Welcome to another edition of the Author Spotlight for my fellow Indies to tell us more about themselves and their work. If you would like to feature, check out the interview here.
Olivia Folmar Ard
Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
The Partition of Africa is the story of twenty-year-old Hattie Greene, a serious-minded college sophomore who has built a reputation on being a avid follower of rules. This propensity is a point of pride for her and causes her to look down on her fellow students, especially her partying roommate Claire.
But Hattie’s status as a perpetual good-girl is threatened by her increasing attraction to Samson Campbell, a married professor and a campus favorite. While her feelings about Samson trouble Hattie, she does not worry over much since she’s convinced she’ll never have the chance to act on them. However, when Samson reveals his own attraction to her, Hattie’s resolve quickly crumbles.
They enter into an affair, one which due to his marriage and their professor-student relationship, violates more than Hattie’s personal sense of morality. Hattie worries that either Claire or Cameron, her ex-boyfriend and Samson’s teaching assistant, will discover their relationship. That, coupled with her own growing doubts about Samson’s intentions and their long-term viability, causes her to end their relationship a few weeks after it begins. Hattie tries to put the incident behind her, but fate reminds her all too quickly that all actions have consequences.
What was the inspiration for this story?
I feel like a lot of modern romances glamorize making decisions based on feelings alone, decisions that in the real world would either be taboo or result in potentially disastrous consequences. I wanted to write a story showcasing a story that was realistic in addition to having a happy ending.
Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
While I don’t decide on every little detail, I outline all major plot points before I start writing. Some of those may change over time, but the important thing is to know how the story is going to end. Without having the closing scene in mind, I find it almost impossible to keep going. It’s also really difficult to develop subplots that way.
What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
My time! It usually takes me a few weeks, or even months, to find my groove with a story. Before I reach that point in the process, it’s easy for me to get distracted.
Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
BREEDER by K.B. Hoyle (this will be a reread, but still so good!)
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
How important do you think a book’s cover is?
Very! When I’m browsing through a bookstore, I usually don’t even flip a book over to read the blurb if I don’t find the cover interesting. If I’m shopping online, I may give it a look. I try not to judge too much by the cover because I’ve bought books that have not-so-great covers that turned out to be fantastic. But like chefs say, you eat with your eyes first. Having an aesthetically pleasing cover is important.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?
Oh, man. This is a tough question. There are so many authors whom I look up to and respect. I’d have to say Sarah Dessen. I drew a lot of inspiration from her while writing Partition – she’s one of the best in contemporary realist fiction.