Olivia Cunning. The woman that started my rockstar fascination (well, at least my “book” fascination- I’ve always thought the real thing was pretty hot).
I’m so happy that this romance/erotica author took her love of rock music and musicians, to her writing. It was because of her book Backstage Pass: Sinners on Tour, and then Rock Hard that I realized there was more to love in the book world, than just vampires. Mere mortals could be downright exciting too… they just had to be a “certain kind of exciting”
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview her, and I loved getting to know the woman, and the inspiration behind the “Sinners band”. Let’s get “Behind the Books” (and under the sheets) with Olivia’s “Sinners”, shall we? ;)
Maryse: Welcome Olivia! When I read the first two novels in your Sinners on Tour series, I quickly realized I was addicted to rockstar books. I couldn’t get enough! I found a few more in the genre, but nowhere near enough to keep me satisfied until the next in your series comes out.
I noticed in my search for more of these books, that a few authors (via their blogs, and comments etc…) mentioned past difficulties having this genre published. From what I gathered, publishers weren’t as interested in the genre because rockstars as heroes were not big sellers.
What was your experience in getting these published (and YAY that your series was picked up!), and do you think this genre might finally get some notice?
Olivia: *puts on body armor* The first print publisher I queried, bought the entire series. *ducks to avoid rotten vegetables chucked by other authors* I don’t think it is the genre or the rock stars that sold the series. I think it is my “voice”. My editor loved the humor, male camaraderie and the sensuality of my book. I just happened to be writing about rock stars. I’m glad my editor never got the memo about rock stars not selling as romance heroes. It would be cool if I was a trail blazer in the subgenre. I hope all of those rock star romance heroes out there get their time to shine.
Maryse: Me too!! I’m usually a “Vampire” girl, but your rock stars captured my interest just as much as some of my favorite paranormal heroes. Do you think that rock stars might be the “new vampires” (the next big thing)?
Olivia: I can only hope! But checking my royalty statement, I’d have to say… no.
Maryse: What is it about bad-boys, that has so many readers intrigued?
Olivia: These are the guys that get your panties in a bunch and you would love to have a wild fling with them, but aren’t really long term relationship material. Romance books MAKE them LTR material. So you can fantasize about dating these cocky guys with their sexual prowess and devil may care attitudes, but don’t have to actually bail them out of jail.
Maryse: LOL! Thank goodness for that! How did you get into writing? And what lead you into writing this genre?
Olivia: Some people write because they want to, others write because they have to. I’m in the second category. It’s just who I am. I don’t feel like I have a choice. My choice was in getting published, but not writing. I’ve been writing since high school and inventing characters since I was a toddler. Maybe it’s a mental illness. *g* I write romance because when I had time to read (sigh…) I mostly read romance. I used to skip to the sex scenes. Those were my favorite parts. When you write erotic romance you don’t have to skip to the sex scenes. They are plenty abundant. I used to get a lot of criticism for my sex scenes being too hot until I switched to erotic romance. I think I’ve found my niche.
Maryse: I’m so happy you did!! Who were your biggest rock star crushes (past and now), and were there any bands specifically (or rock stars) that might have inspired the characters in your series?
Olivia: Oh jeez. If I wasn’t a responsible adult, I’d be a total groupie ho-bag. Writing is my way of living the groupie ho-bag life without worrying about STDs and angry rock star wives. My first rock star crush was more of a pop star crush. I was IN LOVE with Michael Jackson (Thriller era) when I was in elementary school. (yeah, I could go with a very inappropriate joke there, but I’ll refrain…) Then, in junior high, I discovered rock stars. REAL rock stars. It was the rise of the hair bands. My first love was Rudy Sarzo when he was the bassist for Whitesnake. That band was electric sex and Rudy used to lick his bass guitar. My fifteen-year-old panties were on fire. Then I practically fell for any guy with long hair and a guitar. Or in the case of Axl Rose—long hair, sliding dance moves and a pair of pipes that make angels jealous. The list of my rock star crushes in high school would be a mile long. You name a 80s rock star, and there’s a 90% chance that I lusted after him for at least a few minutes. Then the nineties happened, the rock genre went through a major transitional period and music sorta died for me. Very sad. About seven years ago, I started to love music again. And with music there comes concerts. And with concerts there comes rock stars. And when rock stars come, I write about them (pun, totally intended!). I got the idea for Backstage Pass at an Avenged Sevenfold concert, so they are the biggest influence for the series, but by no stretch of the imagination the only influence.
Maryse: *nodding* ahhhh yes the hair-bands. The wallpaper (posters) in my teenage bedroom perplexed my father And YESSSS to Avenged Sevenfold!! I’m so glad you mentioned them. Do your books have a soundtrack? What were you listening to as you wrote them?
Olivia: I have play lists for both my books on my website. Go to the Fun Pageand scroll about half way down the page. You can listen to samples on the MP3 players or download the playlists in PDF format. I listen to hard rock and heavy metal. Obviously.
Maryse: What does the future of the series look like? When will the next books be released?
Olivia: All the books will eventually be released. This is a major bone of contention with me (and my fans), but it appears that the next book will not be released until Fall of 2012. Ugh! I know, right?
Maryse: But… but!!? 2012 is so far away! And not New Year 2012, either. Falllll? *whine* Sorry – I got away from myself Well… in the meantime, any tidbits, hints, secrets, or “kiss and tell moments” that you might be willing to divulge?
Olivia: I’m currently working on Trey’s book. The last book in the series. He has more lovers than I originally intended. Uh, yeah. They keep showing up and insisting that Trey needs more lovin’. That is one crowded bedroom.
Maryse: I can’t wait for Trey’s book. That little excerpt you released (the hot tub one) really… Well. Let’s just say I loved how it ended. So full of promise Which one so far, is your favorite of the series band members?
Olivia: I get this question all the time and honestly I’m a groupie ho-bag. I love them all for different reasons. Brian (lead guitarist) is the guy I’d want to marry. As the series progresses, you’ll see what a truly fabulous husband he is. Myrna is a lucky woman. Sed (vocalist) is the guy I’d want to protect me, because well, he’s a hunk of muscle, but that’s what he does. He protects. He gets off on it. And I get off on him getting off on it. Jace (bassist) is the one I’d most want to shower with love. (and shower with) He really needs it (love, not showering), even though he would deny that. Eric (drummer) is always a good time. He totally cracks me up. His jokes are so corny. Face palm, Eric. Face palm. He is surprisingly loyal. Golden Retrievers got nothing on the guy. He’s also far more sexy than you think. When I wrote his book, he blew me away. And Trey (rhythm guitarist) is sex on a stick. I’d lock him in my bedroom for my personal enjoyment. Of course I’d have to share him with a guy or two, but I’ve got no problem with that. His openness with his bisexual nature is hot.
Maryse: I get it. It’s already hard for me to pick between Brian and Sed. Imagine when you throw the rest in the mix! Do you have any favorite bad boy books that kept you up all night, as yours did for me? Any recommendations?
Olivia: I wish I could think of one. I tend to read in other genres so I don’t get influenced too much by similar books. I found myself picking up the voices of other authors, and that’s not good.
Maryse: For those who want to get started on your series, where can your books be found, and where can they find more information about you?
Olivia: Backstage Pass and Rock Hard are available at all online retailers and in most chain bookstores, such as Borders and Barnes and Noble. The best place to find out more about me is my website: www.oliviacunning.com. I post often on my blog, so if you’re looking for the most recent information and more interaction, that’s the best place to be. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, too. Look me up. I’d love to connect! The band also has a website, www.sinnersontour.com. A lot of my fans enjoy their site.
Wow! I think we’re kindred spirits! Same musical tastes, teenage crushes (yup… even right down to the crush on Michael Jackson during his Thriller era…he was also my version of Justin Bieber ) And don’t even get me started on Prince.
Thank you so much Olivia! And keep the rockers coming! Umm… errr...