Interview with Jane O'Brien, Author of Ivy and Fox

June 2, 2018

I was privileged to invite Ms. O'Brien for an interview with BooKecCenTric to discuss her latest bookIvy and Fox. Enjoy!


Thank you @JaneO'Brien for your time today. Let’s talk about Ivy and Fox. What’s it about, and what inspired you to write it?
@JaneO'Brien: Ivy and Fox is the third book in a series called The Unforgettables. Each book touches base with a famous person from West Michigan, who is in some way fictionally connected to Ivy's family tree. Through her genealogy research she discovers her ancestors' love stories and it fuels her own.

Who is your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?
@JaneO'Brien: At first, I thought these books were for women, but I have found that men like the mystery and suspense, too.  My target audience is someone who enjoys history flashbacks, while still enjoying a spicy romance in the present.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?
@JaneO'Brien: I believe the main focus of most of my books is that family is important, and who came before us paved the way for who we are today. If it weren't for them and their sacrifices, and a few twists of fate, our lives would be totally different.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
@JaneO'Brien: The most difficult thing is always the ending, and since I thought Ivy and Fox was the end of the series, I struggled with it, because I did not want to let my 'babies' go, but it soon became clear that there was more to come. I had some unfinished business that I needed to attend to, so I am now writing book four in the series, in hopes of finally wrapping up the loose ends.

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?
@JaneO'Brien: I usually put a little something of myself in my books and this one was no different. I am romantic and very sentimental, and I am sure only my family would recognize what parts are actually me. But I did discover that I have missed a close connection to grandparents and perhaps that is why I wrote about Ivy's family. By creating a family for her, I was creating one for myself.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?  
@JaneO'Brien: I love the smell and feel of real books, and as a former librarian, I always said I would never give up reading an actual book, but I have to admit to being hooked on my Kindle. I miss walking through the stacks, though, searching for my next treasure, but ebooks are just so darn convenient.  I can't give them up.

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
@JaneO'Brien: My niche is romance with a hint of mystery. I don't know if I can write in another genre. I'm not good at fantasy, murder, or comedy. As a matter of fact, even writing a few funny lines is difficult. So I guess I'll stay in my lane for now.

What books and authors have most influenced you?
@JaneO'Brien: I have been very influenced by Sandra Dallas, Nicholas Sparks, and James Michael Pratt. I love sweet love stories that sometimes bring a tear to the eye. One of my all time favorite books is The Diary of Mattie Spencer by Sandra Dallas. I felt like Mattie was me when I was reading it, even though it was about a pioneer woman. Mattie loved quilts and herbs and so do I. It was amazing.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know about you?
@JaneO'Brien: I am a senior citizen who published my first book only four years ago, and now I am working on my tenth. I am having the time of my life. If there is something you always wanted to do, plunge in and do it. Nothing is impossible. You may not be the best, but who cares if you're having fun.

Do you have any more books in the works?
@JaneO'Brien: I am working on the fourth book of The Unforgettables now, called Georgi and Jack. It should be out sometime this summer. I also recently completed a Christmas novella that I am saving for next year.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
@JaneO'Brien: I definitely read them. And I listen to constructive criticism. Yes, the bad ones hurt, but then I remind myself that not everyone will like the story line or my writing style. I can't possibly please them all. Still ----

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?
@JaneO'Brien: If they have a question about my book, I like them to write to my email address at I always answer back. But my Facebook page and Goodreads is good for quick comments.


Jane O'Brien resides in West Michigan where she was born and raised. She is married and the mother of two daughters, both authors in their own right. She's had a variety of jobs and hobbies including: piano teacher, librarian, genealogist, gardener, and quilter.

O'Brien loves to write about her experiences living along the Lake Michigan shoreline as a youth, and then later in the woods near inland lakes and rivers. She takes pride in being able to introduce her readers to her beautiful state. She has recently moved back to the lake shore.

Website link: