It’s strange to think my debut came to fruition back in September 2014. There is so much of “me” woven throughout the pages of Love Nouveau, from Ivy’s snark to her keen appreciation for art. So I thought it’d be fun to share a few things about Love Nouveau that you may not have known!
1. I had a concentration in Art History back in undergrad. The class Ivy references in the prologue is an actual class I took my senior year in college. I actually referenced some of my old notes from art history classes throughout the book.
2. The “dirty 90’s rap song” that played at the house party? It was this little ditty. I also know the song that Phoenix and Ivy were dancing to later in that chapter. Perhaps one day I’ll spill. 😉
3. Love Nouveau was originally titled Instinct is Enough. A nod to the Anatole France quote on the door of the gallery.
4. The “Chicago-centric” meaning behind Ivy’s name was a happy accident. And I absolutely ADORE how it played out.
5. While I personally did not attend the University of Wisconsin, I am an incredibly huge fan of the town. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in Madison training on the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon course and supporting my husband and friends as they’ve raced there. And yes, I’ve raced the full 140.6 mile distance before. It was during my time there that I fell in love with the town and I knew I had to write about it.
6. You know Matt’s apartment in Old Town? It was my first apartment in Chicago.
7. The entire scene set in New York City was inspired by this song. sElf also happens to be one of my most favorite bands in the universe.
8. Originally the sisters were twins named Holly and Ivy as a wink to my love of all things Christmas. In the end, I just couldn’t get behind the name Holly for this character and wanted to space them out a bit in age to add some depth to a back story (which you don’t know about … yet!).
9. Each time I sat down to write, I would listen to this song to put myself in Ivy’s mindset. It quickly became my heroine’s anthem.
10. The first infamous date was nearly a run in at Monona Terrace with a nod to Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine.” If you’ve ever been there (or know anything about good ole Otis), the Terrace has a tribute to him since he died in a plane crash en route to Madison.
11. The audiobook of Love Nouveau nearly didn’t happen. I had posted a script for auditions and there was only one narrator who I initially felt could take on the role of Ivy. And then things fell through with her as we couldn’t see eye to eye on the contract. I had literally given up hope and then Andrea Emmes sent in an audition. And holy shit … everything happens for a reason because this woman is THE voice of Ivy to a freakin’ T. Absolute perfection. Her read gives me chills as she perfectly captures her emotion and essence.
12. Having lived in Chicago, I had exact buildings in mind when I wrote certain scenes. And Ivy’s family house is a beautiful property off Astor Place in Chicago’s Gold Coast that I used to walk by on my way home from work.