I first found out about Olivia Gaines a few weeks ago during a book event. I was excited to discover that not only is she also an alum of Ramsay High School here in Birmingham, but she is an acclaimed author and quite hilarious. It’s my honor to have her visit Black Fiction Addiction today to discuss her latest book, Becoming the Czar.
Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for my blog, Olivia.
I think it is important for bloggers to create and maintain a forum for others to find and relate to our stories. Therefore, allow me to thank you for having me.
Tell me about your latest book.
My latest book is the third installment in the Yuñior Delgado Trilogy, the first in the new series of The Delgado Files.
The Delgados were the bad guys in The Blakemore Files series. The main character was introduced to the readers as a sixteen-year-old kid, dark, mysterious and he never smiled. Over the years, I have kept this young man in mind and wondered what he would be like as an adult. The character was reactivated and given a three-book series and a peek into his world.
Readers love this anti-hero who has a great deal more depth and a wicked sense of humor as he finishes his quest to find real love.
Yuñior is everything you want in a hero. He’s devastatingly handsome. The man is so rich he has an emerald mine and his own plane. On the inside, he is a very loving and caring man as is evident in his little sister Isabella, who can never stay away from her big brother. In his relationship with the woman the cartel wants him to marry versus the relationship with the woman who shows him how to love; the man finds his true self.
What inspired you to write it?
Fatigue. I wanted to create a hero who didn’t want to be any of the things he was, but was born into and trying to find balance. The scales seemed to tilt in one direction, but each installment of his story, the main characters found a harmony, which made telling their story a joy to write. From start to finish, this latest book is a joy to read.
I wanted to write this book to celebrate writing my fifty-fifth story on my fifty-fifth birthday as a gift not only to myself but to the readers who love this man. This novel is a love story for those who love to read about two people finding a way to make love work and to make a life together.
When did you fall in love with the written word?
I’ve always been a book nerd. As a child, most children would chase the ice cream truck, I would pursue the bookmobile. I thought books were the most beautiful places to run, hide, learn, and grow.
My sister was an avid reader who would gobble up a Harlequin a day. Out of sheer boredom, I picked up one of the books and thought, What in the heck am I reading? I eventually moved on to romantic suspense, but I’ve always been a lover of romance.
Once I decided to write, I wanted to write stories where I saw women like me in the leading role with men who didn’t look like herself, and sometimes they do. I fell in love with falling in love.
What’s the best part of being an author?
Each time I sit down, I am taken away to wonderful worlds filled with witty banter of a man and woman being in love. Yeah, there may be a few problems, but nothing so insurmountable that it can’t be overcome.
I figure if I’m having fun while I’m writing, readers will have a blast while they are reading the story. This is the best part of being an author.
What’s the most challenging part of being an author?
Each time I sit down, I am taken aback by the empty screen staring at me, asking, “What the hell are you talking about now?”
I’m terrified at times that the ideas will dry up and I will run out of clever banter and the problems will become real and insurmountable to where I can’t write and I can’t figure out how the story ends and none of it makes sense. I think every writer faces some form of the imposter syndrome and feels as if they will wake up one Tuesday morning and be called a fraud.
I still have a story in my heart, so we shall see where it takes me.
What books have you read lately and loved?
I recently read Ancelli’s Hidden. This woman can weave a tale of heartache, heartbreak, and everything in between.
What book(s) are you most excited to read next?
A Promised Land by Barack Obama. I want to read his words on the country’s changes in four years and his thoughts on how his presidency led to the rise of the Trumpsters and the far right.
What’s next for you?
A break. I have released five novels this year and Yuñior is number six. I’m taking a month off to rest my brain, overeat and lie to myself about all the things I think I want to do and probably won’t. However, I am excited about working on my new office and getting everything in order to have a really fantastic 2021.
Learn more about Olivia Gaines’ books, upcoming releases and join her bibliophile nation at www.ogaines.com
Subscribe to her email list at http://eepurl.com/OulYf
Use Black Fiction Addiction’s affiliate link to purchase your copy of Becoming the Czar.