Miranda Owen: As
with other books in this Six Pack Ranch
series, Family is a major theme in ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOME. Are the tight-knit
Colemans anything like your family? Was it difficult making a family that is so
lovable without crossing the line and making them artificially sweet?
Vivian Arend: My family is not nearly as…prolific…as the
Colemans. But I do admire my papa as a solid, wise man, so Mike Coleman might be
a little like him.
For the most part, though, I write a family in a way I think is real. People who
are caring, but can make mistakes. They see the big picture and are willing to
forgive, but they don’t blindly do so without proof the troublemaker has really
changed their ways.
And of course, Marion Coleman is going to go all mama bear for her kids, even
when she knows they’ve screwed up. She’s their mom!
Miranda Owen: Jesse Coleman is a character haunted by guilt, as well as
being a super-hot cowboy. What is the appeal in writing about cowboys?
Vivian Arend: Cowboys spend a lot of time in their own heads,
which makes them wonderful to torment as a writer. Gives all that time while
they’re doing repetitive tasks for their own stupidity to hit them upside of the
head. And I love how cowboys are used to working with their hands, and ready to
get down and dirty—which nicely applies to so many other things that the
heroines are definitely interested in! Ahem.
Miranda Owen: One thing I really like about the romance that evolves
between Jesse and Darilyn is that, despite an unexpected pregnancy, Jesse and
Darilyn never really lash out at each other. Even though they struggle with some
internal doubts, there is a feeling that they’re in this together. I love
stories in which the hero and heroine work together toward some common goal and
present a united front. Do you prefer writing stories like that, or ones in
which the hero and heroine have some initial friction between them
Vivian Arend: When I’m writing I try very much to get into the
heads of the people I’m writing about, and because they become real to me, I can
feel when their tipping point approaches. You know what I mean, that moment when
it would be too much drama, too much heartache, too much hurt. If you add up all
the things Jesse and Dare were already dealing with: an unexpected pregnancy
with a person they don’t really know, Dare’s past losses, Jesse’s relationships
with his family to fix—there was so much going on they needed a place to stand
that was solid while dealing with the rest of the world. That solid place this
time was each other.
In other stories, when the outside world isn’t as overwhelming, I think the hero
and heroine can overcome a lot more interpersonal strife without making it
OMGDRAMALAMA. In that case, I have no problem tossing them into the fire.
Miranda Owen: Your heroines are all very different types of women but I
love how they seem very real, and have a lot of backbone. Darilyn, in ROCKY
MOUNTAIN HOME, is another example of this kind of fab female character. Are any
of your heroines based in any small part of yourself or your family or
Vivian Arend: I can’t say that I base any of the heroines on a
specific real person, but I do write women I would like to be friends with. Some
are more shy, some bold, some brash, but at the core, they’ve all got big hearts
and they really want the best for others, especially their heroes. That kind of
love gives anyone a solid back bone and strength of character.
Miranda Owen: Since ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOME is the last book in your Six
Pack Ranch series, are you satisfied with how the series has ended? Were
you able to tell all the stories you wanted? If you had to choose, do you have a
favorite book, hero, heroine, couple?
Vivian Arend: I’m very happy with this final novel and the
series overall. I’ve really tried to make them books fit the characters, and
that even with a big family, each cousin had different hopes and dreams, and
that made their books completely different.
Did I tell all the stories I wanted? Nope! Which is why I’ll be
writing more cowboys in the future.
My favorite? Every single one, for more than one reason, but if
I had to pick a reason to share:
Blake & Jaxi in ROCKY MOUNTAIN HEAT: because they started the
love, and I respect Blake, and would be BBF w Jaxi.
Daniel & Beth: because I had a reader write to tell me she
left an abusive relationship for the sake of her children after reading ROCKY
MOUNTAIN HAVEN. She was safe, they were safe, and she knew she deserved more.
Matt & Hope: because I love how people from small towns GET how
small the dating pool is.
Gabe & Allison: because I love a good guy hero, and I love a
sacrificial love like Allison shows in ROCKY MOUNTAIN ANGEL
Joel & Vicki: because standing up to people you love to find
your own HEA takes courage, and in ROCKY MOUNTAIN REBEL reputation and truth get
looked at closely.
Travis, Cassidy & Ashley: because people who would NEVER read
about two men falling in love, let alone two men, and one woman, tried ROCKY
MOUNTAIN FREEDOM, and they saw that love was love.
Steve & Melody: because starting over can be a tough thing, but
in ROMANCE we see it’s worth the fight.
Lee & Rachel: because being snowed in at a cabin is one of my
favorite tropes ever, and I love a hero in pursuit like Lee in ROCKY MOUNTAIN
Trevor & Becky: because the storyline is real—love is more than
sex. Becky is a fighter to the core, and Trevor is her SHELTER in all the ways a
man can be.
Rafe & Laurel: because being in love forever and growing
together is powerful, and we see that in ROCKY MOUNTAIN DEVIL. Faith is a part
of who we are, even if we’re not religious.
Jesse & Dare: because at the end, like in ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOME,
it’s our family that wraps up love in a bow. Whatever that family looks like,
two people, more—we choose our true family.
Miranda Owen: One of the things that I love so much about your Six
Pack Ranch series, as well as the Thompson & Sons series, is the
way you maintain a balance between drama, fun, and sexiness. Is maintaining that
kind of balance something you
consciously try to do?
Vivian Arend: Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy the balance, but I
have no idea how it happens. Consciously doing it would require I actually plot,
right? *looks around* I don’t deliberately do it. I just write a book that I’d
like to read, and so far, it’s worked.
Miranda Owen: Can you say how many books will be in the new spin-off
Heart Falls series?
Vivian Arend: I’m starting with a quartet of books involving
the Stone family, to begin with. But this series will be a little different as I
plan to include Christmas novellas and summer stories for other heroes and
heroines from the town of Heart Falls as well. So…short answer is right now I
have plans for two mini-series (four books, three books) plus four other
standalone happily-ever-afters. We’ll see how quickly I fall in love with
everyone I meet and just HAVE to get them the right sweetie to make them happy!
Miranda Owen: What are you currently working on?
Vivian Arend: I’m working on a number of things! More
cowboys—The first Heart Falls book, A RANCHER’S HEART is ready to go for
November! The second book, A RANCHER’S SONG, will be out early 2018. I’ve got a
light-hearted mystery series that will be starting in 2018 as well. The Jack
Of All Trades stories will be set all over the US and Canada, with a
mysterious protagonist and a lot of light-hearted mayhem. And I have a few
paranormal novellas I’m playing with in my spare time- the bears and wolves are
With over 1.6 million books sold, Vivian Arend is a New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary and paranormal romance
books, including the Six Pack Ranch and Granite Lake Wolves.
Her books are
all standalone reads with no cliffhangers. They’re humorous yet emotional, with
sexy-times and happily-ever-afters. Vivian pretty much thinks she’s got the best
job in the world, and she’s looking forward to giving readers more HEAs. She
lives in B.C. Canada with her husband of many years and a fluffy attack Shitzu
named Luna who ignores everyone except when treats are deployed.
1 comment posted.