To this point, all of my published books are contemporary romantic comedies. Which surprises people who know my background, since I earned my M.A. in American History and worked as both a history teacher and a costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg. Historical romance might seem like a better fit, but…I’m a perfectionist. Also a tiny bit lazy. I would be paralyzed by the prospect of getting the historical details wrong, but unwilling to put in the extensive research required to make sure that didn’t happen. So contemporary romance turned out to be a better fit for me, especially since I love making pop culture references in my writing.
I’ve also written a futuristic romance, but it’s much darker than my contemporary romances. I’ll eventually publish it as the first in a series under a different pen name, just because it’s so different from my other work.
Tell us about your current series.
Ready to Fall is the fourth book in my Lovestruck Librarians series. Each of the books focuses on a different librarian in the Nice County Public Library system, which is located in the heart of rural Maryland. And the heroines are all friends, so they invade each other’s stories on a regular basis.
Although the books can stand alone, I think people who read all of them will enjoy the callbacks and connections with other stories. At least, I hope so!
What is your next project and when will it be released?
The fifth book in my series, Driven to Distraction, will come out in early 2017. I had a fantastic time writing it, since the dynamic between Constance (the Bookmobile manager) and Sam (the library’s hot IT expert) is so much fun.
The two of them meet for the first time in the margins of the third book, Mayday, and their attraction is both immediate and intense. So is their bickering. In Driven to Distraction, I stick them together in the tight confines of the Bookmobile for a week and watch all their defenses against one another crumble to dust. Like I said: great fun. I hope readers love the story too!
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Most of my characters are totally and completely fictional, made up whole cloth from my imagination. But on occasion, I do get inspired by someone I know or someone I meet. That said, I never take people from my life and insert them wholesale into a manuscript. I usually swipe a certain characteristic or a particular experience they had.
For example, a good friend of mine looks very sweet and innocent. But her e-reader contains the filthiest erotica I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Like, hilariously filthy. The first time we looked at each other’s e-book libraries, I was in the midst of asking whether she was offended by graphic sex scenes when I saw the titles and covers of some of her books.
Within a matter of seconds, I went from saying, “This ménage story might be a bridge too far for you” to “No bridge ever created in the history of humanity would ever be too far for you. Brava!” And a very similar scene takes place in a book I wrote between librarian manuscripts.
I hope my friend forgives me. Sorry, J***!
What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
External conflict—something from the outside that keeps the hero and heroine apart, rather than simply their pasts, their fears, or their disparate desires—can prove difficult for me. I’d blame that on two main factors.
Historically, women’s parents and families exerted much greater control over them. Women had very little legal and economic recourse at times. Issues of class and race kept people apart much more effectively. Voila! External conflict ahoy! But in contemporary America, that’s much less common. All the relationships I’ve ever seen falter or fail have done so because of internal reasons. Because of emotional or physical disconnection, rather than a family feud or a bizarre inheritance or amnesia. So coming up with new ways to keep my couple apart—ways that aren’t internal in nature—can be tricky in contemporary romance.
(Unless you write about vampires or werewolves. Then you’re pretty much set on the external conflict front, and I’m happy for you. And a little jealous.)
Also, I love writing internal conflict. When I’m reading someone else’s book, that’s what I’ll remember—the emotional journey of the central couple, rather than the specifics of the plot. So I sometimes overlook the external conflict issue until my critique partner reads the opening of my manuscript.
Her: “But what’s actually keeping them apart, besides their fears?”
Her: [waits patiently]
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
To get the attention of her elusive coworker, Sarah Mayhew needs to learn to ride a bike at the age of thirty-two. Her teacher: Chris Dean, the hot cyclist whose ex dumped him for his best friend. Even though he wants Sarah, he refuses to get involved yet again with a woman who wants another man. But a few hot summer nights spent together might convince them both to change their minds and risk falling hard.
Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?
I normally love all romance genres: contemporary, historical, futuristic, paranormal, erotic, etc. But when I’m in the middle of writing my books, I assiduously avoid anything too similar to what I’m writing. That means no contemporary romance, at least not until my story is finished. Otherwise, I worry that I’ll unconsciously ape the voice or borrow the phrasing of another writer. Reading outside the genre in which I write helps protect me against that.
What do you have planned for the future?
::clears throat:: Please ignore that. Just a slip of the tongue.
Since I’m totally not planning to conquer the Earth, I’m excited about starting a new series soon! After binge-watching way too much HGTV during a bout with bronchitis in January, I plotted out several novellas loosely inspired by various shows on that channel.
I mean, don’t you want David and Hilary from Love It Or List It to make out? Of course you do! And I’m going to make that happen for you. (Fictionally, at least. I can’t actually force the real people to french each other, despite my wishes.) It’s going to be glorious and ever so naughty.
“Why did Helen send you here?” Chris asked.
Sarah fished a folded printout from her huge purse and slapped it on the counter. “Take a look.”
He unfolded the paper and scanned the text. Apparently, the faculty and staff of Spring Ridge Elementary School had been invited to participate in a bike retreat as part of a new fitness initiative. That still didn’t explain what she wanted from him, however.
“It’s hot enough out there to cook us like rotisserie chickens.” Sarah tapped a finger on the flyer. “I’ll be surprised if more than a dozen teachers survive the day. But at least our meat will be juicy and flavorful.”
Stifling another grin, he started making his way to the store entrance. Time to end this conversation and usher her out. “If you need a volunteer to give the bikes a tune-up or someone to sponsor the event, keep looking. I can’t. Like I said, this is a pretty new shop. I have too many things to do and not a lot of extra money.”
Instead of following him to the door, she turned around and leaned her curvy butt against the counter. “That’s not why I’m here. I need you to teach me how to ride a bike before that retreat.”
And there it was. The reason for all this. “You want to learn how to ride in three days?”
“Yes.” She smiled again, clearly pleased that he’d grasped the situation at long last.
“And you want me to teach you? Over the Fourth of July holiday? On top of my normal schedule here at the shop?”
Her smile began to fade. “Yes.”
Jesus, this had to be a joke. In what universe would Helen ever believe he’d give a grown woman riding lessons after work? Him, the man she often called the pissiest human being on the face of the Earth? Unless . . .
“Is Helen trying to set us up?” Unable to resist, he scanned Sarah’s lush body one last time. “You can tell her she got my type right. But I’m not ready to date again. Sorry.”
Sarah remained silent for a long moment, taking what appeared to be a confused look down at herself. Then she raised her head and stared directly at him.
“This isn’t a setup. This is—I mean, I am—a woman who needs to learn how to ride a bike in three days for the sake of true love.” As his mouth opened, she clarified, “Don’t worry. True love for another man. Not you.”
“True love?” he repeated.
“True love,” she confirmed.
A bitter smile curved his mouth. “In that case, you’re definitely wasting your time,” he told her. “Love is the absolute last reason I’d do anything for anyone right now.”
Olivia Dade grew up an undeniable nerd, prone to ignoring the world around her as she read any book she could find. Her favorite stories, though, were always romances. As an adult, she earned an M.A. in American history and worked in a variety of jobs that required her to hide her bawdy interior under a demure exterior: Colonial Williamsburg interpreter, high school teacher, academic tutor, and (of course) librarian. Finally, though, she realized the call of the hussy could no longer be denied. So now she writes contemporary romantic comedy with plenty of sex, banter, and nerdery. When not writing, she cooks alongside her husband, dabbles in photography, and tries to hide her collection of throbbing-intensive romances from her curious daughter.
Here are the individual purchase links:
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ready-Fall-Lovestruck-Librarians-Olivia-ebook/dp/B015VA3MQC
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ready-to-fall-olivia-dade/1122713762?ean=9781616509408
- Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Olivia_Dade_Ready_to_Fall?id=siSeCgAAQBAJ
- Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Ready-Fall/Olivia-Dade/Q396449332?id=6300597355308
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ready-to-fall/id1052731132?mt=11
- Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/ready-to-fall-3
To find the links all in one place, readers can go to either of these sites:
- The Kensington website: http://www.ekensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/33043
- My website: http://oliviadade.com/books/
Author website (which includes my blog):
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