Sarah Mayhew: Larger Than Life, Ready for Love

For Manic Readers, I wrote a blog post about women with big personalities—including myself and the heroine of Ready to Fall, Sarah Mayhew.


Superhero woman silhouette

Some people naturally have quiet, placid personalities. I am not one of them. Instead, I laugh loudly enough to be heard several city blocks away. I enjoy swearing. I adore dirty jokes. I cry often, at the first sound of a sad violin in a TV commercial or the sight of someone else’s grief. Worst of all, I’m a perfectionist. I’m hard on myself and sometimes hard on the people around me too.

In my past, I spent a lot of years with my head down, trying to avoid trouble and attention. Trying not to make waves, speak too loudly, or bother anyone with my desires. Trying to make myself smaller, in personality if not in body, so as not to inconvenience others. Continue reading

Not-So-Easy Rider

For Fresh Fiction, I wrote a post about the, um, ambivalence toward bikes shared by me and my heroine, Sarah.


“I need to learn to ride a bike.” Sarah didn’t try to hide her grimace. “By the middle of next week. Even though riding one of those things is basically daring God to smite me.”

That’s the opening of Ready to Fall, my fourth Lovestruck Librarians book. Now, I will freely admit that my heroine, Sarah Mayhew, has a flair for hyperbole. She’s earned her nickname DQ (for Drama Queen) among her friends honestly. But in this instance…well…

I can’t help but agree with her.

unhappy woman with defect bike

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The Call of the Wild: Rejected

To celebrate the release of Ready to Fall, I wrote a few blog posts about my inspirations for the story and what I love about it. Novels Alive featured this post, in which I discuss my heroine’s hostility toward nature and why I sympathize with her. (Hint: I WANT INDOOR PLUMBING.)

Portrait of young reflective woman

I wanted to find a picture of a woman glaring at trees. This was as close as I could get. (I like to imagine there’s an infuriating oak just out of frame.)

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My MAYDAY Interview with Cynthia Woolf

Cynthia Woolf graciously invited me onto her blog and talked to me about my books, my writing process, and my beloved critique partner, Mia Sosa!

Tell us a little about yourself and your latest book.
Hello! My name is Olivia Dade, and my third Lovestruck Librarians book, Mayday, comes out May 10. It’s a contemporary romantic comedy full of sex, banter, and assorted nerdery, set in and around the Downtown Niceville Library. In fact, the heroines of my entire Lovestruck Librarians series all work in the same Maryland library system.

The whole library connection isn’t a shock, considering that I worked at a public library for five years. Before that, I taught high school and led tours through Colonial Williamsburg. So basically, I’ve held lots of jobs that required me to feign a certain level of decorum I don’t actually possess. Now I don’t need to pretend anymore. Such a relief!

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Starting Over

NOTE: I originally wrote this post for Manic Readers.


Some people sail through their lives, certain from a young age about what they want from their existence and their work, sure where they belong and what they’re meant to do.

I’m not one of those people.

For a long time, though, I thought I was. From seventh grade until the age of twenty-four, I knew I would become a university professor, beloved and wise as I taught in front of rapt students and researched fascinating subjects. I would be intellectually challenged, part of a community, and happy. Above all else, happy.

Then, halfway through my American History Ph.D. program, everything changed.

Girl comforting her friendAs it turned out, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sure anymore that I wanted to spend my adult life battling for my place in academia. So I left a semester after earning my master’s degree, moved back home with my mother, and applied for a full-time position at the living history museum where I’d been working during my school breaks.

And I floundered. For years. I had no idea anymore what I wanted to do with my life. I searched for a new calling at an array of jobs: living history interpreter, high school teacher, student tutor, bakery clerk, and librarian. For a woman who’d thought she knew her life path from seventh grade, the upheaval was disorienting and upsetting. Worse, that upheaval didn’t uncover a new calling.

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