Blog Tour: Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes

 

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I am so thrilled to be part of the tour for Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes. It’s the sequel to Olivia Twisted, which came out back in 2013. If you want to learn more about the book and the author read on for my interview with her.

 

Q: Do you mind telling us a bit about yourself?

VB: I’m originally from Texas but now live in Orlando, FL with my husband, three kids and sweet beagle. My life is a little chaotic, but I still try to find time to write. Usually until one or two in the morning. I’m a little cranky when I have to wake up early. vivibarnes

Q: In Olivia Twisted we saw the world through both Olivia and Z’s perspectives. Can we expect the same in the second book?

VB: Absolutely! Olivia Decoded is told from both perspectives.

Q: Which point of view did you enjoy writing more Olivia’s or Z’s?

VB: That’s a tough one, because I empathized with both equally – Olivia’s foster care situation and Z’s concern for doing the right the thing by doing the wrong thing. But hey, if I have to choose, I’d say I loved writing from Z’s perspective most. He’s such an interesting guy and writing his internal struggle between right and wrong was fascinating.

Q: Why did you choose to write about hackers?

VB: When I first thought about how to do a retelling of Oliver Twist, I wanted to make sure it was relatable for today’s reader. Pickpockets are still around, of course, but I knew making them hackers instead would make it more of a contemporary story.

Q: I find the idea of a female hacker fascinating and I can’t help but think of the debate we have been experiencing in recent years about women in technology or lack thereof. How do we encourage more women to enter the field?

VB: I love that there is such a focus these days on girls going into STEM-related fields. I just passed a sign the other day on the street that said “Girls who code can rule the road!” The more we can encourage girls to enter science and technology fields, the brighter our future will be. I, for one, will be encouraging my daughter to at least learn coding “just in case.”

Q: What is the most likely place to find you when you’re not writing?

VB: Definitely hanging out with my family (when I’m not working). I have three kids in three different schools, so keeping up with all their school work and activities is challenging. So you might find me volunteering at a school dance, in the bleachers at a football game, or learning Spanish with my six-year-old. I don’t sleep much. 😉

Q: Favorite books of all time?

VB: The ones I grew up with – Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Watership Down, The Westing Game. And newer ones, too – The Hunger Games and…of course…Harry Potter!

Q: What was the last book you read?

VB: Every Falling Star by SungJu Lee and Elizabeth McClelland – an incredibly fascinating memoir about a boy growing up in and escaping North Korea.

Q: Final question, what’s next for you now?  

VB: I’m currently working on a middle-grade humorous novel, which I hope to have completed by the end of this year. Harder to write these days with three kids in school!

 

Book Title: Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted, #2)

Author: Vivi Barnes

Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016 olivia-decoded-1600x2400

Genre: YA Thriller

Olivia Decoded Book Synopsis:

This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.

This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.

I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.

You can now buy Olivia Decoded at any of the following websites:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Olivia-Twisted-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00BRAFR4Q

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olivia-Twisted-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00BRAFR4Q

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Olivia-Twisted-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00BRAFR4Q

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/olivia-twisted-vivi-barnes/1114511531

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/olivia-twisted/id620469564

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/olivia-twisted

Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/olivia-twisted/

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Olivi-Decoded-Vivi-Barnes/9781633754904?ref=grid-view

Interview: Nelou Keramati

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Hey, guys, and welcome to my first author interview. I’ve been wanting to do an interview for a while now but I didn’t want to do just any interview. I wanted it to be for a book I genuinely couldn’t stop talking about. So imagine my happiness when the lovely Nelou Keramati, author of The Fray Theory: Resonance, agreed to answer a few questions for me. I also want to thank her for being such a good sport about it.

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The Fray Theory: Resonance is available for purchase on Amazon.

I first came across The Fray Theory a few months ago when I was perusing Goodreads for my next read. I don’t even remember how exactly I stumbled upon it but after seeing that gorgeous cover and reading the synopsis I went straight to Amazon ready to purchase it…only to find out it wasn’t out yet!! Never one to give up so easily I tracked down Nelou and asked for a review copy which she graciously supplied. If you haven’t read my review of The Fray Theory you can find it here. And if like me, you want to know more about the world of the book and find out how it all came to be, read on.

 

Q: Do you mind telling us a bit about yourself.

NK: Hmm… Where do I begin? I’m a pretty odd person to describe, probably because I’ve dabbled in so many random things. But the one thing that’s always held true for me has been living in a world of fantasy. As far back as I can remember, I’ve just loved to let my imagination run wild, pretending to be different people who are experiencing vastly different realities. And I think that’s ultimately what drew me to acting and writing :D.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Fray Theory?

NK: It was during a deep conversation with my beyond incredible friend. It had been a crazy summer for us filled with coincidences, and I just had to come up with a plausible explanation for them. I think at some point I said something like: “you can’t know the future unless it’s already happened… somewhere…” and that thought sparked something in me, which after months and months of development, slowly morphed into the Fray Theory!

Q: Were you always planning on designing your own cover?

NK: Initially I’d planned on grabbing my DSLR and snapping a photo of something striking and poignant. But a part of me really wanted the cover to be artwork (I suppose my inner artist eventually won me over). And once I had my mind set, I just couldn’t bring myself to outsource the cover!

Q: How many books will there be in the series?

NK: I was initially planning on a single novel. It soon became a trilogy in order to accommodate the theories in full, and now I’m certain of at least 4 books. I know exactly how things will come together in the end, but how I get from A to B to C to (Q? lol)… that will surely be a fun and unexpected exploration of the characters.

Q: What was your favorite scene/character to write?

NK: Neve’s sarcastic thoughts and convos with Romer/Elliot always crack me up. But I especially love the scenes with Marcus Holt because he’s such an uninhibited prick! 😉

Q: Elliot’s depression was so well written and it reminded me of my experience with my college roommate who was also suffering from depression at the time. Were you drawing on your own experience with a loved one or did you have to research the topic?

NK: I’m pretty compassionate by nature, so understanding someone else’s plight has never been too big a leap for me. But I do believe that my studies in psychology/neuroscience really helped me when it came to getting inside Elliot’s head.

Q: So I have to ask, as a scientist yourself, do you believe in the multiverse? And if so, do you subscribe to a particular theory?

NK: Had you asked me this question two years ago, I probably would’ve said ‘no’. But to be honest, with each passing day it makes more and more sense to me. The theories do much more than explain why at times, when at the brink of falling asleep, you hear random sentences in your head in voices of people you don’t know. Or why you fall in love at first sight with someone who’s not at all your type. Even if the theories are more science fiction than science fact, indulging them makes me feel a profound sense of empowerment!

Q: What’s your experience with gender bias in science?

NK: Despite my artistic affinities, I was raised to have a very analytical mind. As such, I had a pretty healthy confidence in my thoughts and abilities when it came to my studies, and people’s skepticism always seemed naïve to me (as opposed to offensive). But just because I never experienced gender bias in science, it certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Q: I had such a hard time explaining the book to my friends so I’m curious can you describe the book in one sentence?

NK: I would probably say: “It’s a sci-fi/fantasy about a theory that accounts for the peculiar happenings in life which lie just outside the realm of science.”

Q: Can you tell us some of your favorite books/authors? 

NK: I think J.K. Rowling is just brilliant. She was the very first author to kindle my love for reading, and I am forever grateful to her for the magic spell she has cast on the world! I think George R. R. Martin is absolutely brilliant, I adore John Green’s wit and humor, and I strive for Stephen King’s flawless ability to communicate with his readers.

Q: What can we expect from the rest of the series? 

NK: Stakes. Resonance was highly focused on the central premise (the theories), as well as giving a somewhat in-depth introduction to some of the major players. From here on out, the characters will come to realize just how much power resides in their understanding of the theories, and will learn to utilize their abilities to ward off threats from their foes. Life will never be the same for any of them, and whether or not they can survive their ordeal is something even a Harbinger cannot predict.

Sneaky Final Question: I loved the fact that Dylan and Romer were not simply present as potential love interests for Neve. They each have an important role to play, however, a lot of people have sided with one or the other already so I was wondering who would you choose? Dylan or Romer?

NK: You know what I find interesting? I’ve always felt that love-triangles are not really triangles. They’re more like love ‘Vs’: two guys competing with one another in order to win the affections of a girl; in which case the third length of the triangle is missing. Now, although I don’t want to advertise Neve, Romer, and Dylan’s relationship as a love-triangle, it kind of is exactly that: because Dylan and Romer love each other. They truly do. And it can even be argued that their bond is far stronger than what either has forged with Neve.

That was always incredibly important to me, because I don’t believe a ‘love-triangle’ should be used as a ploy to paint an otherwise plain protagonist as desirable. Neve has to earn these boys’ love, and she can only do that by being understanding and mature in how she deals with them. As such, there is no in-built ‘who will she choose?’ scenario, because the choice isn’t entirely hers. Dylan and Romer are individuals, each with his own strengths and weaknesses, and they’re not pitted against one another, nor can they be. And like Neve, I simply cannot decide which holds a bigger spot in my heart, because I sincerely love them both.