When we started this collaborative project I decided I wanted to write about a character I would love to interact and doing things that made people gasp and laugh. My character Ivy Westin is just that person. She can be completely off the cuff and says things without thinking, which often ends up offending someone. But she’s always honest—a trait her friends value in her.
Ivy is in inspiration of experiences from my own life and people I know. Ivy is a bit of a party girl—she likes to have a good time. And even though she’s outgoing, she often needs a drink in her hand to overcome her shyness. She is a small town girl from Ohio who moved to the big city after college where she had the time of her life. Now, she’s trying to connect the dots post-college and find a guy she actually likes, but it turns out to be a bigger challenge then she imagined.
As far as my story goes, I’m outgoing like Ivy and like to have good time. I value, friends, family and new experiences whether that’s traveling to Russia or going skydiving. I like to push my limits. I constantly sign up for things to do that I’m terrified of and it’s always worth it.
I grew up with five siblings who taught me a few key things: never be late for dinner, you have to roll with the punches and how to get along with anyone. My three brothers taught me to be tough at a young age and how to stand up for myself. I never wanted to back down from a challenge with them that’s how I skied down my first double black diamond and decided to bungee jumped off a bridge in New Zealand. I always figured if they could do it, so could I.
My two younger sisters were my live baby dolls who I got to play with, dress up and as they grew up I got to share insights I had learned along the way with them. My sisters are some the quirkiest, hilarious, fun-loving people I’ve ever met and they never fail to make me smile. The relationships I cultivated with my siblings is one I tried to find in my friends. The focus of these friendships is around trust, loyalty, love and most importantly fun. Everyone has those people in their life who can make them laugh so hard they cry and for me those people are my siblings and close friends. That’s also the core of the friendships the four main characters in our book share. Ivy goes through her ups and downs, but she always has her best friends by her side making every problem solvable or at least laughable until the pain passes and that’s what true friendship is all about.