Author Interview & Giveaway with Joel McGrath

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Joel McGrath is the author of Shrouded Secrets, and he recently took time out of his busy life to answer a few questions about his writing and Shrouded Secrets, in particular. I just reviewed it the other day, and having really enjoyed it, Joel heartily volunteered his time to share some thoughts. A little on the author: Joel is a nurse in New Hampshire by day, and a fantasy author by, well, every other time! He decided to write because he had the ideas to do so, and he knew he could find a place on the shelves. His goal is to inspire the imagination and trigger inspiration. Without further ado...the interview...

1. Who, or what (if anything specific) inspired Shrouded Secrets?

Shrouded Secrets was a hodgepodge of human behavioral observation. I guess you could say growing up in a family of nine siblings showed me that no matter how well you think you know someone, quite often you really don’t and it’s those secrets we all unfortunately keep, which helped me develop the basis of this story.

2. Describe Shrouded Secrets in five words or less, please!

Desiring more than we are.

3. Do you have a favourite character in Shrouded Secrets, and why?

The easy answer would be Danielle because she pretends that she is stronger than adversity; however, it’s David’s BF Ryan Plumpton. Ryan remains blissfully unaware of most social ramifications and because of his thick-headedness, he’s his own hero. Just like Teflon, no criticism seems to stick for long and so he lives jointly in the real world and his own fantasy world, thus proving the overall setting of the story is possible.

4. Who are your top three favourite authors?

My top three favorite authors may surprise you because none of them inspired Shrouded Secrets in any way at all. Number one would have to be the recently late Frank McCourt. Number two, Jane Austin, and number three is Charles Dickens. I’m sorry, Dickens is tied for third with Herman Melville for me.

5. What are your top three favourite books?

Bleak House, Dewey, and Bunnicula.

6. If Shrouded Secrets became were to become a movie, who do you think should play David and Danielle, and why?

Most likely someone that isn’t born yet, but that’s not a very sporting answer though. I’m not up to date on actors in this age group like I was a few years ago. However, if Shrouded Secrets were made into a movie in the past, I would have to go with Josh Hutcherson as David. I loved him in the Vampire’s Assistant and as an actor Josh is very believable in the roles that called for him to have an inner, secret anger. He’s actually brilliant at that.

Danielle would have to be Annasophia Robb. She was great as a snotty, little brat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and she has range in other roles, which shows me that as Danielle evolved in the book, so could Annasophia on the screen. In the end, I would hope they would go the Harry Potter route and cast unknowns who need a break and could bring the characters to life as David and Danielle truly deserve.

7. Is there anything specific you'd like to tell your readers?

I want my readers to know that the darkness that we see in the world now, the same darkness that David and Danielle deal with in Shrouded Secrets, can be conquered without becoming muddied ourselves. What good is a hero if they are almost indistinguishable from the villain. That’s not to say that evil is purely one dimensional, or that those who fight against it are without error, but when it comes down to it, a person’s intent is everything.

**Joel also wants to exclusively offer to all you lovelies that chance to get his book for a fraction of the cost! If you're interested in purchasing the book from his online store, enter the code EK7TL2BU, and you'll get 10% off!**


And now for the giveaway...Want to win a copy of Shrouded Secrets for yourself? One lucky winner will win their very own paperback copy! All you have to do is click HERE to fill out the form and enter. This giveaway ends on Tuesday, February 15th at 11 PM EST, and it's open internationally!


  1. Thanks for this interview !! I hadn't heard othe author and his book before, so thank you, a lot !! =)
    This giveaway seems awesome so I'm going to enter it .. Thanks for making it international ;)

  2. Thanks for the wonderful interview! Frank McCourt, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen - all 3 are my all-time favourites!

  3. Awesome interview Melissa! Josh Hutcherson and Annasophia Robb are marvelous actors. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Great interview! I am excited to check this book out! And I am super excited that Jane Austen in one of his favourite authors!

  5. I cannot imagine growing up with 9 siblings. But that definitely would provide someone with ideas for a story! Cool interview. :]

  6. Nice, I could tell that the answers were very well thought out, and that Joel is really proud of and invested in his book.. I love to see that!

  7. Great interview! Shrouded Secrets sounds pretty interesting. I'll have to check it out.
    And thanks for the giveaway :)

  8. Wow! I have always admired people who have a Teflon attitude. I bet I could learn a thing or two from Ryan.

    Great interview. I liked what the author said about what inspired him to write the story. Very true.

  9. Dickens and Austen? Nice! Awesome interview.

    I want to be more like Teflon :)

  10. Great interview. I like that last answer :)

  11. Thank you, this book sounds really good! His last answer is full of good sense... When we see our world nowadays... Well, it's hard sometimes not to just give up :(

  12. Great interview. I'm really curious about Danielle now. Thanks!

  13. Fabulous interview! 9 siblings! Holy moly that is one big family.

  14. I loved David's answer to question 7. Great interview, Melissa!

  15. I don't know, I thought that Danielle's relationship with Seth was very Jane Austenesk. That cool, autumn California night, with the two of them on the beach, while in front of the bonfire made me shiver. It took me back to the first time I innocently held hands with someone. I'd love to see realistic romance make a comeback, I'm so sick of instata love, just add an ounce of Bella, a teaspoon of Jacob and a cup of Edward and stir till you're sick.


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