Meet The Author: Didi Oviatt- Suspense & Thriller Author #author #amreading

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It’s the 25th so it’s time for meet the author… do you know Didi Oviatt?  I’m excited to feature another author within my own genre. Didi is a suspense and thriller author from the USA.  Her talent is spinning those twists and turns that keep us turning pages. I was really interested  in  getting to know Didi as her environment is so different from mine, I’m a big city girl from London she’s ” a dirt road country girl” from the USA to use her words. This made me think her inspiration for stories could be quite different to mine. What does she cook up within our suspenseful genre?? My mind boggled. I was keen to learn  so I interviewed her. Let’s get to know her style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi Kim, thanks for having me!! I’m a small town, dirt road country girl from the U.S.  Aside from an attempt to make literacy and a great attention span cool again amongst a community of somewhat wrongfully accused rednecks, I like to spend my time outdoors! (doing redneck things like hiking and fishing and riding four wheelers lol)

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

My husband and I went through a difficult patch in life while we were trying to have children. Writing became my process, my way to escape reality in a sense. It helped me to clear my head and focus on something other than medical issues. I wrote a blog post about it a while back, here is a link:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/transformingpersonaltraumaanddevastationintodriveandasheerwilltosucceed/

Also, I’d always toyed with the idea of writing a book, but it wasn’t until a close friend of mine encouraged me as she was writing one of her own.  I went into the whole writing adventure with the attitude of, “If she can do it I can.”  But then, soon enough, curiosity turned to habit, and habit turned to obsession…  Now, here we are!

Kim: Wow Didi, it is always good when a life changing experience pushes you in a new direction.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

My favorite Author overall is hands down, bar none Colleen Hoover!!! She is a POWERHOUSE writer!  I absolutely love her work. She’s also a pillar of the community, a giver!  I’m proud to be a Cohort (for those fellow Cohort-ers like myself who are actually reading this, you are f**king awesome!) If you are not familiar with Colleen’s work then check out her amazing website, and don’t skip out on the information about The Bookworm Box!!  This woman truly is phenomenal! http://www.colleenhoover.com/

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I actually prefer to read romance, which is funny because when it comes to writing I crave suspenseful plot points and quick paced scenes. It helps me to stay excited and keep my head in the game.

Kim: me too!

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I’ll never forget the first time I picked up my first novel after publication. The only thing I could do is pick it apart!  Since then, I spend triple the amount of time in the editing and revision phases, and I never ever ever go back and read my own work after it’s actually published. As writers we are, always have been, and always will be our own greatest critics! I’ve learned that it’s best to make sure it’s absolutely perfected before sending it off to be published, and then never look back.

Kim: I can relate to that, I never go back now, when I’m done I’m done. Unless someone points out a typo. Then I’m like ” whhhhhhhhat? Who? Where is that bitch what page? I’m going back in”  🙂

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I do have one series in the works. So far I’ve only released the first of three novellas, it’s titled New Age Lamians. It’s a post-apocalypse trilogy with a mythological twist. I plan to release the next two books in this series next year 2018…  In the meantime I’ve been working on another stand alone mystery/thriller that will go out in the fall of this year 2017.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It’s actually been quite a bit harder than I thought, hence the break lol.  I have the second and third outlined and all of my surprises and plot points in place, but I really struggled keeping my head in the game. I decided that by taking a break from it, I might be able to do the story more justice by going back in with a clean slate and a fresh perspective. It’s easy to let yourself get blinded by over attachment.

Kim: I think you’re right. My first ever idea  I wanted to write in full for a novel I have on ice, and it’s been there since 2015. I’m going to go back into writing it  the end of this year, and put it out next year I think.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Absolutely! Variety IS the spice of life after all. I feel like challenging yourself is necessary to grow as an author. Otherwise it’s easy to slip into repetition. Suspense is most definitely where my talent shines the brightest, (whether it be YA dystopian or mystery/thrillers) but eventually, when I feel I’m seasoned enough, then I’d love to try my hand at a romantic comedy.

Kim: Excellent! Romance with a smile sounds good. I really respect the erotica genre, I keep telling myself I need to be brave enough to try to write one… one day.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

It’s hard to pin down just one. But I would have to say the last few months as a whole has absolutely taken the cake. Before the release of my last book Aggravated Momentum (which came out in Sept. 2016) I lacked enough confidence as an author to really put myself out there. In a way I feel like writing an adult psychological thriller kind of forced me out of my shell and comfort zone. Since I made the decision to really own my work and myself as a writer, I’ve actually started turning heads. Strangers in my community have recognized me in stores and read my work (talk about exciting!) I’ve also been growing my author’s blog and social media platform which is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment!

Kim: Love it, and well done. 

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

YES!!!  haha at least once a every couple of weeks!  I guess that’s what makes it all worth it in the long run though. The fact that it IS a LONG RUN… If writing was easy then everyone would do it. Also, I guess being a girl with an epic temper doesn’t help.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I linger, lost somewhere in between the two. I try to be a planner, but usually come up with something better along the way, so I change my mind constantly.  I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of a plan, like at all.. This applies to every aspect of my life. Writing, date nights, road trips, meals lol… I always start out with every little detail in line, and by the time I dive in all bets are off the table and everything transforms into utter chaos.

Kim: LOL

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Kim, you’re not alone!  haha I loath commas! They’re like the evil stepchild of all punctuation.

Kim: Blah!

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

For me it’s a toss up between definitely vs. defiantly, and then vs. than… So irritating!  It’s like we know what they mean and that we often type them wrong by accident, but we still fail to pay attention when they come up.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  • If you think your novel has been edited and revised enough, you’re wrong. Do it again.
  • Understand that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and do it right. Even after it’s all said and done, never stop marketing and putting your name out there.
  • All the time. If you want to master your skills, then you need to be an expert. The only way to be the best writer is by reading constantly.

Kim: I agree with all of that. Wonderful tips, thank you Didi.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m so dang excited about my latest and greatest! Search For Maylee is a mystery novel that I intend to release in the fall of this year, so hold your breath!!! Here is a short description:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her.  It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee?  It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do whatever it takes to either bring Maylee home, or to deliver the justice she deserves.

Kim: it’s on the read list..*wink

So…. where can we get your books?

You can find every one of my books on my Amazon Author’s Page here: amazon.com/author/didioviatt

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

My opinion on this matter is very simple. Humble confidence outshines a boisterous ego anyday! A big ego never helped anyone, with anything, ever…  But a quiet healthy confidence on the other hand, is everything.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Hardly any… To be completely honest, I hate research and I suck at it.  What little bit that’s required, I kind of leave hanging for my editor to “come across” and have to fix lol… Don’t worry though, she’s a friend so it’s fine 😉

Kim: wow! I actually do it all before I give  the MS to my editor. I really enjoy this part.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read every single one, sometimes multiple times. I have very thick skin, and I understand that not everyone has the same taste in books just like they don’t have the same taste in food or movies. To each their own, I rarely get my feelings hurt from reviews… But, I do LEARN from them! You can’t fix your writing if you don’t know what’s wrong with it. Constructive criticism is imperative for writers and it’s a really big deal to take it with a grain of salt. Some reviews help you learn, and some reviews are fantastic and are a HUGE confidence booster! Who doesn’t love to read about how wonderfully talented they are?

What was your hardest scene to write?

Aggravated Momentum has the very first sex scene I’ve ever written. I’m not a shy person by any means, but I wrote it through the eyes of my killer, so it had to be twisted in a more than dirty way. He reflected back on his victims while making his partner do nasty things. It was a very difficult scene, it took me weeks. I felt like it was imperative to the story line, but then again I didn’t want to overdo it, or underdo it either. I may have obsessed over it way more than necessary, but I guess that happens to even the best lol.

Kim:  Good job. I think it is excellent when writers step into the shoes of their characters, no matter how horrible they are. I did the same thing in A Stranger in France, it took me by surprise too how much of a challenge it can be. But when it is done well, it does wonders for a reader’s experience. Think of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, one of ( in my opinion) the best thrillers I’ve read, she does it so so well.

Do you Google yourself?

OFTEN! lol

Kim: 🙂

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed meeting Author Didi Oviatt from the USA. If you are an author and would like to feature on the 25th  contact me here.

Next Month: oh you are in for a treat, May’s author will have your toes curling… literally!

Connect with Didi here:

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/

amazon.com/author/didioviatt

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Book Review: A Stranger In France, by Kim Knight 4.5 stars

Thank you Didi for an excellent 4.5 star review!! This is what makes it all worth while, to create for others to enjoy.

Didi Oviatt

MY REVIEW:

Talk about a wild emotional ride! I cried, I laughed, I swooned, I seethed, I even pinched my face up tight wishing I could jump in the pages to give a certain character or two a little piece of my mind.

Kate is a successful, driven English teacher who has been promoted to head of the department. Unfortunately, her husband Danny doesn’t share the excitement of her well earned success. He is nothing but a jealous, bitter, emotionally abusive alcoholic. After being let go from his own career he has allowed himself to downward spiral to a very ugly place… Eventually Kate has enough of the abuse, and of mentally and financially supporting a man who treats her like dirt.

Kate takes a trip to France to stay with a friend and make an attempt to clear her head and decide what to do about her clearly failed…

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Writing Tip: Character Profiles & Their Importance #writerslife #amwriting

I’ve just sat down to do a couple hours work on the next novella story for my Romance Set in Paradise series, I started to think a lot about character development (as I normally do) as I’m creating a scene that’s unfamiliar to me. On top of that my main character is in a situation also unfamiliar to me. In order to do this  scene and story justice, other than research, one thing I have learned while creating unfamiliar or difficult scenes is it’s helpful to react to things as your character would rather than yourself. In order to do this you need a detailed character profile. (In my humble view).

When I wrote A Stranger in France, all 90,000 words were mapped out across chapters and character profiles, it helped A LOT especially as the characters are so far removed from me. I also wrote from a male POV – two very different males! So I had to keep in line with what my character’s traits are rather than me a thirty four year old woman. The benefits of a character profile I can not stress enough to every aspiring or even established writer out there. Here’s my take on this and why I’d say use them, don’t write blindly…. even if Stephen King does it!

  1. You’ll be consistent and save yourself a hell of a lot of headache while editing, you’ll have less red pen marks on your work from your editor saying ” you said x on page 57 now you say y on page 78″ LOL.
  2. Your stories will pop and so will your characters.
  3. You’ll write in an unbiased way, as your characters react to things based on who THEY ARE not  who you are.
  4. Character profiles can help move your story in a new and exciting direction!
  5. You’ll suffer less so called “writer’s block”.

So how do you go about developing a character profile? Here’s how I approach it as a tip generally you could….

  1. First see them as real 3D people. How they look, sound, smell, dress, talk. This helps to enhance your writing. ( I feel) and the reader’s experience.
  2. Interview them. Where do they live, car they drive, hobbies, interests, their general take on life?
  3. What is their overall goal in your story? What do they need to make sure happens to achieve it? What will happen if they don’t achieve their goal? What’s at stake?
  4. Take into consideration your genre and story length. I say this as you don’t want to take up all your words on too much of this if you’re writing a short story- a short story to me is like 30k words, to others this can be as little as 10k…. If you’re crafting a full blown novel over 40k words then by all means really work on your character’s profile and make them pop. With genre, I’m all about the suspense! 🙂 this is where my talent is, so to make the suspense come across character development helps within my genre, as I am SHOWING readers things via the moments of my characters rather than TELLING. Some genres don’t need this much work on characters to create the atmosphere of the genre.

And that’s my reflection on creating difficult scenes, and how to make your characters come across as some what believable! If you’re a writer what approach do you take? Do you even agree that character profiles are useful and important?

I better get back to work on my character profile and try to finish up this scene. In the mean time, drop me a comment writers what’s your view?

 

Success

Reaching Out To Book Bloggers…. #amreading #bloggers #books

Afternoon,

If you’re a book blogger/reviewer who has connected with me, thank you. As you know Havana Heat is up for pre-sale and released on the 12th May. I have Author Review Copies for any book reviewer/blogger who would like a free copy to read and review on Amazon or Goodreads. If you’re interested contact me here and let me know.

Blurb:

Havana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradises series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in a Caribbean paradise.

Havana-Heat-Cover-Master

Released 12th May

Who will be June’s Author??- Calling all Authors #author #amwriting

Hello!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful afternoon, (or morning) depending on your time zone. I’ve spent the afternoon in the garden with my three year old son, I wrote a letter to a pen pal overseas and a journal entry  🙂 . I’ve come back  indoors to an inbox full of of Meet The Author responses and queries. I have April and May’s authors lined up nicely for you with interviews, and the low down on what they are up to. I’m VERY excited about them both, I love both genres they write.

Just three days to go until we meet our first author and their books…. who will be the June 25th author??…. will it be you??

Inbox me if you want to take part.meet-the-author

Calling All Authors! #author #amwriting #newrelease

Calling all authors who would like a spotlight feature. I’m preparing my first feature for April ! I am excited to feature this author in particular. Stay tuned on Tuesday 25th. If you’d like a feature contact me here

Features can be

  • Interviews.
  • promotions/ offers/discounts/free download days
  • New release info.
  • Anything you can think of…meet-the-author

Pre-Sale & Discount Code Now Available. Release date 12/5/17. #romance #smashwords #amreading

Happy Friday all!

The end of the week and start of the weekend is always a fantastic part of the week. For me this Friday is even more special, books #1 and #2 of my new romance series Romance Set in Paradise are now available for pre-sale, on Amazon and Smashwords. And the best bit, you can have 15% off  of the cover price for the e-book for both books #1 and #2  at smashwords.com.  ($2.46 USD  £1.92 GBP or 2.30 euros after discount).  You’re the first to know!

The official release date for book #1 Havana Heat is 12th May 2017 and book #2 Lover’s Retreat is 9th June 2017. You lucky thing you, there’s two free chapters from book #2 in book #1 an exclusive preview…. you are so welcome!

For  discounted pre-sale copies and samples visit this link here.  For Amazon pre release copies visit Amazon.uk or Amazon.com

If you entered the giveaway for signed copies, sit tight the winners will be randomly picked by the system on the 30th May.  Thank you for entering . If you’ve not entered you can here.

Enjoy, I’ll crack on writing the next one in the series 🙂

 

Book Blurb:

Havana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of modern, steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romantic heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming detective at Casa De Amor Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amor Hotel, and conflict builds over their past, both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.

 

Havana-Heat-Cover-Master