Olivia is a USA Today Best Selling and multiple award-winning author who loves a good laugh coupled with some steam, mixed in with a man and woman finding their way past the words of “I love you.” An author of contemporary romances, she writes heartwarming stories of blossoming relationships about couples not only falling in love but building a life after the sensual love scene.
When Olivia is not writing, she enjoys quilting, playing Scrabble online against other word lovers and spending time with her family. She is an avid world traveler who writes many of the locations into her stories. Most of the time she can be found sitting quietly with pen and paper plotting more adventures in love.
Olivia lives in Hephzibah, Georgia with her husband, son, grandson and snotty evil cat, Katness Evermean. Learn more about her books, upcoming releases and join her bibliophile nation at www.ogaines.com
Subscribe to her email list at http://eepurl.com/OulYf
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Okay, we jumped right into this, Ms. Carpenter, and I see you came prepared. Allow me to start by saying thank you. It is an honor to be interviewed by Write 2 Be Magazine. I love that title and it also segues me into the answer to your question. I wrote my first little story at the age of nine. I went on to work on my high school and college newspapers as well as later becoming a journalist by trade.
A blank sheet of paper is like a canvas for me to use broad strokes and create a story that pulls in the everyday moments of life that are laughable and replay it from my eyes. The moment a character begins to form in my head and for me to take this invisible person and give her or him a voice feels like magic. That’s the part I love.
What frustrates me most? Finding the time to write it right! I’ve lived a different sort of life so my stories are based on my life experiences. If it’s in there, I know of situation that has happened, and I’m using my pen to create a different ending. One thing that can prove frustrating is when a reader tells me a story is “unrealistic.” In their world maybe, in mine… not so much.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Ah, the technicians, not this series is totally made up in my head. I toyed with the idea of The Continental and John Wick. If he could get married and have this life, why couldn’t the other assassins. You can find out more about my #technicians series, my #modernmailorderbrides, or the escapades of the #blakemores and #delgados on my website at http://ogaines.com. The book trailers are all there as well as an opportunity to enter training to become a technician as well.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
In life, as well as in fiction, there is an element of truth to every story. I start with the truth, factor in the worst-case scenario and then work my way backwards out of the problem. From there I began to build a supporting cast of friends, family and neighbors. Now the story can begin of a simple man, falling in love with a complicated woman, and finding their way to love. In the end, isn’t that what most people want, to find their way to peace? No, not every woman wants to be married and push out babies, but at the end of the day, we all want to come home to peace.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
Good grief! Okay, let me see if I can answer those one at a time. I do have a schedule that I try to diligently stick to in order to maintain balance. I think the question you’re trying to ask is about my writing process. I loosely outline everything, to make sure that I avoid plot holes and the sagging middle or the ending feeling as if I rushed the conclusion. Usually, I can finish a 90k novel in about three months and some others, Like Yuńior Book 3, I gave myself six months to make sure I get it write.
I’m also a reader. I hate to read a book and it feels like the author phoned in it. I want to enjoy the read so I make sure I take the time to enjoy the write.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
Normally, I don’t read when I am writing. If so, it is not in my genre. Currently I am reading The Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delaney.
The first book I read which moved me emotionally was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou. When I was 13 I read this book and cried for the loss and alienation of this child who was afraid to speak out because her words caused a death. Yet, the trauma inflicted upon her resonated through her life. Growing up as I did, where I did, much of what the child underwent, happened to girls I went to school with as well, who were also afraid to speak up. I guess that’s why I spend so much time in my stories rescuing those women and children who have no voice or I give them a second chance at happiness.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
The awards and achievements were personal goals of boxes that I needed to check off in order to prove my validity as a writer to those who want to criticize what it is I do. My most significant achievement as a writer is sticking to it. I get up and write everyday, even when I don’t flipping feel like it. I make a schedule, a calendar and I stick to it. I say a book is coming out in August, I work my butt off to make sure it is delivered in August. I stick to it. That is my most significant achievement. In five years, I don’t know. I truly don’t, but so far, my plan is to well, stick to it and get better.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
Write one true sentence. As long as that sentence is true, your words shall be as well. Rejection is going to come whether it’s from a tormented soul who lives in their Grandma’s basement who envies the life of a fictional woman and give a one-star review or another author who doesn’t feel there is enough grit in my story. As I have said on more than one occasion, when readers finish the dark romance, they come over to me next for an uplifting, light hearted story. No, what I write is not everyone’s cup of tea, but no one ever leaves my table thirsty.
My advice to other authors or authors starting out, figure out who you are on paper. Write one true sentence and allow the rest to develop.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
I’ve been at this a while and I have a marketing background. I run and manage a business. The creative side is my outlet.
I seldom buy a pre-made cover. I have on several occasions but from conceptualization of her to the job he does for a living, all of that is relayed in the cover design. Then I build a life for these two with one simple problem and one simple secret. Next I stay on task, set a release date, a timeline and set to work. One month out, the trailer is released. A week out, every day, I share a bit more of the story.
I treat each novel like a new set of work friends that I have to integrate with my home friends. Of course, I hope they all get along, but if they don’t, I’m taking notes on the fracas.
As far as the author platform, I started out writing novellas for busy women who wanted all the ahhs, oohs, and gasps, without sifting through pages of description on the color of wallpaper. I introduced series where I worked on my craft of storytelling and character development. Now, I’m at a point where all of that is going into one story where I am describing the tear in the yellow wallpaper.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
Recently, I was being interviewed on Oregon Trails. I went back and re-read it and found myself laughing out loud. Occasionally, I will since many of my serials overlap. It also gives me a chance to see how much I have grown as an author.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
In my humble opinion the only time it’s too late to start is when your fingers no longer work and your heart is no longer hungry to tell the tales. Sometimes, later in life makes for richer stories. A seasoned woman has an opportunity to rewrite the mistakes in her own life and truly take a chance and love the one that got away. Only this time, she is in control and no one, not a single soul can tell her how and who she can love. It’s never to late to love the life you’ve envisioned.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
The humor! The humor inside of the stories is really, truthfully my off colored sense of humor. People who come to meet me sit an wait to see if the person who they read is as real as the words on the page, and find out I am as authentic as they see. My writing empowers others to let go of the pain, to heal, and try and move forward. Oh, there is always going to be another person to tell you that you can’t or you shouldn’t and if you do you will fail. I write stories of strong women who stand up and are counted. If I stand up, I won’t fail because I’m on my own two feet. What are you going to do, take my feet?