And finally, I chatted a bit about my writing—how much I steal from real life, my totally nonexistent plans for world domination, etc.—with Cynthia Woolf.
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!
Over at the Manic Readers blog today, I’m talking about female friendship in my books and my life. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway there!
In many ways, Penelope Callahan is just like me.
Penny—the heroine of my debut novella, Broken Resolutions—works at a small, rural library in Maryland. For almost two years, so did I.
She serves as the children’s librarian for her branch. Until I switched to the central branch of our library system, I too ran storytimes for kids.
She’s an introvert, quiet and uncomfortable in crowds no matter how calm she appears to be. Among trusted friends, though, she’s mouthy and raunchy. As am I.
And in the first draft of my story, she was like me in one other crucial way: unmoored by a strong circle of female friends.
When I tell you about what I did at last year’s RWA conference in San Antonio, please keep those two facts in mind before calling me a complete idiot: 1) I do not function well without adequate sleep. 2) If I can’t get adequate sleep, I refuse to function at all without adequate food. God, I love food. Especially when it’s free and in buffet form.
Even with those facts in mind, you will likely still call me a complete idiot, but you will do so with pity rather than scorn. And that’s good enough for me.
Though a substantial, geeky part of me wishes I were joining a tribe of female warriors with bare right breasts, I’m writing to announce something else instead:
The first two books of my Lovestruck Librarian series are now available on Amazon.
<———-SEE? TOTALLY ON AMAZON! WITH COVERS AND EVERYTHING!
And I am incredibly, ridiculously excited about it. Not because I prefer that particular site to the other places my book will be sold, but because I own a Kindle. Which means that, come December 8, I’ll be able to download my own book onto my own e-reader.
Admittedly, this makes my book only one of hundreds on my Kindle. But I can’t wait. Soon, I’ll be able to bookmark or add notes to my own story! Or—best of all—highlight favorite passages! (And by favorite, I obviously mean smuttiest.)
I love seeing that listing on Amazon. I’ve navigated to it dozens of times already. Somehow, looking at my cover there makes my work real in a way that even signing the publication contract didn’t.
Broken Resolutions is my debut book, written before I had an agent or contract. I drafted it in response to a publisher’s open submission call without any expectation of it selling, or of anyone reading it other than my ever-patient critique partner (hi, Mia!) and the poor editor who’d surely (and immediately) reject it. Still, I’d just attended the 2014 Romance Writers of America Conference in San Antonio, where I’d watched Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway discuss the art and advantages of novella-writing. That session inspired me. As did the idea of setting a story in my most recent place of work: the library.
So in late July of last year, I sat down and wrote a novella, with no idea that this particular manuscript would be the key to finding both an agent and a publisher for my work. With no idea that the book would become the first in a series of stories set in the same fictional library system. And, most importantly, with no idea that in the space of a year, I’d be able to witness what I’d written become available to the world.
I’ll be honest. When I see my book available for sale, I kind of feel like a fierce warrior. I feel like I’ve conquered an army, or at least successfully raided the far border of Bookland, surrounded all the while by my loyal, invaluable tribe of friends.
I feel like an Amazon, albeit one with both boobs (generally) covered.
I know there are more battles to come, some of which I may lose. But I’ll always have this first taste of victory to hearten me, no matter what happens in the future.
Tomorrow, I resume my normal life of sitting slumped in front of a computer screen in pajamas. But today…today, I celebrate.*
*NOTE: By celebrate, I mean highlight the smuttiest parts of other people’s books on my Kindle, since that is pretty much my favorite activity in the world.