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Olivia Hardin

Witch Way Bends (Book 1 of the Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy)

About Olivia Hardin

Olivia Hardin always realized how strange she was to have complete movie-like character dreams as a child.  Eventually she began putting those vivid dreams to paper and was rarely without her spiral notebooks full of those mental ramblings.  Her forgotten vision of becoming an author was realized when she connected with a group of amazingly talented and fabulous writers who gave her lots of direction and encouragement.  With a little extra push from family and friends, she hunkered down to get lost in the words.  She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and is sometimes accused of being artistic, though she’s generally too much of a perfectionist to appreciate her own work.  A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband and their puppy Bonnie.

Witch Way Bends Blurb~

Devan Stowe has only one thing on her mind when she teams up with Kent Crosby and his gang—putting an end to her father’s child trafficking business. Her determination takes her on a journey to discover her true strength and the… one man she was destined to love. In his arms, she’ll learn the meaning of trust, honor, and courage. Devan will unlock an amazing gift that will free her from her past and open up a future full of magic, faeries and more things than she ever imagined possible.

~

Okay Olivia, tell me about the struggles of finishing a book? This is a subject that is particularly close to my writer heart.

For me, my book started with just a scene.  It was a dream about a mass killing and the “heroine” and “hero” in the dream were the killers.  I had to know why, what and when.  So, I eventually started building from there.  I don’t go into a story with any definite ending.  I might have an idea, or I might not.  I just let the characters tell the story and follow them. That’s probably one of the most difficult things.  I reach points when I can’t see what’s going to happen and it panics me.  What if I never figure it out?  What if my characters stop talking?  Thankfully, they’ve always pulled through for me.

Do you find it hard to stay out of your characters personality? By that I mean allowing them to do what they would do versus what you want them to do?

Not at all.  They are what drives the story for me, so I have to let them have their way.  And honestly, where they take things is usually way better than anything I could come up with!

What was your favorite thing about epubbing Witch Way Bends?

The excitement of hearing from my readers.  I love interaction, comments, reviews and especially when they beg news about my next book.  I mean, naturally I love the story; it’s just such a rush when others love it too.

What was your least favorite thing about epubbing?

The work of self-promoting becomes oppressive from time to time.  It’s like feeling around in the dark trying to figure out what will and won’t work.  I’m a writer. Trying to “sell” my stories is entirely different.

Since we’re on the topic of epubbing, I think a lot of authors in the epubbing trade fall victim to the instant gratification of clicking upload. This is what, unfortunately, has gotten indie authors, in my opinion, a bad rep. Their work is often considered off-the-cuff or sloppy. I’ve read many ebooks that were good. I’ve interviewed many authors who are equally great, but for every good ebook there’s three or four really bad ones. Were you worried about joining the epub ranks? What concerns did you/do you have?

I’m still worried about it. The day I clicked upload, I think I nearly hyperventilated.  And then, when I sent my story to reviewers I waited each day for feedback so afraid I was going to get that horrible review.  It can be very nerve-wracking if you let yourself dwell on in it.  As the market gets saturated with more ebooks, I think people will be more selective and rely more on things like reviews before they hit purchase. That means as indie’s we need to excel at making our product better as the competition gets stiffer.

Is it wrong that I just giggled at the word ‘stiffer?’

Anyway…have you ever considered writing YA?

I’ve thought about it, but honestly I don’t know that I could ever do it.  I didn’t relate to my peers when I was a young adult.  How could I realistically write about them now?

Do you have crit partners and if so do you feel it is best to have crit partners who write in your genre and for your demographic?

I use two main crit partners for the initial draft of my work.  Then, after I’ve considered and adjusted the story via their suggestions, I have the story put through the first edit and I use several beta readers.  Some of my crit/beta readers are romance writers, YA writers, non-writers, etc.  I find their multitudes of opinions and ideas invaluable.

I think that’s an excellent way to approach edits, Olivia. Are you a fan of Vampires? Do you think Witches and Werewolves will ever saturate the market in the way the vampire has?

I think vampires are very sexy, and I’ve enjoyed exploring them in my writing.  Werewolves just haven’t really struck my fancy, though I’ve recently read a few stories that are well on their way to changing my mind. Most of all though, I’ve been enamored with witches and magic. I was a big fan of the television series Charmed so that probably has a lot to do with that.

I loved Charmed. They ended things so perfect. I actually think their finale was the best one I’ve seen to date. Now, your first book, Witch Way Bends, deals with witches. Have you read any of Kimberly Frosts work? She has a Witch series out that actually turned me on to H.P Mallory and thus her wonderful writers group.

I haven’t read Kimberly Frost.  Honestly, until H.P I hadn’t really discovered paranormal books at all.  And since I’ve started writing, I just don’t have as much time as I’d like to read.  *jots down note to look up Kimberly Frost*

How do you feel about traditional publishing? Is it something you’re going to pursue.

I’m not sure how I feel about traditional publishing. I have to say I’d be ecstatic to catch the attention of a mainstream publisher, but I don’t want to lose my creative license. I’ve heard stories about traditional publishing and it makes me very wary.

Yes. Did you read that L.J Smith, author of the Vampire Diaries, got fired from writing her own books? They replaced her, with of all things, a ghost writer who will publish under her name! Unbelievable. If I were her, I’d take all my royalty money, hire an incredibly sexy hitman (I’m thinking Antonia Banderas from the aptly named action movie Assassins) and take those sum beaches out!

*Calming breath* But, I digress. Let’s talk about networking. I’m what you’d consider an ‘epic fail’ in that department. My blog has been getting more hits, which I literally clap about everyday viewers, so don’t stop reading me pleeeeeease, but the comments aren’t coming, and I generally feel like an unnamed blog drowning in a sea of better, more popular blogs. Got any tips for me? How do you feel about networking?

Networking is tough. I’m just learning twitter and I’m not entirely good at it. I’ve gotten better about blogging in that I’ve started scheduling regular interviews and teasers on Tuesdays, etc.  I’m still not sure who my followers are and I don’t really know what they want to read about. I guess that’s all to say I too  feel like I’m floundering.

Well, at least I’m not alone. Who is your favorite male character (romance interest) in a book series?

Oh… tough question. There are so many. But I think my most recent favorite is Liz Schulte’s Holden in Secrets. Ah, that man is so bad and totally sexy. While reading that book, I found myself dreaming about him. I swear, I’m likely to kidnap and hold her ransom if book 2 doesn’t come out soon!

Ah. Liz. Yes, she does know how to write a mouth-watering male character, doesn’t she? Mmhmm. In a lot of paranormal books the steamy male leads end up ‘growling’ at some point. I don’t know about you, but when I read lines that contain those kinds of yummy words I’m usually hooked, but in real life, if my husband growled at me I think I’d pee my pants laughing. What are your thoughts on hot action words that wouldn’t translate into real life well?

Ahahaha! That is so funny and what an interesting question. I never really thought about “growling” because it’s just one of those things all writers use (myself included.) I think the funniest thing is the different words used to describe anatomy. When I was young, I can remember reading terms like “manhood” and “love button.”  Can you imagine a guy using either of those in the bedroom?  LMAO!

Omg! Love button? That would definitely lead to wet undies and not the good kind. This part of our interview is what I like to call free time! Talk about whatever you want. Favorite books. Favorite colors. An embarrassing childhood incident. I’m eager to read it all.  

Ooo! I have a great embarrassing childhood incident! I was in a new school and I was at that weird age where you’re still thinking like a “little kid,” but you’re supposed to start acting like a “big kid.” It was close to Halloween and someone said the following Friday was going to be dress up day. Just like a kid, I thought: “dress up day” = “costume day.” Mom dropped me off at the bus stop in my pretty pink princess dress and, of course, a tiara. By the time I discovered “dress up” day meant picture day… well, mom was well on her way to work, and I was S-O-L!

That would be embarrassing, but let’s be real here. A tiara in your school picture is AWESOME! I hope you didn’t do retakes. I totally want to see it. If you would like to see or know more about Olivia Hardin visit her

blog:  http://oliviahardinwriter.wordpress.com/about/

twitter page: https://twitter.com/#!/oliviah_writer

Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5354958.Olivia_Hardin

or facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/oliviahardin

Thanks so much for doing this interview, Olivia. I look forward to reading Witch Way Bends which I’m about to do…right…now!

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4 comments on “Olivia Hardin

  1. Very good interview, Jennifer and Olivia. I enjoyed it a lot!

  2. Great job on the interview!!

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