Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Author Interview: Olivia Wildenstein and Not Another Love Song Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I have YA author Olivia Wildenstein here to share about her new YA romantic contemporary NOT ANOTHER LOVE SONG. It sounds like a fun read about competing desires, which many teens and adults must grapple with.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

An aspiring teenage singer finds herself playing a different tune when she falls for a boy who could jeopardize her future dreams in Olivia Wildenstein's romantic YA novel, Not Another Love Song.

Angie has studied music her entire life, nurturing her talent as a singer. Now a high school senior, she has an opportunity to break into Nashville's music scene via a songwriting competition launched by her idol, Mona Stone. Discouraged by her mother, who wishes Angie would set more realistic life goals, she nonetheless pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.

But Angie's mother is the least of her concerns after she meets Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.

She’s never desired anything but success until Ten entered her life. Now she wants to be with him and to be a songwriter for Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.

And picking one means losing the other.

Hi Olivia! Thanks so much for joining us.

1     Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Hi! Believe it or not, two factors contributed to my pursuit of a writing career: the 2008 crisis and the Twilight books. For five years after graduating from Brown, I worked in fashion and accessories, and then 2008 happened. I was pregnant with my first child at the time, and I no longer wanted a high stress job contingent on the world economy. This pushed me to find a new vocation. I’d always been a big reader but never had I devoured a series as fast as Twilight . . . and I thought, “I want to do what Stephenie does.”

2.      Where did you get the idea for NOT ANOTHER LOVE SONG?

Not Another Love Song was born from my love for music (I write to music, read to music, eat to music, drive to music . . . basically, there’s always music playing somewhere in my house, office or car) and my obsession with the TV show Nashville at the time I started writing it.

3.      Your story is set in Nashville, and you live in Switzerland. What research did you do so that you got your setting right?

I’d never traveled to Nashville so I researched the heck out of the music capital on the internet and then fact-checked with friends who lived there. Two years ago, I finally made a trip to Tennessee, and I was surprised by how familiar it all felt.

4.      Angie’s dream is to break into the music industry in Nashville. Did you know much about this industry already or did you have to learn about before you starting writing? How did you tackle learning enough to accurately write about it?

I actually have friends who own a record label (they’re the ones who put Angie’s song to music! It’s included in the audiobook, which is narrated by the amazing Eileen Stevens who read Dumplin’ and Geekerella.), so I asked them about the industry, and then researched the rest on my own. As for voice lessons, I actually used to take them, even though you would not want to hear me sing.

5.      What was your plotting process like? Share your tips for other writers on how to create a page turning plot when writing a contemporary romance.

At the beginning of each book, I’ll write a 5-7 page outline. And then I’ll set it aside, on a shelf somewhere, and won’t refer to it once during the writing process. You may wonder why I write the outline in the first place if I don’t use it. The reason I do this is because an outline has beats, and outlining helps me figure out when I want those beats to happen. The plot may take unexpected turns, but those initial beats will stay. If you think of it like a song, my outline gives my book its rhythm.
In romance, beats are especially important, as is making sure your main character and his/her romantic interest always orbit around one another. Those unputdownable love stories are unputdownable because there is constant friction between the two leads.

6.      Many writers (including me) don’t feel confident about developing the growth of a romantic relationship in our stories and intimate scenes. Share how you’ve developed this part of Angie’s story. What advice do you have for the rest of us?

The key to writing romance is reading romance (I know this is clichĂ© and sounds simplistic, but it’s
true), and then studying the books that made your heart beat the hardest. Also, romances are character-driven stories, which isn’t to say there’s no plot (the very best romances have gripping plots, think A Court of Mist and Fury or The Bridge Kingdom), but your reader needs to become attached to both your leads or they won’t get invested in the love story.

7.      Your book is being published by Swoon Reads, an imprint of Macmillan publishing under Feiwel & Friends. Share what your road to publication for this book was like and for your earlier books.

There are two major differences between indie and trad: the first is time. In indie, your turnaround is quick. Most indies will write and publish a book every three months; it takes me double the time, which is slow for indie but lightning-fast for trad, which takes 1-2 years. The second big difference is the handling of your manuscript. In indie, the MS remains entirely yours (even though we have editors and proofreaders and beta readers). In trad, your MS becomes the property of someone else, which I’d equate to surrogacy.

8.      You’ve already written and published four series, which are in different genres, and one other standalone. What have you learned about marketing YA books from promoting these books and how has it affected your marketing plan for NOT ANOTHER LOVE SONG?

Marketing is something I’ve learned along the way, and that I’m still learning because it’s forever changing. There’s this word you might’ve already seen: authorpreneur. It describes the indie business to a tee. You have a team, but in the end, if you don’t work really hard at putting your book out there, it won’t reach the right readers. Also, nothing works better than word-of-mouth and a strong review team / reader group. Most recently, the bookstagram community has become pivotal in marketing.

9.      What is your advice for other writers for building their social media platform and marketing their books?

Connect with your readers! I really can’t stress this enough. They will make this journey so much more fun and bearable. By connecting, I don’t mean pushing your books at them; I mean interact, host giveaways, thank them when they take the time to read and review. Remember that without them, you wouldn’t be an author; you’d be a diarist.

10. What are you working on now?

I am currently working on Celestial, the second and last book in my angel romance series, which started with Feather (a Romeo and Juliet retelling), and simultaneously I’m co-writing a brand-new YA witchy romance duology, think Serpent and Dove.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Olivia. You can find Olivia on:

-          Instagram under @olives21 (her favorite haunt)
-          Facebook in her reader group Olivia’s Darling Readers (second favorite hangout place)
-          Her website: http://oliviawildenstein.com
-          Amazon
-          Goodreads
-          Bookbub
 Twitter under @OWildWrites

Giveaway Details

Olivia and her publisher have generously offered a hardback of NOT ANOTHER LOVE SONG for a giveaway.  To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment by August 8th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Here's what's coming up:

Wednesday, August 6th I have an interview with debut author Sasha Laurens and a giveaway of her YA fantasy A Wicked Magic and my IWSG post

Monday, August 10th I have an interview with debut author Chris Negron and a giveaway of his MG contemporary Unmasked

Monday, August 17th I have an interview with debut author KayLynn Flanders and a giveaway of her YA fantasy Shielded

Monday,  August 24th I have an agent spotlight interview with Veronica Park and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


nashvillecats2 said...

Again another great interview, I hope you recieve this as there appears a new system for bloggers and I'm not techincally minded.
Enjoy your week.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

It's wonderful that we're able to write stories based in places we haven't been...the internet is fabulous for that! Congratulations on the new book. :)

bookbunny68 said...

I follow on Bloglovin'. This was a great story. The cover goes perfectly with it.

bookbunny68 said...

I also follow on Twitter.

Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf said...

This sounds like a great book! It was interesting to hear about how the book was researched and outlined. I'll pass on the giveaway, but thanks for the great interview!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview! I write romance as well and agree - our characters have to intrigue the reader for sure!

mshatch said...

Wonderful interview, Natalie, as always, and congrats to Olivia :)

Jenni said...

I like the combination of music with the romance. And so interesting that Olivia was inspired to write about Nashville even though she lives in Switzerland!

Mary Preston said...

A great blurb and interview.


ken ohl said...

I think my wife would enjoy this book

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

Terrific interview. All best wishes with all your books, Olivia.

Shanah Salter said...

Great interview! I’ve shared it on Twitter. Can’t wait to read your book :)

Computer Tutor said...

Great interview. I loved your thoughts on how you write a book, Olivia--"The reason I [write an outline I don't use] is because an outline has beats, and outlining helps me figure out when I want those beats to happen." That actually makes sense!

Danielle H. said...

As a musician myself, I love finding books like this. Thanks for the interview and chance to win a copy. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/624910622675599360/author-interview-olivia-wildenstein-and-not

Lynn Rogalsky said...

NOT ANOTHER LOVE SONG sounds like an awesome book! Great interview. I'm writing a MG about a similar subject. Thank you to Olivia and her publisher for the giveaway opportunity.

Patsy said...

It's good advice to read other books in the same genre – that helps us decide what level of intimacy (or horror or violence etc) we're happy with. Often people feel they should have more, or less, but if it's right for us, it will be for other readers too.

Jennifer L. said...

Enjoyed the interview and I look forward to reading this book.

Melanie B said...

Sounds like an awesome read, thanks for the chance!
Following your twitter and blog, and shared on twitter!
Email is melanie_brac (at) yahoo (dot) com

Rosi said...

I really enjoy reading your interviews. They are always informative. This is no exception. Thanks for the post. I will pass on the giveaway.

DMS said...

Interesting to learn about Olivia and how she came to a career in writing. Sounds like the Twilight books really helped her make a change! I am amazed she was able to write the book about a place she had never been to before. Lots of research for sure. Thanks for sharing! Wishing Olivia all the best. :)

Nick Wilford said...

Good interview with Olivia. Great advice about involving readers in your books in meaningful ways, rather than constant ads.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Fun interview. Love that cover too!

Nancy P said...

Beautiful cover positive DOT ideas DOT 4you AT gmail DOT com

Natasha said...

Great interview!
Not Another Love Song sounds like a great read!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com