Starting a Band in Grenoble?

 Today I get to meet an author who grew up where my son went to college. Yay! Olivia Swindler is touring the internet with her book,  Cynthia Starts a Band

An easy breezy novel, full of pop music and descriptive writing, from “Olivia in Paris.” Eleanor Quinn lives a life most young girls dream of. She’s the lead singer of a wildly successful band, dating the most beautiful man in America, and in love with her life on tour. She pours her heart into every song she writes and genuinely enjoys connecting with fans. So, when she disappears after her fiance’s fairy-tale perfect proposal on stage, the world is shocked. Worse yet, he starts telling interviewers that Eleanor is crazy — possibly even a danger to herself and those around her. As the weeks go by, the world wants to know: Who is Eleanor Quinn really?

So Olivia, I know you grew up in Spokane Washington, but where do you live now?

I currently live in Grenoble, France.

 Cool! And did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I spent most of my childhood reading books and making up stories. I remember attending a reading fair for elementary school students when I was 6 or 7 with my parents and one of the speakers talked about how he got his book published. It was the first time I realized that people got to write as a job, and ever since then, I have dreamed of being a writer.

 I loved reading and writing as a child too. Then I became a mathematician. What about you? What is your education/career background?

I have a degree in Sport Management and a degree in French from Washington State University. I moved to France in 2016 and currently am the Communications Coordinator for Young Life in Europe.

 Do you have kids or pets?

I have a dog named Luna (after Luna Lovegood).

 Perfect! Do you have any favorite places to write?

I love writing on the train. I am always inspired by travel and people watching always gives me new character ideas!

 Ah, the Hogwarts Express! Do you have interesting writing habits or superstitions?

When I was working on Cynthia Starts a Band I wrote 1,000 words every day. I was so worried that if I didn’t hit that word count goal the momentum and motivation I had for the story would disappear.

 Like... writers' block? How would you find your creative muse again?

I normally listen to a podcast. I really like “No Such Thing as a Fish”. The conversation is so random that I normally find inspiration or a new idea just by listening to their conversations. I am a fun fact nerd and for some reason learning facts really helps me to find my muse again.

 Cool, and then you make a story, but what do you think makes a good story?

I love a story that helps me to see something from multiple viewpoints. I think good characters help bring a good story to life.

And what inspired this story?

I was inspired by a few things. Firstly, I had always dreamed of being a professional musician. Unfortunately, I am the least musical person I know, so getting to write and research for Eleanor’s life helped me live out my dream through her.

 I was also in a toxic relationship in my early 20’s and I remember how isolating that felt. I remember not having words to explain to people what had happened and why I had dated the guy, etc. Through this story, I hoped to give words to that experience and help create more conversations about unhealthy relationships. I wanted to write a story that was hopeful. I wanted the story to be about Eleanor’s healing and growth. I was so inspired by the women who came around me and helped me to find the courage to use my voice. Those women are also an inspiration for me.

Does the story have a theme you want readers to grasp?

One of the important themes in the book is women supporting women. I also wanted to write a story that reflects hope for people starting over. I think everyone has the power to be courageous and find their voice, and that is a major theme for Eleanor and the novel.

 What challenges did you have writing this book?

When my editor was reading through my book she kept asking me to write more descriptions. When writing, I visualize everything, and I realized that I would need to help the reader to see what was in my head. I never appreciated the work that goes into writing descriptively.

I had a hard time writing dialogue. I knew that good dialogue would be important in developing these characters, but I found myself having to read all of it out loud to make sure that I was writing in a way that people would actually speak

So how do you deal with that? What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?

Just write. If you want to be a good writer, you need to spend time each day writing. It sounds so simple, but it helped me to develop good writing habits.

So, time's nearly up. Quickly, what was your favorite book as a child?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and A Wrinkle in Time

 And what is the one book no writer should be without?

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Thank you so much for visiting here, and good luck with the book!

Find the Author: Website and Social Media:

FB: @olivia.swindler

IG: @oliviaswindler

Twitter: @oliviaswindler

Find the book:





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