Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?
Thank you so much for having me. I started writing about the Rawley family a long time ago, and although each book is a stand-alone, these novels let us journey into different lovers’ stories while maintaining a continuing connection with their same family and friends.
All for Family is especially important to me because I poured a lot of myself into Meg’s character. She’s a woman tackling insecurities that become an integral part of her story and her relationship with Jeremy. No, this isn’t an autobiography by any stretch of the imagination. But I did apply the things I’ve learned about myself to the situations in which I placed Meg’s character.
How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
I’m a woman who’s always struggled with my weight and body image, and when I decided to tackle that characteristic in Meg, it scared me. I thought this would be a difficult book to write. I knew it would be cathartic, too. I never expected it to flow as effortlessly as it did. This was perhaps the easiest story I’ve put to paper. It was almost as if I’d been waiting for a long time to express this part of myself.
As for other writers, there is always a lot of talk about which genre or theme is “hot” at any one time. It’s hard to deny the temptation to chase the fad. But I think most readers are sharp enough to know when an author is writing from the heart. And certainly for me, feeding my passion to tell a story is what drives me, and my readers have told me they feel that when they read my words.
Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
I’m independently published, which has made my journey an exciting one. I’ve learned some hard lessons about writing, promoting and running a business. But I’ve also had the luxury of making my own decisions about what to write, how to write it, which way to package my stories and where and when I promote. It can be exhilarating, really.
Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?
I’m not sure about surprised. Terrified, maybe? Hitting the button to publish that first book wasn’t easy. I’m pretty sure my finger hovered for at least sixty seconds before I pressed it. When sales started happening (I mean ones above and beyond the copies I knew friends and family were purchasing), I was thrilled with the realization that a stranger somewhere was reading the fruits of my imagination.
What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?
I’m working in my urban fantasy world at the moment. This is the fourth book in the Lynlee Lincoln Series about a witch whose job protecting magical creatures always seems to land her trouble.
What’s your favorite place to hang out online?
Facebook is pretty much my hang-out. I have several writing related groups that offer support and advice on the craft and on publishing, then I also have a group consisting of my fans called Team OH. The teamsters are lots of fun, and I share information and teasers with them before the rest of the public gets them.
Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?
I was about halfway finished with the first draft when the words of my dedication popped into my head: For You. Yes, You. The one who is perfectly imperfect. The one who is beautiful. The one who deserves to be loved.
I think this story can be for any woman. I think most, if not all of us, feel unlovable from time to time. Maybe you think your nose is too long, your hair is too curly, your legs are too skinny. Isn’t there always something? For me, the issue was mostly my weight. I remember the nickname a group of boys had for me in high school. Fatz was certainly not what a somewhat-shy freshman girl wanted to hear tossed in her direction. And the hurt of it sank deep as the moniker began to define who I was in my own eyes.
The journey of developing self-worth is a never-ending one. I still stand in front of that mirror and have to tell myself that I’m beautiful. Because if I don’t see the value in me, then how can anyone else? And that’s the key. Sure, this is a love story, and Jeremy and Meg have a wonderful romance. But in the midst of that, Meg also had to learn to love and depend on herself, too.
Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?
I really appreciate you having me. Thanks, too, for all the readers, and please, please feel free to communicate with me. One of my favorite parts of the writing journey is hearing from people who’ve given me the honor of their time and just maybe letting me touch their hearts.
About The Book
Title: All For Family (A Rawley Family Novel)
Author: Olivia Hardin
Publisher: Olivia Hardin
Publication Date: August 24, 2015
Format: Paperback / eBook / PDF
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-for-family-olivia-hardin/1121415829?ean=2940151691710
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Rawley family, but gearing up for Van and Kay’s nuptials revives old insecurities for Kay’s sister-in-law Meg. When she learns that her ex-husband is asking for her from his hospital bed, Meg must confront the painful memories of her past.
Family is everything for Jeremy Rawley. Most important is the one he and Meg created together. But their beginning was tangled in memories he wishes his wife could forget for good. A call from her past brings them back to a place he thought they’d never have to be again.
Forgiveness may be the key, but the first step is finding the locked heart that needs it.
He watched her slide her feet back and forth against the carpet. “Whew … there’s a reason big girls shouldn’t wear heels.”
Jeremy finished his own drink and sat back down beside her, this time reaching down and taking her feet to pull them up into her lap. She made a face as if she would protest, but when he began circling his thumbs into the arches of her feet, she leaned back against the arm of the couch and moaned. “Oh, that’s nice. Do they teach that at earl school?”
As he massaged, she pointed her feet in a stretch, and her toes brushed a feather’s touch against his thighs. Damn, but the woman could get a reaction from him almost without warning. He continued rubbing, then slipped his fingers between her toes.
“Oh, no, no, no,” she squealed, jerking to try to pull away from him. “Ticklish.”
“I figured…” One corner of his mouth turned up in a grin. He tugged her feet back to his lap, and when he did, the skirt of her dress hitched up almost past her knees. She immediately took hold of the hem and tried to push it back down.
He encircled both her ankles with his hands and then slid them upward along her calves, kneading the muscles of each leg as he went along.
“Jeremy, you don’t have to …”
Her eyes were open wide, so many emotions in their depths that it was hard to figure what she was feeling. Fear? Embarrassment? Excitement? He pushed one of her legs to the side until it slipped off the couch, then he scooted forward into the open space between her thighs. With one ankle still in his hand, he lifted it so that he could sweep his lips across the creamy smooth skin of her calf, working his way upward.
She was still holding her dress, doing her best to cover up, but the hypnosis of his stare had her. She never once looked away from him as he made his way higher. When he nipped his teeth to the tender spot at the crook of her knee she flinched, then sucked her lip into her mouth.
He was so desperate to kiss her that he almost rose up to smother her body with his and claim her mouth. But he didn’t. Instead he let go of her leg and then took her hands, loosening the tight hold she had on her hemline. The satiny material dropped, sliding down her thighs to bunch at her waist. Under she had on tight nude-colored shapewear, which she was clearly embarrassed about.
Gazing up at her, he brought one of her hands to his cheek. Her fingers stretched long, tentatively touching his lips. When he sucked two of them into his mouth, she moaned and closed her eyes.
“Jeremy, why are you doing this?” She snatched her hands away and to her lap where she once again tried to hide herself under folds of orange fabric.
“I want there to be a day when you won’t ask that question. Maybe it won’t be with me, but one day, you won’t have to wonder why a man would worship you and your body.”
About The Author
Olivia has attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term “road scholar,”' and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic.
A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny and their puppy, Bonnie.
Connect with Olivia:
Author Website: http://www.olivia-hardin.com/
Virtual Book Tour Event Page