Olivia Gates has been a singer, a painter, a women's accessories designer, a wife, a mother — oh, and a doctor, too. She's still all that, even if singing, painting and designing have taken a back seat, while her wife, mother and doctor sides have been pushed to the forefront.
Olivia lives with her alpha husband, lovely daughter and their white Angora cat. Her husband is her adviser and, with her incredible mother, her staunchest supporter. Her daughter gives her plot ideas, and they're all along the lines of a doctor trying to reach his patients on a hot rainbow barefoot. With an imagination like that, Olivia's encouraging her to write her own books. Olivia's cat curls up on her lap, cramping her and critically watching the story unfold on the screen, then tries to edit the manuscript to his liking by walking all over the keyboard.
To Touch A Sheikh
No one gets past Prince Amjad Aal Shalaan's defenses. No one. But when Princess Maram shows up at Amjad's gala in her father's place, destroying Amjad's plans to reclaim what was stolen from his family, Amjad sees red…and uses a freak sandstorm to make her his prisoner of passion. Swept to safety by the man she's always loved from afar, Maram knows she has one chance to make Amjad see her as a woman. His woman. But when the impossible prince and the unstoppable princess take shelter from the storm, neither is prepared for the aftermath of their desire…
After being a fan for years, I finally met this talented author at this year's RWA Conference. She's a fascinating, fabulous person. Gorgeous inside and out. I'm so delighted she's joining us here today.
CAT: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
OLIVIA: Definitely. I kept hearing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade’s as I wrote. And sure enough, Amjad, To Touch a Sheikh’s hero likened Maram to Scheherazade (even if it’s pronounced Shahrazad in the book, the way the name is actually pronounced)
The evocative, magical music so well translated the ambiance, emotion and passion of the book in my mind.
CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
OLIVIA: I rush to my daughter’s room to tell her I’m done. Then I call my husband and mom. They’re the people I involve in the process from its inception (by talking incessantly about it, whining sometimes, asking to be left alone in others, asking their opinion on hundred different things from plot problems to naming characters) so it’s only fair they’re the first thing I remember when I conclude the book’s journey. J
CAT: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
OLIVIA: Can it be someone from another era? Or someone mythical or imaginary? If someone from another era, I’d love to interview Galileo, Da Vinci and Ramses II. If it’s someone mythical, I’d like to have some one on one with a few Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses. If it’s imaginary, I’d love to have personal time with many super heroes I grew up loving, like The Legion of Super Heroes and Justice League of America. J
CAT: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
OLIVIA: I would definitely go to the golden era of the Ancient Egyptian civilization. I’d love to see how they achieved the miracles that survive to this day, and experience for myself the magic, beauty and prosperity of that era.
CAT: What do you do to unwind and relax?
OLIVIA: Huh? What’s unwind and relax? New words introduced in the English language while I wasn’t looking?
But seriously, it has been so long since I can say I did either, that they’re almost forgotten concepts. I don’t even unwind when I’m asleep. After being on call as a doctor and a mother, I’ve lost the ‘no worries’ quality that allows me to do either for real. Then I became a writer and then entered deadlines…. You get the picture. ;-)
CAT: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?
OLIVIA: If you can call reading a tradition, this is the one thing my childhood mostly revolved around (along with creative stuff like drawing and writing) and if so, then I definitely passed it on to my daughter. She’s as big a bookworm as I am, but has beaten me in the writing department. She’s only sixteen and she’s already written ten books!
CAT: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
OLIVIA: I sometimes do, when some kind reviewer contacts me to tell me they’d put a review of a book of mine online. I try to avoid bad reviews, but I sometimes stumble upon them. Those make me wonder…why? But then, to each his own, and no one can ever please everyone, so they’re a fact of life, like anything we might not like. As for influencing my writing, if the criticism is constructive, I sure consider it, like I would critique from my editor. I’m always open to finding out to improve my craft, to build on the characteristics in my writing that appealed to most of those who read my work, and to try to avoid what didn’t work for most, too. Writing is a constant learning, experimenting, innovating and adapting business where only the resilient survive for long.
CAT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
OLIVIA: I’ve travelled to places I wouldn’t have gone to, met so many people I’ve admired for long, and made so many new friends I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever making. Writing has opened up whole new worlds to me, inside my mind, and outside in the real world. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me, for sure.
CAT'S GOTTA ASK --
If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?
OLIVIA'S GOTTA ANSWER
Red. It suits me, I’m told, my complexion and my character. And it makes me easy to spot in crowded places. With a family prone to wandering off like mine, wearing it acts as a beacon and has proved very useful at times. J
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
I am now writing hot, dark paranormals along with my hot, contemporary romance, and I noticed though they might seem poles apart, they’re both high-octane in passion, are inhabited by larger-than-life characters, and revolve around all-out romantic fantasy. So I do have an MO, no matter what the genre. What is your preferred genre and why?
Thank you so much for having me again on Get Lost In A Story. I loved being here and answering the really cool questions. I hope you enjoy reading my answers as much as I enjoyed writing them!
Olivia would love to offer 5 books to 5 winners.