Peeps, please join me in welcoming Olivia Starke to the blog. Olivia is a fellow Decadent author and has the EXTREME GOOD TASTE to be obsessed with Steven Moffat. A lass after my own heart, that’s for sure!
Cassandra Dean: Congratulations on the release of DREAMING IN BLUE! Would you tell us a little about it?
Olivia Starke: DREAMING IN BLUE is my second addition to Decadent Publishing’s popular 1Night Stand series. I wanted to make my heroine unique in that she faces life in a different way than many people. She’s been blind since childhood, but it hasn’t slowed her down. She’s accomplished, and remains positive despite her inability to see. I wanted readers to see a strong woman who let nothing get in the way of her life’s goals.
My hero suffered heartbreaking loss after a house fire. He’s scarred both physically and emotionally, and he’s carried it too long. When he’s paired with Sierra, he doesn’t know what to expect. If she’ll react negatively to his past and how he now looks because of it.
It may seem cliché to pair a blind woman with a scarred hero, but there’s an unexpected twist in there that Madame Evangeline, owner of 1Night Stand, had planned all along 😉
CD: What inspired you to write DREAMING IN BLUE?
OS: Both the book and the movie Patch of Blue. A wonderful story of a blind white girl who falls in love with a black man in the 60s, I encourage everyone to at least watch the movie starring Sidney Poitier and Shelly Winters. Their story is pretty heartbreaking, and I wanted write one where my heroine has a happy ending. My storyline is very different, but the struggle remains for my heroine and hero to find their happily ever after.
CD: You write super hot paranormal romance. How do you go about writing in this genre?
OS: Though DREAMING IN BLUE doesn’t have the paranormal element, I did work in a big surprise. Perhaps it’s got a little magic after all, that’s what Madame Evangeline is all about 😉 But most my work is paranormal, because I love the world building behind it. You aren’t constrained by day to day life and the laws governing it. I can be who I want to be, and write whatever my wacky mind can conceive. I’ve always had an active imagination, my imaginary friends when I was a kid were a Sabertooth Tiger and a big black horse. They followed me every morning to school, running alongside the bus, then back home in the afternoon.
In Junior High I wrote a romance about a Pegasus and Unicorn. Falling into the supernatural realm of romance came naturally.
CD: What did you find easiest/most difficult about writing paranormal romance?
OS: I have an analytical mind, so if my vampires can’t spend much time in sunlight, I have to know the science of why. Then explain it so readers will understand. I can’t just throw it out there and expect others to suspend belief on my say so. But this is part of the joy for me, too. Letting my geek flag fly. I’ve got a current series contracted through Beachwalk Press titled Project Terminal. Lots of fun with the undead and deadly viruses, and letting my science geek out to play.
CD: Do you have plans to write a book in any other another genre?
OS: I do write Contemporary, and have plans for more. I have a Young Adult 3 book series in the works, but don’t expect it finished any time soon. It’s a huge project with a LOT of world building needed. A bit Steampunk, sci-fi, and contemporary. Oi, lots going on.
CD: What is your writing process?
OS: Usually ten to twelve hour stretches with some food in between. I do this for days at a time until my Writing Drones scream for mercy. My Muse is a hard mistress.
CD: What do you believe to be the most important factor in portraying a believable romantic relationship?
OS: You have to have the ups and downs in real life relationships. And you have to have the hero and heroine’s voices separate, when I’m reading I want to know the POV I’m in right off the bat. This is my current challenge, to make unique voices within my characters.
CD: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
OS: Never settle for less than you deserve. It’s my mantra now, and what got me out of my last dead in job.
CD: What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
OS: Never stop writing. Write, write, write. And your work is usually worse in your own eyes than it is in another’s, so have confidence in yourself.
CD: Who is your greatest writing influence?
OS: My critique buddies (shout out to Stephanie Beck!) they keep me honest and pushing for more in my work.
CD: What do you enjoy reading?
OS: I love reading non-fiction plus paranormal and Regency romance. And the classics!
CD: What’s your favourite television show? Favourite movie?
OS: OH GOD don’t get me started on my Fangirl fixations! Most favorite show hands down DOCTOR WHO. I live for the show and how MOFFAT!!! will emotionally manipulate us with it. I’m in love with Matt Smith, the actor who plays the current Doctor. All men are compared to the tall, gangly British actor with unconventional looks.
I also fangirl over Supernatural, love me some Winchesters and Castiel 😉 I also got a fan group started on Facebook for the SyFy show Lost Girl called Lost Girl Fangroup (original I know, but I’m lousy with titles :p) Look it up if you’d like added.
Movies wise, I’m a mess. I love Jurassic Park II (don’t judge the science geek!) Hidalgo, and Labrynth.
CD: If you were stranded in middle of a Paranormal event (with romantic undertones, of course!), what three things would you wish were with you?
OS: Well if the movies have taught me anything, a good pair of running shoes, a flashlight with fresh batteries, and a cellphone with GPS.
CD: Where can readers find you?
Blind since childhood, Sierra is satisfied with her success as a relationship therapist. Contacting 1Night Stand is an outlet for her physical needs, or so she tells herself. When she meets Daniel, the chemistry is definitely there, but a single parent with a child has the terrifying potential to disrupt her orderly life.
After losing his wife in a fire three years before that left him terribly scarred, Daniel has focused on raising his young daughter and little else. Meeting Sierra through 1Night Stand is a way to step back into the world. And he definitely can’t deny the instant attraction.
Madame Evangeline has a sweet surprise for them as they discover one another…
~ Excerpt ~
“So tell me, what do you see outside?” A fresh rush of desire burned through her. She wanted to extend this moment, the wait its own form of foreplay.
“The lake, with some geese and ducks.”
“You see more than that.”
“Hmm, the moon is out, full and silver. The water reflects it, and the birds swimming on the lake look almost ghostly. Dark trees outline the bank to the north.”
He gently tugged her against his solid body. His lips brushed the outer rim of her ear. “A mated pair of white swans swims close by.”
Hot breath fanned her earlobe and she melted into his arms. A hand stroked down, settling against her lower back. She tipped her head up, anticipating the pressure of his lips against hers. His knuckle nudged beneath her chin.
He removed her sunglasses. “I want to see your brown eyes.”
Her breathing grew shallow, making her lightheaded.
“You’re so beautiful, sweetheart.”
His mouth touched hers and the world fell away.