Friday, October 1, 2010

Interview: Sinners' On Tour, Backstage Pass

It’s my pleasure to have as my guest, Olivia Cunning, erotic romance author. Olivia has brought along lead guitarist of Sinners, the delectable, Brian Sinclair. Ladies he’s lookin’ hawt! (I’d still love to donate my body, in the name of ecology, of course, for him to use. Sigh, but one must be professional when conducting interviews.)

Brian, welcome to Over Coffee. It wonderful to have you and Olivia here and I’ve been so looking forward to this interview.

Since you're short on time, we'll get right to it.

Tell me a bit about Sinners. How did you guys come together?

Hard to believe, but Sinners has been together for ten years now. Well, most of us have. Jace Seymour took over for our previous bassist just two years ago. I’ve known Trey Mills, our rhythm guitarist, since before he grew pubes. Met Eric Sticks at a party in high school. Trey and I were playing a gig with our band, Crysys, and Eric thought we sucked. Actually, Eric and Trey got in a fistfight over it, which somehow ended with Eric joining the band. He was trying to decrease our suck. Did a pretty good job with that actually. Crysys did suck until Eric joined us.

The three of us played together for a couple years, then Sed Lionheart decided he wanted to be our lead singer, took over, and rearranged things. He’s the one who renamed the group Sinners.

So even though he wasn’t an original member, Sed just took over?

Yeah, Sed is like that. He told Eric that he was hurting the band by being lead singer and that he should play drums instead. Eric sings pretty good actually, but he doesn’t have much star quality. Sed’s got both the pipes and the stage presence. He’s a great front man. And Eric wails on the drums. So win/win for Sinners. Right?

I suppose so. As long as there were no hard feelings.

Now I didn’t say that.

Your father was also a famous lead guitarist in his day. Was he the one who encouraged you to pick up the guitar?

Not really. When I was a kid, he’d go out on tour and I’d sneak into his studio to play his guitars. I don’t know how he knew I was messing with them, but man, that made him mad. No one touches Malcolm O’Neil’s guitars. Eventually, Mom bought me my own guitar, so I’d stop upsetting Dad. And despite all my success in Sinners, I’m still not good enough to impress the old man.

Can we talk about something else?

Sure. Whose music influenced you, Master Sinclair, to become the iconic guitarist you are today?

I do have a few influences, but I tried to find my own sound early on. You can’t be a great musician if you copy others your whole career. I think Hendrix was my biggest influence. I started trying to copy his sound when I was eight. I also learned from fast-fingered soloists like Randy Rhodes and Eddie Van Halen, as well as, masters of the metal riff, like Metallica and Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell Abbot. You’ll hear bits of all of them in me. I guess my dad influenced me, too. People say I sound like him. I don’t hear it.

Hey, did you know Olivia Cunning dedicated her novel, Backstage Pass, to Dimebag?

Yes, I saw that. He was an awesome guitarist.

I suggested it to her. His loss was a terrible tragedy. Playing Cowboys from Hell helped me build up my speed. Great workout for the fingers. Sick song! Uh, sick meaning good.

I really like the song too, Brian. I think I’ll let anyone who wants hear it give it a play.

If you had to pick a band on today’s scene you respect for their songwriting or music ability, who would it be and why?

There are lots of great bands out there right now. I don’t think I can pick just one. I do respect bands who aren’t afraid to vary their song structures and sound. Variety is good as long as you don’t go overboard.

We’re going to try to add even more variety to Sinners’ next album. So says Eric Sticks.

As a popular band, what are some of the good things that have come your way? What are some of the not so great things?

Fans are great. Performing live is great. Getting paid to do what I love is amazing. Living on a tour bus with four other slobs sucks. Just kidding, the guys are great. Just don’t feed them chili. I beg you.

I read on your website that you had some problems this past year with losing your creative spark or your muse. That must have been hard. Was it burn out?

Sed has a big frickin’ mouth. I don’t know why he posted that on our website. I’m not sure what the problem was. We’ve been on the road for a long time, but that usually inspires me. Maybe it was the pressure. Everyone always being on my case to write something. I think I just needed to relax and let the music come. Not force it, you know? I’m over it now. I’ve written a lot of new stuff recently. Great stuff.

So how did you finally find a way to relax and let it come? Come? Ummm....
Why, Brian Sinclair, are you blushing?

Psssh, no.

If you say so, lol! So what exactly inspired your creative spark? You can tell us.

Might as well. It’s all being published in the novel, Backstage Pass, anyway. There’s this woman. This amazing, sexy, wonderful, brilliant, beautiful, intelligent woman. When we, uhhh... how do I put this, get it on, I hear music in my head. It’s as if we were destined to be together. I think I’m being rewarded for finding her. Now I just have to figure out how to keep her.

Speaking of getting it on, how does it feel to have your sex life made public in a novel?

Hey, it's not so bad. Olivia Cunning makes me look like a total stud in the book. Well, except that part on page 253. I was just too excited before I started, you know, and Myrna had me all worked up and I just got off stage and...

Brian, you're looking a little flushed again, would you like some ice water?

Actually, I'd appreciate it if everyone would just skip that part.

Myrna? She the one who revived your muse, right? Is she traveling with the band?

Yeah, Myrna’s doing this research project on our groupies. Trying to figure out why they keep ripping off Sed’s shirt or something. She’s a human sexuality professor. I think she got her degree in how to make me a very happy man.

How do the other band members get along with her?

Oh, they love her. She busts their balls on a regular basis and they get off on it. Not many chicks feel comfortable bossing around a bunch of famous rock stars, you know. Myrna tells it like it is, so they respect her. Even Sed, who has no respect for women.

Being the significant other of one of the hottest band members can’t be easy. How does she deal with all the women who come on to you?

Women come on to me? [laughing]

Actually, though Myrna is still researching everyone else’s groupies, she stopped interviewing mine. I think she might be jealous. She has absolutely nothing to worry about. I’m a one-woman kind of man.

Unlike Sinners’ lead vocalist, Sed Lionheart. Or so I’ve heard.

Never fails. No matter who interviews me, they bring up Sed’s rep.

That’s because he tends to boldly flaunt it, Brian.

Seriously, you’ve got cut the guy some slack. After his fiancée, Jessica, dumped him two years ago, he became a real a-hole. I say good riddance to that gold-digger, even though it meant I had to deal with a bunch of b.s. from Sed while he got over her. Actually, I still don’t think he’s over her. Not sure what’s so great about her. You’d think he’d hate her after what she did to him.

Crap, I gotta go. I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got to get on the tour bus now and head out for our next show. I’ll try to stop by your blog later and answer any questions.

Brian, it’s been a pleasure talking with you. I really appreciate you and Olivia taking time out of your busy schedule for the interview.

Sia. You’re a real sweetheart for having me. Olivia said she’ll stop by sometime, too. And maybe the rest of Sinners. You never know.

Oh, that would be fun.

For him, life is all music and no play...
When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin... EXCERPT: Adult or PG-13 Read my review
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million


Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.
You can find Olivia:
Website, Blog, Facebook Fan page

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Rewarding But Sometimes Lonely Life Of a Writer

My guest is romantic suspense author Cherish D’Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif).

She was quite the encouragement to me when I began this blog, almost two years ago, and relatively unknown. Cheryl encouraged me to be bold in using my promotion/PR background with launching this blog and was a guest during the first month I was live.

Cheryl also spurred me on to be persistent in my writing. If it’s your passion, keep writing and the magic will come together. A writer writes.

I’m fortunate to have many friends who are authors and have encouraged me to keep writing despite rejections and all have their tales of their own.

Cherish touches upon the need of having a support system as a writer because, “[the] world of creating, writing, promoting and keeping up with all the industry changes isn't something easily shared with family or friends.” But I’ll let Cherish tell you a bit more about that.

Thank you, Sia, for hosting me during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour.

riting and the pursuit of publication, for the most part, is a singular venture fraught with ups and downs that only other writers truly understand, and it's because of this lonely world we write in that we must strive to make time for ourselves, our families and our friends. Sometimes that's easier said than done.

I've often found myself in my office for hours without speaking to another human being. While I'm there, I'm quite happy. I'm creating. Imagining. Fantasizing. I'm anywhere other than standing in my kitchen doing dishes or vacuuming the living room. In this respect, it's not a difficult choice to stay in my office and write. Dishes and vacuuming don't exist there. I don't think any of my characters have ever picked up a cloth and dusted.

But I'll admit something. I am sometimes lonely. It's not just the aloneness of my work that gets to me; it's the aloneness that comes with others not quite understanding what I'm doing or attempting to do. It's easy for a friend or spouse to say, "Find another publisher." Or "Find another agent." Or "Maybe you should quit, do something else." What they don't get is that it's NOT that easy. As for doing something else, there's nothing I'd rather do than write, no matter what challenges I may face.

What others may not understand is it's not as easy as "quitting". A writer's brain rarely shuts off; we're constantly creating stories, some of us more than others. I get novel ideas anywhere―while shopping, going to the bank, standing in line at the post office, driving down the road, while I'm sleeping, eating, breathing...

I write full time and I know I'm blessed to be able to do that. Many writers juggle full time or part time jobs―and young children. I don't have either. My daughter, though still at home, is twenty. Even she has a hard time appreciating that I work full time, regardless if I'm multi-tasking with the TV on, which I sometimes do if I'm working on promotional stuff. She doesn't understand my schedule or my goals or that they change daily. She has no idea what I go through every day in my endeavor to become successful or that what I do now could pay off for her in the future. My writing is her inheritance and this is one of the reasons I work so hard.

My career isn't always about being holed up in a room working on killing someone off in the next thriller. Besides working on a novel, there is article writing, research, book promotion, interviews, ISBN registering, keeping up with industry news, website updating, blog updating, guest blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, etc. There are times when I'm busy organizing events such as physical book signings or virtual events. I work about 10 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. By choice.

Because I'm considered to be an expert in book marketing, I coach other writers. I'm often asked how I do it all. Belief, persistence, organization and the openness to learn is key to promoting anything. My former job background was a mix of advertising, sales, marketing, business management and public speaking. I wasn't completely fulfilled, but these jobs prepared me for what I'd do later―find my passion. In writing.

I've always loved writing. I'd tried for years in my late teens and early twenties to learn everything I could about writing and publishing, and many a query went out to publishers, only to return months later with a neatly typed, generic form rejection letter. I have enough of those to wallpaper my office. Maybe twice.

Once I was published, I never looked back. I can't imagine doing anything else, regardless of the long hours and hard work. Emails from fans tell me I'm on the right track. The fact that schools have brought in my novel Whale Song as novel study material tells me I accomplished something even bigger than I'd set out to do. Hitting Amazon bestsellers' lists tells me my work sells. Having film producers and directors contact me because they're interested in turning my works into films means I am closer to the "big picture". I have big dreams!

But every now and then, a bit of loneliness creeps in. My world of creating, writing, promoting and keeping up with all the industry changes isn't something easily shared with family or friends, even though I really do have a wonderful support system. It would be the same if one of my friends tried sharing information on her job studying bio-engineering or anything completely over my head. There are times when the only people I see for days are my husband, daughter and her boyfriend.

However, aloneness doesn't have to be lonely. As a writer, it's important to not only feed the body and mind, but also the spirit. For me, this means seeking out a friend and getting out of the house every now and then. Sometimes we'll meet for coffee or lunch. Sometimes I'll go shopping with a friend or by myself. Sometimes I’ll head to the spa...and wish I could stay all day.

I've learned to treat myself, reward myself. After all, I'm a self-employed writer. There's no boss to pat me on the head and tell me I did good (expect maybe a publisher or my awesome agent). No one gives me a Christmas bonus. There's no company Christmas party. No pension plan. No yearly raise. The hours I work are long and sometimes grueling.

But in the end, I wouldn't change a thing. I'm a writer. And I love it!

  • Writers, commit to taking time out for yourself even if only for one hour a week. Do something fun! What do you think you'll do this week?

  • Non-writers: how did you perceive a writer's life to be?

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.

Lancelot's Lady Blurb:

A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

When palliative care nurse Rhianna McLeod is given a gift of a dream holiday to the Bahamas from her dying patient, billionaire JT Lance, Rhianna has no idea that her 'holiday' will include being stranded on a private island with Jonathan, an irritating but irresistibly handsome recluse. Or that she'll fall head over heels for the man.

Jonathan isn't happy to discover a drop-dead gorgeous redhead has invaded his island. But his anger soon turns to attraction. After one failed marriage, he has guarded his heart, but Rhianna's sudden appearance makes him yearn to throw caution to the wind.

To live fully in the present, Rhianna must resolve her own murky past, unravel the secret that haunts JT, foil the plans of a sleazy, blackmailing private investigator and help Jonathan find his muse. Only then can Rhianna find the love she's been searching for, and finally become...Lancelot's Lady.
Excerpt  Book Trailer
~ * ~ * ~

When romance author Cherish D'Angelo is not busy relaxing in her hot tub, sipping champagne, eating chocolate-covered strawberries or plotting romantic suspense with scintillating sensuality, she is ruthlessly killing people off in her thrillers as bestselling Canadian suspense author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

Cherish's debut romance, Lancelot's Lady placed in the semi-finals of Dorchester Publishing's "Next Best Celler" contest and went on to win an Editor's Choice Award from Textnovel. Currently living in Edmonton, Alberta, she enjoys long walks on the beach, except there aren't any around so she has to make do with trips around the hot tub or a vacation to a tropical paradise. And margaritas.

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at and Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: BACKSTAGE PASS First In A Hot New Series

Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...

Backstage Pass
By: Olivia Cunning
Product ISBN: 9781402244421Publication Date: October 2010
Available formats: Trade Paperback, Adobe ebook, ePub.

Backstage Pass Blurb:

For him, life is all music and no play...
When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...
When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin... EXCERPT: Adult or PG-13
~ * ~ * ~

Dr. Myrna Evans, a Human Sexuality professor, had been talked into presenting her work by her boss to a “group of professors in her field [who] wouldn’t know an innovative idea if it stood on its head and sang The Star Spangled Banner.” As one of her colleagues told her, “Who would ever think to use guitar riffs in discussions of human psychology?” Pompous Ass.

Myrna decides rather than hide out in her hotel room she’d seek a diversion, which happens to literally fall at her feet in the guise of Brian Sinclair, Sinners’ sensual lead guitarist.

“Hello, Mr. Welcome Diversion.”

I loved this story for several reasons.

One:  Olivia Cunning is superb at creating sexual chemistry between Brian and Myrna. The sex is hot, creative, and frequent. It’s also well written but doesn’t have the feel of gratuitous filler.

Two:  Backstage Pass has a very strong, well-put together story of the romance between the two main characters. Well-paced and realistic with clearly defined character conflict; Myrna is looking for hot, no-strings-attached sex and Brian Sinclair is looking for something more permanent than a one-night stand. Ms. Cunning also uses a liberal amount of humor in telling the story and I found myself chuckling and laughing as I read.

Ms. Cunning flawlessly weaves into the story the members of the band so each is a distinct personality and very real. She shows the close-knit relationship between this group of wild and rowdy men but she doesn’t gloss over the natural conflicts, which come from close quarter living months on end. The guys are raucous, can be a bit raunchy, but they’re also a lot of fun and by the end of the book you fall in love with them all.

Three:  Ms. Cunning’s love and knowledge of rock bands and their music give an authentic feel to the story. It makes you feel like you are in the presence of a real rock band—the grueling tours, the groupies and sex, and the partying. You see it all, but you also see the hot men behind the rock personas, including their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths.

This is not your average erotica romance; it’s oh SO much better. This series is going to be a big hit with readers who like strong stories, hot sex, and a wild ride to their happily ever after!

My rating: 5 stars

Friday, October 1st, you'll have a chance to talk further with Olivia and learn much more about Brian "Master" Sinclair.

Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.

Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She's been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction -- first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own.

Upcoming authors: Wednesday, Cherish D'Angelo Lancelot’s Lady
Friday, Olivia Cunning, Backstage Pass, Monday, 10/4, Christina Phillips, Forbidden