Welcome to my blog spot- grab a cup of coffee and a good book ;-)
I grew up watching westerns with my father. Man, did he love a good western...and a good book too, as far as that goes. Ivy posted her blurb for Kidnapped by an Outlaw on The Writing Gals Facebook page to get some feedback and as soon as I read over it, I knew I had I would be checking her series out when it was ready. Upon grabbing this adventurous historical romance novel just a week after its release, I simply had to ask her what inspired her to write it.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Hi Ivy, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Hey Shanna! I’m currently roasting in the heat of Florida, so there’s that. I live about ten miles from the Gulf of Mexico, but I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t give two craps about the beach. For shame. :) I love the mountains and wide-open spaces instead, which show up a good deal in my books.
I’m a wife and a mom, the most important parts of me other than being a writer. Of course, those parts make my writing take ten times longer! :) I’ve always wanted to write books though. My mother told me I wrote my first book in preschool when I was five. When she came to pick me up, I was finishing it and asked her how to spell “illustrator.” Strange kid, teehee.
I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with writing since, I suppose. Dreams crushed by reality, life gets in the way, have to get a real job. All that. But now my dreams are here to stay, and I’m quite happy about that.
Me: LOL! Nice. What inspired you to write Kidnapped by an Outlaw?
I write in many different genres, but I’ve always loved to read romance, so I wanted to make the plunge into that area. There’s something rugged and very appealing about cowboys to me, so I knew I wanted to hit that first (pun intended, perhaps). I have a lot of stories plotted for this little made-up town in Wyoming, but the thought of opening things up with the bad boys sounded like a lot of fun, and so Kidnapped by an Outlaw led the way.
Me: Haha, I understand the obsession with cowboys (wink wink) Now, how many books will be in the series?
Total? I’m not sure yet. I have lots of plans! There are four books written right now, and I have immediate plans for three more. There are tentative plans for some past that, so as long as readers still enjoy it, I’ll keep visiting Emerald Falls.
Me: That’s awesome. An open-ended series, I love that! Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Oh, man. Which of my children are my favorite? That’s cruel. :) I have a lot of favorites, but if I had to pick I’d say Clay. He’s the hero from the first book, Kidnapped by an Outlaw. He is just yummy. He’s definitely an outlaw and a little broody, but he’s also very sweet and protective of the heroine. Plus, you should see him in my head...
Me: Ah, yes, I loved Clay. He was the perfect albeit sweet alpha outlaw. So, did anyone in real life inspire your characters?
I tend to pull character traits and backstories from all over, but I almost never model a character after someone I know on a large scale. I do grab photos of celebrities that make me swoon for my heroes though.
Me: I understand. I do the same. Now, have you ever been to Wyoming? Are the places in your book real or made up?
I have! I love it there. The air is fresh, the views are spectacular, and the weather is wonderful. So different from Florida.
Some of the areas in my books, like the Absaroka mountain range and the city of Sheridan, are real and mentioned to give the general area of northern Wyoming, but the town of Emerald Falls is fictional (as are two other places only mentioned so far, St. Aspen and Hollard).
Me: I love that!! Wyoming and Montana are on my bucket list. So, what are you working on now?
I’m doing the last bits of editing on a prequel for the series. Then I’m going to pick up a new project for a bit, get my feet wet and see how I like it, before I continue on with Emerald Falls Book Four. I’m excited about both!
Me: Very cool! Tell us a little about your writing process?
I like to plot, and I like to determine what my cover is going to look like. That means I spend time figuring out who my characters are and what they want, as well as digging up photos that capture them for me. It’s helpful to look at a photo (or even a completed cover) to help me get back into a couple’s flow. I write fast and edit slowly, which is irksome but necessary.
Me: Nice. My cover is actually the last thing I do, so that’s interesting that you do yours first. What drew you to the historical romance genre?
I like “simpler time” stories. Things are so fast paced these days. It stresses me out sometimes. It’s nice to go back to a time when living life was a little slower. It may have been more dangerous, but hey, tomato tomahto, right? I like the restrictions it puts on my characters too. There are more rules about relationships and marriage, and someone can’t just pick up a cell phone and make problems all better. Hello, conflict!
Me: Haha, yes and I agree. Would have loved to live during a “simpler” yet tougher time. Who are your favorite authors/books?
This is always so hard for me… I’m so spread across the genres. Let’s try this: Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, Kelley Armstrong and her Otherworld series, Jean M. Auel, Nicholas Evans, Kristen Ashley, Nora Roberts, Ruby Dixon, Craig Johnson, Sara Gruen.
Me: Nice :-) What do you personally love about writing?
It’s like reading a book, letting yourself get lost in another world. Living the life of another person in another land. You suddenly have skills or problems you never had before, and you have to figure out how to overcome them. Writing is grasping that excitement of reading and taking it to the next level. Not only do I get to explore new worlds and characters, but I get to make the decisions. Building a story from the inside out is a blast.
Me: Yes. Writing is the best! What are you looking forward to before the end of 2019?
Having my cowboy books come out in paperback in September. I can’t wait to have them on my shelf! And to have a second series growing in a new fun romance category. I’m so looking forward to getting those books out. Onward and upward, 2019!
Me: Thank you so much for “being here” tonight, Ivy. Best of luck to you and your Emerald Falls Series. I know lovers of historical romance and cowboys will enjoy your series for sure. I certainly did!
Ivy McAdams wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up.
She may reside on the beaches of Florida, but her heart lives in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. She grew up dreaming of horses, playing cowboys and indians on her grandfather's farm, and curling up on the couch with him to watch westerns. Cowboys have been her heroes ever since.
Ivy loves the warm feelings and happily ever afters of a romance novel and has married her passions together to bring you historical western romance stories.
When not writing, she's taking care of two beautiful girls and teaching them to adore books as much as she did growing up. She can't wait until they're big enough to dress in cowboy hats and ride horses with her.
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys reading about cowboys, historical or otherwise ;-) and supports her fellow indies, like Ivy McAdams