Short BIO: USA TODAY Bestselling Author Olivia Gates has written over twenty-five books in contemporary, medical, action/adventure and paranormal romance. She currently writes exotic and passionate modern-day fairy tales for Harlequin Desire and dark, erotic paranormals set in complex new worlds for Harlequin Nocturne.
Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?
I usually go for eggnog, but will go out of my comfort zone and take the mimosa. And yep, I think I’m just about old enough. J
We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)
If I’m bringing the gift, does that make me a Santa of sorts, too?
And the real one should be happy with me this year, since I’m getting him not one but three releases and very pretty covers.
“I assure you, I’m not into pain. Mine or others’. Not the damaging variety.”
Her lids grew heavier, her scent stronger. His indirect declaration that he was into the kind of pain that sharpened pleasure heightened her arousal.
Her voice deepened, roughened, though her words remained coolly logical. “So why did you let them pulp you?”
“Why do you think?”
“You wanted them to get confident before you retaliated? That doesn’t make sense either. So, why?”
He suddenly wanted to tell her. Everything.
He released her hair, straightened. “Because until you walked out after me and I saw you in danger, I wanted to die.”
“But you…radiate power and life. Why would you want to end that?”
His chuckle was gruff. “Now you think I’m suicidal.”
“Last time I looked, that defined ‘want to die’.”
“In my case, it’s a bit more complicated than that.”
“That what they all say.”
“You get lots of suicide cases in the ER, eh?”
Her eyes widened, realization dawning. “You followed me!”
“I did. All day.”
“You changed into something I wouldn’t notice.”
She didn’t waste time clinging to beliefs once new evidence shattered them, reached the most accurate deduction based on new findings. And he wanted to fuck the hell out of her for it.
“Someone,” he corrected. “It would have been difficult to follow you as a cabinet or a gurney.”
Her jaw dropped. “You can change into stuff like that?”
He cupped it, stoking both his and her lust. “Just kidding. I can shift parts of me into inanimate objects. But to shift fully, I have to become something living, even if it’s totally made up in my mind. So–still not scared?”
“Because you followed me, or because you can ‘shift’ into whatever your imagination can conjure?”
“According to mortals, both are the stuff of nightmares. We are talking stalker and monster from your worst ones.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You want me to be scared, or what?”
“Not if it’s for real. Or not for the right reason.”
“And that is?”
“That I want to ravish you. Until you’re so sore and satisfied you can’t even beg for more.”
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Any holiday that will mean days off from school, the longer the better. But I like the winter ones best, since I love cold! J
Did you ask Santa for anything good?
I did. Waiting to see if he’ll deliver!
What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?
If I can’t be home, I’d rather be somewhere very far away and secluded, so I can unwind.
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
A party where all my family and friends were around, and everything we planned sort of fell through and it instead evolved into such an unplanned and fun affair. I think it was the last time we were all together like that. I was fifteen.
Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?
I have so many resolutions, I need another body, and a parallel lifespan. But the one thing I’m resolved to do is, along with my contracted books, to finish two Single Title books, one in adult paranormal romance set against a backdrop of Middle Eastern mythology in a parallel modern-day earth and the other in young adult one with Ancient Egyptian themes.
Why do you write romance?
Because I love it. Really. It’s that simple. Some of the best times in my life were spent reading romance. Now I write it and hope I offer my readers the same enjoyment and escapism my favorite authors gave, and still give me.
How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey?
I’ve been writing for publication since 2001. I sold my first book in 2003 and my first book came out in 2004. But my publication journey hasn’t been smooth. Many developments interrupted my production, like a line getting cancelled and taking two books of mine with it, and leaving me not knowing where to go afterward for a long while. Working another demanding job till recently also took its toll. Publishing is a tough gig, and you have to keep on rolling with the blows, dusting yourself off and taking off in a different direction if and when needed.
Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?
I used to say I’m a confirmed plotter. And I still am. But now I think any career writer is a mixture of both. After I plot the major and minor details, during execution, some developments and twists or character traits that looked good in abbreviated form no longer feel right and I have to transform into a panster to make them work.
In my current Desire book, A SECRET BIRTHRIGHT, I had the plot all detailed, and my editors loved it. But after I thoroughly got to know my hero, at the dark moment, when he was supposed to be outraged, all that made sense from him was that he’d be heartbroken. Instead of being cruel to the heroine in his agony, he did something far worse to her. He was understanding, even kind as he was there for her in every way. All but the personal one. The withdrawal of his ease and intimacy, cutting her off from his previous openness and passion were far worse than any punishment, and made for far poignant and heart-rending scenes.
What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories?
I write alpha males, and their alpha females. They’re all strong, protective, resourceful, and no matter their faults or sins, they’re noble and courageous and they face their mistakes and do whatever it takes to fix them. And once they love, it’s for life. And in my paranormals, beyond.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
First and foremost, if you don’t really love writing, don’t do it. Writing is hard enough when you do. If you don’t, it can break you. Second, if you love it, stick with it. Even though it will give you some of your worst times ever, it will be the one thing that can truly fulfill you. Third, write. Regularly. Anything is always better than nothing. Grow your writing muscles just as you would your real ones. Exercise is the only way to develop the stamina and the resourcefulness needed for a career in writing. Fourth and last, read. And not always for pleasure or to research the market you’re targeting. Reading outside your interests or even comfort zone can bring about some most unexpected breakthroughs.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on two projects. My deadline Harlequin Desire book, THE SHEIKH’S CLAIM, book 2 in my upcoming trilogy DESERT KNIGHTS (June/September/December 2012) and the Single Title adult paranormal project I told you about.
My latest Harlequin Desire TO TOUCH A SHEIKH was nominated for RT Book Reviews SEAL of EXCELLENCE, and it’s now nominated for a REVIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARD!!
And I have three books out at the same time in the first time ever! And each of them in a different genre.
The first is a standalone Harlequin Desire, A SECRET BIRTHRIGHT, and it stars a sheikh surgeon. The second is a Nocturne Cravings, a paranoremal 25K novella, and it explores my own version of Norse mythology, and is very, very hot. My third book is my first self-pubbed book, SHOCK THERAPY, a Mission Impossible-style action/adventure book, but with lots and lots of hot romance and incendiary sex. AND the best part it’s available for download now for 0.99 for a limited time, so hurry and download your copy!
Where can readers find you?
c. Website: oliviagates.com
List other books you have out:
All my Harlequin Desire, Nocturne and Bombshell books are available in ebooks, so they’re out all the time now!
But my latest ones were Pride of Zohayd trilogy, TO TAME A SHEIKH, TO TEMPT A SHEIKH, and TO TOUCH A SHEIKH (ALL three books were RT Book Reviews TOP PICKS and TWO got Reviewers’ Choice Awards!) And my standalone bestseller with my one Greek hero THE SARANTOS SECRET BABY
Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!
Thank you for having me! I love being here. Such a perfect way to end the year. Thanks everyone. Hope next year is your best year yet!
PRIZE: Three signed books