Thursday, May 18, 2023

Q&A with E.F. Dodd




E.F. Dodd is the author of the new novel A Higher Standard. Her other novels include Earning It.


Q: What inspired you to write A Higher Standard, and how did you create your characters Gideon and Everest?


A: I adopted an English Bulldog from a local rescue, Bullies 2 The Rescue, in August of 2021 and was just amazed at the work they do for animals in need. As with any other author, I knew there was a story there. The horse rescue aspect of the book came from my growing up with horses and still being a horse girl at heart.


The majority of my female protagonists are strong, independent ladies, because that’s what I was raised to be. Everest was a bit of an extreme version of that, because what she does is just so important to her that she can’t imagine her finger not being on the pulse of everything about it.


Gideon was fun to write, because he’s got an air of ease about him that’s really tested in the book as he experiences a bit of a shock to his system in the form of Everest. His reactions to her were some of my favorite parts to write. She overwhelms him in a way he just can’t resist!


Q: The story centers around a small town in North Carolina. How important is setting to you in your writing?


A: Setting to me is like an additional character in the book, because it really provides so much to the story. As an example, this book would not have worked absent the small town/big city contrast.


Q: How would you describe the relationship between Everest and Gideon?


A: In my mind, it’s a relationship of equals despite vast differences in circumstances. They are both people who love what they do and are dedicated to it. Each of them admires that in the other, even if it is a tad begrudgingly at first on Everest’s part. Their drive and ambition are a part of what helps form the attraction between them.


It’s also each of their first real experiences with love. Everest because she’s never given it much thought and Gideon because the majority of his past relationships have been more about convenience than any real feeling. So, even though these people are in their 30s, they are each other’s first loves. 


Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I don’t think there’s a word in the book that stayed the same between drafts! The only thing I knew for certain is that the book would end on an HEA [happily ever after], without any real idea of how to get these two crazy kids to that point.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: This book is the first in the Standard of Love series. Prior to this, I published two other books in the (Not) Looking for Love series and am currently working on the third book in that series. It will be out later this year – hopefully in October.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Business-wise, I’d say that all my books are on KU [Kindle Unlimited]. Business aside, just that I so enjoy hearing what readers think of all my books and can’t wait for everyone to meet Everest and Gideon!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with E.F. Dodd.

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