Let's get to know Jackie Ivie, author of A Knight and White Satin. Be sure to read my review and her guest blog!
Jackie Ivie: Wow. What a loaded question. I wrote for 22 years before I got “the call”. And it was always historical romance. Always. I had nine books written before my first, Lady of the Knight, debuted in 2004. Since then, I’ve put out a historical Highland romance every year. My latest is A Knight and White Satin, I’ll have Knight Everlasting out in the fall of 2011. In the meantime, I added a couple of other projects. I just finished a super-short (13,000 word) Scot historical anthology – coming out in January 2011, and then I’ll be finishing a Highland Historical Vampire anthology for Kensington! Not that I can ever forget my first love: historical. I’ve got two more historical romances near-ready: One called A Knight Like no Other, and the other is A Perfect Knight for Love.
Jennifer Walker: What gave you the idea to write A Knight and White Satin?
Jackie Ivie: Tough one. I haven’t an answer. The opening scene came to me a couple of years ago, and I had chapter one written in 2007-ish. Then in January 2009 (under a deadline), I opened that chapter back up, and just ran with it. I’m a pantser - not a plotter – so I’m all about “living it” as I write it.
Jennifer Walker: You seem to have quite an affinity for Scots. Is there something to that?
Jackie Ivie: I do. I’ve got some Scot lineage on my mother’s side and the country is loaded with everything history nuts love: Battles. Lust. Wrongs. Oppression. Freedom. Passions. And then…there’s those kilts. There’s nothing that says hero (to me) as much as a bold, brawny, beautiful Scot attired in a kilt. Add in that brogue. And that utter…manliness. What’s not to love? Sean Connery. Gerard Butler. Ewan McGregor. James McAvoy. Daniel Craig. To name a few. Oh My!
Jennifer Walker: Did you have to do a lot of research to write this story?
Jackie Ivie: I seem to do research as much as I breathe. I’m always reading, watching a DVD, or taking a course on history. I have so many history books and DVDs they’re almost uncountable. I simply love castles. So…I didn’t have much research to once I sat down. In ten days. During the deepest , darkest, coldest part of an Alaskan winter. I had a heating wrap on my lap to cradle my hands between inspiration jags. It was that cold. And I was that inspired.
Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your background. Education, experience, etc--especially if it relates to writing.
Jackie Ivie: Wish I could find some way to specify this! I’ve been on a search for knowledge for years. Self-disciplined, really. My kids have called me super-geek for years. Because I love everything historical.
Jennifer Walker: What were your greatest challenges in writing this book and getting published?
Jackie Ivie: The greatest challenge about this story was getting the fight scenes right. I’ve never actually been in any fights, and then came the part when Payton was going into battle against two men! Oh my. I told my hubby I’d really gotten into a fix and needed help. he left for work chuckling for me to have a nice time with it. And when he got home and read it, he told me he knew I’d figure it out. I spent a portion of those ten days sobbing my eyes out, too. What else could I do? Payton and Dallis were as real to me as my own reflection.
Jennifer Walker: Is there any historical accuracy to A Knight and White Satin?
Jackie Ivie: Yes. And no. The main characters are only real to me. They didn’t exist. There wasn’t a Dallis Caruth or a Payton Dunn-Fadden. There’s no data that King James had a champion that fought bouts for him. But just about everything that creates the “feel” of the era is as accurate as I can get it.
Jennifer Walker: At what point in your life did you decide to become a writer? Why?
Jackie Ivie: Man! Great question. I used to be one of the most avid readers anyone could imagine. And then (back in 1982), I found a novel that I couldn’t finish. I can’t remember why or which one, or anything else. I made the comment that anyone could write better. Even me. And my dear hubby said – “Here. Prove it. Here’s some paper. A pen.” That said, I started writing. Longhand. And it became an addiction. And obsession. I just know now that if you’re a writer, it’s something you have to do. Putting thoughts, actions, passions, and scenes into existence is just about nirvana.
Jennifer Walker: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Jackie Ivie: I can narrow it down (almost) to the British Isles. For the Medieval castles - just to get the aura of them. I don’t think it’s possible to visit all of them, but I’d put Caernarfon Castle in Wales on the list, Fyvie, Drum, Caerlaverock, Edinburgh and Stirling…. The list is endless. And that’s before I factor in the chateaus of the Loire Valley in France, the Krak de Chevaliers in Syria. Oh my. I might have to widen my choice!
Jennifer Walker: What is your favorite dessert?
Jackie Ivie: It’s a tie: Double Dutch Chocolate pudding-cake and/or Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.