Interview with Olivia Andem

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Age nine, I wrote a story about my Girl Scout Brownie troop that was published in local newspaper. Although spelling was still a problem in school, I wanted to be a journalist!
What's the story behind your latest book?
While exploring a character in England post-Waterloo, I began to wonder about persons living in the area of Waterloo. Suddenly I felt the fear of a girl hiding in disguise while chaos raged nearby...that was my first glimpse of the main character in what turned out to be my third novel, Ashes of Waterloo. I could not ignore her plight...the vision was so compelling, it gripped my writer's imagination.
What is your writing process?
Am inspired by historic events and become curious about people who lived in that era. I like to pretend that my office is an English cottage. However, coffee shops, airports, medical waiting rooms and in the car on a lapboard have also served the purpose. Listening to music when I am working on a very emotional scene aids my writing...special favorites are Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Successfully capturing the essence of an event or emotion! The best thing about my author journey so far has been hearing from a reader who says, "I loved your book, I couldn't put it down!"
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Any work by Charles Dickens...for deep characterization.
The Calamitous Fourteenth Century...for the use of historical detail (non-fiction)
To Kill A Mockingbird...for the intriguing cover and wide-eyed innocence of the main character
Any work by Jane Austen...(abridged versions) how the strict rules of society affected lives
Any work by Jo Beverly...for the style and characterization
What are you working on next?
Finishing a couple of works in progress...one set in the Victorian west and one set in Scotland and Yorkshire. The past is a murky place, full of intriguing shadows...who knows what I will find there?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Enjoying family and doing genealogy research.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Doctor Doolittle series...I can't remember the exact one...our grammar school encouraged us to get a library card. While sitting on the floor in front of the children's books section (it was a small library), I browsed the shelves and found them. I can still remember the sense of joy and anticipation as I carried that first book home to read.
How do you approach cover design?
Inspired by pictures and colors, I am easily carried away by them. However, the conflicting advice and the warnings about genre-specific expectations of readers confuses me greatly. Some say, they will read a book recommended to them and the cover is meaningless in that instance. Who knows?
What do you read for pleasure?
History...because I am always researching.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My computer.
Published 2015-07-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ashes of Waterloo
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 74,500. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Regency, Fiction » Historical » Regency
April 1815: Province of Brabant near Brussels. A soldier's daughter, young Lisette refuses to surrender to her tragic past. War engulfs the lives of the teenager, her family and friends. Swept onto the smoking battlefield by scavengers, she meets with unexpected joy and old memories. After hardship and setbacks, Lisette must conquer her fears once and for all in order to win a precious victory.