Monday, September 16, 2013

A Fun Interview With Olivia Newport ~ Interview & Giveaway

The End of Summer Birthday Bash has begun! Today Olivia Newport is joining us with an interview and giveaway! I love her Avenue of Dreams series and definitely recommend it. :) 

Welcome, Olivia, to Christian Bookshelf Reviews! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! Will you tell us a little about yourself and your road to publication?
I’ve lived in various states, but Illinois is the place of my family roots. After 17 years in Colorado with no thought of moving, I’m sure my young adult children think of this state as the place of their family roots. No two writers take the same road to publication. For me, I’ve had various jobs that gave me the opportunity to use my natural wordsmithing tendencies and taught me a lot about understanding the target reader, purpose of writing, and taking care with words, even though I was not writing fiction. Like most writers, I have manuscripts in the closet that will never see publication—and probably shouldn’t. Then several years ago the project that became the Avenue of Dreams clicked into place.

What is your Avenue of Dreams series about? Will there be more after The Invention of Sarah Cummings or will that be the end of the series?
The Avenue of Dreams series is about three young women in Chicago in the 1890s who struggle to be able to choose their own futures. They come to their circumstances by widely divergent roads, but what they all seek is finding meaning in their lives. Lucy Banning (The Pursuit of Lucy Banning) is a privileged daughter of wealth, but society tries to put her in a box that squeezes the life out of her. Charlotte Farrow (The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow) arrives at the Banning house with a secret that makes it hard for her to trust. And because of the sudden death of her parents Sarah Cummings grows up in an orphanage and then goes into domestic service, a life she detests. Sarah’s story wraps up the series.

What is something the average reader wouldn’t know about you?
In the eighth grade, I was voted “Most Literary.” I guess this business of chasing words around the page goes back a long way. Who knew?

What’s the best and/or worst part about being an author?
Being a published author is a roller coaster ride. My favorite part is when a reader takes time to find me and send me an encouraging message. Until I began publishing novels last year, I never knew how much that would mean to me. Yet it’s still early enough in my fiction career that I feel uncertainty. Will readers like my stories? Will anyone buy them? Will there be another contract? So the mix of ups and downs can wear me out if I’m not careful to keep things in perspective.

Do you have a favorite summer memory?
So many! Emotionally, summer memories bring to mind family vacations, mostly camping. Whether with my family of origin or with my own husband and children, these were always times of adventure and the unexpected—the kind of thing you tell stories about for years or smile about when you see the photos.

What’s your favorite season and why is it your fav?
Fall. I wait all summer for the Virginia creeper growing on my fence to turn gorgeous shades of autumn that I don’t get tired of staring at. By then the cooler temperatures are welcome. I also think that culturally in the United States fall signals the end of the looseness of summer and a return to structure, and deep down I thrive on structure.

If you won the lottery, what are the first three things you’d do?
1. Faint. I presume I won a multi-million dollar jackpot, right?
2. Give. It would be satisfying to be generous with causes and people I care about.
3. Recreate. It would be lovely to have a second home in the mountains and know that it’s waiting for me whenever my soul needs some tending or I just want to get away to write.

Let’s say you’re hosting a party and can invite any ten people, living or dead. Who would you invite?
Recently I had the opportunity to see a college roommate after more than 30 years. Though we’ve stayed in touch in a general way, there’s nothing like being together face to face. I would love to repeat that experience with other people who have meant something to me during various seasons of my life. Bringing ten people together at one time would be a sort of “This Is Your Life,” but I’m sure I would be drenched in the richness of it all. (And maybe it w
ould be a weekend destination kind of party because, after all, I just won the lottery.)

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
Henri Nouwen said, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” I don’t think joy has anything to do with circumstances. We choose what to fill our hearts with.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate a birthday?
True confession: I’m not really all that great about this. But a shared meal goes a long way toward celebrating anything, it seems to me. Maybe the weekend destination party with my ten best friends can also involve a birthday and a lot of eating!

A few this-or-that questions:

Cake or Cupcakes?  Cupcakes! The frosting is usually piled higher.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, hands down.
The Pool or the Beach? Beach. There are so many more sensations to soak up.
Sunbathing or Swimming? Close call, but sunbathing.
Sandals or Sneakers? Sneakers. My cranky feet don’t tolerate sandals well.
Early-bird or Night-owl? Night-owl. I do not get people who get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. when they don’t have to!
Ice Cream or Sorbet? Ice cream. (Though oddly when it comes to ice cream I prefer vanilla over chocolate. Go figure.)

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?
A few weeks ago I signed a contract with Barbour Publishing for a series I’m calling Amish Turns of Time. Three stories create composite pictures of critical transitions in Amish history in the 1910s. Each story is set in a true-to-history setting. They all revolve around conflict or challenges that arose in Amish history. As a historical writer, one of my favorite things is to discover something that really happened and put characters on both sides of the conflict. The first story, Wonderful Lonesome, will release in late 2014. It explores the reasons why an Amish settlement on the Colorado plain failed a hundred years ago.

Thank you so much for being here today! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
I blog at www.olivianewport.com. Along with “Lens on Life” entries, the site has information about all my books. I have a Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/OliviaNewport and I’m on Twitter at @OliviaNewport.

Book Giveaway!


Giveaway details: Enter to win a print copy of The Invention of Sarah Cummings, the third and final book in the Avenue of Dreams series. US only. Ends 9/29

How to enter: Sign into the Rafflecopter form below (it might take a moment to load) and click “enter” on each of the entries you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

71 comments:

  1. This looks lovely! I like to read about strong women.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for coming by, Mrs. Newport. I liked reading your interview. Thanks interview and giveaway! I have wanted to read this series because I've heard about it before (on Legacy of a Writer, I think).

    Thanks for hosting, Melanie!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great interview. The covers on these books are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this series and can't wait for the final book. This interview was great and I enjoyed getting to know Olivia Newport better! It will make my experience of reading her novels more personal.
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  5. So fun to see Olivia being interviewed here.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh I can't wait to read Olivia's books! Thanks to both of you for hosting an interview and giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now I want to read the Pursuit of Lucy Banning too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love your blog and love this interview!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the giveaway! This is pretty cool!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had never thought about cupcakes having more frosting...you've changed my life forever! Hope your book does also!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love that the stories take place in Chicago! They sound exciting. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your new series sounds so interesting Olivia! Can't wait to read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I keep seeing the first book in the series on my library's ebook section. I keep meaning to snag it. This is going to be a good excuse to now read her series. Thanks for the interview! I'm from Colorado myself and hope she is staying safe and dry with the recent floodings!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds really interesting!! For sure adding it to my TBR pile :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ~Rose

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds great! And yum, I prefer cupcakes, too!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great interview- looking forward to reading the new series!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a lovely interview! I have not read any of Olivia's books before, but I have them all on my TBR list!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congrats on your birthday and the fun end of summer party! I really enjoy Olivia's books and can't wait to get to The Invention of Sarah Cummings later this week. :-) Her upcoming Amish series sounds great. I'll be sure to check that out when the time comes too!

    (Not an entry)

    ReplyDelete
  19. My roots are in Illinois too. Raised and born in Decatur. Moved to Arizona when I married 34 years ago. Now in Missouri
    jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. It was fun getting to know you. My favorite season is fall also. I would love to be able too read your book. In October I will be in VA with my 2 and 3 younger sister, I am so excited and look forward to seeing all the beautiful fall leaves, and hear them crunch under my feet. One of my favorite things to do is jump in a big pile of raked leaves. It was lots and lots of fun. I also love to bake pumpkin breads and just have the smell fill the house. Yummy. Thanks for the contest

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great interview! Olivia is a new-to-me author, but I'm definitely interested in finding her work! And Olivia...I totally agree with you. I would choose chocolate anytime unless we are discussing ice cream. Then, it's vanilla!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  22. As always I love reading the interviews here. Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have not read this series yet but sounds like the type I like to read so will want to find them. I like the time period and of young women wanting to find their way in life. I think many in that time period had limited things they could do. I love your answers to what you would do if you won the lottery, each answer I am thinking , oh Me too-I would like to do that. esp have a small home somewhere special to go to and revive your spirit and soul...
    You are a beautiful woman and I will be reading your work.
    thanks for sharing
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wonderful interview. This book is definitely going on my to-read list. I love Olivia's writing style.

    The cover of this book is absolutely stunning. L♥ve it!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the interview ladies! I would love to read Olivia's newest book. Sounds like a great series.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great interview and wonderful review. This looks like a book that I would want to read. A young woman wanting to find their way is a great story line. Thanks for the giveaway. Looking forward to reading more of your books.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks so much for the chance to win this book!
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I loved Lucy and Charlotte's stories and look forward to reading this latest in the series! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    inspiringdaring (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Melanie, I enjoyed your interview with Olivia. It was nice to get to know her a little bit. I've only read one of her books, which I did enjoy, Accidentally Amish. I need to read the rest of the series to see what happens. I have been looking forward to reading the Avenue of Dreams series. It would be great to win The Invention of Sarah Cummings.
    may_dayzee@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Today was a travel day for me after attending the American Christian Fiction Writers conference for the first time. What a lovely end to my day to log on and find so many kind comments! Thank you all!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love historical fiction! I love to read/review it!
    This sounds like a great novel. i can relate to women who struggles to be strong
    In that day and age it was very difficult for women to break free of bonds sociaty
    put them in.
    Thank you for the giveaway and such great books!

    ReplyDelete
  33. This sounds like a good book, thank you for the chance to win it.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi, Olivia!

    Enjoyed your interview, & learning more about you & your books! Would love to read The Invention of Cummings - sounds like such an interesting series. I love anything Amish, & look forward to the Amish series. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello . My computer is crazy tonight. Almost ready to submit my comment and it just disappeared. Loved the interview. Olivia, I agree about being crazy to get up so early. I have nothing I want to do so early. And, I'm sure I would also faint if I ever won the lottery. I c an't even win a $10.00 gift card, LOL I would love to win your book. Thanks for this give-away.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. seems like an interesting book

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love the interview... its great learning more about the authors behind the books you love! :) And I love Olivia's books! Cant wait to read the third book in this series!
    Lisa Medeiros
    deiselbuffs@yahoo.ca

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love the fall too! Great interview! Looking forward to reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a wonderful interview. I just finished Olivia's first book in this series and am so looking forward to reading the 2nd and 3rd books. Thank you to you and Olivia for the interview!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I haven't read the first two in this series yet but they are on my TBR list. The covers are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ohhh, I've wanted to read this series for quite some time, and would love to win a copy of the final installment in the series! Thanks for the opportunity ladies!
    Bethany

    ReplyDelete
  42. Would love to read this! daizeefli@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I really enjoyed The Pursuit of Lucy Banning!

    ReplyDelete
  44. would love to read this book not only does it sound good but something about the cover has me very intrigue

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am so looking forward to reading this book. I love characters who are able to work through their challenges and come out ahead discovering who they really are and learn to accept themselves .mcnuttjem0@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Such a great interview. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133atyahoodotcom

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sharon Richmond BryantSeptember 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Enter me this book looks great!!
    Sharon Richmond Bryant
    Conway,SC.
    sharonruth126@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. This book looks wonderful. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Such a fun interview, thank you for sharing. Looking forward to finding out more about this series, the book sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love the book's cover! I;m excited to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Enjoyed the interview! I haven't read any of Olivia's books yet but I absolutely love the covers!

    Jasmine A.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I love this type of read. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love your books, Olivia! You're a fabulous author. Would love to win. Thank you for the giveaway and please enter my name.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I enjoyed the interview! Great joy quote, I had to copy it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am new to your books,but would love to read them. Hopefully I will win this book.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I have loved Olivia Newport's other books and can't wait to read this new one.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Really enjoyed the interview. :)
    I absolutely loved the first two books in this series and cannot wait to read the third one! :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Looking forward to reading these books!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for the chance to win! I enjoyed reading "The Pursuit of Lucy Banning" earlier this year ...

    ReplyDelete
  60. I really enjoyed the interview and am very much looking forward to the upcoming Amish series with a historical focus!

    ReplyDelete
  61. That dress is amazing on the cover. Just wow. There are times when I wish we still had style like this, but then it hits 100+ degrees and I recover my sanity.
    Thank you for the giveaway Melanie! :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. This looks like a great story and great series. I have "The Pursuit of Lucy Banning", but I haven't got to it yet. I look forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Great interview! I'm really looking forward to reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I've not seen your books but now that I've read this blog I'll definitely be looking you up. :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Have read the previous books in this series, so anxious to see what happens with Sarah.

    ReplyDelete
  66. This sounds like a fantastic read, and what a stunning cover!! Looking forward to reading this : )

    ReplyDelete
  67. I like what you said about having to choose Joy and to choose it daily. That is so true

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thank you much for the interview. I have read the books in this series and loved them.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Good to learn more about Olivia Newport. I have the first book in the series and look forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Would love to read this book! Thanks for the chance to win it!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - I love reading them! Comments are moderated and I reserve the right to not publish any comment that I find to be offensive (i.e. foul language, inappropriate content, etc.) or spam.

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! =)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.