Interview with Olivia Lara, Author of The Meeting Point | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Meeting Point?
Surprisingly maybe, it is inspired by a true story. A few years ago, one of my friends lost her cell phone on her way to work. She ended up calling her number, and after several attempts, a man answered and told her he found the phone on the commuter train. They set a place and time to meet…for her to recover the phone. She was single and yes, I secretly hoped they’d click and more will come from this. What a story that would be, I thought. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for my friend…but that doesn’t mean it’s not meant to be for Maya Maas, the protagonist in The Meeting Point, right?
What’s your favorite scene from your new release, The Meeting Point?
The Meeting Point, written during the lockdown, was my escape book, and I hope it will be an escape for readers too. It includes many of the things I love: a beautiful, dreamy place—which also happens to be my favorite on the West Coast—a BIG, unconventional love story, a bit of mystery, a bit of adventure, lovely friendships, smiles and laughs. There are so many scenes in it that I love, it’s hard to pick one, but I’ll try. The initial text exchange between Maya and the rideshare driver, as they get to know each other, is definitely one my favorites. The quirky and endearing ’questions’ game, the way he becomes her guide in this new, foreign place, and how all this Maya’s worst day turns into…the best!
If you had to write a blurb for the last book you read, what would it say?
An immortal woman who is cursed never to be remembered by anyone finally meets a man who…remembers her.
What romantic couple from literature makes you swoon?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I adore so many fictional couples. From the classics, Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy, and Jane & Mr. Rochester, while from fantasy, it would have to be Clare & Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife and Buttercup & Westley from The Princess Bride.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love reading any book that has a love story in it, so whether that falls under romance, fantasy, women’s fiction etc., I’m all in. I also read quite a lot of thrillers (psychological, domestic) and oftentimes I find myself absorbed by a non-fiction book (whether it’s a biography or true crime).
Do you have any quirky writing habits? Where did you write The Meeting Point?
I can edit anywhere, but when it comes to writing, I must be outside (yes to fresh air, no to walls), without people around to distract me (cats and dogs are OK though) and close to a coffee machine. So, that means, it’s either my back yard or my front porch. Rain or shine, I’m there (thankfully, we live in California, so winters are not that harsh, but it still gets chilly, so I bundle up). Oh, and besides coffee, I need to have a playlist I create especially for that particular story, that I listen to on repeat until I finish the first few drafts.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Never give up!”
Or perhaps it was: “Read! Read all the time and everything you can get your hands on. Fiction, non-fiction, it doesn’t matter, as long as it holds your interest, and even better if it’s something you wouldn’t normally pick up.”