Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Fabulous Jackie Ivie!

Under the bloom of the Northern Lights, Morgan O and JMo braved a Survivor-Man journey for our latest interview. Jackie Ivie is an author with three bestselling novels under her belt and a fourth just hit the shelves, so we thought a dogsled trip to the frozen wastes of Alaska well worth the hardships to talk with this author. Well it wasn’t as far as that, but one little case of frostbite and JMo goes all mental. Morgan O told him about nose rubbing walruses, but he wouldn't listen so it's his own fault even if she did loan him a pair of bunny boots. At the same time she was seen to roll her eyes and exclaim, “Sheesh, we haven't even hit zero yet!” So after a cup of hot cocoa for JMo, and a stiff drink for Morgan after dealing with his whining butt for three hours, we settled down for a talk with Jackie about her newest book, Heat of the Knight.

TMD: Jackie, thanks for letting us into your lovely kitchen, and yes, JMo is housebroken - mostly. Anyhow, please tell us a little about your newest book.

Jackie: It's set in 1747, a time of depression throughout the Highlands. When I found out the English had taken away the right to wear kilts and play bagpipes, I just HAD to write about what it must have been like. Then there's my, hero, Langston Monteith, (man - what a fantasy man he is!) Monteith is a traitor to everything my heroine (Lisle) values (or so he seems), he's as black as pitch in deed (or so she thinks), and he's as gorgeous as sin (so everybody sees) I LOVED writing! Lived it as I wrote! -- then again...I always do!

TMD: As a writer of Scottish Highland historicals, how do you keep your books fresh and exciting with the genre already so congested with stories set in the same period?

Jackie: Good thing I don't read anyone else. Don't want to. As for me? I have an editor who gives me free rein. I can write any era in the Highlands that I want. Any battle. Anything. And I just want to live it as I write it. The way my writing works I just have to settle myself and I start envisioning. Scottish Highland mist. The bagpipes. The kilts. The massive, brawny Highlanders. There's so much history there. I couldn't possibly get bored.

TMD: With your fourth book coming out, do you find you are just as excited waiting for its release as you were with your first book?

Jackie: Definitely! I walk around with a copy of my new one and inhale the fantastic aroma of paperback book! There's absolutely nothing like the smell and fell and texture of your own book! Nothing. The first one, the fourth one. Same difference - I've found. Aside from which, my covers are jaw-dropping gorgeous. No trauma carrying that around! (Morgan O can verify this. I stood next to her as she handed a copy of her book to a priest!)

TMD: How much research do you enter into before starting a new book?

Jackie: I have tons of Scot books and castle books. I don't do much research once I start up the pc. I've already envisioned the setting. Mostly. Right now, I'm working on the 7th one and I wanted a jousting scene so I had to go find one. And yes. There were definitely knights in Scotland, In 1455, there was a tourney fought at Stirling Castle, where the king decided the winner (James Douglas) against a Burgundian knight. I'm putting that in my book, because I wanted a joust scene. So I chose 1456 as the setting.

TMD: What inspired you to write about the Scottish Highlands?

Jackie: Big, brawny, beautiful, rippled, sexy Highlanders in kilts! There's a wedding scene in my 6th book where the hero has to fight his way into the chapel, and he isn't in the best formal condition when he gets to the altar. What do the ladies do? Sigh. And giggle. And blush. Fun stuff.

TMD: Have you ever been tempted to jump into another genre and test the waters?

Jackie: Nope. Historical romance is it. I told my editor a couple of years ago, when everyone was discussing all the genres out there that, “I live, eat, sleep, breathe, dream, love historical romance. Sorry.” Her reply? Keep them coming!

TMD: If you could reveal one secret about Morgan O, what would it be?

Jackie: Morgan O? She's a writer, too. And she's fabulous. Duh.
(Morgan O grins - she lurves me!)

TMD: How many countries/ languages have you been published in?

Jackie: Four. English (hahaha! Got to count it), Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese.

TMD: How important do you think it is for an author to find their literary voice?

Jackie: It took me well into the second book to find mine. It's SOOOOO important that I can't quantify it. There isn't another writer like me, and I'm not like any other writer. In fact, I'm not even like the other Jackie Ivie books. The fourth one could have been written by a different person. THAT'S my voice. The characters and action tell the story. I'm just typing as fast as I can!

TMD: With the rise of other genres like sci-fi and paranormals, do you think historicals still hold a place of prominence in romance?

Jackie: Yes...and no. Historical romance will always be there. There's too much enjoyment in disappearing into the past. I think they're publishing less of them every year, though, but that could always change. Does it affect what I write and why I write it? Absolutely NOT. See the "live it, breathe it, sleep it” answer...

TMD: Do you ever see yourself writing a book set in Alaska?

Jackie: Definitely! Although I'll be leaning toward the Klondike gold rush era.

TMD: What other genres would you like to write?

Jackie: Historical. Historical. Historical. I tried a contemporary (I didn't have much fun). I tried a paranormal (I can't envision a vampire or time-travel, therefore I can't write it). It's a bit like my drawing. I don't have a plan when I set out. I just pick a starting point (if it's an animal or person, it'll be the nose) and then I draw out from there. I write exactly the same. I pick the starting point (the opening) and write from there. If I can't envision it, I can't do it. And vampires don't come brawny.

TMD: If you had the chance to kidnap one cover model to make into a love slave who would it be? (Morgan O points out to JMo that cover model Nathan Kamp’s first cover was Jackie’s first book, Lady of the Knight - oooh baby!!)

Jackie: My fantasy man is a hybrid of The Scorpion King and Conan the Barbarian. (Duane Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger). Always has been. The cover model is just that. A model. Nathan Kamp is a MAJOR babe, though. But...nah. Now, if I could just get a blend of Conan and the Scorpion King... (my new cover guy is very close, though. But without a gorgeous face? Don't even know who it is....)

TMD: Romance is a very competitive business, especially in the print side of the business. How important do you feel a personal relationship with your fans has been to your success?

Jackie: I love fans! It blows me away to actually find I have them! That's why I do book signings and personal appearances. The fans. Ultra important.

TMD: Thanks so much for letting us visit with you and JMo will clean his mess up before we leave. I told him frost bite is no excuse for dropping a one of a kind Bugs Bunny jelly glass coffee mug. Leave it to the Southern boy to get frost bite at thirty five degrees above zero. As he's mopping up, tell our readers where they can find out more about you and your books.,,,,, (I blog there).... Gee. I didn't realize there were so many!


Savannah Chase said...

another great interview, i will have to check out some of the books, thank you

Jasmine Haynes said...

Jackie, the new book sounds GREAT! I absolutely love historicals and can't wait to get this one.

And to all, have a great Thanksgiving!!!! Eat a lot of Turkey!

Jasmine Haynes
The Fortune Hunter, in stores NOW