Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am Olivia Gaines, 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.” I am an author of contemporary romances and write heartwarming stories of blossoming relationships about couples not only falling in love but building a life after the sensual love scene.
The Technicians, my new series is based on the untold back story of the men and women who check into The Continental Hotel on John Wick. I thought it would be a cool idea to actually have the technicians, which not all are hitmen, to have a story where they find love. The first two Blind Date and Blind Hope focused more on the men being sent to make a hit and taking the second option. The third in the series unfold a bit differently with the unlikely hero actually stumbling into a bad situation that could get worse unless he makes a decision for all involved.
The baseline issue in all the stories is that everyone has a past which isn’t always an obstacle for a better future.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MQVPDZT
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
My creativity is inspired by the unending belief in hope. I write uplifting stories which, on the surface seem superficial. Underneath there are social issues addressed in a humorous manner which looks at the problems with fresh eyes. In each book, I include a moral dilemma, a geography lesson and history lesson in most novels.
How do you deal with creative block?
Creative block? I don’t have those. I have on the other hand too many creative ideas which can sometimes prevent me from writing what I should write what I want. The readers don’t like it when I do that. However, when others who are facing a block asks me for assistance, we look at the plot. Blocks come when the writer is trying to force the character into a situation that doesn’t coincide with their natures or the course of the story. When that happens, a writer must take a step back and slip their feet into the character’s shoes and go for a walk. At the end of the trail, clarity should be found as well as direction.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Plot holes where Alice never meets the Queen nor have tea. A high number of writers are great at the build-up, but the story drops off at the end. Readers hate that as well as cliff hangers. You can close an account and leave room for a spin-off without leaving the story hanging.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
The title should coincide with the overall theme of the book. When a reader gets to the title of the book in the manuscript, there should be an aha moment, where the individual is sighing in pleasure. Covers should match the genre. The colors of a romantic suspense book should be subdued, whereas a contemporary romance should be bright and welcoming.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
When I first started writing, a bad review would put me into a funk for days. I would second guess myself over and over, and one day I reached out to Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Diaz who replied with sage advice. “Not everything I write is for everyone. Those who get it will love it.” I hold on to that.
In a world where people are allowed to hide behind the anonymity of a social media handle, wield weapons of hate and dissension. I’ve learned to shrug it off. My books are the price of a cup of coffee. If I made you feel anything at all, then as an artist, I’ve done my job.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I am a plotter. I have a template for my Mail Order Bride series that ensure I maintain the continuity of the branding in sequence and order. The others, I plot out based on timelines, whether the story takes place over a week, or a year, I space out the story based on those blocks of time.
A twelve chapter novella can occur in a week, meaning seven chapters can cover each day, Chapter One introduces him, Chapter Two launches her and Chapter three brings them together. The story commences from there with the final three chapters being the denouement and ways to move towards the happily ever after.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Hire two proofreaders. Proofreading sucks. I also had to learn the difference between editors. The things that a developmental editor does in comparison to what a line or copy editor does are hard lessons.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
My aim with my African American novels is geared more towards personal satisfaction. There are stories I wish to tell that shows another side of our lives versus the baby mama drama and being a side piece. The interracial romances are geared towards the readers. I find the balance in the two by interweaving literary fiction elements into both, versus leaning more towards women’s fiction with either. I hope that makes sense.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Everything. When you read an OG Book, I take you through a gamut of emotions because I must undergo the same gauntlet when I am writing. I do know that my stories are better when I am happy versus writing from a place of frustration or anger. The readers can tell the difference. I can also feel it. When I am in a good place, it shows in the story and the person on the other end of the pages can as well.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
People watching. When I need new characters, I get out and about and watch movement and interactions. I am also an avid traveler. Many of the locations in my stories are places I have stopped along the way. When you read about the Bouna Café on Central Avenue, sitting on the corner, you can drive down Central Avenue and spot the coffee house.
For me, it adds a bit of authenticity to the story while giving readers a feel of the culture of the community where these characters live.
What are your plans for future books?
I am so excited about The Technicians. It is a 10 book series, like the Blakemore Files which will feature many of my best-loved characters, including the Neary Brothers. These stories feed and meander through plots from other stories which connect the OG Universe in ways the readers will enjoy.
All of The Technicians have the names of traffic signs except Mr. Mann (Blind Date) who is a long-range sniper. Blind Hope features Mr. Stop, and Blind Luck features Mr. Yield, who by the way, has none in him. Mr. Stop is a hunting dog that doesn’t Stop until he finds what he’s sent to get. Mr. Yield, the retrieval agent, is a modern-day Indiana Jones who finds lost things and return them to their rightful owners. The others, Wrong Way, Hump, Merge, and Falling Rocks are all specialists.
These are going to be so fun to write. I can’t stand it!
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I love to quilt. My cat is named Katness Evermean, and she hates me. Hubby and I are celebrating 29 years of marriage, and I am a grandmother of one little boy who seems to be a reincarnation of my husband.
Outside of that, I served my country as an enlisted soldier and as an officer, and I love to laugh. I can see the humor in any situation as well as the darkness inside of the soul. I use it all in my stories to create because that is the center.
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.
2015 Swirl Award Winner, Best Erotic Romance, Thursdays in Savannah.
2017 IRAE Award Winner, Best Contemporary Romance, Wyoming Nights
2019 IRAE Award Winner, Favorite Series, The Men of Endurance
2019 IRAE Award Winner, Reader’s Choice Award
2019 Nominee, Top Female Authors, The AuthorShow.com
Learn more about her books, upcoming releases and join her bibliophile nation at www.ogaines.com
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Subscribe to her email list at http://eepurl.com/OulYf