Happy Friday, Friends! I started hosting authors and booklovers on Fridays as a way of giving back to the wonderful book community. It is my pleasure to feature author Katie Oliver today. I started reading her book on my recent vacation: What would Lizzy Bennet Do? And it’s fabulous Austenian chick lit fun! Welcome, Katie!
1. So, what have you written? – I’ve published nine books to date – three books in the ‘Dating Mr Darcy’ series, three in the ‘Marrying Mr Darcy’ series, and three ‘Jane Austen Factor’ books. My first book, Prada and Prejudice, was a number one bestseller and went on to sell well as a paperback.
Currently I’m working on a new story more in line with my earlier books and having great fun writing it. Two female characters cross paths with two sexy (but very different) men, and there are lots of misunderstandings, laughs, and, of course, romance…
2. What subjects & causes are near and dear to your heart? – Homelessness. People going hungry when perfectly good food is thrown out every day. And I don’t understand people who are deliberately rude or unkind. Like the bumper sticker says, mean people suck.
3. Are you a Pantser or a Planner? – I’m about evenly divided between the two. I’m a planner in that I plot the overall story arc in advance and sketch out my characters’ traits and motives/goals; but everything else I make up as I go along. It’s the best of both worlds, really.
4. Tell us about your love of Jane Austen? I came to Jane Austen a little late. I think I was in my late thirties before I saw the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, which led me to finally read the book. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It was amazing. Well-crafted. And it was brimming with wisdom, emotion, and comedic moments. Jane Austen had a rare gift for capturing not only the quirks and foibles of the people in her corner of the world, but of humanity at large. Her works are timeless and universally appealing and will always remain so.
5. What is one unusual thing about you? If I didn’t write, I’d love to design and stage home interiors. I could really get into that…choosing the color palette, furnishings, artwork, rugs… Bliss!
6. What music inspires you? Music that evokes a feeling or emotion does the trick. I like pretty much anything by the Clash or Talking Heads, Bonnie Raitt, and Joni Mitchell. Definitely Joni Mitchell. A Woman of Heart and Mind and River are two particular favorites. Salisbury Hill by Peter Gabriel is unforgettable. And of course, I can’t leave out Depeche Mode.
7. How many books did you read last year? Not as many as I wish! Writing makes for less reading time, unfortunately. But I did read some great books by Bill Bryson, Patrick Taylor, Lynda Renham, Lauren Weisburger, Curtis Sittenfeld, and a few others. And I finally read The Secret Diary of Lizzy Bennet – and loved it!
8. Ranch or Blue Cheese? Um… Neither. Does that make me weird?
9. What are you working on right now? I’m writing an American romance set in Texas about a divorced couple who reconnect several years later. I’m also working on resurrecting an old Regency I started years ago and never finished. I’m kind of all over the place writing-wise right now.
10. What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days? Master Chef, Fixer Upper, Property Brothers (I’m on a home/DIY kick at the moment), and binge-watching Beach House Bargain Hunt. I’ve followed the soap opera, General Hospital, off and on since 1982. And I never tire of a good SpongeBob SquarePants episode.
11. Do you have a theme song? Hmm…as a writer, it would be I Will Survive. For my own theme song, I’d choose Silver Spring by Fleetwood Mac. I love that song, and the lyrics really resonate with me.
12. What is one thing you would tell your younger self? Lighten up and let it go. In a year, or six months, or even a few days, it won’t matter. So don’t sweat it. And don’t beat yourself up over mistakes you’ve made. We all make ’em. Learn from them and move on.
13. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today? If you want to be a writer, go for it. It’s an amazing thing to get published, to be interviewed, to hold your first book in your hands. But know that it’s also a hard road. Develop a thick skin to cope with the inevitable rejections and bad reviews you’ll receive. Be prepared to promote yourself. Get an agent if you can, because he/she will open doors that are closed to un-agented writers.
Most importantly, connect and engage with your readers via Twitter and Facebook. Edit your work ruthlessly. Be polite, and always thank those who take the time to help you. And write the very best book you can.
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/KatieOliverWriter
Carina UK/Pink Ink blog/website – https://pinkinkladies.wordpress.com
Katie Oliver loves romantic comedies, characters who “meet cute,” Richard Curtis films, and Prosecco (not necessarily in that order). She currently resides in South Florida with her husband and two parakeets.
Katie’s been writing since she was eight, and has a box crammed with (mostly unfinished) novels to prove it. With her sons grown and gone, she decided to get serious and write more (and hopefully, better) stories. She even finishes most of them.
AMAZON UNIVERSAL BUY LINKS:
THE JANE AUSTEN FACTOR series
What Would Lizzy Bennet Do? – myBook.to/WWLBD
The Trouble With Emma – myBook.to/TroubleWEmma
Who Needs Mr Willoughby? – myBook.to/WNWilloughby
DATING MR DARCY series:
Prada & Prejudice – myBook.to/Prada
Love & Liability – myBook.to/LoveandLiability
Mansfield Lark – myBook.to/MansfieldLark
MARRYING MR DARCY series:
And the Bride Wore Prada – myBook.to/ATBWP
Love, Lies & Louboutins – myBook.to/LoveLiesLouboutins
Manolos in Manhattan – myBook.to/ManolosinManhattan