On Being a Hybrid Author and Making Government Watch Lists by Olivia Rivers

As a hybrid author, I publish using both indie and traditional methods. It makes for a hectic writing schedule, but it also allows for me to keep my fingers dipped in all parts of the publishing pie. Personally, I love it. The indie world is cutting-edge and fast-paced, and the traditional world is quality-driven and continually-changing. Between the two of them, I never have a chance to get bored, and I’m very happy with how hybrid authorship has shaped my writing career so far.

On March 21st, I have my latest indie release coming out. It’s called “In the Hope of Memories,” and it’s a YA Contemporary novel completely different than anything else I’ve ever written. It’s intensely quirky. It has four very different main characters and four points of view. It has a very dark plot and a highly morbid sense of humor. And it had editors in New York scratching their heads, which is why I decided to go indie with it.


The thing about writing quirky books is that it requires a lot of quirky research. At this point, I’m pretty sure at least a few government agencies have me flagged on some sort of Potential Psychopath Watch List. About halfway through writing “In the Hope of Memories,” I started keeping track of my quirkiest research questions. Among my top favorites are the following:

  1. Can the content of graffiti art make a jail sentence harsher or lighter?
  2. How do graffiti artists paint details without getting totally high? (Hint: they don’t.)
  3. Can you hack a store’s standard security system from an Android smart phone?
  4. Is it legal to bring a cat into a restaurant?
  5. What are the best techniques for smuggling an illegal cat into a restaurant?
  6. How fast would a taxi have to be travelling to cause serious injuries to a pedestrian?
  7. How do Ivy League universities detect applications that use forged documents?
  8. What’s the most successful way to shoplift?
  9. What’s the best part of a car to steal, if you can’t take the whole thing?
  10. Can you use allergy medication to stop someone from going into cardiac arrest? (Hint: shockingly, yeah, you can.)
  11. What is the difference between a psychopath, a psychotic, and a sociopath?
  12. How do you build a bomb?
  13. Where do you buy materials for building a bomb?
  14. Is it cheaper for an American author to hire someone to erase their name from government watch lists, or to just move to a secluded island nation?
  15. Which website has the best deals on one-way tickets to Tahiti?


Olivia Rivers is a Young Adult author who writes in multiple genres, ranging from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Her fascination with technology led her to become a hybrid author, meaning some of her works are independently published, while others are traditionally published. She has a passion for representing diversity, and you’ll often find disabled main characters in her novels. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary.


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