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A Higher Standard: An Interview with Author E.F. Dodd

E.F. Dodd is back with her sizzling new novel, A Higher Standard! Gideon West, a real estate developer and one of Boston's most desirable bachelors, finds himself at odds with Everest Kennedy when he comes to her small town to purchase the land next to her horse rescue. The tense friction between them quickly transforms into something different and unexpected in the May 16 release.

To learn more about the story behind the story, read A Good Book To End The Day’s interview with the author below.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

Reading has been the most influential thing in my writing. I started reading early and haven’t stopped since. I love the romance genre, but enjoy suspense and crime novels, too.

Tell us about A Higher Standard and the inspiration behind the book.

This is my third novel and revolves around Everest Kennedy and her equine rescue, Second Chance Farms. She’s a hometown girl in Mimosa, NC, who wants to expand her operation. That expansion runs into a snag by the name of Gideon West, a developer from Boston who wants to buy the property next to the farm. Sparks fly between them in more ways than one in this enemies-to-lovers romance.

I adopted an English Bulldog from a local rescue, Bullies 2 The Rescue, back in August of 2021. Seeing the work that the volunteers for that rescue put into saving as many dogs as they can really inspire me to include something along those lines in my next book. I grew up with horses and still love spending time with them, so that’s where Second Chance Farms came from.

What part of the book was the most fun to write?

I love the banter between Everest and Gideon. It’s sarcastic and, if I do say so myself, pretty freaking witty. It changes as they get to know each other, but it still has that bite to it that I enjoy.

If I were a Hollywood producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the leads?

For Gideon, I think Theo James would be good, or Ryan Eggold. You can never go wrong with Ryan Gosling, either. For Everest, I love Elizabeth Olsen and Emma Roberts. Emma Roberts' delivery of snarky lines makes me think she’d be perfect, and her famous aunt could give her a few pointers about being a redheaded heroine in a romcom if she needed them.

Do you have any other projects in the works at this time?

I do, actually. The first series I wrote, (Not) Looking For Love has two books currently out (Risky Restoration and Earning It), and the third in that series will be released in October.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

I can’t remember the exact quote I’ve heard, but it goes something like, “You can’t edit a blank page.” Essentially, just write! Even if you think what you’re putting down on paper is complete garbage, it’s a lot easier to edit that than it is to stare at a blank page. If you have an idea, write it. Revisions can come later but put what you want to say down on paper. That’s the first, and sometimes, the hardest step. But once you take it, you’re on the way!

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I’m pretty active on Instagram since my dog Beef is adorable and very photogenic. I also respond to every e-mail I receive from readers and love doing it. My e-mail address is efdoddwrites@gmail.com.

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