I am so excited to announce a new feature on my blog, Meet The Author! I will be interviewing some authors every now and then and be featuring them here on the blog!
Now let's get to the first Author!
Meet Olivia Samms!
She wrote these awesome book below!
Can you tell a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in a small town in southern Michigan. I, along with my active
imagination, was allowed to run amok in the Michigan woods and
muddy lakes. My location has changed, but not my imagination. I now
live in Los Angeles with my husband and a crazy Rhodesian Ridgeback
puppy - both of my kids are grown and in college.
Did you always want to be an author? If so, what made you want to become
one? If not, what did you want to be instead?
I grew up wanting to be a singer/actress and extensively trained,
eventually getting my M.F.A from Cornell University. I then played
the starving actress role in NYC for years performing on stage and
soaps, but I believe I was a closet-writer the whole time. I would write
imagined back-stories for the characters I was portraying. After
having kids, I gave up pursuing acting gigs and my creative outlet
naturally morphed into extensive journal writing, and then found the
nerve to sit down and write a novel. But I still act, everyday ... I write
out loud, acting out every piece of dialogue - every character. My dog
and husband think I'm nuts :)
What were some of your favorite novels when you were a teen?
It was all about acting and singing when I was in high school, so my
time was spent reading plays and musicals, memorizing the lines and
performing. My favorite play and character I performed was Beatrice
in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. (My naming of Bea had
nothing to do with that ... at least not consciously. The coincidence just
occurred to me a few months ago!) I had the pleasure of playing Emily
in Thornton Wilder's, Our Town; Curley's Wife in Steinbeck's, Of Mice
and Men; Arlie in Marsha Norman's, Getting Out ... all great literature!
What was the last book that you read?
Donna Tartt's, The Goldfinch. Oh my. Genius, pure genius.
When reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I much prefer hard back books, but find myself reading more on my
Kindle ... instant gratification, right?
Where is your favorite writing spot?
I have a little office - it's actually a converted closet (I like the
intimacy of the small space). Three of the walls are floor to ceiling
bookshelves filled with yes, books and plays - most (I can't say all)
that I've read. I don't use a desk ... I have a daybed, a lap desk and tons
Describe a typical day of writing.
My most productive writing day, not always typical, but definitely
favorite day, starts with a cup of coffee, solving the newspaper’s
crossword (I feel finding the correct answers screws my head on tight)
and then I read what I wrote the day before, edit, write more. The next
thing I know it’s late afternoon, and I'm still sitting in my pajamas ...
did I mention my dog and husband think I'm nuts?
Do you ever get writers block. If so, how do you deal with it?
I hike the Santa Monica foothills when I’m stuck or confused about
something. Invariably, into my second mile, an idea, or a solution will
pop in my head. I use the recording app on my phone, and will record
my thoughts, ideas. Again, I get so lost in my head, the time and miles
fly by, and I normally come home with something new to add, and the
puzzle is solved.
What is the hardest thing about writing? The easiest?
For me, starting is the hardest. Starting the day - worrying if I'll get in
the zone, or just end up writing pure drek. Also, I'm very impatient, so
when I start a novel, the thought of finishing seems so daunting ... the
finish line so far away, as does climbing the hills. So, I try hard to stay
in the moment, just put one foot in front of the other, taking it step by
step, word by word.
The easiest, or actually, the most fun for me, is the editing process –
after I know I have the story down on paper. Finding the write word,
playing with alliteration, rearranging scenes, moments ... even an
ellipse can bring me great joy :) I think it brings out the crossword
puzzle nerd in me.
When you write, do you have an outline or plot or do you like to just see
where an idea takes you?
I envy writers who can write from their outline! I try, I really do, but
invariably my characters, especially Bea, take me on their ride. But I
always have the beginning of the story, and the end in my head, and
pretty much stick to it. That was the best advise I ever got from
another writer. Writing the middle is the fun, gooey stuff to work out,
to wallow in.
Can you give a brief summary of your book(s)?
The Bea Catcher Chronicles, (Sketchy and Snitch) features an edgy,
mixed-race, artistic teen protagonist who has the uncanny ability to
draw the truth out of people ... literally. She forms a relationship with
a local cop, Sergeant Daniels, and with this bizarre (sometimes
frightening) skill becomes his secret weapon – a paranormal forensic
artist, helping him solve local crimes.
What type of research is involved when you are writing?
I love research! If I may quote myself in my acknowledgements in the
book, Snitch: “They say write what you know. I say write what you
don’t know, use your imagination, research, pry, and then stalk people.
Eventually someone caves and shares their expertise, a glimpse
through a cracked door into their world.”
I’ve interviewed ex-gang members, former cops, and an arson
detective. And the geography, the history of a place, a town, can be so
utterly inspiring that it itself becomes a character. Depot Town in
Ypsilanti, Michigan was one of those places for me. As soon as I visited
the area, I knew it would play a main character in my book.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes, thank you for asking! I'm adapting my novel, Sketchy, into a
television pilot, and am having a blast. I believe the story and
characters will translate well on the small screen, and it’s super fun to
write in a different genre . . . I love mixing it up.
I’ve also written a draft of a novella, Snap (a continuation of The Bea
Catcher Chronicles) and have outlined the third book, Smolder (but of
course won’t keep to the outline☺)
Beatrice Washington has a lot to say, and a lot of work to do. I feel I’ll
being hanging with her for a while yet.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
All my information can be found on my website: