We have a lot of fantastic authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today we’re talking to Vivi Barnes, author of OLIVIA TWISTED, coming from Entangled Teen in 2014. One author, four questions. Here we go!

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

Some writing, some wine, some rejections, some wine, some crying, some wine, some offers, some wine. You know—wine. 😉

I went to my son’s school to talk about the process of getting published and held up a picture of a crying baby to sum it up. It’s a tough process. I’ve always heard that you don’t write to make money. This is so true. We write because we can’t not write. Either that, or we’re just gluttons for punishment. Seriously, though, I’ve been fortunate to have such great people helping me through the craziness, including my critique partners, my agent (Pam Van Hylckama Vlieg) and editors (Stacy Cantor Abrams and Nicole Steinhaus).

I look forward to seeing my book on the shelves in November! Then it might actually feel real.

What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

OLIVIA TWISTED is a contemporary reimagining of the Dickens’ classic, OLIVER TWIST. However, the gang that recruits Olivia is made up of hackers instead of pickpocketers. It was a (happy) challenge to follow along the general plot lines of the original story but make them more relevant to today, including making the protagonist not a victim of society but someone who shapes her own destiny. My favorite part of the story is the romance between Olivia and the “Dodger” character, Z, and the way they both question their choices, some of which might be surprising to the reader.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

—I love adrenaline sports. Not sports like soccer or softball—I kind of suck at those (like fall-and-scrape-my-knees suck). But the kind that sends your heart flying into your throat, like skydiving, rafting, skiing and ziplining. I would love to go hang gliding—that’s high on my to-do list.

—I love acting and being silly. I dressed as Honey Boo Boo at the last SCBWI conference ball in Miami and, well, it was interesting! I think my critique group was ready to smack me after enduring elevator rides with my telling strangers that they better “redneckognize.”

—I am an extrovert. Big time. I love people (unless you’re bad people) and get a lot of energy from being in big groups (with the exception of being in Wal-Mart, which totally stresses me out). I also love hugging, so watch out!

Do you have any writing quirks–places you need to write or things you need to have with you?

I absolutely must have music. This isn’t an option. If I don’t have music playing while I write or revise, I will stare around at the scenery, at the people walking by, at the empty Diet Coke can. I get totally distracted. Type of music varies from Linkin Park and Three Days Grace to Harry Potter soundtracks. I also enjoy writing on a desert island with a pina colada, but that just doesn’t happen often enough (or ever). Actually, I can write anywhere but a desk or table. For some reason, having proper ergonomics when typing really bugs me. Give me the big comfy chair any day!

Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. OLIVIA TWISTED debuts November 5, 2013, from Entangled Teen.

2 thoughts on “Vivi Barnes: OLIVIA TWISTED

  1. I loooove both Oliver Twist and hackers, so I think your book sounds super cool!! Can’t wait to read it! 🙂 But we are total opposites on the writing+music front–I need utter silence to write.

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