guest post,  writing life


Q: In a previous interview you mentioned that you listen to music when you write to set the mood. Did you continue this tradition with Forged? What music helped set the mood for this gritty tale of lost love?

Hello Annie and thanks for hosting me again! Yes! I did listen to music while writing Forged, and as you can imagine the playlist was quite different from The Legend of Lady MacLaoch – for those who don’t know, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch is a Scottish romance – I listened to Black Keys (old and new stuff), True Blood Soundtrack, Cee Lo Green, The Cardigans, etc. Here’s a clip of the one song that played for the majority of the love scenes. ;0)

Note, the sound quality on the CD is fathoms better than the YouTube version, and at 100db on a rocking set of headphones, it’s luscious.

Q: There was a fantastic connection between Eve and Nate. Was there anything from you personally or from research that helped forge that bond? Did Eve and Nate just demand that we feel and “see” the connection to further enjoy their adventure?

Yes, Eve and Nate came to me like that. Before I got started writing Forged I got a bee in my bonnet from girlfriends talking to me about their first loves and wondering, where they are now? My husband and I are first loves (very rare I know…) and for the first few years of our relationship we separated at our college summer breaks. I went home to Maui and he stayed in Oregon. A lot of that pain and angst that they feel I channeled from my early years when we left each other. Regarding the chemistry between the two, they came with that all by themselves. But, I should mention, my family are highly passionate people, both vocally and in the bedroom (my cousin for example knocked up his wife who had been previously diagnosed as infertile). So that type of chemistry wasn’t foreign to me. 

Q: Do you research, act out scenes to make sure they feel and sound right?

Are you spying on me? How’d you know that’s what I do?? :0)  

Aston Martin DB9 [via]

Yes, I do research, but in the most awesome way possible. For example when researching the Aston Martin DB9 – yes I did a touch of Wiki searching my main source of info was from the brilliant BBC television show Top Gear. They drive the shit out of the cars they get and whilst driving them, hold a commentary about how it’s handling, feels, and overall vibe. This is something that cannot be got from Wikipedia data gathering. Though, in reality I would have loved to have climbed into the drivers seat of the DB9 and drove it like a bat outta hell through the coastal range like Nate and Eva do in the book. Instead, I combined my knowledge of cars in general with the DB9 and wove together what it would have been like. Note, I did drive a similar section of the coastal range like a bat out of hell (and been a passenger when the person I was with was using Nate’s rule: if you’re not slidin’ you’re not drivin’) in a stick, front wheel drive two door inline 4. I just made that last part up to make it sound fancy, but it was just a Ford Focus. The Focus though, shouldn’t be mocked, as I’ve experienced, the the smaller the car the more you feel like you might die at lower speeds (read: more exhilarating). For example a Ford Focus doing 50mph through a tight turn can feel like death is eminent, where as in a luxury car (take a BMW 5-series for example) taken at twice the speed you might feel the same. So, small cars are safer and more exhilarating. Which, I might add is a large tangent from your original question. :0)

Q: Do you still consider yourself a romantic? Previously, with The Legend of Lady MacLoach you said you realized you were a romantic. Do you, expanding on your assessment that you like to “take unlikely people and make them fall in love”, feel that you did that with Nate and Eve?

Oh absolutely. Nate and Eve are complete opposites, and the bond that cements them together is the love they share for each other. I’m absolutely infatuated with opposites attracting, it’s what gets me giddy inside. We’ll see more of that from my future writings, no doubt.

Q: This novel takes place in Portland, Oregon. The setting for many famous books, movies and television (Grimm is currently shot in the Portland area for fans of that show) shows. If the city were ever to create a tour of famous and popular novel scenes and television/movie scenes that have taken place in Portland and the surrounding areas, do you think you would be able to have parts of Forged on the tour? Are there real places in Portland you wrote about or was it more the feel of a city you were familiar with?

Speaking of Grimm, I actually got to watch the making of one of the episodes. They were filming in a girlfriend of mine’s neighborhood and I cruised by at lunch for a peek! See pic below.

The car of main character in Grimm and a ‘prop’ police car!

As far as Forged goes, yes, nearly all the scenes were set in real places. Though of course the construction on the bridge that the end scene happens on is fictionalized. It was the Broadway that was getting major reconstruction, which gave me the idea to set it on the Fremont (one of the taller bridges in Portland). Also, Nate’s auto shop is based loosely on Pro Tek Automotive off of Sandy where I take my BMW and the locations of where Nate and Eva live are real places.

Q: What’s next for you? Are you already writing another novel?

Yes! I am writing another novel! After much demand (read: death threats) this winter I’ll be writing the sequel to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, we head back to Scotland for round two of the adventure. In this new book I’ll introduce to readers new characters such as Minory relatives that Cole uncovers, a little old woman who reads tea leaves, a handsome undergraduate researcher and a woman from London that Rowan should not have forgotten about…

Thanks again Annie for having me! 


Becky Banks is the award-winning author of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. Her newest novel, Forged releases October 26th. Get it FREE all week on the Kindle, October 22nd – 26th.

Available through Amazon Oct. 26.

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