Olivia Cunning is a New York Times Best Selling author hailing out of Texas who writes “Erotic Romance that Rocks”.  Not only is she a successful writer, she grasps the true essence of the live music gig scene in the world of rock and metal. 

During July of 2012, I was on a book trail to read something new, my book buddy recommended that I check out “Backstage Pass” (Olivia’s first novel in the Sinners On Tour series about their guitarist Brian “Master” Sinclair). When I read the blurb I thought “ok, fictional rock band with a romantic twist…could be interesting, let’s see”. I wasn’t really prepared for what I read! I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I rolled my eyes and found a band that I wished were real! (The mind is a fascinating thing ya know). Since then, I quickly moved on to Rock Hard (the second book in the series about Sed, the vocalist of Sinners). Then I checked out the other band in Olivia’s life…Sole Regret. DAYUM!

Olivia’s writing is not only very captive, easy reading and funny, but also grasps the passion in musicians and glimpses into the lives of excessive rock stars.

Q 1

What inspired you to write a contemporary erotic romance series about rock bands?


I have always been a fan of rock music. I’ve followed the genre since I was a teen. My walls were once plastered with posters of all the rock stars I lusted after. There were a lot. Who doesn’t dream about some sexy musician falling for them? The great thing about writing fiction is that you can control the outcome and everyone lives happily ever after.

Q 2

Why did you decide to create fictional bands like Sinners and Sole Regret?


These guys live in my head. I just like to bring them out to play every once in a while. Also, when I started writing rock star erotic romance, there were very, very few books out there that had rock star heroes. Or maybe I just couldn’t find them. Now I see them everywhere. So I guess I’m not the only one who loves a naughty romp with a rock star. Fictional, of course.

Q 3

For those who might not have checked out your novels, can you tell us a little something about your two series “Sinners on Tour” and “One Night With Sole Regret”?


Sinners on Tour is a series of five full-length novels. In each book, a rock star meets a woman (or a woman and a man in one case), falls in love, and they live happily ever after. There is one novel per band member: lead guitarist, vocalist, bassist, drummer and rhythm guitarist. One Night with Sole Regret is a serial series of novellas. They’re shorter. Each one spans a single night. A rock stars meets a woman and there are hints toward a relationship at the end of each volume, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to mix things up in future instalments. Each band member will be featured in multiple novellas. The thing I like about the Sole Regret series is that all the stories intertwine, but since we’re moving through lead characters quickly and returning to the same characters in future volumes, you really get the story from a lot of different viewpoints. So Sinners is my experiment in how to make two people find forever love relatively quickly. Sole Regret is my experiment in how to mess with rock star characters and their lives over a longer period of time. Eventually. I’m still working on that series.

Q 4

Is it true that Avenged Sevenfold inspired you for writing about the Sinners? How did that come about?


That is true. I was at an Avenged Sevenfold concert when I got the idea for Backstage Pass. I didn’t plan for it to be an erotic work of fiction. I planned for it to be a typical romance novel. Waiting for Avenged Sevenfold to take the stage after Papa Roach, I was sitting in the stands near the stage watching these two young “ladies” attempting to get backstage passes from a member of the road crew. They were very persistent. Poor guy was trying to do his job and they wouldn’t leave him alone. I started to wonder if these two ladies really thought that a member of the band would fall in love with them or if they realized the band would just use them for “fun”, if at all. And then I wondered if the ladies would even care that they were being used. Someone should do a study on groupie psychology, I thought. Maybe the researcher would be a smart, but sexy career woman and she’d follow the band around doing her study and she’s so different from the “groupies” that the band is accustomed to that one of the band members really does fall in love with her. And that was my original premise. I didn’t expect the rock star and the research psychologist to go at it like rabbits tripping on Ecstasy. It is what it is.

Q 5

Hot Ticket is the 3rd instalment of the Sinners on Tour series which focuses on the bassist Jace Seymour, and we also have drummer Eric’s story to look forward to. Did the stories evolve unintentionally or was it always your plan from the get go?


A little of both. Sinners on Tour was not a series when I first started writing about it. It was just going to be one book about the lead guitarist and that was it, but once I got to know the band members, I realized I had to find someone for each of these guys to love because they are such great, three-dimensional characters. So I decided each of these band members needed his own kink. Lead guitarist likes toys and experimentation. Lead singer likes public displays of affection. Bassist is into BDSM. The drummer is a voyeur. And the rhythm guitarist is the horniest bisexual creature in existence. Once I figured that out, then I had to figure out what kind of woman would not only put up with their “tastes” but actually get off on it. It’s been like a box of puzzle pieces. They’re all in the box and I reach in and find a piece, but is it the piece I need? Can I figure out where to put it? What does the finished product look like? Now that I’m done with it, I think it works. It all fits together and eventually the theme of the series revealed itself. Family. It doesn’t have to be the people you are related to by blood, but it’s made up of the people you can count on.

Q 6

What is the most challenging aspect of writing?


Writing. Just sitting down and writing. That little blinking curser in my word-processing program gives me nightmares. Because if it’s blinking, I’m not writing anything.

Q 7

On your website, you’ve posted playlists for each Sinners book so far. How much would you say rock and metal music influenced you on creating your characters and their stories?


On a scale of one to ten, music has influenced my work at a ten. Either a song reminds me of a scene, inspires a scene, allows me to visualize a scene, makes me think about what I’m trying to say or just gives me some great background sound to listen to. The character Jace, for example, was completely inspired by the song Pain by Three Days Grace. Also if you follow the lives of musicians, you will notice that there is quite a bit of music lore in the books. Not necessarily the exact same situations, but a lot of that is intentional. I hear about a musician face-planting in the pit while stage diving. Hell yeah, that’s going into a book somewhere!

Q 8

Are there any particular musicians you had in mind as inspiration when writing about these bands?


Sinners were inspired by Avenged Sevenfold, musically and in a lot of cases physically. I don’t think they’re much alike personality-wise, however. Also, I always hear Sully of Godsmack singing when I’m writing about Sinners’ lead singer. Sole Regret wasn’t really inspired by anyone. I made them up from scratch.

Q 9

In your Sinners on Tour series, you dedicate each book to a deceased musician, for example Backstage Pass is dedicated to Dimebag, Rock Hard to Kurt Cobaine, Hot Ticket to Cliff Burton and Double Time to Randy Rhoads (Wicked Beat tbc). Why did you choose these particular musicians?


They were all musicians who I feel have greatly influenced other musicians. They contributed a lot to the genre and all of them were lost to us while still in their prime. I was emotionally distraught over each of their losses and always wonder what additional great things they could have done if they were still with us today. Wicked Beat is dedicated to James Sullivan.

Q 10

Which book of yours would you most like to see made into a movie? And why?


I honestly can’t imagine any of my books as a movie. Too risqué for the big screen. Plus, I’m sure the director and actors would get everything wrong and I’d yell at the screen the entire time.

Q 11

Tell us about your first concert experience. Which bands did you grow up listening to?


The first concert I went to or the first concert I actually wanted to go to? My first concert was Styx. I was six years old. It was an outdoor concert in Germany. I think there were 500,000 people there. We were up on a bluff. I’m not sure if we had tickets but we could see the show. I remember loud music, lots of lights, a “funny smell” and some strange grunts and rhythmic slapping noises coming from a nearby tent. Yeah, I know what all that means now, but didn’t then. The first concert I went to that I wanted to go to was Motley Crue and Whitesnake in Tacoma, Washington. Great show. I remember that Tommy Lee’s drum kit was in this cage that rose off the stage. Trippy. My dad is a huge classic rock fan, so I grew up on everything from the Doors to Black Sabbath. I also remember him listening to a lot of Journey. Probably because my mom liked them. In my teen years, I was crazy about hair metal bands. My favourite was Guns ‘n’ Roses, but I loved them all. Couldn’t get enough.

Q 12

A lot of people make prejudgements on erotic romance novels. What would you say makes yours different from the rest?


I let men be men. I sometimes read romance novels and think, wow, this “hero” is just a chick with a dick. Real guys don’t talk like that. *eye roll* I have a lot of male fans. So guys enjoy my books too. That’s a bit different.

Q 13

Please can you share with us your future projects and upcoming releases?


I’m trying to get more Sole Regret novellas written and then I’m going to be working on a Sinners’ spin-off series about a related band called, Exodus End. Exodus End has quite a few mentions in the Sinners on Tour books, because the rhythm guitarist of Sinners and the lead guitarist of Exodus End are brothers. Plus, at the end of the Sinners series, Sinners is going on a world tour with Exodus End. Makes sense to continue from there, right?


Thank you so much for taking the time out to do this J You rock lady \m/ and I can’t wait to read what you have in store next.

Check out some of Olivia's books.
Sinners On Tour Series

One Night with Sole Regret