Monday, June 24, 2013

Author Interview: Olivia Cunning

For the 11th Turkish blog tour of the group I belong to, I've interviewed Olivia Cunning, the author of the Sinners on Tour series. I've only read the first book, Backstage Pass so far, and I will say it's not everyone's cup of tea. But it was a fun read and definitely for readers 18+; maybe 21+. Below you'll find the interview...

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in the United States, but I did live in Germany for five years. I've never been to Turkey, but would love to visit. I currently live near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. I've always wanted to live near the beach, so I love it here on Galveston Island. I used to teach college science classes, but recently became a full-time author. I mostly write sexy stories about rock stars, because I'm a HUGE music fan. I have one son, one ex-husband, one dog and one cat. I like to keep things symmetrical.

Why study biology instead of writing?
Because I found English classes to be boring and I found science (Biology, in particular) utterly enthralling. Science is still interesting to me. I learn something new about the world every day. I can study writing on my own. Not much new and exciting to discover in the field of writing or English.

How did you end up at a Styx concert when you were six years old?
My dad was a huge fan of Styx and instead of leaving me with a babysitter, my parents took me with them to the concert. I didn't ask to go, but am glad they took me. It was a very exciting experience. That concert took place in Germany actually. The crowd was enormous!

How did your family react to their teenage daughter drooling over rock musicians?
Well, my Mom took me to a Motley Crue and Whitesnake concert when I was a teen, so she didn't protest much. I think she enjoyed it. Both of my parents are rock fans, especially my Dad. He still listens to rock music every day. I'm not sure how they felt about all the posters of hair band dudes taped to my bedroom walls. It was like a wallpaper collage of rock stars.

Did you date any musicians?
No. But not because I didn't want to.

Can you name some of your favorite rock bands?
I have so many. Let's see. I'll limit myself to ten. All that Remains, Avenged Sevenfold, Breaking Benjamin, Disturbed,  Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Slipknot, Tantric and dozens more...

If you could go on tour with any rock band you want right this minute, which one would you choose?
This is actually a hard question for me. I'll say Metallica, because I still haven't seen them live and I've been a fan of theirs for over 20 years. And I hope Avenged Sevenfold is opening for them, because those guys look like they'd be a lot of fun, plus they're all sexy as hell.

What's the furthest you've traveled to see a rock show? How was it?
I took a very long road trip (over a thousand miles round-trip) to see Tool in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since we were driving, I decided it would be a good time to see the sights in the center of the US, so we headed from Nebraska to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, then Idaho and Utah to watch the concert, then we drove all around the Rocky Mountains in Colorado before heading home. The real reason for that long drive was going to see Tool (we lucked into tickets) and the show was amazing! I'm so glad we went. The road trip rocked too. Excellent scenery. If you ever visit the U.S., be sure to check out Yellowstone. Very cool! Or hot, I suppose with all those steaming vents and geysers.

Did you get to meet any of the bands you're a fan of? If yes, can you tell us about the experience…
I am super shy in person, so when I get near musicians I freeze up and can't even approach them. I wish the truth were more exciting. I've seen many musicians up close, but I've never spoken to them. I mostly just gawk.

Which bands inspired the Sinners men? How did you come up with their names?
I got the original idea for my first book, Backstage Pass, while at an Avenged Sevenfold concert, so they were the greatest inspiration for the Sinners' characters. And I thank A7X for being inspiring. Once I got writing, the characters really took on a life of their own. I don't remember how I came up with their names. Usually characters name themselves. I think where Brian's name came from is pretty obvious (check into Avenged Sevenfold's lead guitarist, if you're curious, and I'm pretty sure I subconsciously named the band Sinners after the same real life rock star *cough*). I liked the name Cedric in the Harry Potter books, so that's where I think Sedric came from. Jace, Eric and Trey? I have no clue. Usually, I just start writing and I picture the character in my head and their name magically appears on the page. It's sort of weird. I know a lot of authors put a lot of thought into the meaning of their characters' names, but I just use what sounds right.

Why do you think women are crazy about rock stars? Is it the talent? Is it the careless attitude?
Talent, yes. Self-confidence, definitely. There is something untouchable about a man on stage that just makes you want to touch him.

What were some of the romance books that inspired you to start writing your own?
The Wanton by Rosemary Rogers (first hot romance book I ever read), The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure (first erotica I ever read), and some book by Nora Roberts. I can't remember the name of it, but it was before she became a romance writer superstar. The woman could always write one heck of a good romance.

"Mentally dating a musician" has been a thing for as long as I can remember. You bring this to life with the Sinners series. Tell us about what we should expect from Backstage Pass…
Backstage Pass is the first book in my Sinners on Tour series. The lead guitarist, Brian Sinclair, has been in a bit of a rut, both musically and romantically. Enter sexy psychology professor, Myrna Evans, who is suffering from her own professional and romantic ruts. They hook-up for a weekend of hot, no-strings attached, kinky sex, but Brian is completely smitten with relationship-shy Myrna. She eventually joins him on tour to do research on groupie psychology and though she tries to resist the sweet charm, amazing talent, and bedroom mastery that is the lead guitarist of Sinners, he slowly lowers her defenses to make her his. There is a whole lot of hot sex in this book. Beware of steam burns.

Do you have a message for your Turkish readers?
Welcome to the Sinners' family! Enjoy the ride.

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