Is your knowledge of the US South due to your background or were you born in the American South?
Olivia : I was born and bred in Panama City, Florida on the beautiful azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. My grandfather, Wyatt Oates Byrd moved to Panama City in 1930 from Alabama so I am called Old South. I am a former elementary school teacher and was a stay-at-home mom for my two children Tommy Jnr and Elizabeth. My husband Tommy and I still reside in Panama City.
Did you write as a child? So many novelists seem to have scribbled little plays and notes as children.
Olivia : As a child I was a voracious reader and loved to write. One of my earliest memories is my grandmother, who was very instrumental in my life, teaching me to write thank you notes! I loved the art of letter writing and still write personal notes as often as possible.
Did you have a figure which inspired you to write?
Olivia : In writing this first book, Miss. Hildreth Wore Brown, I wrote what I knew - humor and the South. Since I was raised by a Southern father and grandmother of uncommon wit, the fabric of my childhood was laced with humor. I grew up surrounded by marvelous tales of Southern grande-dames and eccentric Southern gentlemen. Humor was a staple in our household. I have loved the art of storytelling as long as I can remember.
What is the best thing that happened as a result of writing Miss. Hildreth?
Olivia : I have had the huge honor of personally meeting two of my modern day literary idols Fannie Flagg and Pat Conroy. They are two of the nicest people I have ever encountered - unpretentious and kind. They are what we call in the South "down-home people".
Do you do a lot of research for your books? Is this time consuming or interesting and time consuming?
Olivia : Since these were stories that really occurred, I did not have to do a great deal of research. But, because many of them happened years ago, I did fact-check a lot of things. I find research fascinating but it is time consuming.
What are your writing plans for the future?
Olivia : Though I do have some ideas bouncing around in my head, my main goal right now is marketing Miss. Hildreth. While on blog tour this past April, I wrote several guest author posts that were a lot of fun.
Thank you Olivia for the interview. My review of this book will be up shortly.