If at First You Don’t Succeed…

What does a flamingo have to do with a good story? Nothing, unless your story happens in Florida. Still, it’s a great eye catcher, because I have a great offer.

First, how was your week? Mine was exciting because I published my book. It was also full of challenges and frustration. Take yesterday. I wanted to update my profile at Smashwords (SW), the company who published my eBook. I felt a bit leery at the thought of posting a photo. Since Olivia is my writing name, I didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag too soon by displaying my happy non-Olivia face.

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This Is Me

 When I enjoy an artist’s creative pursuits, I often wonder about the person behind the craft. (I prefer to call it my creative, inquiring mind rather than my inherent nosiness.) I love personal glimpses. (But not too personal. That would make me a stalker.)

I just published an interview with Smashwords about the evolution of my writing. It’s not too personal, so if you’re a stalker, you’re out of luck.

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Houston, We Have Ignition!!!!

Welcome to my blog!

Today I have the news that you’ve been waiting for.                                                                                   He is risen!

Wait… that was yesterday (if you’re reading this on Easter Monday).   Okay, so I have other news, a little less momentous, but special nonetheless. I’m published!!!

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Bases Covered


Welcome back!!

As you can see, things are moving along quite swimmingly. Today’s post gets just one image, my new cover!

I selected this design by Kyra Dune from http://www.premadecovers4u.com/

It has historical ambience, great font, it  was affordable, and I just happen to be partial to blue. I decided to drop the article from the title, which makes the essential words that much bigger.

Book covers are like homes. You can purchase a move-in ready “spec home” and fall in love with it, or you can work with a contractor and have your mortgage creep up! and Up! and UP! as you sweat over making every single detail absolutely perfect. The important thing is that once you hand over the money, decide to be happy with your choice. People will always nitpick about what could have been better.

Happiness comes not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have.

I couldn’t be happier with this cover and I hope you’ll share my joy.

Stay tuned. Next week I hope to have even more news for you.



How I Tamed the Candelabra of Calamity

  Hello fans, readers and first time visitors!

Before I explain today’s title, I have some exciting news about my debut novel, The Eunuch’s Daughter: I will be self-publishing it soon as an eBook!!! If this is your first visit here, please scroll down to the earlier posts to learn more, and to enjoy some of the 14 excerpts I’ve included as Sneak Peek posts.

After hours of experimentation, I realized that the best fit for this story is still the historical genre. I had so much fun trying to morph it into a Lord of the Rings/Star Wars fantasy hybrid over the past few weeks. To my (not total) surprise, it kept racing back to its historical roots while shrieking, “Help, help! She’s going to massacre me!”

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What If…

Happy Spring!!!

I don’t know what that feels like in your hemisphere, but in my home, it means being able to walk along the river without my jean jacket. Waking up to more hours of sunshine. Canada Geese honking above me as they return from  their vacation in the Baja.

Speaking of vacations, I had a lovely restorative one. I spent two sunny weeks on a cruise ship surrounded by the ocean, tropical ports, 2000+ other passengers, 900 of the most incredibly dedicated and hospitable crew, and 11 flights of stairs to keep me from waddling home.

The adventure didn’t stop on the return trek. I ate authentic Cuban food in Miami, where the local birds could have been refugees from a Hitchcock film. Then I had to cross three time zones while simultaneously encountering the arrival of the Dreaded Wakey-Wakey Bird…

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And Now For Something Completely Different

Welcome to my blog!  One more month and it will be spring. You know what that means. Flowers will start popping up everywhere. In gardens! In alpine meadows! In Walmart!

While waiting to hear back from some agents, I have been exploring the idea of changing my historical novel…

into a fantasy one.

In some ways, it’s an easy transition, because the storyline is already laid out for me. But in others…

The first element I’d have to change is the names of my characters and places. They are crucial to the flow of a story because if a reader finds them awkward, they will cause a mental/emotional blip every time he or she encounters them. (Sometimes I think I might have that same effect on certain folks, LOL.) As an author, it’s important to avoid anything that jolts your reader out of the story experience.

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Hanging In There

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Olivia Dawson and this is where I’ve been sharing my debut historical novel, The Eunuch’s Daughter. If you’re new here, there are 14 Sneak Peek excerpts from the story. Why not stay a while and meet some of the characters? They’ll draw you into their lives if you let them.

At this point in my journey to publication, I’m still waiting to hear whether I’ve managed to interest anyone from the traditional publishing sector in my book. Waiting for something to develop feels like waiting on your swing for the next push. Not much fun until the connection happens and then… WHEEEEEEEE!!! Also, getting my next story ready to share with you is deeply satisfying. So thanks for hanging in there.

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Sneak Peek #14

Isn’t that a gorgeous shot of the Caspian Sea? I loved it as soon as I saw it, because it fits perfectly with the Persian setting of my story.

Welcome to the last excerpt from my debut historical novel, The Eunuch’s Daughter. Here’s a brief Who’s Who of this scene’s cast:

Carcas: the scribal eunuch who supports Queen Esther and despises Lord Haman. If I was going to cast him in a movie, I’d choose someone like Paul Bettany (but I’d have him spray tanned first).

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Sneak Peek #13

Welcome to another excerpt from my debut novel, The Eunuch’s Daughter.  Today’s Sneak Peek features a character who is just as strong and tenacious as our hero, Queen Esther. Unfortunately, she’s pulling in the opposite direction. No matter how the picture at the top of this post makes you feel, that’s what it’s like to be in the same room as Zeresh

Zeresh is the beautiful woman married to Lord Haman, the man who is out to dispose of Persia’s Jews. Once you get to know her, you almost feel sorry for Haman. Almost.

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