Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Notepad and a Dream - Olivia Kiernan

In a series I'm calling 'A Notepad and a Dream', I'll be interviewing up-and-coming authors about their books, their writing process and their future plans.  If you have a book shortly due for release and would like to take part, or know someone else who would, please let me know via the 'Contact Me' page above.

In the latest 'A Notepad and a Dream' episode, Olivia Kiernan discusses the projects that keep her on her toes.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your novel?

First off, I write under two names. Clearly, one illustrious writing career is not enough for me. Kidding. I write for adults under my real name: Olivia Kiernan and under Olivia Bright for Teens and Children. My books for adults typically take me a couple of years to write, they tend to have complicated plots that link the past and present and therefore require quite a bit of research. My books for Young Adults tend to be the kind of books I wanted to read when I was younger. 'Becoming Lady Beth' is one such novel. It’s a romantic comedy that tells the story of a modern seventeen year old girl who is transported back in time to Regency England and finds friendship, humility and love.

Did it present a particular challenge to place a contemporary character in a historical setting?

The biggest challenge was achieving the right tone in the authorial voice. I really wanted to capture a wit and irony similar to that of (Jane) Austen’s prose but a narrator that sounded like it harked from Regency England would have jarred too much with the opening contemporary scenes and Beth’s voice would have been too far from the narrator’s. It took quite a bit of rewriting to achieve the right balance.

What would you say are your main influence?

For this novel: a mixture of the character Cher Horowitz of the movie & novel 'Clueless', and author, Jane Austen’s novels. Which is funny as 'Clueless' was based on Austen’s novel, 'Emma'. Otherwise, my muse is stirred into action by anything from Diana Gabaldon’s fiction to Booker-shortlisted Sebastian Barry. I try to consume a varied literary diet.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with writing and putting stories together. I was the English student that would submit all three essay choices for my homework, instead of choosing just one. But I thought becoming a writer was something other people got to do. It never occurred to me that I could become a writer until I was well into adulthood.

What would you say is your particular strength as an author?

Definitely coming up with new ideas. The same imagination that got me into trouble at school is now proving itself useful. I never seem to have a shortage of ideas for story but more importantly, I have the determination to see those ideas through.

What are your future plans?

I have recently finished an adventure novel for middle grade readers (9-11 year olds) and am working on another for that age group. I am also researching for my next adult novel, which I hope to complete in the coming year.

I have also just begun a ‘World of Writing’ series of blog posts on my website.  These are writer resource posts which tackle the big conversations in writing and are running monthly.  I continue to blog about my experiences in writing for Teens and Children at www.OliviaBright.com. And have a YouTube channel to keep updated with helpful ‘how to’ videos and vlogs for readers and writers.  There are always plenty of projects to keep me busy.
Olivia Kiernan is a writer and novelist.  She writes for children and young adults under the pseudonym Olivia Bright.  Her novel for teens, BECOMING LADY BETH can be found at: Amazon, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

Follow her on Twitter: @LivKiernan
On Facebook: Olivia Kiernan (Author)

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