Bookish Temptations is happy to host author Sydney Logan today during her Blog Tour for her latest novel, Mountain Charm.
A few days ago, I interviewed Sydney about her new book and am happy to share that conversation with you. Later today, my review of Mountain Charm will post here on the site. Sydney has also provided goodies for a giveaway which will also be announced here shortly.
Although Mountain Charm is Book 2 in her Appalachian Heart Collection series, it can be considered a stand-alone book. I’ve read both Mountain Charm and Lessons Learned and recommend them both. Sydney writes her stories with warmth and does an excellent job of connecting the reader to the Appalachia setting.
Hello Sydney. Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview for Bookish Temptations. I really appreciate having the opportunity to speak with you about your book, Mountain Charm.
Thank you for having me!
Mountain Charm is the second book in your Appalachian Heart Collection series. What inspired you to write these stories?
I haven’t found many stories that are set in Appalachia. Since I live here, I thought it would be a great chance to introduce readers to the area.
I’ve never visited Appalachia before. For those of us who aren’t familiar with the area, what do you want readers to know about the region?
It’s a beautiful region, full of history and tradition. Most importantly, I want to dispel the stereotypes associated with people who live in Appalachia. Sometimes, they are depicted as uneducated and uncivilized, which isn’t the case at all. We aren’t the Beverly Hillbillies. 🙂
I have to admit that after reading the first book in the series (Lessons Learned) I was expecting a sequel. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that while these two novels share a similar setting, they are completely unrelated stories. For those who have read Lessons Learned can you explain a bit about that?
Each novel was meant to be a stand-alone book. All they have in common is the setting. I do have plans to add to the collection in the future. Probably not with Book 3, though. I’m ready to get out of the mountains for a while. 🙂
Can you give us a clue about where your next book will be taking place?
I would really like to write a New Adult novel that takes place on a college campus. I have a plan. We’ll see if it works out.
What authors and books inspire you?
Nicholas Sparks, Alice Clayton, Madeline L’Engle, Jeannette Grey, and John Green are some of my favorite authors. I love a good love story with a happy ending, but I know that life isn’t always rainbows. (I cried for hours after reading The Fault in Our Stars). I like books that make me feel something or make me look at the world in a different way.
I agree with you completely about The Fault in Our Stars. I read it in one sitting and then spent the rest of the day sobbing.
I felt completely gutted after reading that book. I had avoided spoilers, so I had no idea. I assumed it would be an emotional read, but I was not prepared for the outcome. It’s the one book I’ve read this past year that’s just really stuck with me.
I’m always curious to hear about a writer’s process. What is your ideal writing space? What environment lends itself to opening up your creativity?
I write in my office. I’m a music lover, but I rarely listen to music when I write unless it’s instrumental music. Interestingly enough, I seem to be my most creative when I have insomnia. Most of Mountain Charm was written in the wee hours of the morning. As far as my process, I don’t outline. I’ve just never been that methodical about my writing. I do create a story map of sorts, with my beginning, climax, and conclusion planned in advance.
One of the first moments I connected with your main character, Angelina, was this one:
“There are moments in a person’s life that absolutely shake them to their core. Moments that make them re-evaluate their every thought, their every decision.
This was Angelina’s moment.
And she couldn’t muster the courage to step out of the car.
Instead, she flexed her trembling fingers around the steering wheel and tried to comprehend the scene right before her disbelieving eyes.”
Angelina is a not your typical country girl. At the beginning of the book I realized she is a young woman who has shouldered a great deal of responsibility despite her age, and yet she feels a sense of rebellion. What can you tell us about her?
Angelina is an old soul, and she’s just twenty-one years old. She’s had to handle a lot of heartache in her young life (abusive ex-boyfriend, her father’s death). Now she’s dealing with her mother’s illness and the day-to-day pressures of running a business in a small town. And now, she’s having to deal with a nosy reporter wanting to do a story on her family and their history. Not to mention, of course, that she’s a witch and really doesn’t want to be.
I’m glad you mentioned the supernatural element to Mountain Charm. This may have escaped my attention somehow, but is Appalachia famous for its witches? Or did you just want to write a story about a witch?
I don’t believe Appalachia is more famous than any other part of the country for its witchcraft. I just thought it would be cool to research witch doctors and mountain medicine and incorporate it into the book. I didn’t want the book to have a heavy supernatural feel. I wanted to make Angelina relatable, despite the fact that she was a witch.
Angelina’s complicated world is thrown into chaos by the arrival of a stranger named Dylan.
“It wasn’t as if the mountains weren’t pretty. With his trusty camera strapped around his neck, Dylan had taken some beautiful shots today. He’d even snapped a few with his phone and sent them to his mom back in Nashville. The country was gorgeous, but to live there for any extended period of time would require plenty of alcohol and quite possibly, a lobotomy.
Throughout the day, he’d heard nothing but wonderful things about the Clarks. The mom was a sweetheart, no doubt, but the daughter…
Well, the daughter was batshit crazy.
And beautiful. Really beautiful, with gorgeous blue eyes that seemed to flash with fire. With her long black hair and fiery temper, his attraction had hit him like a cannonball. In that split second, he’d wondered what it would feel like to hold her. To kiss her.”
To say that Dylan’s first encounter with Angelina was memorable would be putting it lightly, but he quickly realizes he can’t stop thinking about her. Can you share anything about Dylan and his strong feelings of attraction toward Angelina?
This assignment isn’t Dylan’s cup of tea at all. The last place he wants to be is stuck in the mountains researching Appalachian witchcraft, but his attraction to Angelina is immediate, so he decides to learn all he can about her. Dylan has a quick temper, which gets him into trouble a few times, but his intentions are always good. He falls very hard, very quickly for Angelina, and although at first he’s not sure what he thinks about the spell, he can’t deny that something brought them together.
One of the things I enjoyed about Mountain Charm was Angelina’s relationship with her mother and the parallel to Dylan’s connection with his mother. Can you tell us a bit more about these two mothers and how they feel about their children?
Celia, Angelina’s mom, has had to become both mother and father to Angelina during the past few years. Now with her illness, she’s trying to put on a brave front for her daughter. Some of the hardest scenes for me to write were when Celia’s treatments made her so sick. But she’s strong in spirit and in mind. As for Dylan’s mom, she’s had to be both mom and dad since he was a toddler. She raised him all alone and put herself through school. Now she’s a college professor. Both moms are strong and adore their children.
Now that you have published Mountain Charm, are you planning on writing anything else? Can you give us a hint about any of your upcoming projects?
I am currently working on my next book, but it’s very early in the process. It’s tentatively planned for release next summer. I would like to write a novella this fall/winter, as well. Hopefully the stars will align and I will be able to get it all accomplished!
Many thanks to Sydney Logan for this interview.
If you are interested in Mountain Charm you can visit here for ordering information: http://ph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/books/detail/91