Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Guest Blogger Olivia Brynn - In the name of research


Thank you very much Nine Naughty Ladies! I just love the NNN blog, and I'm very happy to be here today. I'm going to tell you a little bit about research. Now, I write under two names. Alanna Coca and Olivia Brynn. My very first novel was a western romance by Alanna Coca set in the mid 1890s. Talk about research! I'm writing away and suddenly my heroine washes up in the powder room.

Wait.

Are there indoor powder rooms? In Wyoming? How about on a ranch in Wyoming?

Google.

Oh. A fireplace scene. That would be sexy huh? *writewritewrite*

Wait.

Are there fireplaces in bedrooms? In 1894?

Google.

It seemed that everything I wrote I had to research. Did the shoes lace or buckle? What were the chances of getting a glass of lemonade in the wild west? (Lemons don't grow in Wyoming, folks) In the end I found a mistake that went right through all of my edits. The word "Umpteen" wasn't in use in 1894. Oh well. More Google for me.

So far, Wyoming Solace is the only historical novel I've written. I have all kinds of respect for historical authors. I switched to Contemporary, because I live this stuff, so I can write it, right?
Well...thank God for Google.

As I was writing Cover Story, a short contemporary novel set in Los Angeles, my characters decided to go to Madame Tussaud's wax museum. I remember pausing before I wrote the scene, and I thought, wait a minute. I've always wanted to go to Madame Tussaud's! This will be fun!

Because I'm along for the ride, you know.

Google.

Then I remembered...Romantic Times convention is in Los Angeles! I wonder how far Madame Tussauds is from the convention hotel?

Google.

So guess what I did between the end of RT and my flight home? In the name of research of course. Ahem.

This is me with Will Smith. I just told him a really great story. You can tell that he's considering it for his next film. I can't talk about it yet. You know...contracts and agents and stuff. Sorry.

This one of Michael Jackson brought tears to my eyes. Seriously. I'm a sentimental sap.

When I was a kid, John Wayne was my hero. I wore full cowboy regalia from age five through ten. Yes, chaps and spurs too. So this was a real treat. I kinda wish they'd spritzed him with Old Spice or maybe some cigar smoke.

Me and Jim. We go way back. I could have spent hours swapping jokes with him, but you know...I was pressed for time.

This is Anthony Hopkins. There was a soundtrack playing in the background, where he does that little lickety-slurp thing he does in the movie. Creepy. Even in wax.

Especially in wax.

And Antonio Banderas (by the way I have to Google the spelling of his last name every time I type it, thanks again, Google). See how he's staring intimately into my eyes? We shared a moment. It would have been nicer if there weren't so many other people with cameras around. And if he was flesh. Again, I think Madame Tussaud's is really missing the mark on the scents thing. I'd love to sniff that wedge of chest he's showing off there...

So now I had all I needed for my Madame Tussaud's scene to ring true. I finished Cover Story, and turned down a publishing offer to dip my toe in the self-publishing pool. It's available from all the best e-tailers. If you mention in your comment below that you'd like a copy, I'll toss them all in a hat and choose a winner.

Now I should write a book where my characters go to the Bahamas!

Olivia Brynn is the very saucy alter ego of romance author Alanna Coca. Olivia was the one who lured Alanna into trouble as a child. She also would have been the one to get her mouth washed out with soap. Since controlling Olivia wasn’t as easy as she thought, Alanna decided to set Olivia free with her first book, For a Price, a story about one woman’s journey to sell her virginity. Other books followed, earning five-star reviews and bestselling status. Alanna realized what fun Olivia had writing sexy romances without censor. Olivia writes contemporary erotic romance near a window where the view of the Rocky Mountains beckons her to run naked through the tall foothill grasses. Except when it snows.

14 comments:

June M. said...

Looks like you had some fun researching at Madame Tussaud's. I definately think you should set the next in an exotic location, and of course research is very important. Did the Anthony Hopkins one say Hello Clarise?

I would love for you to put me in for the drawing. I have not read anything by you so would love to try one of your books. Thank you so much.

GFC follower: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

kog said...

I'd love to win a copy of Cover Story! I've read Position Secured (highly recommend - seriously hot!!! and At East, also excellent).

The Mme Tussaud's pics are a hoot. So much fun. And yes, I agree, you need to set your next book somewhere tropical where you'll have to travel, purely for research purposes!

Alanna Coca said...

@June I did have a great time. Yeah there were little soundtracks played behind most statues, motion detected so they start when someone walks up. He did say Hello Clarise. I only stood there long enough to snap the pic. *shudder* Got you in the drawing, thanks for stopping by!

Alanna Coca said...

@Kog I'm so glad you enjoyed Position Secured and At Ease! I've got you in the drawing for Cover Story, and I'll send a postcard from the Bahamas :)

Liia Ann White said...

Good lord, this is one of the best blog posts I've ever seen! Hehe

Meg Benjamin said...

Hey Olivia, welcome to the Naughty Nine. I never realized they actually let you touch the statues at Madame Tussaud's before. Seriously strange!

PG Forte said...

So...was that Alanna or Olivia who was in my bed in Los Angeles? Ah, well, I guess it doesn't matter. lol!

Great post. Loved the pictures! And, yeah, research--gotta love it!

Cover Story sounds great. Just bought my copy and can't wait to read it!

Alanna Coca said...

Liia, that's a very nice compliment! First day online, huh? ;)

Alanna Coca said...

Meg, yeah they let you touch them, but not their faces or hair. They put each strand in individually, so that would be hell to repair lol. Thanks for having me!

Alanna Coca said...

PG, I'm pretty sure it was Olivia in bed with you that night. Alanna was back in the room asleep by nine. 8-)

Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine Alanna/Olivia ( I did not know you had an alter ego!). Those wax statues at Madame Tussaud's are pretty freaky. Somewhere I have a pic of me and Johnny Depp. *sigh* Congrats on your release, it sounds great!

Alanna Coca said...

Since only two readers mentioned wanting a copy of Cover Story, I'm sending both June and Kog an email today! Thanks for visiting with me here, and thanks to the NNN ladies for hosting me!

Alanna Coca said...

@Kog - I couldn't find your email address. Please email me at olivia @ oliviabrynn.com

Thanks again!

Liia Ann White said...

LOL Alana you dork! You're so mean to yourself :-P