Licensed psychologist and relationship expert, Olivia “Liv” Blackwell uses her people skills to orchestrate happily everafters for her exclusive clients. Blessed with a natural talent for social grace, she is well-respected and successful. Retired Army Ranger and founder of Alpha Four, Cpt. Beck “Thunder” Raines has refined the practice of law and order. Working long hours and under the radar keep him out of the public eye.
Determined to show Thunder the benefit of getting out more, Liv accepts the task of socializing the introverted soldier. Yet, when an elaborate blackmail scheme turns personal the couple learns a whole new type of social etiquette.
Interview with Mia Dymond
When did you first start writing?
I’ve been concocting stories of some kind since I was old enough to use my imagination and because I was somewhat of a control freak even then, I made my siblings write them down for me! The longest was 17 pages and rambled on and on. It was absolutely horrible but my mother still has it stored with my scrapbooks. Several times I’ve attempted to convince her to trash it but she won’t budge. She says it started my career …
Professionally, I began the publication process in 2005 and my first short story, Undercover Kisses, was published in the July/Aug 2010 issue of Love Stories Magazine. My first novel, Leather, Lace & Rock-n-Roll, was published on Smashwords in 2009.
How do you create your characters?
This may sound almost psycho, but my characters (the female ones) are pieces of me. They reside in my head and make an appearance when they’re ready! Rachel Newberry (Leather, Lace & Rock-n-Roll) brings out the analytical side of me and I am every bit as sassy as Cameron Tremaine (Outspoken Angel) – well … can anyone compare to Cameron?
When I’m developing a new series or novel, I try to keep the story focused around each personality. Once I have a pretty good feel for the heroine, the hero follows suit. Most usually, my heroine is a strong, independent woman who irritates the hero to no end until she has him wrapped around her little finger; my hero is man enough to let her.
Where do your ideas come from?
Real life. I people-watch a lot when I’m out and about and most times, I see or hear something that sparks my imagination. The plot behind my novel, Never Cry Uncle, was actually developed from an experience with my former employer – I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about which experience!
Recently, I read a post on Facebook that rings true with me:
I’m a writer. If I’m staring at you, I’m not being rude, I’m trying to decide if you need to go in a book. If you’re a snot, I may be trying to decide how to kill you. (courtesy: Writers Write)
What is your writing process?
I don’t know if I have a process! I almost always start with writing the ending – I guess to assure I know where the story is going – then I fill in the blanks one scene at a time. It’s weird because I’m an extremely methodical person by nature but I don’t use a particular method when I write. Somehow the scenes just seem to fit after they’re all written.
How do you approach cover design?
Choosing a cover design is one of the first things I do, and I have a very simple method: I use the drool factor!
I choose designs that I feel will instantly attract attention and create curiosity about what’s inside the cover. Then I develop my character sketch around the image. Since I use the images on marketing materials, jaws drop and eyebrows wiggle when I pass a business card!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Quite honestly, rejection. I queried numerous agents and publishers only to be told that although my manuscript was entertaining and well-written, I just didn’t make the cut. Indie publishing was a relatively new concept when I began to research the process and I was both skeptical and scared to death.
Opportunity knocked when I stumbled onto an ad for Smashwords in Romantic Times magazine and decided to check it out.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I owe my success to Smashwords because without the opportunity to utilize the service, I feel I might possibly still be waiting for a break into publication. Smashwords granted me the opportunity to control my publication process and distribute a product I felt would be entertaining to readers.
Smashwords has also granted me many marketing opportunities that allow me to reach as many readers as possible and for this, I am extremely grateful.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I don’t think there’s ever a time I’m not writing. Seriously, even if I don’t have a pen in hand, I’m daydreaming about a hero or plotting a scene in my head. But that’s the glory of writing – I’m able to work while I’m poking around antique stores and flea markets or shopping with my friends!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I personally prefer my Kindle due to the ease of ordering ebooks – I’m an Amazon one-click addict! However, I actually spend more time reading on my smartphone because I’m always on the go. My Kindle app gets quite a workout!
I recently surveyed my Facebook friends and Street Team members and found the Kindle and/or Kindle app to be the most popular.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are freaking AWESOME!! This wonderful group of people took a chance on me and haven’t left my side since – and for that loyalty, I can never thank them enough. The email messages and Facebook posts I read keep me focused and motivated and feed my desire to succeed!
I have a wonderful Street Team of over 100 members who give their time to help me market and promote my novels. I LOVE my fans!!
Social Media Links:
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/329806283788966/
Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/miadymond