Blog Swap – Kathy Ivan, my Release Day Buddy

Today and tomorrow, I’m doing a blog swap with Kathy Ivan, my release day buddy at Carina Press. Today, she’ll be blogging here while I’m at Carina Press. And tomorrow, I’ll be blogging at her blog while she is at Carina Press. Kathy is a lifelong bookworm who, like me, is now seeing her first work of fiction published. Here is her number one writing rule.


Thanks so much, Tia, for having me today.  Tia and I are release day buddies at Carina. J  Her novella, The Sevenfold Spell, and my romantic suspense with paranormal elements, Desperate Choices, both released on September 27, 2010.  I’m so excited to share this special day with you and with your blog followers.  Show the love by going and buying her novella.

I’ve always loved reading and tried my hand at writing short stories while in high school, but nothing serious.  Back then I think I enjoyed the reading of the books more than the writing of the stories.  That’s not to say I haven’t always had characters and stories dancing around in my head; I have.  But they were only for me.  I didn’t share them with anybody else.

Several years ago I reconnected with author Jane Graves (we worked for the same company doing medical transcription—her in the office and me from home).  She’d published a few books with Harlequin and I dropped her an e-mail congratulating her on her sales.  She responded and invited me to a book signing at Dreamin’ in Dallas which was happening a few days later.  I went to the book signing and was thoroughly impressed by the entire event.  So I decided to come to a DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors) meeting.  From the very first meeting, I was hooked.  I had come strictly as a reader, but once the creative juices got flowing again, I dove in with a purpose.  I had to get that first book written.

I tend to have very eclectic tastes in reading.  I’ll go through spurts where I’ll read a specific genre, everything I can find until I’m glutted on it.  Then I’ll switch to a new genre and start the process all over again.   Right now I’m going through a paranormal/urban fantasy phase.  Recommendations anybody?  Some of my favorites include Janet Evanovich, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle, Karen Marie Moning, Laurell K. Hamilton, Shayla Black, Jo Davis, Jane Graves . . . the list goes on forever.

I’m also a “who did it” kind of gal.  I don’t know why but I always tend to look for the why of a story.  Why did a character do something?  What made the hero or heroine or the villain do whatever they did.  Because of that, romantic suspense just seemed to work well for my style of writing.  My ideas can come from anywhere and anything.  I love to play the “what if” game.  Or I can be watching a program on TV like 20/20 or 48 hours describing a crime that’s been committed, and bang, a kernel of an idea pops into my head and I’ll start seeing the characters and how it fits around their lives, going in a totally different direction than the story I’ve just watched.  Or I’ll get a flash of a character or a location and start working from that.  Sometimes it’s even the end of the dark moment that will pop into my head and I’ll work backwards from there, and the story line evolves as I deconstruct the big black moment.  Plus, I’ll bounce story ideas to my sister, who is a fantastic sounding board.  She can usually spot a plot hole a mile away and gives me great ideas on how to fix my screw ups.  Ideas and motivation are everywhere.  The trick is finding the time to get them all down on paper.

That’s my writing process, as best I can describe it.  I love writing and storytelling.  I hope you enjoy reading Desperate Choices as much as I did writing it.

Love what you write and write what you love.


Tia here. We always hear, “write but you know,” but I think I like this advice better. You really do have to love what you are writing. Who are some of the writers you have read that have really let their love of writing shine through their work? My own choices will be in the comments!

16 Thoughts to “Blog Swap – Kathy Ivan, my Release Day Buddy”

  1. Tia Nevitt

    Two authors who seemed to have a lot of fun while writing: Mark Twain and T. H. White. Both infused their books–which became classics–with a wonderful sense of humor, even when writing about tragic subjects. They taught me that even when writing a sad tale, it doesn’t have to be all angst.

    What about you?

  2. Chicory

    Congratulations, Kathy. I really enjoyed hearing how you got into writing. 🙂

    If you read a lot of Urban Fantasy, you’ve probably already heard of these people but just in case: Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Rob Thurman (the Leandros brothers, and now Chimera) and Sonya Bateman (Master of None).

    Jim Butcher is someone who takes so much enjoyment in what he writes that you can feel his enthusiasm.

    I probably won’t be popping in much today (my killer class schedule this semester has turned me invisible) but I did want to congratulate you.

  3. Thanks Tia for swapping blogs with me. Its exciting to think that 2 “newbie” authors are being released on the same day with the same publisher. I’m excited and kinda scared at the same time. 🙂

    Chicory–I love Jim Butcher’s stuff. I’ve read everything except his latest, which is next up on my TBR pile (its on my Sony). I’ve held onto it because I’ve heard such good things about Changes that I want to anticipate it, but I don’t think I can wait much longer!

    Thanks for stopping by today.

  4. chris keniston

    boy this has been a busy few days

    I’m so thrilled to finally see this book available!!

    It amazes me to think so many authors have had stories floating around in their heads for years – I can’t imagine!!

    though I did once get enthused after reading a nancy drew book and wrote all of one scene in a kitchen – that was the beginning and end of my childhood creativity – lol.

  5. Happy release day and good luck!

  6. Thanks, Liz. I’ve having a blast now that the book is actually “out”.

  7. Chris

    Yep, I’ve always had ideas in my head, snippets and full-blown stories, just never shared them. I did write some fan-fic in high school. All about Star Trek!

    Thanks for dropping by. Had fun at dinner last night, too.

  8. Congrats on your release, Kathy – have you read Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen series? Or Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series? They’re both favorites of mine.

    I’ve been watching a lot of Midsommer Murders and Hercule Periot on television. I love trying to work out the why. I sometimes get it right. 🙂

  9. Hey Shelley, glad you stopped by. And thanks for hosting my blog yesterday. I’ve read all the (Keri Arthur) Riley Jensen books. Haven’t tried Ilona Andrews (yet) but love recommendations from other authors. I’ll definitely check them out.

    The Why? I don’t always get it right either, but its fun trying to figure it out. 🙂

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tia Nevitt, Gina Bernal and Gina Bernal, Kathy Ivan. Kathy Ivan said: Blogging today at Debuts and Reviews. Drop by if you can. […]

  11. Hi Kathy,
    Congrats on your new release! Have you read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series? Super steamy paranormal with a gritty, hip feel. She is a favorite of mine right now and I find myself envying her knack for deep third person POV that seems to come so naturally.

  12. Deborah Blake

    Congrats Kathy (and Tia!)–
    I was going to say Jim Butcher, too. Just finished CHANGES this morning. Go read it now, before you hear spoilers. Just sayin’.
    Also, fantasy authors Maria V. Snyder, Lisa Shearin and (YA) Tamora Pierce.

  13. Congrats on your release, Kathy!

    As a recommendation, have you read Laura Anne Gilman’s Retriever series? Really good!

    I, too, am a Jim Butcher fan. His books make me laugh out loud.

    Would write more here, but am holding baby in one arm and so am typing one-handed! 🙂

  14. Wow, I go work out and people show up!!!

    I adore J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Oh, if only I could write like that . . .

    I haven’t tried some of the other’s mentioned, but rest assured I’m making a list and adding them all to be tried. Must make room on my Sony! 🙂

    Kris, typing one-handed while holding the baby, that makes me smile just picturing it.

    Okay, Deborah, you’ve convinced me. Starting CHANGES tonight. Although I better not be up all night reading, I have to work tomorrow. 😉

    Again thanks everybody for stopping by. I appreciate your support.

  15. One lucky person has been drawn to receive a copy of Desperate Choices.

    Shelley Munro!!!

    Shelley, congratulations. Please e-mail me at and let me know what format you’d like and I’ll get it right out to you.

  16. Tia Nevitt

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway here, Kathy, and for bringing up a great topic!

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