Sometimes dreams come true. Last week, I was lucky enough to see one of my wishes come to fruition. No, I can’t fly, I am sorry to say. Still working on that one. I think I went overboard on the eye of newt. Anyway, last week, I got the opportunity to interview The Next Big Thing. Ever wish you had the chance the meet Paul McCartney or Ernest Hemingway before they were who they were? Me. I did that. Not Paul McCartney, of course. How old do you think I am? Last week, I got to interview Olivia R. Burton. Remember her from this post?
So we sat down over a soy latte (or email, because modern times), and I got to know her a little better.
Me: At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
ORB: I don’t know the exact point, but I know I used to hole up in a little TV cabinet as a teenager and write (awful) fanfiction for Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. For the record, I hope every handmade notebook I wrote in has since been burned and scattered to the four corners of the earth. My first foray into original writing was in middle school when I read Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire. I say “original” loosely, since the story I wrote was very derivative and basically just self-insert fanfic of the book.
Me: The idea of a self-centered empath is so outside the proverbial box. How did you come up with it?
ORB: The short answer is that I wanted her to be awful. I’ve read so much Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy where the main character is a dippy, selfish brat, but the side characters refuse to acknowledge it. That made me so frustrated! I think a story is much more interesting when the main character has a lot stopping him or her from sailing through the plot with ease.
I took my customer service experience into account as I looked at how her empathy would affect the person she is. Sure, there are sad people in the world and a good person who felt that sadness as their own would want to help, but sadness and happiness aren’t the only emotions in the world. Think about how irate you get sitting in traffic. Now think how Gwen feels sitting crammed on a stopped freeway within empathic range of a dozen or so grumpy drivers who don’t want to go to work or who can’t wait to get home. Think how she feels standing in a long bathroom line. Consider how her empathy would function at the mall around the holidays.
Is it any wonder she’s chosen to be a recluses who wants nothing more than to sit at home self-soothing with cupcakes and soda that turns her tongue purple?
I wanted Gwen to be her own worst enemy and for everyone around her to see her for what she is. She does go through a fair amount of character development and, while she remains a greedy coward at heart, she learns through the main arc of her series how to overcome her own shortcomings enough to help when problems arise. She never becomes as useful as Chloe or Mel, but Book Six is the absolute last time she hides under her desk because she doesn’t want to take a client meeting, I promise.
Stay tuned for part II of this fun interview in an upcoming post. And stay tuned to win. Wait a minute! Hold the phones! Did I say stay tuned to win?
I have right here a little Rafflecopter, put together and managed by the illustrious Kate Sullivan at Candlemark&Gleam. She’s offering cool prizes ( and she’s even in charge of sending them out. No waiting for the weather to change for me to get them out by owl post. We’re talking, QUICK RETURN! There are so many ways to enter – 17 in all. What are you waiting for?
This link takes you to Candlemark&Gleam’s wonderful website where the actual Rafflecopter entry is waiting for you. Click it, log in with your email, and go! Enter! The giveaway will run until November 18. Let’s get the word out about this up-and-comer fast!
Print copies are only available to those in the continental US, but the ebooks are for everyone, anywhere in the world! You know you want it!
And want to know something totally rocking? Another dream of mine came true last week. I had a guest post over at Writer’s Digest!
We’re entering which ever way we can – do hope it’s open to non-US peeps? 😉
Hi there! The print pack is only available to US-ians, sadly – the cost of shipping books and other stuff overseas is crazy – but you can certainly enter for the digital copies! We’d love to send them all over the world!
Suspected as much 😦 Still haven’t ventured into the digital world, do so love those paper pages.
I love paper pages, too, but e-readers definitely fill a void for me. When I travel, I only have to pack my device with its 10K volumes!
I really wish we could offer print copies as giveaways overseas. But it costs half as much as the book to ship to Canada, and well MORE than the book to ship to the UK! Crazy. You can ORDER the book in print from anywhere in the world for reasonable prices, but we can’t send copies without going broke. Wah!
(I love my paper. A lot. I use an e-reader for a lot of stuff, like Heather, because of volume and space constraints, but my library is my best friend. ❤ paper books)
eBooks here in France are twice the price they are in the US or UK and you can often get the paper version more cheaply 😉
That’s insane! WOW!
I know that happens in Australia, too – it’s one of the reasons why we make a point of having all the digital books on our website DRM-free, $5, and in three different formats (that you get all of, automatically). We try to make it easy for folks overseas, wherever we can!
Now that sounds very interesting indeed…
Pingback: Interview with Olivia R. Burton | Candlemark & Gleam
Interesting interview. I look forward to part 2. 🙂
Great interview; can’t wait for part 2. And kudso on the Reader’s Digest piece! Very nice.
Entered, I hope. Congrats on the writer’s digest guest post!
When you go to the Rafflecopter page, it should tell how many entries you have done (out of 17). Hope it worked for you!
Already bought the book and started reading last night. Just wanted to say it’s a very entertaining read!
So glad to hear you’re enjoying it! It really is a great read – I can’t wait for the rest of the books in the series!
I like how it wasn’t just Superman fan fiction, it was specifically Lois & Clark fan fiction.
Congrats on your Writers Digest publication!! How awesome for you. 🙂