Sunday, September 26, 2010

Desperate Choices with Kathy Ivans

Available September 27!
Heather has graciously allowed me to guest blog while she’s away.  My first instinct is, of course, to do a Rah! Rah! post about my book release.  But, since I’ve been blogging all month about that, I decided on a bit of a change of pace here.  I’ll still give you all the pertinent details about the book and where you can find it at the end of this blog, so you can immediately rush over and buy your copy.  J 

Instead, I thought I’d talk about inspiration.  People often ask me where I come up with my story ideas.  It’s hard to explain; just about everything around me can be a story.  From a conversation I happen to overhear, maybe a snippet of a news broadcast, a movie or TV show.  I have to admit, I love to watch all of those news-type shows like 48 Hours Mysteries, 20/20, etc.  I am also a “Snapped” junkie.  For those who might not have heard of it, Snapped is a television show on the Oxygen Network.  It profiles cases of women (and occasionally a few men) who have been accused of or have committed murders. 

I find the entire program fascinating.  They profile the person, their trial and the outcome.  Sometimes the strangest things can be the impetus for someone’s death.  While watching the program, my mind will begin the “what if” game and story ideas grow.  You’ll find the reason each person kills is unique and different, yet the underlying theme runs true.  Even with the protestations of innocence, which they always swear they are, the bottom line is always the same.  Death.  

Sometimes the reason is adultery.  Sometimes jealousy.  Sometimes its money.  Or abuse.  Or family.  Whatever the reason, whatever the provocation, the end result is always the same.  Death. 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a proponent of murder.  I’m a fairly happy, cheerful person.  That said, I find the psychology surrounding murder particularly interesting.  When writing suspense, there’s always a Who Done It.  With me, along with who done it, I really want to know WHY.  Why Did They Do It?  I write romantic suspense, so blend in the who and why along with the love and sex and you have a completely enthralling story for me. 

What about you?  Do you just like to know who done it or are you equally fascinated by why?  I like to see the complete picture.  We can sometimes have a fully realized and wonderfully written story but that single puzzle piece can be missing.  I love adding that extra layer, delving the psychological intent, whether it’s a murder, a kidnapping, or a paranormal element that is the cherry on top the sundae.   Writing romantic suspense means I can always give the reader a happily ever after ending.  That light at the end of the tunnel.  The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  After I’ve tortured the characters and put them through emotional and physical hell, to give them a satisfying and happy ending makes the storytelling worthwhile and fulfilling. 

Okay, now about the book.  Desperate Choices is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements.   

Here’s the back cover: 

When psychic Theresa Crawford’s former beau walks into her New Orleans New Age shop, she senses trouble. Big trouble. Max Lamoreaux hasn’t come to discuss their relationship—the private investigator is on a case, and he needs Theresa’s help.

Max’s godson is missing. The police have declared Tommy a runaway, but Max’s gut tells him otherwise. While he’s highly skeptical of Theresa’s abilities, her visions provide the only clue as to who’s taken Tommy. The longer Max works with Theresa, the harder it is to resist his desire for the sexy woman.

As they inch closer to finding Tommy, Max and Theresa also discover that time hasn’t diminished their powerful attraction. But Theresa harbors her own dark secrets from her past. Secrets that broke them up before—and could drive them apart again, unless Theresa can learn to trust Max with everything….

There’s also a book trailer for Desperate Choices at my website:

Desperate Choices is available from Carina Press on September 27, 2010.

Thanks for having me here today.  As I always say, love what you write and write what you love. 

Kathy Ivan


  1. Very cool book trailer, Kathy! I'm definitely intrigued!

    A lot of times, I get story ideas from quotations or snippets of songs. But they do pop into my head at the weirdest times.

  2. I chose "anywhere but here, anywhen but now" because I love to be taken to a different time and place when I read. Any time, past or future. Any planet, this one or imaginary.

    Your novel sounds very compelling!

  3. I am jealous of your ability to turn the little things into a story plot and can hardly wait for tomorrow.

    I also love the cover - it has such a strong sense of New Orleans - something about it just draws you in!!

  4. Thanks, Liz, Tia, and Chris. It's amazing the smallest things that can spark that idea for a story. I can't wait for tomorrow, either. RELEASE DAY!!!

  5. Great trailer. Love your cover too. Best wishes for your release day tomorrow.

  6. I definitely like the "why" as much as the "who". I think it was Sayers who had Lord Peter Wimsey say something like concentrate on the "how" and leave the motivation (the "why") to empty-headed juries. But Harriet (his wife), being a detective story writer, spoke up for readers' interest in motivation. Of course, my memory could be absolutely failing, but I'm definitely in favour of stories that explore "why".

    And I have to shout out in favour of happy endings :)

  7. I think the why is always fascinating. Different things motivate people in different ways. Like you, I find some great ideas for stories while watching TV.

  8. Thanks Janni, Jenny and Shelley for dropping by and reading my post. Monday is the "big day"; the book release. Hoping you enjoy reading the story as much as I did writing it.


  9. Kathy, yes, I want to know why. Not only why for this murder, but what happened in the murderer's past that set him or her up to be wired to commit murder. To me, the psychology of it is fascinating. Your new book sounds intriguing. Best of luck with your launch and sales!