Today Lovely Books Shines The Author Spotlight On…
Author Olivia Gaines
Cheryl is an author, a blogger and an adult educator. She writes fiction under the penname of a private hero, her mother, Olivia Gaines Aaron. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master’s in Organizational Management. Her non-fiction works are focused on helping writers perfect their craft. Cheryl co-authored Musings: A Book of Poetry by Aaron Flanders; and authored My Next Best Seller: A Novel Writer’s Journal and My Writing Journal.
Under the penname Olivia Gaines, Cheryl has authored the short story series The Bounty (2009), Vengeance (2012) and The Bounty Hunter (2013). The Slice of Life Series is new in the Olivia Gaines portfolio which includes, Two Nights In Vegas, The Perfect Man, The Basement of Mr. McGee and Letter to My Mother.
In 2011, she completed work on her second novel, Courting Guinevere and has recently completed Loving Words, her 3rd novel, the second book in the Davonshire Series
How do you find inspiration?
I take my cues from the everyday moments in life. Many of my short stories are based upon real life incidents. The conversation in Friends with Benefits, when Marquez talks to the dog is based on something very similar in my real life. I write about what I know. I write about life situations that I am familiar with and characters that readers can identify with and relate to. I am inspired by life.
How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
I wrote my first short story when I was nine years old. I served on my high school newspaper, on my college newspaper and was a journalist in the Army. I started writing full time last year and left my full time job tis year to pursue a full time writing career.
How do you go about writing a book? Do you have any schedule, tricks or tips to share?
I write from an outline. I layout each chapter and what is going to happen in what order. I am in my writing lab on Monday through Wednesdays from 8 am to 5 pm. Then I step away for a few days.
One tip that I will share with authors is to not take the reviews so seriously; write what you love, write for your readers and write from your heart. I wrote a scene in a story and cried at each keystroke I hit. In almost every review, my readers told me they cried as well.
If you need some perspective on reviews, pull up a Pulitzer Prize winning work. You will see many one star reviews on those works as well as many of your favorite authors. Stick to your guns.
Did you design your own cover? Was it difficult?
Book covers sell books and it should be left to the professionals. I have purchased a pre-made cover for one of my books, the others are designed by my graphics team at http://koougraphics.net. I strongly recommend to any self-published author to make the investment to have a professionally designed cover. Spending the $45 to $125 to have a cover that represents what the book is actually about, makes a world of difference.
Which of your books is your favorite? Which character is your favorite?
The book that I am writing is my favorite. Because many of my shorts are series, I have to go back and revisit some characters and ensure they grow, evolve, and transition like real people. The characters are real to me. Thus far, I think my favorite character is Grayson Broche. He is that guy. He is the best friend every woman has had, who wished he could have been more. I transitioned the hope of many women by bringing Grayson to life, making that next step.