Tonight I also have a fantastic Meet the Author interview with the very lovely Olga Gibbs! I already love Olga who is one of the loveliest people EVER, but love her even more after reading this interview!! We talk about her love of history, fostering and working with charities and the first two books in the Celestial Creatures series……
Dark fantasy, psychological thriller
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England.
I was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When I’m not dreaming up new adventures for my imaginary friends, I work with teenagers for a local charity.
I’m currently writing the final two books in the “Celestial creatures” series, which will be released in autumn 2020.
Please visit author website www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.
What inspired you to start writing?
Since I was little I loved books. The books were my escapism of my life. I was always stunned how a few words on a page could take one away on a journey, turn one into someone else – princes or a monster – and let live many lives.
How many books have you written and published?
I have written five books (including “Heavenward”) but “Heavenward”, book 1 in the “Celestial Creatures” is the first book I’ve published.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I have to say “Hallow”. I feel more connected to it, to its dark, twisted pain of loss, to its messages of inequality and abuse. “Hallow” was raw, uncomfortable and I loved it about it.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
Once I have a story I want to tell, I begin playing with a concept, trying different ideas, genres, writing styles to it, like dresses, to see which one will feet best.
With the “Celestial Creatures”, once I knew it will be a story of a broken girl who’d hold the fate of humanity in her hands, I’ve tried different genres (crime, thriller, contemporary), but once I’ve decided to write it as a fantasy, mythologies came next; and then once it was decided based on the Christian mythology, all I had to do, is to flip the first letter in Uriel’s name upside down to turn it into Ariel.
And I love this name. There’s something charming and whimsical in it. Disney’s “Ariel” comes to mind, and Sam calling her “Mermaid” have added extra dimensions to both of their characters.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Probably Ariel. The girl is tough and resourceful. She’s a survivor. She’s not going to roll over and die. She will fight until her last breath, and I respect her for that!
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I have a few. Stephen King – the guy knows how to scare us; and Martina Cole. With her, I love the real and raw feel of her crime novels. She knows what he’s writing about, she lived it and it’s evident in her stories.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
It was a nursery and have written a short cute Christmas story about little bunny and his excitement for the holiday season.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I’ve done plenty.
I was a manager at an independent tour agency. I was working in corporate world of Pension and Insurance within a financial reporting department (boring). I’ve fostered and worked with Looked After children in Therapeutic setting. Now I’m working with a local charity to provide support to girls, who at risk of exploitation, struggling in school or at home.
Working with children is most rewarding job I’ve ever done. I love it.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I love history so it’s most definitely going to be the past: Ancient Egypt, China and Mongolia; France just before revolution and straight after and many more.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Albert Einstein. I’m in awe of this brain. I can’t even imagine how one can come up with all theories.
What are your favourite things to do?
Travel. If I had enough money, I would travel all the time. In fact, I would never be home.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I’ve asked it my daughter and she laughed. She said that my whole life is strange, and I see where she’s coming from. My life is very unorthodox.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Just keep on writing. It will get better.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
“Crime and Punishment” by Dostoyevsky.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
With the power to end the world, would you protect humanity when it broke you or would you take revenge?
Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with an incredible gift…
Ariel never had an easy or pleasant life, but the arrival of three gorgeous strangers meant her measured life is turned upside down, as she discovers that angels exist.
Now against her will, she’s drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, where her powers will decide the fate of humanity.
Deceived, threatened, hunted and now on the run, who can she trust?
Being one of the most formidable archangels with the power to end the world doesn’t serve you well if you don’t know how to use it.
Thrown into a battle of courts and factions, tangled in a web of intrigues and palatial games, naïve Ariel is surrounded by powerful angels, chasing their own agendas.
There’s no one she can trust. Everyone stands to gain something from her death.
To avoid the bloody battle that Baza brought to her door at Uras, Ariel retreats back to Apkallu (Earth) to find her sister, but the Heavenly battles and intrigues she flees follow her, as Baza’s immense hold on Apkallu forces Ariel and Rafe to make uncomfortable choices.
Ariel’s fight for survival is far from over and it looks like it’s going to be a deadly one.
Thanks Olga for this fantastic interview! Honestly, you are just so lovely! I love the fact that you’re a fellow history lover too – maybe if you get a time machine, can I come too?! I completely agree that Ariel would be a fantastic character to be stuck on an island with <3. AND I don’t think I ever realised that you live within my work area, much closer than I ever thought!
If you have any questions for Olga, then give her a shout. She’s so active on Twitter and will definitely get back to you!
See you all soon!