Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview with romantic comedy writer Barbara Oliverio

Barbara Oliverio loves learning and reading, and manages to have a book to read with her at all times. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she grew up in North Central West Virginia and after moves that included several years living in Italy, she now lives in suburban Denver.

When Barbara isn’t reading she enjoys working the NYT crossword puzzle and is a rabid fan of Downtown Abbey, Game of Thrones, and Dancing with the Stars. She and her husband love to travel, eat good food, and disagree over their favorite sports teams.

Barbara is here today chatting about her novel Love on the Lido Deck: A Nautical Romantic Comedy. This is just one of many tour stops she has with Goddess Fish Promotions. She’ll be awarding $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner during the tour,

To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome Barbara. Please tell us about your current release.
Keira Graham has moved into the fast-paced world of event planning and as she gets the job of a lifetime – planning a Caribbean cruise package for foodies on the world’s largest cruise ship – she learns that her widowed mother has a serious love interest. Keira invites both of them to accompany her on the voyage and join a cast of characters including Keira’s best friend Alexandria, her extended family, and sassy assistant. What follows is a rollicking fun-in-the-sun adventure – not to mention more than one encounter with charming cruise director Brennan McAllister.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book is a sequel to my first novel Love on the Back Burner: A Tasty Romantic Comedy. The two books together are a complete story of two best friends and their searches for career and romantic happiness. The inspiration for the books was the ability to provide clean romantic comedy. Specifically, I wanted to give young women realistic role models who were modern, witty and had fun while managing to maintain their values in life.

“This is ridiculous, Mother.” I felt like we were in a bad sitcom. “You said you wanted to talk to me ‘girl-to- girl.’ Now, unless you’ve taken your cue from endless episodes of some program on the Lifetime Channel, something is up. Spill!” She dabbed at her mouth delicately with her napkin—private Catholic girls’ school training had not been wasted on Maeve Graham—then cleared her throat and dropped a bomb on me. 

“Keira, I’ve been dating a nice gentleman, and it’s becoming serious.” 

I was dumbstruck. 

“Keira? ... Keira! Say something!”

I paused. I wanted to make sure that just exactly the right mature, calm words would come out of my mouth. Then I spoke.


Um. Perhaps not so mature.

“You forbid it?” To my mother’s credit, she was very calm.

I mentally stepped back. After all, I had gone to private Catholic girls’ school as well. I could be ladylike.

“NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!”

Oh. Yes. That was soooo much better.

My mother cleared her throat.

“Keira! Listen to yourself. You sound like you are five years old.”

“I do not!”

Just kept getting worse! I jumped off the stool and ran to the window and looked out across the back grounds. That didn’t help. All I saw were the stables. Daddy’s stables. I whipped around.

“Mother,” I started patiently. “Who? What? Why?” I trailed off.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on another romantic comedy, but this one has a new set of characters. I’d prefer not to get into detail, but I will tell you that the main character is a young woman trying to make it in an off-beat profession. I do stay true to my goals of keeping the story PG and showing that a good romance can be told with dialog and plot and not rely on sex and crude language.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have written in one form or another all my life ever since I learned how to put pen to paper. As a college undergraduate, I chose journalism as one half of my double major (the other being mathematics). I started my business career as a tech writer and documented everything from oscilloscopes to software. Switching to marketing I wrote sales copy, PR copy, and web content. Though I am now a novelist, I still write articles for periodicals and write for other projects as well. I really can’t remember when I HAVEN’T written in one form or another!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I identify myself as a full-time writer, so I set a schedule to write so many hours and/or words per day based on the projects I am working on. As I get closer to finishing a book, the hours get longer. However, I maintain a heavy volunteer schedule at my church that I need to fit in around my writing schedule as well.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Sometimes I speak the dialog of my characters out loud as I write it to see if the inflections work. This can get quite tricky if I’m writing while other people are around!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to grow up and have a single-gal career where I could live in a fantastic apartment in the city, wear trendy clothes, and have a group of witty, fabulous friends – think “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or, for those of you a bit older, “That Girl”. The profession didn’t matter as much as the setting and wardrobe. I did grow up to move to the city and have a great single-gal lifestyle – before my wonderful husband snagged me and made sure we have a great married life.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Since I’m a voracious reader, I love getting recommendations on good books! Also, if you’ve tried one of the recipes in the books, please let me know. Please send me your thoughts on that or other comments.


Thanks, Barbara!


Mary Preston said...

Such a fun cover.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment on the cover, Mary! My designer Li Hertzi and I had a great time working on it.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for hosting, Lisa.

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

Unknown said...

Hi Rita - I'm glad you liked the excerpt. This is a good example of a piece of dialog that I spoke out loud while writing it. Luckily I was home alone at my desk!

Elena said...

I like the book cover and the excerpt

Unknown said...

Thank you Elena! Have any of you folks been on many cruises? I was hoping this cover would bring back memories for those that have!

Unknown said...

Thanks again, Lisa, for being a great host. This has been a fun day. Good luck to all those who entered the giveaway.

collenga said...

Great interview! Gotta love a female entrepreneur! sounds like a great series!

Unknown said...

Thanks Collenga! Keira is a good example of a woman "making it happen", isn't she?

bn100 said...

Fun interview

Unknown said...

bn100 --Thanks for stopping by. I guess you can tell I'm a bit of an extrovert?!