Name: Olivia Blacke
What you Write: I write quirky, unconventional, character-driven Cozy Mysteries.
Agent: The fabulous James McGowan
Why BookEnds? After reading many heartfelt and informative interactions on Twitter from BookEnds agents, I realized BookEnds was my dream agency. I asked around, and several friends (and wildly successful authors) highly recommended them. It turned out to be the best decision of my writing career, because James McGowan and BookEnds were able to connect me with an exciting publishing contract with Berkley Mystery for my upcoming Williamsburg Cozy Mystery series!
Olivia has been a complete joy to work with, and we’re so excited to announce her upcoming series with Berkley! If you missed it:
Olivia Blacke’s WILLIAMSBURG MYSTERY series, in which a murder goes viral on social media and an amateur sleuth gets pulled into the investigation, to Kristine Swartz at Berkley, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, by James McGowan at BookEnds (world).
Now, get to know her and her writing a bit more as we impatiently wait for her book!
What genres do you write? Read? I primarily write Cozy Mysteries. I read… well, pretty much everything. Lots of Mysteries, of course. Urban Fantasy, Horror, Fantasy, Suspense, Romance, Sci-Fi, Graphic Novels, Comedy… Okay, I might have a problem (except, not really a problem! More of a challenge.)
Plotter or pantster? Plotter all day. I used to scribble ideas on every available surface (and then proceeded to lose all those teeny tiny scraps of paper), and drove myself nuts – until I discovered the joy of index cards. Now I can organize and reorganize to my heart’s content, without ever forgetting that one brilliant plot twist I need to weave in subtly. I use index cards to do everything from developing characters to building the plot to reducing the likelihood of an ugly interruption of writer’s block- because I almost always know what comes next.
Right now, I’m hard at work on the next Williamsburg Cozy Mystery, and I’ve got a colorful stack of index cards filled with snippets of conversations, red herrings, suspects, potential motives, and character interactions. I’ve got the whodunit too, but that particular index card is under lock and key for now.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em? Learning to love them- it’s like having a late night discussion with my bestie about my book! For me, the hardest part of writing a synopsis is the reveal. It feels like I’m giving away too much, but I know that is part of the package. Shameless self-promotion time: I’ve consolidated my tricks to writing a synopsis on my blogat https://oliviablacke.com/how-to-write-a-synopsis/.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them? Playlist all the way! Music helps me block out the noisy world all around me. In addition, I have a different playlist for every series, which helps me get back into my main character’s headspace as easily as slipping on warm, fuzzy socks right out of the dryer. If I’m working on a gritty UF, I might be blasting NIN, but if I’m writing a Williamsburg cozy, I’m dancing around the room to P!nk (much to the puggle’s entertainment). Luckily, I love P!nk because I’m spending a lot of time lately working on the next book in the Williamsburg Cozy Mystery series.
Twitter or Instagram? Or Facebook? Where can we find you?
To be honest, I mayspend too much time on Twitter (@oliviablacke) but I’ve met some really fabulous people there in the writer’s community. I use Instagram (oliviablacke) for posting precious puggle pictures (try saying that three times fast!). I also update my website (oliviablacke.com) with news, blogs, and helpful writing resources. I’m really looking forward to being able to add a cover reveal and more announcements soon.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
Wow, that’s a dangerous question. I’m a serious fangirl, and have made a complete and utterfool of myself in front of a few of my favorite authors. There are several authors that I have complete bookshelves dedicated to well-read – and in some cases, falling apart copies – of their books. I will (and have!) stood in a line for hours to meet some authors just to thank them for everything they do, but I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. I will happily admit I did a hugefangirl squee when I realized how many books I love and authors I admire are also published by Berkley, and I’m humbled to be in such amazing company.