Author Ivy Smoak Interview
What inspires you to write?
I get inspiration from everywhere. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, so I keep a notepad by my bed. I’m a huge believer in the fact that you should write what you know. And even though I haven’t been in all the situations my characters have, all their reactions are mine. I put myself in their shoes to the point where I cry and even get depressed if they’re going through something hard. My husband thinks I’m insane. Kind of.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I am a total pantser – I don’t like to plot anything out. I like my characters to experience their own stories. I always feel like if I plan anything out, it won’t feel authentic. I have to write the characters reaction in the moment that something is thrown at them (a moment that is spontaneous since I’m not plotting). Half the time I don’t know how I have a finished, coherent manuscript. But I'm 20 books in and I don’t know how to do it any other way!
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
Oh the challenges. Honestly, I am super happy to be an author and an entrepreneur. I can’t even fathom what it’s like to go into an office anymore and work for someone else. There are so many pros to being an author, but there are challenges too. The main one is the creative energy it takes. I feel like everyone only has so many creative hours a day in them. But I have word count goals and even if my creative energy is spent, I will sit there angrily until I hit my daily word count. It can take an hour or six. But I will do it. The other challenge is the fact that everyone knows I set my own hours which can lead to people assuming you can just drop everything whenever. That’s not the case. Because of those word count goals. It can also be lonely, but I’m lucky that my husband also works from home. Oh and I’ve also become quite the hermit. I’m undecided if that’s a good or bad thing…
What are your current/future projects?
I always seem to go back to my characters in my first series – The Hunted. So it’s no wonder I’m currently writing a series about James Hunters’ adult life and his childhood. Also, James and Penny’s daughter, Scarlett, will be having her own series soon too. Even my stories that don’t have to do with James and Penny are all intertwined. Small cameos are my favorite!
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Absolutely! Probably the weirdest thing about my writing process is that I need to be super comfy. So you can usually find me in yoga pants and a comfy blanket on the couch. I really can’t write anywhere except for on the couch. A cup of tea never hurts either!
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Don’t give up! After getting some bad feedback on my first novel, I stopped writing for four years. I never should have stopped. I’m still kicking myself for not sticking with my dreams. I wished I’d had the confidence to believe in myself.
* What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
I respond to every single message I get, but I’m faster responding on social media than email.