Part of my blog is asking the advice of both published and unpublished author's It's a different look at both sides of the fence and being a newbie myself, i really connected with Olivia's answers.
Blurb: Devan Stowe had only one thing on her mind when she teamed up with Kent Crosby and his men; putting an end to her own father’s dirty business of selling children. Her fixation sends her on a journey of discovery of the true energy within her self and in the process connects her to the one man she was destined to love. In his arms she’ll learn to trust herself, unlocking an amazing gift that will free her from her past and open up a future of magic, faeries and otherworldly creatures…
If you click on the picture of Olivia you'll be directed to her Facebook Page --------->
Can you tell us a little bit about what your WIP (Work in progress) is about?
I’m working on a trilogy called Bend-Bite-Shift. Book 1 Witch Way Bends was finished just over a month ago. It’s the story of Devan Stowe who’s on a mission to end her father’s trafficking of children. When she teams up with Kent Crosby she discovers she’s actually a fabled faery-witch and the children her father sells are actually desired by a coven of vampires for the magic of their blood. In the end she’ll learn the strength of her own inner-being and also the power that can be had by connecting with true love.
I just started Bitten Shame, Book 2; which is the story of Devan’s best friend Jill Prescott. Jill’s journey began years before Bend when she became a paid companion to a very sexy vampire known as “Doc”. Book 3, Shifty Business will be the story of a shape-shifting witch named Gerry who works for Kent alongside a mouthy, hot-headed dhampire named Nicky.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
Because of the voices of course! My mom likes to tell the story of when I was a little girl on the “potty seat” and she would listen to me carry on an entire conversation with my imaginary friends. *blushing*
These days the voices talk to me in dreams. I think it’s just what I am. I started turning dreams into stories when I was around thirteen or so, writing them in spiral notebooks almost constantly. By high school I was typing out “historical” romances on our home computer and passing them around to my friends. When I got to college, the writing somehow faded away. It wasn’t until last year that I remembered how much I really missed it. Now it feels so good to weave these thoughts onto paper, I almost can’t imagine not doing it.
What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in writing?
Time. Although I’m not a mom like so many of my fellow writers, I’m pretty busy. I work full-time as a legal assistant, I’m active in a local grassroots movement, I’m the social chairperson for my property owner’s association and I work closely with my husband’s pilot’s association. It seems like there always something going on for us, not to mention our newest addition to our family, a Corgi-mix puppy named Bonnie.
What’s the easiest?
Writing dialogue. I love writing dialogue and sometimes I wonder if I put too much of it in my stories. I probably neglect being descriptive to an extent because I focus so much attention on either vocal discussions or even mental ramblings. Probably has something to do with the fact that I’m sort of a “gabber.” I can be pretty chatty when I get going.
How did you come up with your characters?
My female characters have a strong connection to “me.” Devan’s probably a lot like me because she doesn’t put enough stock in herself. She’s pretty, but not gorgeous. She’s sharp and can make good decisions, but she doesn’t trust herself. It’s been a little tougher to write Jill because she’s different. She’s a bombshell and she knows it. She’s also bubbly and sometimes gives in to immaturity. But even she has to find her real self and has to come to understand that she has more brains than she gives herself credit for… I guess for my female characters it’s about the journey of discovery of self.
As for the men, I follow a general pattern. First off he’s sexy as hell! And to me sexy has so many meanings. It’s not just physical looks, but could be a movement, the way he walks, the way he carries himself, a look in his eyes. He’s strong and sometimes hard, but he’s someone a girl can count on and lean on. Most importantly, he’ll trust her implicitly when they’re in a pinch. That said, he’s better because of her and the development of that bond is the fun part of building those character relationships.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten about writing?
Probably the best advice has been to write every day if at all possible, even if it is only a few words. There have been times that I stop writing. I’m too busy, don’t feel inspired, etc. But then I get lost and nervous and worried that I’ll never get it back. If I just make myself do a little bit each day then I keep connected with the “spirit” of the process and then I don’t get so bogged down later.
What do you do when faced with writer’s block?
Wow, what a segue, eh? I’ve tended to get the worst writer’s block when I’m reaching a part of the story I’m not comfortable with. For instance I had a real problem with the “fight scene” in Witch Way Bends, so to get past that I did a few things. First, I read action scenes from several of my favorite books. Then, when I was ready to start fleshing out the scene in my mind, I listened to mood music. I’ve referred to it before, but I really like to listen to “Uprising” by Muse. Otherwise, just writing through it. Even if you have to throw out or rewrite it later, just get something down on paper.
Alva Leigh’s “Calling Me”. I listened to this song early in the writing process and it struck me as sort of magical and ethereal in some way. Also, there’s a certain line that has very special relation to the “Bend-Bite-Shift” Trilogy. I wish I could say more but that will have to wait until AFTER Witch Way Bends gets published.
Well, because I’m pretty impatient, I’ll probably self-publish. I figure I do this because I enjoy it and although I’d love for millions of people to read my words, being picked up by a publishing company and “making it big” isn’t what this is about. Now if I were lucky at some point to catch the attention of a publisher, I certainly wouldn’t ignore the call. But for now, self-publishing seems the most realistic to me. And I like the idea of building my own following; connecting with people one-by-one is really fascinating to me. The process is almost like a story all unto itself – a story within the story.
What genre do you feel most comfortable writing and why?
Well I consider myself a romance writer, but one of my critique partners recently said they thought my writing wasn’t so much romance as fantasy/adventure with romance mixed in. The truth is I love, love stories and I don’t just mean romantic love. I’m inspired by the affection between siblings, friends, parent and child. The intimacy of relationships on all levels captivates me and I’d like to explore those as well. And I’m not all about the happy ending either. One of my favorite books, Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen was a terribly tragic novel, but it moved me in a way that very few books ever have. I’d like to be able reach someone like that one day.
If you could give aspiring authors a tip, what would it be?
Don’t give up. And when you feel like giving up, network with someone. The writer’s I’ve connected with through Facebook have given me the support I’ve needed to trudge on. No matter what problem I have, no matter what is holding me back, all I have to do is call on one or all of them and they talk me through it. If this is your dream, then close your eyes and dream it. “You” are the one that truly matters.
When can we expect to read your work?
Well, when I finished Witch Way Bends I thought I wanted to publish immediately, but I’m taking my time to be sure I get it right. Choosing the right editor has been quite a task and also as I’ve started fleshing out the next two books in the trilogy I’ve discovered some “connectors” I need to add in order to keep the books cohesive.
So, to answer your question, I’m shooting for November at this point. Finger’s crossed.
Thank you, Olivia! Be on the look out for Witch Way Bends folks!