Interview and Review with Author Livia Ellis

2 Oct

Memoirs of a Gigolo: Volume One by Livia Ellis

It’s a glorious Tuesday here in The Tarasphere and I am so excited to bring you this next author. She is smart, savvy, cool and collected with a love of sexy shoes and even sexier men. Please help me welcome the fabulous Livia Ellis and show her some love with her new release, Memoirs of a Gigolo: Volume One!!!

Just look at that cover. Go on, take a second. We’ll wait.

A brief description: Oliver Adair enjoys a life of women (sometimes men), travel, and sex. Unfortunately these things cost money – something he doesn’t have a lot of. When he’s offered an opportunity to get paid for doing what he loves, he happily signs on to become a male escort. But first, he has to pass the interview process. The madam of the agency has one of her girls put him to the test. Oliver quickly discovers that in this world, not only is being a mans man a la James Bond still desirable, but expected. By embracing his masculine sexuality, he makes a name for himself in the world of escorts.

Let’s talk more with Livia and find out about her writing process. Interview time!

What was your favorite part of the book?

Any part that has to do with subtly revealing Oliver’s character. I like the challenge of slowly showing rather than telling. I’m hoping this comes across in the scene with Elon and Oliver. I want the readers to see that they have a very deep connection, that they love each other, but that Elon is in love with Oliver in a way that Oliver can never reciprocate. Although Oliver engages in M/M sex as an escort, he is heterosexual.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Writing from the first person POV of a man. I’m not a man. I had to put myself into the mind of a man. Not easy to do.

What do you wish was different about the book?

I wish I would have made the first volume slightly longer. I think there is room to add another scene.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Gone with the Wind and Anna Karenina. Those are my two favorites. Odd, because the main female characters are opposite. Scarlett is so strong and Anna is so weak.

What sparked the idea for your novel?

I was on a flight and ended up stuck on the tarmac. As one does, I got to talking to the man sitting next to me. He was impossibly beautiful. Blond, but spoke with a Spanish accent. I guessed correctly that he was Argentinian, which kicked off a conversation. After a ten hour flight followed by two hours of sitting motionless, I learned that he was an escort. I thought about him for a long time. Then one day I was stuck in an airport (these ideas always come to me in airports or airplanes for some reason) and as I trolled through the magazines and read about scandals and downfalls, Oliver appeared to me. I had my story.

How personal is your writing?

Very. I know and love each of my characters. They are my lovers, friends, and family.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Both. Depends. Memoirs of a Gigolo is fairly carefully mapped out. It had to be. But there is room to add some extras. For example, I think there might be a special release for Halloween.

What is your writing routine?

Early morning. Late evening. In between I try to live a normal life.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

With Memoirs of a Gigolo, Ollie came first. I’d had the shadow of Ollie bouncing around in my head for a long time. In another manuscript I’m working on, the is a YA dystopian à la  Hunger Games, the story came first. I was reading in an academic journal about practices in Ancient Greece and Persia. All I could think, was three thousand years ago, the sort of foolishness that is happening now was happening then. Where will we be in three thousand years? Then I had the story.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I was working on a paper that had something to do with sexual practices in Ancient Greece.

How did you come up with the title?

I was playing around with a few ideas that had to do with autobiographies, biographies, journals, diaries, etc., etc… Then there it was Memoirs of a Gigolo.

What project are you working on now?

Memoirs of a Gigolo is going to take up the better part of the next year. But I am also working on a YA dystopian, a few other erotic stories, and a story I like to call my Irish Harry Potter (Can I call something an Irish Harry Potter? Will J.K. Rowling’s cabal of lawyers come after me? I guess we’ll find out!).

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?

Loneliness and companionship.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Writing is a hard job that requires an extraordinary amount of time, mental energy, effort, and dedication. There is a part of me that feels so deeply sorry for these people that just started writing and think they are somehow due success because their mother/aunt/sister/boyfriend think their writing is fantastic. I’ve been at this for years and I’ve devoted hours and hours to dedicated practice. Writing is a craft that has to be learned. That’s not to say there aren’t people that get lucky and fall into success, but for the rest of us it’s a lot of heartbreaking work. My advice: If you think you might rather do something else, then do it. If you know you can only be a writer, then that’s what you are.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Worst: You suck. Best: Style-wise it’s really excellent. Makes me smile. It’s well-written, good pace, good dialogue (which a lot of people cannot do), and I am very interested in it. (I just received that bit of feedback on my Irish Harry Potter – fingers crossed it gets picked up.)

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Can they be fictional? Because I would have Ollie, Olga, and Elon over. Do I really need to tell you why?

Our thanks to Livia for taking the time to answer our questions. As a special treat, we’ve got the book trailer here to whet your appetite for Oliver and his adventures.

If that isn’t enough….Volume Two will be available from Amazon on November 1st.

Now for my review of Volume One:

The concept for this book is far from original. After all, sex for hire has been around since currency was invented. But Livia Ellis’ “Memoirs of a Gigolo” is so much more than a stab at the time-honored trading coin for booty genre.

What makes this story is the character, Oliver Adair. I want to wax poetic and say that he is beautifully flawed, even tragically so. But I can’t write that with a straight face. The fact is—he’s jaded, he’s cynical, he’s materialistic, he’s hedonistic, but most of all—he’s honest.

Oliver is refreshingly arrogant. And why shouldn’t he be? He makes no qualms about his views on the world or where he thinks his place in it should be. He shows that he is more than willing to use his body as the weapon of choice in the battle to acquire and keep the luxuries he deserves.

Is this morally questionable? Yes. Should I care about that? Probably. Do I care about that? No.

Why? Because there is a hint, only a hint, mind you, that underneath the delectably sinful flaws, Oliver might just be vulnerable. And the even the tiniest morsel of that is worth it.

Does it make me want to keep reading? Yes. Will I be disappointed if he’s not? Hell, no.

I love a good bad boy, and Oliver Adair delivers on all counts. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next installment. I’m so Team Ollie I need a t-shirt. Give it a read—I’ll send you a shirt. You’ll want one.

Five out of five stars. Platinum, darling.

Biography and where to find Livia online:

Were I to write a personal ad about myself it would read as follows:
Blond. Blue. 5’6″. A lady never discloses her weight, but I’ve never had any complaints. I only run if I’m being chased by a gun wielding maniac, but I do love yoga. Bit of a shoe hound. Have had issues passing up handbags. Trying to learn to play the Irish harp. Enjoy both theater and concerts. Love to read fantasy and science fiction. Am not ashamed to admit I adore Star Trek. Have a picture of myself (dressed as a nun) and the late Patrick Swayze (dressed as a medieval warrior) in a frame (Yes – I did cry when he died). Perpetual student with advanced degrees that are mostly useless when seeking job opportunities outside academia. Vivid imagination. Sexually adventurous only on paper. I never know what to say when people end a conversation with ‘god bless’. Occasionally play the lottery – but generally only when I’m feeling really poor. Love to travel. Fluent French speaker. Seeks readers whom enjoy what I write.

Links:

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4 Responses to “Interview and Review with Author Livia Ellis”

  1. Blue Harvest Creative October 2, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Excellent blog and interview! Gone With The Wind is one of our favorite books, too!

    Like

  2. writermirandastork October 2, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Fantastic interview and review! And I loved your ‘advert’ for your bio Livia, very original 🙂 And I thought your advice about being a writer was so spot on-over the years, I tried to be many other things, mainly for other people to feel happy about the fact I wasn’t ‘earning enough money’, before realising I would never be happy until I was a writer and making a living for myself from it 😀

    Great post you guys! 🙂

    Like

  3. Robert Zimmermann October 2, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Great interview! I’m glad to know the story behind Oliver. Very interesting how finding a random person can spark something like this 🙂

    Like

  4. Rosanna Leo October 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I am so excited to read this book! I already own it and it is burning a hole in my pocket, as I already told Livia. Such an exciting premise and wonderful author. Congrats!

    Like

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