Interview with Author Olivia Black

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Olivia Black is best known for her novels The Alpha’s Mate and Jackson. With more than one ongoing series, her readers enjoy turning every page.

What got you interested in writing m/m fiction?

I fell in love with romance novels years ago and read everything I could get my hands on. I started writing ménage romance with Siren Publishing under the name Alicia White. Recently, I decided that I wanted to branch out, and with the support of the Siren team, I started writing ManLove under Olivia Black.
The inspiration for my first ManLove series came from a road trip I took – driving from San Diego to New Orleans. Being in New Orleans was magical. I had a dream about the Silver Bullet, a club located in the warehouse district that was a block long and had different mini-clubs inside, catering to all different types of patrons. When I woke up, I wrote it all out in a notepad and realized that I had five books practically written.
The transition from ménage to alternative was an easy one to make and I’ve been writing ManLove ever since.

How did you begin your career and how did you grow your fan base to be so humongous?

I started my writing career by writing. I know that may sound silly, but it’s the truth. I’ve always been a huge reader and decided that I wanted to write my own story. When the book was finished, I submitted it to Siren Publishing and they accepted. Over the years, my writing style has changed and I’ve grown as a person. I’ve learned a lot from fellow authors, the Siren publishing staff, and my fantastic readers.
The readers are what keep me writing. Hearing positive feedback and comments pushes me to the next book. I’m just thankful there are folks out there that want to read what I write. I’m forever grateful that I can do what I love and it’s all thanks to the readers.

What was it like to explore the bond between a human and a shifter in The Alpha’s Mate?

I’ve always been a fan of the paranormal world – shifters, vampires, demons – the list goes on and on. Matching a human with a shifter is one that has been explored many times, I’m sure. Shifters and humans approach relationships differently. For a shifter [at least in my opinion], they find a mate and bond for life. Humans are a bit more fickle.

Who is the LAST person you’d want to discover you write m/m fiction and how do you think they’d respond?

For the most part, my family and friends know that I write adult romance. If anyone has a negative response, that’s their issue, not mine. I’m proud about what I do and what I write.

Does the fact that Jackson Murphy finds out that his father is actually a man who is dying in another state remain a key focus of the novel?

Belt Buckle Ranch is a contemporary series that takes place in Colorado. The premise of this five book series is based around William Rickett, a rodeo star turned ranch owner that becomes ill and passes away. Before he dies, he sends a private investigator out to find his sons, men he’s never met before. Each book starts out with the introduction of one of his sons – Jackson, Robbie, Jared, Easton, and Oliver. They each receive a manila envelope and travel to Colorado only to find out that they’re too late. The series is about their relationship as brothers [how to work and live with someone you don’t even know] and also about finding love in a small ranching community.

Why do you think so many women love to read m/m?

I read ManLove because it’s HOT.

What was it like to create the dynamic between shifter Jaydon Channing and vampire Andrew Porter? 

Jayden wasn’t only a wolf shifter. He’s the Alpha’s baby brother and an innocent. Andrew on the other hand, is an older more experienced vampire. The two are complete opposites, but that’s what makes their relationship work so well.

What are you currently working?

I bounce around between multiple projects. Inspiration is a big factor to which book I’m working on. Currently, book 13 in the Silver Bullet series [Give Me Love] and book 5 in the Belt Buckle series [Oliver].

Tell me about your writing process from idea to finished draft? Do you rewrite to death? Do you outline?

I usually have a basic idea of how I want the story to flow. I do some plotting, but things usually change as I write. I generally read the book a couple of times, fixing any obvious errors, before sending it off to my publisher.

How long does it typically take you to write a novel? 

That really depends on how inspired I am. I have over a dozen books saved to my laptop that aren’t complete. Some stories come together faster than others.

What was it like to continue your Silver Bullet series, following different couples in each book? Does it make writing the series easier?

Each book has been different in this series, but they all revolve around the Silver Bullet – a club in New Orleans. The first five books came to me in a dream while on vacation in New Orleans. When I woke up, I jotted down every detail I could remember. From there, I started writing the books. Each character along the way has pushed me to the next book and now, I’m starting number 13 in the series. It’s been an exciting journey, one I hope readers will enjoy.

What advice do you have for those thinking about writing gay romance and what advice do you have for those who are trying to build an audience from scratch?

For those writing: If you have a story, write it. It’s as simple as that.
To build an audience: In this day and age, it’s important to be on social media – Facebook and Twitter. In my experience, readers like to communicate and interact with writers so creating relationships is very important. It’s also a good idea to have a website – BlogSpot, WordPress, ect. – with current and up to date information.

Jamie Lake is the author of Bad Boy: Naughty at Night and other m/m gay romance novels.

    

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