Author Interview: Katie Oliver



Last year I entered and won a contest in which the prizes were tons of goodies (London Barbie!) from Katie Oliver and a copy of her most recent book, Mansfield Lark. The premise was so good, I got the rest of the series (Prada and Prejudice and Love and Liability) and devoured the books.  Now, Katie is about to release the next books in the series, And the Bride Wore Prada and Love, Lies and Louboutins.  I am very excited that she is stopping by the blog today.

What books influenced you? 
The books I read as a child probably had the biggest influence on me. I devoured A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, raced through the Chronicles of Narnia series, and of course I read all of the Nancy Drew mysteries.  I went through a mystery-loving phase in grade school that extended into high school, when I read every Agatha Christie novel I could get my hands on. My favorites featured Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, a pair of detectives who fall in love while chasing crime. As a teenager, I read The Awakening by Kate Chopin, about a young, upper-class woman in nineteenth-century Louisiana who’s trapped in an unfulfilling marriage. The word pictures painted by Ms. Chopin are beautifully evocative and her themes still resonate today.

What inspires your books and characters? 
Anything and everything! In my newest book, for example, And the Bride Wore Prada, I was inspired by Scotland, a local snowfall, and the BBC television program, Broadchurch. I'd read a couple of romance books set in Scotland and loved the idea of using the highlands as a story setting. I only had to figure out why Natalie and Rhys - my main characters - would be in Scotland and not in London. Then I remembered Natalie's good friend, Tarquin. He's not only Scottish, but his family owns a castle! He invites newly-married Natalie and her husband Rhys to spend the holidays in the highlands. And in Broadchurch, I loved the characters of the female reporter and the reticent, broody DI, Alec Hardy, portrayed so brilliantly by David Tennant. I created my own interpretation of those two - Helen, a tabloid reporter, and Colm, a surly groundskeeper for the castle - and threw them together to see what would happen.

Do you have a writing schedule? 
I like to write in the morning, when my brain is fresh and sharp. It deteriorates as the day goes on, so by 3:00 PM, I’m basically useless to write anything more challenging than a grocery list. I write Monday through Friday, and sometimes on Saturday mornings, if there’s nothing else going on. (Which doesn’t happen often.)

If you could use only one social networking site which would it be? 
Twitter, absolutely. When I created my account a few years ago, I was horribly intimidated - I felt like I was at a cocktail party, huddled in the corner with a drink, knowing no one and no one taking any notice of me. So I hung back and watched.  I read other people’s Tweets, got a few followers (friends and family, all six of them), and wrote a few tentative Tweets. The more followers I got, the more fun it became. I’ve met so many wonderful people on Twitter, from all over the globe…people I’d never have met in the normal course of things.

Which actors/actresses would you cast in the movie of your book? 
Ooh, that’s a fun question! For Natalie, I’d definitely cast Felicity Jones. I’ve envisioned her as Natalie right from the start. For Rhys, I’d probably say Ewan McGregor.  Colm has to be Michael Fassbender, and for Helen I’d choose Emma Thompson. (I don’t want much, do I? Lol.)   I’ve always pictured Emily Blunt as Gemma, and Russell Brand would make a stellar Dominic.

You can only watch 2 television channels for the rest of your life, which would they be? 
BBC America and ABC, because they offer great programming like Broadchurch (just starting a new season in the UK) and Forever, starring Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, a forensic scientist in New York who just happens to be...immortal.

What is next for you?
Next up, I’m looking forward to the February publication of book 2 in the new Marrying Mr Darcy series, Love, Lies and Louboutins.  Gemma and Dominic face the first true test of their marriage when a dangerous man from Gemma’s past and a female pop star from Dom’s present threaten to upend their relationship. I’ve created a trailer for the book that’s fun and cheeky, and I can’t wait to reveal it. There’s lots of action, adventure, and – of course – plenty of romance.

But first, don't miss out on And the Bride Wore Prada:

What could be more romantic than Christmas in the Scottish highlands?

The first book in the Marrying Mr Darcy series, “And the Bride Wore Prada,” finds Natalie and Rhys Gordon headed to Scotland to spend the holidays with Tarquin Campell and his wife Wren. A mix-up at the Inverness airport leads Natalie to offer a ride to stranded rock star Dominic Heath and his fiancĂ©, Gemma.  A blizzard soon makes the roads impassable, and the foursome barely make it to Draemar Castle.

When tabloid reporter Helen Thomas’s car slides off the road, she seeks shelter at the castle as well. She’s after an exclusive story on Dominic and Gemma’s not-so-secret upcoming wedding. But Helen finds a bigger story when she discovers Tarquin’s brother, Andrew, drowned years before. His body was never found. Is it possible he’s still alive? Her investigation yields more questions than answers.

Could Colm MacKenzie, the gruff groundskeeper with more than a passing resemblance to the Campbell family, be the missing piece to the puzzle?  

Natalie and Rhys are recently married and blissfully happy...until Nat receives unexpected news that changes everything. Hurt by Rhys’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction, she wonders if their sparkling new marriage is over before it’s even begun…

I would like to thank Katie for stopping by the blog today.  If you are a fan of romance, comedy, and chick lit, I highly recommend you check out all of her books, starting with Prada and Prejudice.  Here's a bit more about Katie:

Katie Oliver loves romantic comedies, characters who "meet cute," Richard Curtis films, and Prosecco (not necessarily in that order). She currently resides in northern Virginia with her husband and three parakeets, in a rambling old house with uneven floors and a dining room that leaks when it rains.
Katie has been writing since she was eight, and has a box crammed with (mostly unfinished) novels to prove it.  With her sons grown and gone, she decided to get serious and write more (and hopefully, better) stories.  She even finishes most of them.

So if you like a bit of comedy with your romance, please visit Katie’s website, www.katieoliver.com, and have a look.
Here's to love and all its complications...


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And The Bride Wore Prada

Prada & Prejudice


Comments

  1. So much fun and such great questions! Thank you, Shannon. xx

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