Guest Author Showcase: Katie Oliver

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Today's Guest Author Showcase in my weekly series features Carina author Katie Oliver. Welcome, Katie, and thanks for coming by for a visit!

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Please tell me about yourself and your book(s).

I’ve written six books, three in the “Dating Mr Darcy” series, and three soon to be published in the new “Marrying Mr Darcy” series.  Clever, eh? I wish I’d thought of the series titles myself, but the credit for that goes to Carina UK. The first three books – Prada and Prejudice, Love and Liability, and Mansfield Lark – follow several characters whose loves and lives intersect…Natalie Dashwood, Holly James, and Dominic Heath and his girlfriend Gemma.  They were a great deal of fun to write. 
The second set of books (And the Bride Wore Prada, Love, Lies and Louboutins, and Manolos in Manhattan) revisit Natalie, Holly, Gemma and Dominic, and introduce a few new characters, as well, as the initial, giddy thrill of love deepens into a lifetime commitment.

Please describe your daily writing habits.

I wish I could say I routinely write from 7 AM until noon, break ten minutes for lunch, and resume writing from 12:30 PM until 6 PM…but it just wouldn’t be true.
Each writing day varies. On a good day, I start early(ish) at 7:30 or 8 AM, and write until noon(ish) (or whenever hunger overcomes me, whichever comes first). On a bad day, I piffle my time away on Twitter and Facebook and faff around the house until I realize, to my horror, that hours have gone by and I’ve accomplished exactly nothing. Of course, when I’m on a deadline I write like a madwoman every hour of the day until I finish…or until I fall asleep on my laptop.

What tips would you give to a writer who is just starting out?

Write.  And read a lot.  And write some more.  Get a Twitter account, and create a website and start blogging.  Build your social media presence as early as you can – you’ll be very glad you did when you’re published and you need to promote your books!

What are some things that have surprised you as an author?

The biggest surprise is how little influence a new writer has regarding things like cover art and book titles. Those decisions are generally made by marketing people…and that’s great, as they know LOTS more about selling books than moi!  But I can honestly say that all of the surprises – the beautiful cover art, the Tweets and Facebook posts from fans of my books, selling more copies of Prada & Prejudice than I ever dreamed possible – have been wonderful.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge as an author?

The biggest writing challenge, especially in the beginning, is TIME.  As in, there’s never enough of it.  When I was working full time and writing on weekends and in spare moments, it was sometimes difficult to make it all work.  But if you want something badly enough you just do it.  Because in the end, all of the hard work and sacrifices, such as time with loved ones and watching television, was SO worth it.

If you could have lunch with three famous authors, living or dead, whom would you pick and why?

1. George Sand, because she was a writer and an early champion of women’s rights, and because she wore trousers when wearing trousers wasn’t cool, and because she liked to lay under Chopin’s piano and listen while he played. 
2. James Kirkwood, because “There Must Be a Pony” was a perfect, brilliant book.
3. James Lee Burke, because he’s the best writer of page-turning literary fiction on the face of the earth.  *panics*  What on earth will I serve them all for dinner?  Oh, God…

Music or no music when writing?

No music when I write. I crave quiet when I’m scribbling, so that the rusty cogs and wheels in my brain can start spinning and I can gather all my thoughts. But when I’m walking on the treadmill, or thinking about a story’s character or plot, I love listening to music! It can be a tremendous help to put me in a creative mood or to spark an idea.

Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

I like both.  I read more ebooks these days, because my fellow UK Carina authors’ books are ebooks as well as my own; but I have a shelf full of ‘real’ books and probably always will.  There’s nothing quite like opening up a new (or used) book and dipping in, earmarking the page when you stop (or stacking them to raise your lamp up on your nightstand, lol).

Who is your all time favorite book character?

Jane Eyre is the perfect heroine, isn’t she?  Despite hardships that would bring most of us to our knees, Jane perseveres and, after much heartache, triumphs.  She is clever, and plain, and outspoken as well – not at all the typical romantic heroine.  And that’s why I will always admire her.

What three things must you have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

My Revlon Long-Last eyeliner, red lipstick (could double as cheek blush!), and lots of chocolate.

About Love, Lies and Louboutins:

Loved the best-selling Dating Mr Darcy trilogy? Don’t miss Love, Lies and Louboutins, book two in Katie Oliver’s Marrying Mr Darcy series. The course of a celebrity marriage never did run smooth...but that doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous!

What happens when your husband disappears with a beautiful woman…and your past and your present collide?

Gemma Astley and her rock star husband Dominic have split up before – but this time, it’s serious...because this time, she won’t take him back. Dom has disappeared on his private jet with Christa, the hot new pop singing sensation.  Where’s he gone - and why has he taken Christa along with him?  Gemma wants answers, but Dom isn’t talking.

When Jools Beauchamp sneaks out to meet her boyfriend in defiance of her mother’s wishes, she finds herself kidnapped by a ruthless Turkish gang.  Why have they taken her?  Who is Alexios, the mysterious man holding her prisoner? And more importantly - will she ever see her family again?

Her uncle, arms dealer Jack Hawkins, teams up with Detective Sergeant Devon Matthews to find Jools, and becomes involved with the newly-single Gemma.  As his feelings for Gemma deepen, Jack’s investigation leads him ever closer to his niece.  He’s stunned to learn it’s not the Turks who’ve abducted her, but someone from his own past.  Jack thought he’d left his old life well behind him…

…but it seems the past has come back to haunt him.

Pop singer Christa’s ex-boyfriend is in deep trouble.  He owes a Turkish gang drugs money, money he hasn’t got.  When he panics and takes her mother hostage, Christa and Devon must work together to rescue her…and end up falling for each other.

Love, Lies and Louboutins is filled with romance, comedy, bad guys, and adventure (and Louboutins, of course).

 

About the Author:

Katie Oliver loves romantic comedies, characters who "meet cute," Richard Curtis films, and Prosecco (not necessarily in that order). She currently resides in northern Virginia with her husband and three parakeets, in a rambling old house with uneven floors and a dining room that leaks when it rains.

Katie has been writing since she was eight, and has a box crammed with (mostly unfinished) novels to prove it.  With her sons grown and gone, she decided to get serious and write more (and hopefully, better) stories.  She even finishes most of them.
So if you like a bit of comedy with your romance, please visit Katie’s website, www.katieoliver.com, and have a look.

Here's to love and all its complications...

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