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We are so excited to be presenting Olivia's debut novel to you now. It's been a long wait for this highly anticipated debut but we have no doubt it was worth the wait!
PS: Olivia will be running a give-away at the bottom of this post, so keep reading!
1. Olivia, tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I live just outside Chicago with my husband, daughter, and two little dogs. I write for Harlequin Special Edition, and I also have a single-title series releasing from Grand Central/Forever in 2014 and 2015. I grew up in New England, and tend to set my stories there, and I am thrilled to be living my dream as a professional writer.
2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
I am pleased to say that ‘TWAS THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS is my debut.
3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I think part of being a professional writer is writing whether you want to or not. There are days when I really just feel like turning off my computer, but when you hit your word count goal or the end of that chapter, no matter how much you really didn’t want to push through it, you always end up happier that you did.
4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I think everyone has different strategies and levels of personal comfort when it comes to social media. I try to be strategic with my promotion, planning interviews and newsworthy blog posts, but I also like to engage with readers and let them see me as a real person.
5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I’d say a little bit of both. I have a young child and she’s only in school for a limited number of hours per day, and only a set number of days per week. I make sure to do everything else outside of that window so that I can drop her off, race home, and work for a couple of hours. As my work load has increased, I have started working a second shift after my daughter has gone to bed, even though I am sometimes drinking coffee at nine at night.
6. Do you write every day?
I actually don’t write every day and I never really have, other than when deadlines are pressing. I almost always write 5 days a week, based on time availability with my current schedule. It’s a challenge for me to squeeze writing into weekend time at the moment, so I have to really buckle down on the days I do write.
7. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Does walking my dogs count? There are only so many hours in a day and something has to give, and this would be it. If I am going to write or work out, I am going to write. I really can’t see fitting a trip to the gym into my schedule, but I am a fan of the home workout video...here and there
8. In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
Well, I admit I imagined my life might be a bit more like Mary Fisher’s. I envisioned a mansion behind iron gates, black-tie events, the works. Now, I did have slightly more realistic expectations later into things when I was older. I don’t expect to be strutting around with my crystal champagne flute or silk dressing gown, but sometimes, when I am hunched over the computer in day-old pajamas, bedraggled hair, and a forgotten mug of coffee on the desk, listening to the dogs bark and my child run wild while I am trying to hurry up and pound out a final sentence, I can’t help but think how entirely unglamorous my life is.
9. Which of your characters would you like to be?
Hmm, I might say I’d like to be a bit more like Holly, actually. She’s fairly easygoing and calm, and I can be a bit more impulsive and emotional. There are a few other characters in upcoming books that are more similar to me, or at least highlight different sides of me. But Holly handles life in stride, she’s a bit stoic, and I admire those qualities.
10. At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
I actually had a recent conversation with a fellow professional writer about this exact topic. I remember thinking I would feel like a real writer when I sold my first book. Then it was, well, when I sell my second. Then it was, when I get into single-title. Now...I keep setting more and more goals, waiting to feel like a “real” writer.
A storm is about to shake up Holly Tate’s quaint lifestyle, and the Nor’easter scheduled to hit the small town of Maple Woods, Connecticut will have nothing on the upheaval real estate tycoon Max Hamilton creates during his week-long stay at The White Barn Inn. Since inheriting her grandmother’s house five years ago, Holly has poured her heart and soul into transforming the old mansion into a successful inn, hoping to be able to save enough to buy the property when the ninety-nine year lease expires on Christmas Day. Unbeknownst to Holly, Max has a different plan. But as attraction builds and emotions stir, will Holly’s contagious Christmas spirit have him changing his mind? Or will Holly be forced to start the new year with no home or business, but instead, only a broken heart?
'Twas the Week Before Christmas is available from Amazon, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble.
You can connect with Olivia on her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. Leave a comment to win a copy of 'Twas the Week before Christmas.