Today I have the honor of bringing to you author Olivia Cunning. Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, Olivia writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.
Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She’s been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction — first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own. Her first Sinners on Tour novel, Backstage Pass was named a Top Read of 2010 by Love Romance Passion, Alpha Reader, The Fiction Vixen, Loves Romance and Smexy Books. She currently lives in Nebraska, where she is working on her next book! Please help me welcome Olivia toThat’s What I’m Talking About.
Twimom: Olivia, welcome and thank you for stopping by.
Olivia: Thanks for having me!
Twimom: Rockers and romance… seems like women have been swooning over musicians since Elvis first appeared. Can you tell my readers a little more about your inspirations and how you began writing?
Olivia: I’ve been a music fan my entire life. I became obsessed with rock stars as a teen. My walls were literally covered with pictures I’d carefully clipped from every imaginable music magazine. I wanted to be a rock star when I grew up. I tried to teach myself to play the guitar, with little success. Music consumed the majority of my days. And then I had a kid, worked on my education and my obsession for music settled a bit. When the kid started to become obsessed with music about five years ago, we started going to tons of concerts and I remembered why I’d been obsessed as a teenager. There’s nothing I love more than music, except maybe writing. I started writing in high school, too. I had big dreams of becoming an author. When that didn’t pan-out immediately, I realized I had to pay the bills and pursued a “normal” job and gave up my aspiration to be a rock star/writer. I never stopped writing. I just continued working on it on the side. So my two greatest passions are rock music (and nummins musicians) and writing. It only took me sixteen years to combine the two. You’d think it would be a no brainer.
Twimom: Do you have any rock star crushes or stories you want to share? What’s the best concert you’ve been to see?
Olivia: Rock star crushes… I’ve had too many to name. My first was Rudy Sarzo when he was the bassist for Whitesnake. The man licked the neck of his guitar and did this hip gyration thing that had my 15-year-old hormones coursing through my arteries like water in a flood-stage river. I went to see Whitesnake and Motley Crue in concert that year and I screamed Rudy so loud and so long that I couldn’t talk for two days afterward. The best concert I’ve been to was the first time I saw Avenged Sevenfold live. I’ve since seen them five times. They’re now my favorite live band and whenever they tour within 300 miles of my house, I’m there. As a matter of fact, I’m driving 4 hours to go see them next month with Bullet for My Valentine and Three Days Grace. CAN. NOT. WAIT!! Another thing that made that concert so good was the opening band, Papa Roach. You must see these guys live. Jacoby Shaddix works a crowd like no other front man on the planet. I once drove 1100 miles to see Tool in concert. Was it worth it? Oh yeah! Thanks for taking me to my happy place by asking that question.
Twimom: Wow! I cannot even being to compare concert stories! LOL! Your first series, Sinners on Tour, follows the romantic exploits of a rock band. Can you tell my readers more about the series and your future plans for the Sinners?
Olivia: Sinners is a rock band with five sexy single men. Each book in the series focuses on one of the band members and how he finds his happily ever after with the right woman. The first book, Backstage Pass, is about lead guitarist Brian Sinclair. He’s the sweet, romantic of the group. The second book, Rock Hard, is about vocalist Sed Lionheart. He’s pretty much Brian’s polar opposite. The thing about Sed is that when he falls in love, he falls hard and he falls forever. The other guys of the band (Jace, Eric and Trey) will each get their chance at love, too. And one thing that’s great about the series is that because these guys all live on a tour bus together most of the time, you’ll see your favorite character reappear in each and every book. You also get to know them quite well and see how their relationships (friendships and love) evolve over time.
Twimom: Sounds fantastic! Do you write any other genres and/or have plans for any future stories outside of the Sinners?
Olivia: I think I’ve written a novel in every imaginable genre. I’ve been thinking of digging some of those out, polishing them up a little and self-publishing them under different pen names. My agent wants me to pursue my medical/scientific thrillers (I had one semifinal in Amazon’s Novel Breakthrough Awards a couple of years ago.) under a different name, after I get my Olivia Cunning pen name well-established. But the YA science fiction? The fantasy? The YA contemporary romance? The horror? The series length romance? Time travel erotic romance? Etc, etc, etc… I don’t want to confuse readers by releasing all those under Olivia Cunning and most of them aren’t ever going to sell to a traditional publisher, so I might publish them myself in my “free” time. As for the Olivia Cunning “brand”, I’ll keep writing erotic romance about rock stars forever, if I can. I hope to write a spinoff series about Exodus End (a band mentioned in the Sinners on Tour series) and just had a great idea in the shower this morning about another, young band that is discovered by Sinners (the Sinners hear them play in a bar and introduce them to their manager, Jerry), but it will never be mentioned the Sinners on Tour series. I’m a prolific writer, if you can’t tell. LOL!
Twimom: Wow! Can’t wait to see where you go. I always like to ask authors about their reading habits… What types of books do you enjoy reading? What was your favorite read during 2010?
Olivia: I read a little bit of everything (like I write a little bit of everything – ADD-much, Olivia?). And I’m a slow reader. At a few pages a day, it usually takes me a month to get through a book. I wish I had more time to read. I seriously love YA fantasy. The Harry Potter series. The Percy Jackson series. (I’ve never read Twilight—don’t hit me!) I think I like them because they are so different from what I write. I do read romance of all kinds. I do read thrillers. I do read classics and literary fiction. A little horror. Some fantasy. A bit of erotica. I like variety! I read a Lacey Alexander book this year, What See Needs, that I lost sleep to finish. Very sexy!
Twimom: What upcoming 2011 releases are you most excited to read?
Olivia: I can’t wait to read Virgin by Cheryl Brooks. It’s the 7th book in her Cat Star Chronicles series, and comes out in June. Love those Zetithian men. MEOW!
Twimom: Olivia, once again thank you so much for taking the time to tell my readers a little bit about yourselves and your writing. It was wonderful chatting with you.
Olivia: My pleasure!
You can find Olivia Cunning on line at
GIVEAWAY: I have two (2) copies (two winners) of Rock Hard to giveaway here at That’s What I’m Talking About. Thank you to Sourcebooks (www.sourcebooks.com) for sponsoring the giveaway of Olivia’s newest release. To enter, please leave a comment and your email at the end of today’s interview or yesterday’s review of Rock Hard. One entry per person. Winners are restricted to US and Canada mailing addresses, only. Contest open from April 12, 2011 until Sunday April 17, 2011 at 9:00 PM EDT. Two (2) winners will be selected from the comment entries using random.org.