Ivy Smoak

 The Truth in My Lies

Ivy Smoak

Did you always want to be a writer?

I’ve always loved reading. It was my passion growing up. And in college I started writing and I fell in love with the process. It quickly replaced reading as my #1 passion.

I loved the plot twist in your book “The Truth in my lies”. How hard is it to pull off such a plot twist and was the twist something you had planned from the very beginning?

I’m one of those weird authors who doesn’t outline. I want all my books to be character driven, so I let them drive the story. This wasn’t even originally going to be a thriller. The plan was to write a nice romantic suspense…but then Adeline took over the story.

Who are your literary influences?

Even though I primarily write romance, I actually prefer reading mysteries and thrillers. Harlan Coben is one of my all time favorite authors. I love un-spinning his webs of deception. JK Rowling and Ann Brashares have influenced me a lot too – books you read as a child sometimes have the greatest impact of all.

You write (and blend) various genres: romance, fantasy, psychological thriller. Do you have a favorite genre to write?

The Truth in My Lies was the first thriller I’ve ever written…and I’m obsessed. This is definitely my favorite genre to write right now. Although, thrillers and romantic suspense novels do feel heavier when I’m writing them and I have to be careful to not slip into the characters’ issues. My last romantic suspense – the Made of Steel series – really influenced my mood. My fiancé actually made me stop writing the series until after our wedding because it made me so sad. I do believe that every great book has to have a hint of romance though.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Keep writing! Give yourself a daily word count goal and always get it done. The first step to being a writer is actually writing.

Are you currently writing a book now? If so, can you give a brief synopsis of it?

I am wrapping up my Made of Steel series right now. It’s a romance-meets-suspense superhero novel. The main character has just entered the witness protection program. She is forced to hide behind the mask of her new identity and easily finds a connection with the New York City vigilante – the only other person who knows how it feels to hide his true self. But her past refuses to stay in the past. The clock is ticking and it’s only a matter of time before the darkness tries to swallow her whole. It’ll make your heart race in more ways than one.

If you could tell your younger writing self one thing what would it be and why?

Don’t give up. In college, I got denied by dozens of agents/publishers and I gave up writing for about 5 years. That’s one of my biggest regrets. I could have spent that whole time getting better, but I let others tell me that I wasn’t a good “fit.” Self-publishing was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It allows me to write whatever I’m passionate about and at whatever pace my creativity will allow. It’s a win/win for me.

Out of all the characters you have created, who is your favorite and why?

Penny – the heroine in The Hunted series. This was the first series I wrote without trying to fill any expectations, I just wrote from my heart. The book was influenced by my own college experiences and meeting my husband. Penny will always be the closest character for me because she’s the most like me.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?

It usually takes me between 2 and 3 months. Really it depends on how much inspiration I have for the novel. I have a manuscript graveyard of uncompleted projects. If I had continued writing them, who knows…maybe it would have taken me a year to finish them.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My husband is my number one fan. He reads all of my novels and gives me great feedback. He was actually the one that encouraged me to follow my dreams of becoming an author in the first place. I don’t know what I’d do without him. My friends and family though…I honestly don’t know. I don’t really like talking about myself (interviews are hard, haha) so my writing doesn’t usually come up very much in conversation. I didn’t even tell anyone I was writing until about a year after my first book was released.

“The Truth in my Lies” is a stand alone novel but you have also written books that are part of a series. Do you have a preference as to which you prefer to write (stand-alone vs. series)?

100% standalones. Since I don’t outline my novels, I have a hard time keeping facts straight in series. I have super messy Excel spreadsheets that I loathe. A standalone is so much cleaner. And I also have a really hard time ending series. When I was younger, I never wanted my favorite stories to end. And now that I have control over it? I’m pretty sure my most popular series – The Hunted – will never end.

What is one interesting fact about you that you would like your readers to know?

I feel like everyone tries to be so cool on social media…look at my beautiful writing space, look at this ridiculously cute outfit I wear while writing your fav characters, etc. That’s not me. At. All. My writing space is my couch. I wear sweatpants while I’m writing and sometimes I forget to wash my face before 2 in the afternoon. I am not a very social person. Actually, I’m a complete weirdo. And I hope that my readers love me anyway