A Stiff Kiss
By Avery Olive
Release Date: February 3, 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
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Avery Olive - Website
Karen: Welcome, Avery! It’s a pleasure to have you here! *virtual handshake*
Avery: Thanks so much for having me! Wow, you’ve got a nice grip. lol
Karen: *laughs* Thank you...Now, let the fun begin! Can you tell my readers what’s the weirdest thing you like to eat?
Avery: Ha ha. Okay. Thanks to Mr. Olive who taught me this and for many years I thought it was just gross—until I tried it, of course… Is the fact that I put Soy Sauce on my Spaghetti. And, I’m not just talking noodles and soy; I’m talking the whole shebang—tomato meat sauce, noodles, Parmesan cheese, and a nice healthy dose of Soy Sauce. It’s an Olive thing, a good portion of his entire family does it. It’s so common when you have spaghetti the soy sauce is on the table just like you’d have salt or pepper sitting there.
Karen: Tell us about your novel, A STIFF KISS, what’s it about? I love this title by the way!
Avery: Well, contrary to what the title might suggest ;) The stiff, is a dead person and well not… *shakes head* Anyways, it’s a reverse sleeping beauty tale about understanding and forgiveness.
Karen: How did you come up with the title?
Avery: I knew I wanted the word Kiss, since that plays a major role in the story, and well I also wanted to imply death. I’d thrown around several things, like Kissing Corpse or A Corpse Kiss… I actually tried really hard not to use the word Stiff, but it just—fit. It was the first name I wrote down, and the one I loved, and I was lucky enough that Crescent Moon Press felt the same way.
Karen: What was your favorite part/scene to write in A STIFF KISS?
Avery: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed writing the first kissing scene, but well, that’s probably a given since the whole story is set around that. So, there’s a really emotional scene between Xylia, the main character and her Dad. It’s one of the scenes where you realize there is more to Xylia and her slight obsession with death then just being quirky and different. She has a reason for it.
Karen: Tell us about that awesome cover! Did you have a say in the process for choosing it?
Avery: I have to say a huge thanks to Taria Reed, she did an awesome job. With Crescent Moon Press, my publisher, you do get to give a bit of your input. I was able to write down a few ideas that I thought would work. But seeing it in cover form, well that turned my little idea’s into pure awesomeness.
Karen: How long did it take for A STIFF KISS to be published (from offer to release date)? Tell us a little about the process.
Avery: Okay, so I got the offer mid-July 2011. But it wasn’t the first offer I had. Usually when you get offers, you let everyone know reading your work about the offer, giving the others a chance to respond. So in the end I had a few offers to choose from. It came down to who I felt most comfortable with, who I thought would do the best job and well I connected with my editor right away. So I chose Crescent Moon Press. And A STIFF KISS was released on February 3, 2012. So a little less than seven months. Karen: What was the first thing you thought/did when you received the offer?
Avery: Sadly, not much. I was excited, for sure, but I almost didn’t quite believe it was real. I was almost in shock, so I sort of just… went with it lol
Karen: Will there be a sequel to A STIFF KISS?
Avery: You know what, there might just be. But I can’t say for sure, just yet.
Karen: (Random question alert!!) Be honest, what’s the longest you’ve gone without washing your hair?
Avery: Love random questions! Okay, like well over a week. Mr. Olive used to be a long-haul truck driver (I know sexy right) and I went with him, touring around. The thing is, they don’t stop for nothing. You get in the truck and you try not to stop until you get to your destination. So showers were a hot commodity.
Karen: Back to the hard-hitting questions…What new projects are you working on?
Avery: I’ve got a few things in the works. I like to keep pretty tight-lipped about things, adds more excitement, you know. And well, in case something goes awry, no one but me will be disappointed. So, that being said, perhaps a little bit of a ghost story, and perhaps something that might resemble a *cough* sequel to A STIFF KISS.
Karen: Is there an author that you’d like to stalk, uh, meet?
Avery: All the authors I have on that list are dead, sadly. However, I’m quite taken with Twilight—I know, I’m a bit of a Twi-hard and I really enjoy Carrie Jones’ work. So, they could be on my stalk—I mean, meet list.
Karen: What books have influenced/inspired you the most?
Avery: You know, this is always a super hard question. I’m not sure anyone has influenced my work, since a goal of a writer is to be vastly different from the next guy. So let’s go with fairy tales. They are always in style.
Karen: What were some of the biggest challenges to getting published?
Avery: Not giving up. That’s the one thing that will quickly put someone’s hopes of being an Author to an end. And I’m a quitter by nature—how bad is that. So, I made a deal with myself to keep trying. I figured what do you have to lose? I liked writing, and I was doing that anyways, so why not send out queries, and more queries… and then why not just write a new novel, and send out queries for that. Eventually something has to come of it :)
Karen: What was the first thought that crossed your mind when you started editing rounds with your editor?
Avery: I love my editor! And I hate my editor! Okay so I had a somewhat unique experience, or well sort of—since I think everyone’s experience is their own and unique. But, I had been given a breakdown of editing steps. Each step would be focused on different things. Say, like step 1 would be major edits (if there are any), step 2 is cleaning up plot holes, step 3 is focusing on sentence structure… and so forth, but my Editor didn’t think I needed these broken down steps. There wasn’t enough wrong to warrant an individual pass for each step outlined. Instead I got all of the steps rolled into one big edit. It made for a messier manuscript that centered around nothing in particular, but all things. It took longer to work through but in the end made the whole process shorter. I loved my editor for believing in me, the writing and the novel but hated that she had such faith that I could handle it all at once. Karen: Now let’s delve a little deeper. Shall we? *winks* When did the desire to write consume you?
Avery: This is sort of silly. It wasn’t like I had dreamt about being an Author since birth, or an early age. I broke my leg a few years back, was on bed rest, forced to sit and twiddle my thumbs until the leg healed enough to walk on. I took up reading, a lot, and well, I thought I should give writing a whirl. I really enjoyed it. It became an overnight passion/obsession.
Karen: Do you have a day job? Or do you write full-time?
Avery: I do have a day job. I’m a stay at home mom to a very busy 5 year old son. So my days are usually carting him around to school and his various activities. Typically I write after he goes to bed and into the wee hours of the morning. But, I’m really hoping that I can make writing my day job. I truly wish I could give writing more of my attention.
Karen: Who controls your characters? You or them?
Avery: My characters control things. I probably shouldn’t let them, but I find if I force them to do something they don’t want the writing lacks.
Karen: If them, when are they the most persistent?
Avery: During the day when I can’t write! I usually carry a notebook with me because as luck would have it, I’ll be nowhere near a computer when the need to write something down strikes.
Karen: Where do you write? (office, coffee shop, graveyard, etc.)
Avery: I do most of my writing in my office, it’s where I’m at right now but two of my novels were written in Mr. Olive’s lazy-boy recliner J
Karen: How long does it take you to write a book?
Avery: My average was 3 months. However, I’ve hit a few snags these last few months with the release of A STIFF KISS taking over much of my time and attention, so the writing has slowed down a little.
Karen: How do you get into the writing zone? And does chocolate help with this?
Avery: Nope, chocolate doesn’t help, it’s not my go-to thing. I shower. I find some of my best idea’s come in the shower. It relaxes me, gives me a few moments of silence to work through problems, or to just think.
Karen: What do you do in your down-time…if there is such a thing?
Avery: Down-time is one of those things I often dream about but hardly does it ever materialize. When I have free time I’m writing, or reading, or decorating cakes—which I love to do, as a side passion.
Karen: If you could have telepathy (that could be turned on/off) or invisibility, which would you choose? And why?
Avery: Do I have to choose just one? I think they’d both would be great. I’d love to talk to people without actually having to speak aloud. I also think one could get into a lot of trouble ;) if they could be invisible. Think of all the secrets you’d learn.
Karen: Before we go, you must face the rapid fire round. Dun, dun, dun…
Coffee or tea? Coffee and tea! There’s a time of day for both.
Chocolate: dark or milk? Dark.
Flats or heels? Flats.
Yes or no? Yes.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Neither, they are both icky.
Ice: crushed or cubed? Cubed.
Italian or French (food, not men)? Italian.
Pantser or plotter? Pantser.
Paper or plastic? Plastic.
Vampires or werewolves? Vampires.
Pencil or pen? Pen.
Firemen or cops? Mmm. Both!
Karen: Thank you so much for stopping by, Avery! Feel free to visit any time!
Avery: It was such a pleasure! And I hope to be back :)