May I introduce: Jennifer Rae Gravely


 I've got the very talented Jennifer Rae Gravely as my guest today. And as it seems, she's not only a very successful writer, but also a very successful athlete. :-)

It's wonderful to real about the passion she has for her sport and the team she coaches. And congratulations on the Five State Championships!!!!

I’m a sports freak. I started with softball when I was five, played recreation basketball in the fourth grade, and finally added volleyball when I was in the eighth grade. I continued with all three in high school and secured a volleyball scholarship to go to college. Despite the dream of being a lawyer, I always knew I wanted to coach; therefore earning a Masters in Education so that I could teach seemed the more logical plan. And here I am decades later coaching my favorite sport volleyball at my high school alma mater. My teams have won five state championships and seven upper state titles in eleven years. Woohoo!

But I’m also a writer. In my first published story Knight of the Dead I avoided sports for the most part. In fact the heroine Persephone Richards is anything but an athlete as she is klutzy and constantly tripping over her own feet. However, when I started my second book Set to Love, I decided to concentrate on what I know and love—coaching the sport of volleyball. The story focuses on the two rival high school coaches Randi Sly and Blake Steele as they compete for the state crown.

Fiction and real life often intersect and I found myself using book quotes to motivate my athletes this season as we marched to the volleyball state title—the fourteenth for our high school. Here’s one of my favorites and the one that became our motto for the year: "Today she started the climb toward the top of the mountain. The hike might be difficult, but the view would be spectacular. Each practice another step toward the pinnacle that is the championship."

Here’s a picture of the tagxedo I made featuring the quote, and the design we ultimately used for our region championship t-shirts.
Do you have a favorite quote from a book that applies to real life? I’d love to hear it.

Thanks, Iris, for having me stop over and talk about two things that I love—sports and books. (I’ll come another time and talk about my beagles—I have seven of the baying hounds!)

You can find both Knight of the Dead and Set to Love at most online book retailers. I also have a spin off sports short story in the Astraea Press anthology Love and Diamonds.

Born in Ohio but raised in Pickens, SC, Jennifer Rae Gravely graduated from Converse College with a triple major in history, politics, and English before earning a master’s degree in education. Returning to her high school alma mater to teach English and coach volleyball, Gravely’s teams won five state championships and seven upper state titles in eleven years. Moreover, the SCACA named her coach of the year for the 2013 season.

Jennifer writes about the fictional Southern town of Keowee. The Astraea Press novels, Knight of the Dead and Set to Love, in addition to the short story, “Love and Diamonds,” deal with present day Keowee and are contemporary romances.

She lives with her husband, daughter, seven beagles, and one rescued barn cat.

Jennifer loves to talk beagles, balls, and books!


Twitter: @JenniferRaeGrav


Amazon author page:



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