Guest Author, Jackie Ivie
Welcome, Jackie Ivie, our guest author. When we thought of a great historical author who has a book coming out with a holiday setting, we thought of Jackie and her latest, THE KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS! That hero has “Tis the season . . .” written all over him.
Glad to have you stop by, Jackie. What event in history gave you the niggling of an idea for THE KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS?
How I wish I had a good answer to this! I was actually writing a short story for inclusion in an anthology that never materialized. I wanted to go back into the Medieval period (so much history then!), and I was given pretty wide guidelines from my editor: Historical, Scottish, emotional intensity, Christmas setting, 100 pages - Can I do it? Boy! Was I game. I had it to page 80 of the 100 specified when the order changed and Zebra wanted a full-length one from what I'd already sent. The request changed. Could I make it a 100,000 full-length historical? I sure can!
What are your favorite historical references?
"Scotland, History of a Nation" by Magnus Magnusson. I'm also fond of every castle book I can find - mostly the pictures; the staircases, window placements, the walls.... Wow! I just love to invent the life that went on within them. Did you research holiday traditions for TKBC? That's a tough one. They didn't actually celebrate Christmas back in the medieval times...that I could locate, anyway. But I knew they had Christianity and I knew they'd celebrate Christ's birth. I found the reference for the mass held at that time and I was off! I needed a winter setting, emotion, and a few scattered sprigs of mistletoe - and I was set!
You've enjoyed great success as a Zebra Debut author. Could you offer words of wisdom to readers and aspiring writers regarding what you've learned along the way?
I'll try. Don't let anything stop you from writing. My editor wants emotional intensity from me - (pretty broad requirement, right?), so, that's exactly what I try to give her. If you're one of the broad spectrum writers - then write to what the publishing demands are. If you're more narrow (like me), then write what you love. Always. And then go as many places as you can afford and shake as many hands as you can.
Tell us about your next book and your works in progress.
With absolute pleasure! My next one is called HEAT OF THE KNIGHT. It's due out in the fall of 2007. Here's a spur-of-the moment blurb: There wasn't anything more detested throughout the Highlands than the black laird of the Monteith clan. It wasn't just his dark visage and size that granted him that emotion. It was the rumored evil in his soul, the lies he spouted, the whispers of his deeds, the cowardice of his actions in not coming to Bonnie Prince Charlie's aid when he was most needed. Now that the "pretenders" war's been fought and the clans defeated, the Monteith is back in residence with enough gold and power to get anything he wants. Anything. Even if what he wants is a Culloden widow named Lisle MacHugh. Lisle would rather sell the family land to the black laird than give him what he most desires: her hand in wedlock. But her wishes aren't worth much when matched against the poverty of the MacHughs. They'd sell anything to the devil for the right price, even with the self-hatred that goes with it. It isn't until Lisle is at the Castle Monteith and legally wed to the black laird that she starts seeing things she isn't meant to see. There are a lot of secrets surrounding the black Monteith and his castle. And his emotionless act is just one of them.
I just signed a contract for two more Highland "knight" books, so the next one is what I titled A PERFECT KNIGHT FOR LOVE. It's already written and expected sometime in 2008. I went even further back in time for that one, bringing in a Norman conqueror fellow with Scotland's King David's court in 1137. A Norman knight and a Celt maiden...hmm...that was really fun to write! And then I'll get Sybil's story finished. I already have a great start on it - and am loving every minute. That woman has her hot Highlander tied in knots by page 8 and she didn't even have to touch him! I'm going to be one busy writer!
Thanks so much for inviting me to blog with the Hoydens!