Serendipity brought the two authors together more than 15 years ago when they were assigned to room together at a writers conference in Savannah, GA. Their friendship was cemented by arriving late to a publisher get-together and being forced to drag chairs across the lobby to join the gathering. It was the kind of thing that has happened more than once to the two friends.
Eve is a lifelong native Texan and Katherine moved there in 2005. Their love of the south has always been one of the many things the authors have in common. The best-selling, award-winning authors had long wanted to collaborate on a series and so Whiskey River was born.
They have filled the town with all the things they love about Texas. Sexy Texan tycoons and cowboys with smooth southern drawls, feisty women who go toe to toe with magnates and know how to keep those smooth talking cowboys in line. Experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country and the sexy men who live there with them.
How do you come up with your heroes?
Eve: I think about what they are, what they do, their profession, hobbies, background and a general idea of what they look like starts forming. Then I pick pictures on Pinterest, but sometimes I’ll think it’s one picture but the hero winds up being another. Sometimes I’ll know their backstory, but often it comes to me as I write.
Kathy: I always start with what I find attractive in a guy. I like them strong, a little-bit alpha, and determined to have the woman they want no matter the cost. Because family is at the core of every story I write I sometimes am mean and make the hero feel responsible for the loss of his family—trying to give him an extra barrier to overcome while he is falling for the heroine.
How has Pinterest influenced your writing?
Eve: 1)Pictures of good-looking men. What’s not to like?
2)Time sink—pretty pics, animal pics, funny things, clothes, houses, cakes, sand sculptures . . . hot guys . . .
3)Helps me visualize my characters, helps a lot with the setting and descriptions of the characters’ houses, place of business, etc. For instance I had to go looking for my hero’s horse in the next book. That was great. Now I have all sorts of horse pictures. I love all sorts of animal pictures.
4) Sometimes I’ll get an idea from some random picture on Pinterest.
- I love to find photos that really capture the emotion of my characters and then I pin them to the board.
- Then I add in quotes that capture what I think of as the core of my characters.
- I think Eve already covered this, but good-looking, hot guys. :)
- I love finding places that I didn’t know existed. Like for Whiskey River we found fields of lavender in Texas even though normally you think of fields of bluebells in Texas. :)
How do you get the ideas for your stories? (Yes, that question!)
Eve: Sometimes it’s a movie, or a TV show, or a song, or an article from a newspaper, or a conversation with a friend, or a conversation overheard:), or when I’m looking for something specific for one book something will catch my eye that I think might be interesting, so I put it in a file for later. Or there’s always surfing the web and clicking on links that lead to strange stories that you find when you click on each link and it sends you to more links and before you know it (usually hours later) you’re looking at an article on alien babies birthed by celebrities with bad plastic surgery results. What, I haven’t written that story yet? Well, I might. You can’t tell.
Kathy: The ideas of my stories come from everywhere. Usually from a combination of interesting news stories I’ve read, conversations with my hubby and kids, movies I watch, TV shows…pretty much everywhere. I have written a lot of books and so sometimes people are surprised I still have stories to tell, but I don’t think I’ve even come close to telling them all.
I’m also really nosey about people so I will watch them from behind my dark sunglasses and try to figure out why they are doing whatever they are doing. I have spent hours just watching people and being inspired by my version of their lives. :)
Where do you work?
Eve: Sometimes in my office. A lot of the time in my chair in the den. But if I really need to work and get a lot accomplished, then my office is the best place. With a laptop, though, you can work anywhere. I’ve written in the car while my husband drives when we go to Colorado. A long trip as I’m in Texas.
Kathy: I work wherever I can. I have an office which I use most every day for my daily page count, I either sit at my desk or in my big comfy chair. I’ve been using an app for the iPad called Hanx Writer (it’s named after the actor Tom Hanks). The app turns my iPad into a typewriter with the old typewriter sounds. I love it!
Sometimes I really need to get out of my regular space, especially if I’m distracted by a new book being released and then I go to the café and write. I find that I’m unwilling to sit on Facebook or play games when I think someone else might see me!
Describe your office
Eve: That depends on a lot of factors. I usually try to clean my office after I finish a book. Sometimes I manage to do it, but sometimes I don’t. I am not neat. I have piles of stuff to be filed, a bunch of SWAG for giveaways, books, of course. Notes! Notes everywhere on every kind of paper. Stickies everywhere, scratch paper that might have something important on it or might be junk. Small notebooks that are each supposed to be for a certain book or project. Yeah, I try but that doesn’t happen. They’re all jumbled up. I have a whiteboard with a bunch of colored markers. (I don’t always use it but it helps a lot sometimes.) Printers, TV, magazines, dog bed I just had to get rid of because cute little Ellie peed on it again. Sometimes my laptop is even in there!
Kathy: I have a huge counter top that I used as my desk. It’s set to my height and I have two monitors on it. On my desk are post-it notes from my husband and my kids. One reminds me to “stay fresh”—not sure what that means, but I do try! I also have stuff my friends have given me over the years and little figurines I collect. Above my monitor on the wall I have a quote by Carl Sandberg “Nothing happens unless first a dream” and an affirmation.
I have a bookcase to the left of where I sit that is jammed full of my favorite books on writing (Stephen King’s On Writing and Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer) and then my binders where I keep everything that is involved in my story. The synopsis, the letters from my editor, my research and then when it’s released reader letters.
What is a “best thing about writing”?
Eve: I can work in my pajamas, or my shorts, or my old shirt that should be thrown out. I don’t have to wear make-up. I can work anytime I want, and often do. Sometimes one a.m. Or during the day. Whenever I feel like it. (Well, unless life interferes and I have to do something else.) But to me the best thing is the feeling I get when everything is falling into place. The characters are talking to me, the plot is writing itself, I write a particularly touching scene. Or a funny one. Or one I know is good. When the writing is going well, there’s nothing else like it.:)
Kathy: Truth? It’s that I get to make up stories for a living. That’s it for me. I’ve always loved telling stories and the fact that I get paid to do it makes me very happy. Readers who take the time to write to me and let me know how my books helped them or cheered them up make all those hours by myself in my office worth it. I also really love that I am can call myself a writer. They are the most fascinating people I’ve ever met and I like being part of that group.
Thanks so much for joining us, Kathy and Eve, and thank you Book Lovers for visiting with us! Start reading the first book in the Whiskey River series, Where There’s a Will, now!