I have an exciting post for you today, readers! My friend Kellyn is releasing her book Ivy Introspective, book two of the Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and I’m joining in her blog tour.
Be sure to read to the end, because I also got to interview her — and she has amazing answers, including the inspiration for the book, her favorite writing music, and some recommendations for reading!
about the book + author
In a world that doesn’t understand her, how can she grow?
Ivy Knight lives her life in a blur of confusion as the world passes her by in a tumultuous melody. She isn’t the perfect daughter or student, but as long as she can be with her family, she doesn’t mind watching rather than living.
Mrs. Chattoway treasures both of her granddaughters now that they’re reunited. When Ivy’s parents enroll her in a Scottish school for unique children, she’s happy to chaperone.
In a new place with a new guardian, Ivy discovers a special talent that helps her see the blurred world in a new way. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and Ivy becomes determined to find it — and help others do the same.
Ivy Introspective is a Christian women’s fiction novel with…
- a young girl and her grandmother learning to embrace who they are in Christ and conquer fear together
- mental health rep
- misunderstood musical prodigies
- misunderstood prodigies in general
- ergo, awesome Scottish accents
- sweet friend/snarky friend cliché
- recovery from emotional wounds
- strong families becoming stronger
- learning to develop healthy friendships
- being stronger and smarter than you think
Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from northeastern Oregon who loves border collies. A ranch girl with a love for storytelling, she’s been writing since she was seven and published since she was fourteen.
Kell lives in the country outside a small town in Oregon with her family, cat, and three puppy dogs. When not writing, she teaches writing and talks about writing, but she also enjoys other things. She just can’t think of any right now.
interview with Kellyn
Now we get to my favorite part of this post! I sent Kellyn 7 questions, and I loved reading her answers. (My questions are in bold.)
What inspired you to write Ivy Introspective?
I always knew I was going to write a story about Alice [the main character from book 1]’s sister, Ivy. So I did. I’d somewhat impulsively said she’d had mental issues in book 1 (darned little 14-year-old me!) — so I had to do the research. And once I did, I realized writing a story about her was going to be challenging at the least!
However, I was determined to do so — and more than that, to help her. Because it’s not easy having any minor learning disability or anxiety or anything of the sort even in today’s world. In the Victorian era, it was more like a death sentence.
So, slowly, I found a way to help! And that’s the story I wrote.
What was the hardest thing about writing from Ivy’s perspective? The most fun?
The hardest thing was definitely learning to understand someone who not only has a learning disability and anxiety, but who is just very different than me! Ivy is gentle and loving and cautious — I’m more like a big ol’ bulldozer. (My friends will tell you I’m just… incredibly brusque. I try not to be, but…)
Most fun? All the little music descriptions! I’m a band nerd. Also, the simple wholesome goodness of her. She’s my little sugarplum (or my trifle, I suppose), and I adore her and would probably die for her in real life. Also, her inner strength — that especially starts to come out in further books, and it’s so fun.
What music, if any, do you like to listen to while writing?
Alllllll the music. Like, if there’s a genre, I have listened to that genre while writing at some point! I’ll usually have a playlist for my novel filled with the most random stuff, and I’ll listen to that on loop for hours.
Are there any specific songs that inspired Ivy Introspective?
Hmmm… yes. Any number of them.
In early drafts, I relied highly on “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence, mostly for Violet. (I know, old emo music.) “The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy reminds me of … Violet and Ivy? Sort of? And Jordy would be into it if he lived in today’s world. Dr. McCale also has “Phoenix” vibes.
“Touch the Sky” from Brave was also just… I still listen to it. So pretty. So free. So Scottish.
“Priceless” by For King & Country was a big inspiration, as was “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns. Oh, and “Just As I Am.” I believe my favorite version is sung by Nichole Nordeman.
“So What” by BTS reminds me of Jordy. “VOICES” by Switchfoot and “Victorious” by Panic! at the Disco remind me of Violet. “Better When I’m Dancing” (Meghan Trainor) is just… quite Ivy. More recently, I’ve found that “Show Yourself” from Frozen II is a big Ivy song.
I’ve always used Halsey songs for Violet, a lot of K-POP for Jordy, and mostly gentler, upbeat tunes for Ivy.
One gap is that I really don’t have a ton of songs for Nora! I guess because by the time I decided to include her in the story, I had all the emotions I needed within me.
Do you have any book recommendations for people who enjoy your work?
Yes, mine. 😉 Just reread them. Maybe buy ten copies and surround yourself with the Kell-ness. Write fanfiction. You will thank me later.
In all seriousness, some authors I heavily recommend include… Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Maud Hart Lovelace, Gene Stratton-Porter, Kristi Ann Hunter, Roseanna M. White, Sarah Sundin, Tamera Alexander, Karen Witemeyer, and Regina Jennings. It is sorta a random list, but I’ve drawn inspiration from all of these lovely ladies! (If you haven’t already, y’all NEED to read the Betsy-Tacy series. Like I don’t know how anyone survived childhood without these.)
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Kellyn! I always love getting a behind-the-scenes look at people’s storytelling processes and the music they enjoy while writing.
If you enjoyed reading about Ivy Introspective and Kellyn’s inspirations, check out the rest of the blog and Instagram tour!
Rebecca Washburn // book review: Instagram @rebeccawashburnwriter
Maya Joelle // author interview: YOU ARE HERE 🙂
until next time!
That’s all for now, friends. Enjoy your day and week and don’t forget to check out Ivy Introspective, Kellyn, and the rest of the blog tour!
I’ll be posting again soon (hopefully) about the trip I took and some books I’ve read recently. Until then —