Sassy:.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something?
Olivia: January 2013 I got diagnosed with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). I had a random thought pop into my head. I wanted to write. I didn't know what I was going to write, but I just got this urge to write, and I couldn't ignore it. That's when Dark Love was born!
In 8th grade, I wrote my first short story. My teacher absolutely loved it! I got an A, and he took me to the side, asking me where this book came from? He was so surprised that I wrote something that good. That's when I fell in love with the power of writing.
Dark Love truly saved my life. Without it, I would still be struggling with severe depression and anxiety. I guess you could say I owe my happiness to my character Nina McKay!
To this day, I still struggle with the disorders, and I'm not afraid to talk about it anymore. Mental Illness is a very serious matter to me.
Sassy: Are you a planner/panster when it comes to writing a story?
Olivia: I consider myself both. When I first start a novel, the main plot usually randomly pops into my head, and I run with it. I plan some things out like the plot, some characters, setting, etc. When I start writing, sometimes I plan out chapters, and I usually add way more details because ideas just pop into my head. I do change things a lot throughout the book, but I stick to my main plot, and just start writing a story.
Sassy: What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
Olivia: I recently became an Amazon Bestselling Author. That was definitely a big highlight in my writing career. I have to thank my PA, Bree. I would be so lost without her. She helped me get on the bestselling list! Also, helping people that are struggling with depression and anxiety. Just talking with them and letting them know that they aren't alone in this is something I cherish.
Sassy: What do you do in your spare time?
Olivia: I love sleeping. I could sleep for days if I didn't have things to do. I love to read, and review books. Helping authors is so rewarding for me. I own a blog with my PA, Bree. We run Beautifully Broken Book Blog. We have so many great reviewers, and helpers. I love spending time with my family, and my best friend, Alyssa.
Sassy: Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Olivia: I do get writers block, and I hate it so much! LOL. I think every author would agree with me on that. I usually listen to music, and it helps the writers block go away.
A while ago, I was having writers block for like weeks. My mom told me I should stop staring at the computer screen, and get of the house, do something, anything, and it would help me. Well, she's right. Mother's are always right.
Sassy: Can you share a little of your most recent book or series with us?
Olivia: I'm currently working on like four projects right now. The first is book 3 in The Dark Love Series called “Trying To Remember”. I haven't written much in that novel, because I've been trying to take a break from vampires for a while.
The second is a totally different book called “My Lost Forever”. It's about a girl struggling with losing the love of her life in a plane crash. She trying to cope with her new life without him. She starts to become out of control, and numb. “How do you say goodbye to someone you thought you would spend your whole life with? Someone you love more than love itself.” - Quote from “My Lost Forever”
The third is a completely new book called “The Prisoner's Wife”. It focuses on a couple that are both doing time, one is in prison, and the other one is trying to hold things together while her man is doing a five year sentence. You are the FIRST blogger to hear about it. I'm writing this book for my best friend, Alyssa. She's dealing with some of the same issues, just different scenarios.
The forth, and final book I am working on, is a children book called “Kin and Monk”. My niece started to write it, and I wanted to finish it for her. It's about a penguin and monkey becoming friends, even though their own kind is fighting against each other.
Right now, I'm mostly focusing on “Trying To Remember” and “My Lost Forever”. I'm hoping to have both out by the end of this year.
Sassy: What advice would you give for new authors?
Olivia: Never give up on your dream, no matter how hard it gets. Also, not everyone is going to fall in love with your book. That's a given. Don't take it personally.
Sassy: What is one thing about yourself you want your readers to know?
Olivia: I'm struggling with a Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore. For everyone struggling with the same disorders, stay strong, I'm here for you. You're not alone in this fight. Things with get better. You just have to have hope, stay strong, and be beautifully broken.
Sassy: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Olivia: Do I have to pick just one? LOL. I would have to say my favorite author is Nicholas Sparks. He's the reason why I fell in love with reading, and plus, I'm such a romantic. I can't read any books that don't have a love story in it.
My second favorite author would be Stephanie Meyer. She's the reason why I fell in love with vampires.
Sassy: What books have most influenced your life most?
Olivia: I would have to say The Love Under Construction Series by Deanndra Hall. I was struggling with some personal problems, and reading her books helped me so much with a problem I've been trying to fix for years.
Sassy: Would you or do you use a PR agency? Why?
Olivia: I am a self-published author. I don't go through any agencies. My PA, Bree, Isa, my street team, family, friends, help me so with with promoting my books. I really never thought of going through an agency. I would rather do everything by myself, and with the help of my friends. I think it's a great experience to do it yourself. It gets really stressful, and hard, but it's so worth it.
Sassy: What is your favorite positive saying?
Olivia: "Be your own kind of beautiful" & "Stay strong and be beautifully broken."
Sassy: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Olivia: Well, I usually try to write every night, but I have to be in the mood. I have to want to write, or I get writers block, and it's just a mess. So, I write whenever I get inspiration, which is most of the time.
Sassy: Who designed your book cover/s?
Olivia: I designed my own book covers!
Sassy: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Olivia: I hate to say it, but yes. That's my honest opinion. The cover is the first thing the readers are going to see when they look at your book. I feel like the cover needs to be a statement of what your book is about. It's very important.
Sassy: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Olivia: I absolutely love when people leave reviews. It helps the author so much with reaching more readers, and it gives the author good advice, or happiness. I hate bad reviews. Who doesn't? I understand that all books aren't for everyone, but don't leave a hateful review. Be honest, and kind.
Sassy: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Olivia: My biggest pet peeve is when people spell DEFINITELY wrong. It drives me nuts.
Sassy: Tell us about your family.
Olivia: I love this question! My mom is like my best friend. She's beautiful, and kind. She's always there for me when I need to talk, and she always sticks up for me. I would be literally lost without her. My dad spoils me, and gets me addicted to TV shows like “Vikings” and “Breaking Bad” and “The Mentalist”. The list goes on. My two precious nieces, Melissa and Mariah, are my life. They complete me. Melissa is 8 years old, and Mariah will be turning 7 on September 4th. They make me want to better my life, and chase my dreams. They both love hearing about my books. You can ask Melissa any question about my books, and she can answer them perfectly. We always say to each other “I love you to the moon and back”. I have another niece on the way. She should be here within a few weeks.
Steven is my step-dad. He's been so supportive in my life. He's one funny guy. He could get you laughing for days. My aunt and uncle are so supportive. They have showed me how to pursue the right path in life. They own their own tinting company in Florida called “Southern Tinting”. So, if your in the Port Saint Lucie area, then you should definitely consider getting your car tinted by them. I love them both so much.
My sister, Amanda, is crazy, and I love her for that. We bump heads a lot, but she's my sister, and I will always love her. She read Dark Love, and loved it. She called me all the time asking me questions while she was reading. It was hilarious. She isn't the type of person to read either. Alyssa is my best friend, and I consider is like a sister to me. That girl has helped me out so much in my life. She's always there for me, and always has my back no matter what. She's definitely one of my true friends, and I love her for that.
The list goes on and on. :)
Sassy: Does your family support your writing?
Olivia: My family really does support my writing career. They're always bragging about my books to all of their friends, and family. They're really proud of me, which is such a great feeling. They're my biggest support group!
Sassy: What is your favorite recipe?Please include it.
Olivia: My favorite recipe is “Peanut Butter Fudge”. It's a family recipe, but unfortunately, I don't have it.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Olivia-Howe/e/B00IQDAOT0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
Dark Love (Book 1):
Seeing Red (Book 2):