Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interview with Olivia Hardin

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
All for Hope is my first contemporary romance and it’s the very sweet love story of two friends who haven’t been friends in a long time.  Just because their separated, doesn’t mean they don’t still have feelings for each other so when Hope kidnaps a baby to save her from an abusive family, Brennan steps in to protect her. This isn’t planned as a series, but I have some ideas for spinoff stories about some of the supporting characters.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
In this story one of the characters, Detective Guillory was originally just a mere mention at the end of the book.  Somewhere along the way I realized it would elevate the excitement to get a peek at his investigation.  Before I knew it I really liked his character and I so I made sure I left the end of the story so that he might be able to make an appearance in another story one day.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
For this book we used the Once Upon a Time Covers and I absolutely love the work Stephanie Nelson did.  I came to the realization I had to step out of her way and let her creativity work its magic.  When I tried to get involved it wasn’t nearly as wonderful as what she eventually came up with. 

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t have a formal critique group, but I do have a selection of friends and authors who read my work and help me along the way.  They are invaluable.  The important thing with a critique group/person is that you have to trust their honesty and willingness to tell you like it is… without smashing your ego to bits. 

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I write in silence… or actually, not total silence but without any music.  That said, music is very important for my muse.  I create playlists and I go to them in order to help me mentally flesh out a scene.  When it’s time to put that scene to paper, I turn off the music and just listen to the words in my mind.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely!  I have learned that you can never have too much editing.  Currently I use 2-3 different editors.  Each person’s eye catches something different and you want your manuscript to be as polished as possible before publishing.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned that it’s all a process… hence a journey.  I have to be patient with myself and with the world.   Some things I do will work, some don’t.  But hacking away at it and never giving up are the best lessons.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Facebook is my favorite social media outlet.  I’m trying to learn how to effectively use twitter and I do blog (not nearly enough).  I’m also starting to work with Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Marketing can be tough, especially as you’re trying to experiment to figure out what works.  That said, it is getting easier to streamline things and get information out to people.  It does take time away from writing though, so finding a good system for me has been essential.

What’s next for you?
I have the second in my MAUCs Urban Fantasy Series due out June 21st and then I have a short story appearing in the Eternal Summer Anthology on June 24th.  I’m about to begin work on the first in my For Love of Fae Trilogy, which is a spinoff of my Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy.

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