Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Olivia Cunning to Romancing the Book. Olivia, will you share a short bio with us?
Olivia: Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, NYTimes and USA Today Best-Selling Author Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.
Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She’s been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction — first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own. She currently lives in Galveston, Texas because it’s the closest ocean beach to the Midwest, where she was born and her extended family still resides.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Olivia: Hot Ticket is the third book in the Sinners on Tour series. It is about the bassist of the rock band Sinners and his journey to letting go of a tragic past. It’s a little darker than the other books in the Sinners on Tour series, but still has a lot of humor. It is definitely an emotional story. The book was mostly influenced by the song “Pain” by Three Days Grace.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Olivia: I’m mostly a pantser, though I do begin with an idea for a main plot (fall in love—this is romance, after all) and several vague ideas for sub-plots. If I plot too much before I start, I can’t seem to get the words to flow. That’s I already know everything that happens. I like to have some surprises when I write.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Olivia: erotic, humorous, character-driven
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Olivia: I wish I did. So many things are vying for my time these days that I can’t seem to get anything accomplished. I always think having a strict regimen or routine would help me get everything done, but I’m not much for sticking to schedules. I do tend to write on my laptop in my recliner. Or I’ll go down to the beach and write for a bit, if I need a change of scenery. I almost never use my designated writing area. Perhaps it is too uninspiring. Sometimes when I write, I listen to music. Sometimes I listen to “white noise” CDs (waves and thunderstorms). Sometimes I listen to nothing. Sometimes I write two sentences and other times I write pages and pages of text. So I guess what I’m saying is “no”, I don’t have a routine.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Olivia: I forget so many of my good ideas, but sometimes come back to me when I’m writing and the idea works for a particular scene. I get most of my ideas right when I wake up and am lying in bed or when I’m in the shower. I also get a lot of ideas when I’m driving. I just file them all away in my brain and hope they reappear when I need them later.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Olivia: If you’ve read my books, you’ll probably think this is weird, but I think I’d like to write YA without a single sex scene. Something completely different from what I’m known for. I think this goes back to my inability to stick to a routine and liking surprises when I write. I should probably stay away from writing horror. I tried it once, scared myself half to death in the first scene and picked up the nickname “Bonesaw” after several of my writer friends read what I’d written. I decided that I’m too chicken to finish ever writing that book.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Olivia: The fourth book in the series, Wicked Beat, will be released in August. This one is about the drummer of Sinners. I’m working on a couple of other series about different bands too.