favorite place you’ve visited so far?
Denise: I love to travel. I’ve been to China, Vietnam, Croatia, and then multiple places in the United States. My favorite? That’s hard. I love New York City although I’d never want to live there. I also love any place that is next to an ocean. 

Susan: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Denise: Stories about relationships, whether they are romantic or between friends or a mother and her children. Relationships are never black and white so I love to read about complicated ones. I also like a story with some kind of mystery.

Susan: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?
Denise: This pile grows larger and larger every day.
Girl Under Glass, science fiction, by Monica Enderle Pierce
Bloodfever: The Fever Series, urban fantasy, Karen Marie Moning
Rage Within (Dark Inside #2) a YA apocalyptic thriller by Jeyn Roberts
Shadow and Bone, a YA fantasy by Leigh Bardugo
The Marriage Pact, contemporary romance, by MJ Pullen

Susan: What was the first story you remember writing?
Denise: My first novel, still unfinished. I wrote it in fourth grade and filled up seventy pages in a wide ruled spiral notebook. It was based on a dream I had. LOL That was when I realized that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. 
Susan: What is your biggest vice?
Denise: I can only pick one? Probably my Diet Coke addiction. Or my Starbucks addiction. No, wait. I think it’s my love of Chipotle.

Susan: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Denise: By getting lost in a TV show or movie. On Friday nights I hang out with my friend and critique partner, Trisha Leigh, and we eat Chipotle, drink wine and watch Fringe. Totally girls gone wild. *snort*

Susan: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Denise: People are reading my books and not only like them but want more. THAT is a dream come true for me. 
Susan: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
Denise: I’m just a normal, albeit overly caffeinated, person. I’m always amazed when people get a little “star struck” when meeting me in person or if I talk to them on Facebook or Twitter. I’m just a regular person living my dream. I don’t consider myself any better than anyone else.

Susan: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
Denise: My kids. They can drive me crazy some days, but most of the time they are pretty awesome. I love when my older boys are around with the younger ones and they all get goofy.

Susan: What turns you off like nothing else?
Denise: People who are disingenuous. If you don’t like me, don’t pretend you do. I can live with that.
Susan: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Denise: Quirk? Maybe that it’s that I like to laugh a lot. Every day. Life’s too short not to laugh.


Susan’s GOTTA ASK: What is your favorite scene in Redemption? Denise’s GOTTA ANSWER: This may surprise people who know the series, but it’s probably the scenes with Jake and his nanny Antonia. Especially the scene when they are on the hill looking at the vineyards. It’s a quiet scene, but very tender, and shows the reader a deeper level to Jake’s emotional state as well as Antonia’s affection for Jake.


Susan: What's next for you?
Denise: THERE, the final book of my young adult science fiction/romance series, ON THE OTHERSIDE is my next book and will have a late December release.

You can find Denise at...

Her website: www.denisegroversank.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeniseGroverSwank and https://www.facebook.com/deniseswank

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dms052564/

And Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DeniseMSwank

Denise has a question for you…

If I could only write one more book, which series would you want that book to be in? The Chosen, Rose Gardner Mysteries, On The Otherside or my new upcoming series, The Curse Keepers? OR if you’ve never read my books, do you prefer darker stories or light and funny?


  1. Wow Denise, your energy and writing speed amaze me! Fun post. I'm looking forward to reading your books.

  2. Fun interview, and good for you to be able to live your dream.
    I agree with you too on the Netflix thing, so easy to watch a tv series on it. That way you can get sucked in and watch back to back without the cliff hanger waiting.

    You are a new author for me, so thanks GLIAS for the introduction!