The Heart's Bidding by Jordan Riley Swan | Author Q&A

The Heart's Bidding
by Jordan Riley Swan

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance
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Kaylee Heart would rather run through a roaring fire than endure even a minute of public speaking. Put in an eighty-hour work week? No problem. Shut down her grandfather’s gold-digging girlfriend? Easy peasy. Stand in front of an auction crowd and call for bids? Show her the exit. 
So she has no idea how Gerald, the golden-voiced auctioneer she’s been crushing on at the local auction house, can find the courage to stand on stage every week, with all those eyes on him. But as cruel fate would have it, she is about to find out. 
Her family antique shop, the Vintage at Heart, has tripped over one financial hurdle too many and Kay is propelled, full speed, into her biggest phobia—the spotlight. 
With terror chasing her, she’ll have to fight to keep the family business from closing forever. Even if the battle takes place in front of a live crowd.

Author Q&A

What inspired you to write this book?
I work adjacent to the auction industry and own(ed) an antique shop. Over the years a few anecdotes would pop up and I sort of started mentally collecting them. I had just finished a book that will eventually be a massive series I’ll be putting out over the next few years and I needed to take a break and write a standalone that had nothing to do with the big project. A thought occurred to me, what if a person who hates public speaking (like me) was suddenly forced to have to be an auctioneer. The rest sort of fell into place. Several scenes in the book have real life (if majorly changed) counter part moments. It felt cathartic to share some of the moments with others. 

What can we expect from you in the future?
My big series, called The Anniversary Guy, will launch in late winter. I have an urban fantasy I’m collaborating on with Diane Callahan of the Quotidian Writer (my editor) and Hero Bowen out of the UK that involves wishes with a touch of romance and that will likely be out next summer. Lastly, I have a heist series that I’m also working in collaboration with the same two ladies that should come out spring next year. Ever since I shut my shop down due to Covid (I didn’t wanting to risk my employee’s health as most of them were in there sixties) I’ve finally had time to really get some stuff on paper. If things keep going the way they are I’ll be writing full time for the foreseeable future. 

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? 
I do. They will feature prominently in one of the Anniversary Guy books down the line. I like to think of that series as my MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) all my other standalone romance books will tie back into that series like Thor and Ironman in the Avengers. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Heart's Bidding? 
Our main Heroine is Kaylee Heart (The Heart’s Bidding… get it? huh? huh?) is a young lady who had to leave college to take over the family business after her parents passed in a tragic accident. 
Our hero is Gerald who recently graduate from auction school and has just finished his apprenticeship. And in a bad turn for Kay, she has a crush on him and he’s about to become her teacher. 

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? 
I thought, what would happen to me if I was forced to have to speak in front of a live crowd? Auctioneers have to do just that while fast-talking and entertaining at the same time. Since that sounded like my own personal hell, I thought why not put my heroine through it? 

Where did you come up with the names in the story? 
The heroine’s name is a nod to an auction buddy. The hero’s name was a fictional boyfriend we created for her after she started complaining about the men who would chase after her at the auction. Someone she could say was waiting at home for her to keep the lecherous old humps from hitting after her. They still hit on her anyway but at least they tried to hide it lest Gerald should happen to show up at the auction and beat the bids out of them. 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
Putting the words “the end” on it. LOL. Okay, maybe I also really liked sharing some auction stories that I’ve seen happen in real life. 

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick? 
For my heroine, she’s just trying to lay the track down in front of the train as its running break nexk speed. For my hero, he just wants to create something (whether that is an acution house or a family or both I’ll let the reader decide). 

How did you come up with the title of your first novel? 
It was going to be The Paddle Apprentice but that didn’t really sound like a good sweet romance title… I’m not saying it doesn’t sound like a GOOD romance, just not a clean and wholesome one. So I’m saving that for a future book (I better not see that on Goodreads you crazy authors!) and I came up with the name The Heart’s Bidding, because in the end, aren’t we all really doing the heart’s bidding? Just named my main Kaylee Heart and BAM! A double meaning title. 

Who designed your book covers? 
Bookfly Designs. I swear by them. 

Jordan Riley Swan is a wild word hunter living in the far and dangerous reaches of rural Ohio. He spends his nights tracking down big-game stories, capturing them in paper cages, and training them to be better tales. 
The Heart's Bidding was the first novel he'd dared to use the keys of his typewriter to release back into the wild. 

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