ABOUT AUTHOR: Olivia Newport chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distractions from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books.

The Invention of Sarah Cummings; this book is the third in the Avenue of Dreams series, which explores the yearnings of three different women to determine their own futures in a time when women’s options were limited. The first book, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, features the privileged daughter of a wealthy family. The second, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, is about a young woman in domestic service to Lucy’s family. And Sarah’s story is about a woman caught in between. She comes from a family we might call middle class, but one moment changed her whole life and she has been trying to re-frame her future ever since.

Did you have a say in choosing the cover for this book? How did the process work? It’s beautiful and eye-catching! (All of your covers have been this way.)

I’m so pleased with all the covers in this series! The art department at Revell, my publisher, finds the awesome vintage clothes and accessories readers enjoy. Then they find a model who matches the description of the character. I got to see all of this to make sure I was comfortable with the way everything was coming together. After a photo shoot, they put the character against the historic looking backdrop and send the finished design to me for input. I’m grateful for such an inclusive approach.

When you sit down to relax and read, what genre do you turn to? Do you prefer hardback, paperback or digital when you read? Why?

I read widely and enjoy all kinds of books, so I can’t say I have a favorite fiction genre. I want to care about the characters and be intrigued by the dilemma that propels the story. I enjoy reading about ordinary people trying to make sense of their lives. Hardback, paperback, digital—I read every format, as well—including audio.

What are the challenges of writing historicals?

I don’t have to think long about that: The challenge is getting details right for the time. I think every writer of historical fiction knows that niggling fear that something is not quite right, and a reader is going to know—the train line didn't exist at the time, or the hanger not yet been invented, or a word was not in use. I constantly find myself double-checking and trying to use sources that go back to the time I’m writing about.

What fascinates you about historicals? What do you look forward to when you pick up one to read?

People are people. That’s my biggest take-away from historicals. When I pick up an historical novel, in a way I’m looking for myself or people I know. Love, fears, dreams, joys, losses—everything that happens to us has always happened to people. Historicals remind me of our common humanity and our quest to know and be known.


Food I enjoy
You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians—all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do think you’d play?

I assume Chief Grumbler is not an option! Usually once I get over my shock at finding myself in a difficult or disappointing situation—and I’m finished grumbling—I go into organizing mode. I analyze the gap between where I am and where I want to be. Then I break the problem-solving down into steps. That also helps other people see that while the overarching problem seems huge, they can do one thing at a time to make the situation better. I would hope that I could do this not in a bossy way but in a spirit of encouragement.

A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use it for awhile. Where would you go and what would you do?

My father immigrated from Brazil to the United States in his twenties. I've only visited Brazil once and don’t have much grasp on the language or culture. I think I’d like to go to northeastern Brazil in the 1930s and see what his life was like when he was young. And I would like to hang in a hammock and look out at the ocean rather indefinitely.

What was your favorite show on TV when you were growing up? Why is it your favorite? If you didn't watch TV what were your favorite books?

I remember watching a lot of the Flintstones! I’m not sure why that was. And then when I was in seventh grade, I thought Marcus Welby was the best show around. Technically it came on past my bedtime, so I spent a fair bit of my junior high years trying to stay caught up with that show!

What three things would you rather not live without (besides your family)?

My hammock (those Brazilian genes!). My library card. Dark chocolate.

Out of all the sounds in the world, which are your favorite?

View from my back yard helps me relax too!
Acapella choral music. That may sound old-fashioned to a lot of people, but the complexity of sound that can be created just with the human voice astonishes and inspires me.

Leaves crunching under my feet in the autumn or rustling in the wind.

My kids’ voices saying, “Hi, Mom.”

Nora: Great sounds! I can picture them all and hear them with you! Thanks for sharing these fun! Love the view from your backyard too! Grin!

THANKS for stopping by Olivia! It's great to know you and your books better. I'm thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity Revell Publishers has at TBCN Starting December 20th. There will be a 5 book giveaway and discussion. You've come up with three fun questions to ask readers. I'll be interested in that discussion.

Stop by The Book Club Network (TBCN) DECEMBER 20th
Check out the Front page CLICK the Link that will take you to the entry author page. 


Nora :o)



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