After years of living in poverty on an Indian reservation, seventeen-year-old Olivia Carter has been given the chance for a new life among the wealthy elite of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Yet despite the efforts of the uncle who is now her guardian, Olivia feels alienated from her privileged peers by her insecurities and memories of a traumatic childhood.
Desperate to escape the secrets of her past, Olivia turns to her love of water and progresses to become a championship swimmer. Her tenuous hold on happiness is destroyed, however, when Lucien Borgia, her only close friend, turns on her in a violent sexual attack. Crippling anxiety and depression put a stop to Olivia’s swimming career and, unable to speak out, she is placed on a cocktail of prescription medications. But she soon finds herself requiring more drugs than the Carter family physician can provide, and begins to resort to illegal means.
As Olivia’s life escalates out of control, an intervention is staged and she is sent to a rehabilitation program in Utah. Out in the wilderness and amid a series of gruelling challenges, she realises that she must confront her past and her addictions, and comes to experience friendship and love for the first time. She forms a close bond with Gabriel Carmichael, a young, grieving doctor, but he too has his demons, not to mention the ethical dilemma his relationship with Olivia represents. A departure and a death within the program leave Olivia feeling vulnerable again as she returns to Manhattan, ultimately to face up to the life she wanted to leave behind.
A disturbing run-in and the discovery of the presence of a certain someone in the city leave Olivia with a choice; either succumb to the lure of an addiction-fuelled abyss, or find the strength to pursue a new life. On the brink of decision, a final tragedy strikes and Olivia must ask herself, ‘Where will life take you when you want to die?’
Targeted Age Group:
Over he course of three books, we really get to know the heroine, Olivia Carter, and learn about her loss, love, pain, despair, her most profound and dark thoughts and also what made her who she was and who she is now. As a reader you grow with Olivia Carter and become totally absorbed in her world, so that when things don’t go right for her, you need to keep going to make sure that she is okay in the end. Olivia Carter makes you care.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Keep writing. Anything, on anything! When I was a busy doctor and in training, I would get an idea and jot it down on a napkin, anything I could get my hands on. A journal is a great idea. One that fits into all your bags so that when an idea or something you see stimulates you, you can whip out that pen and record it.
Don’t give up.
DM Sharp’s past includes a prolonged stint at working as a high-yield (junk) bond trader after completing her first degree in Economics. However, she cried too much doing that job and one day remembered that her two dreams in life were firstly, to be a doctor and secondly to write books. She returned to medical school and received her medical degree from Nottingham University and is currently training to be a General Physician. She is now also actively pursuing her second dream (when not seeing patients) and devotes a very special part of herself to the power of words and love of storytelling. Any other spare moments are devoted to being a wife and mother of two!
She writes primarily YA/Adult novels dealing with gritty, coming of age issues, centred around a troubled heroine called Olivia Carter whose personal philosophy has been forged from her tormented upbringing. Olivia’s childhood was unstable and impoverished, and her teen years were marked by abuse. DM Sharp feels an affinity with Olivia Carter and people like her.
DM Sharp’s debut novel is called Olivia’s Trek, a dark tale of the American dream ripped apart. The second novel in the Olivia Carter Series is called Olivia’s Choice, about choices, their consequences and how sometimes when we act in the best interests of a person we love, it is not always the correct choice that is made. The third novel, Olivia’s Destiny, is currently in production.
The most important words DM Sharp likes to hold onto are: compassion, hope, and freedom.What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Writing has always been a part of me. Always. Somehow, I always found an excuse to never finish what I had started to write. Then, one day I came across some inspirational people, survivors I like to call them and there were simply no excuses to not write and finish what I had started. What started out as a character sketch, turned into a short story, that took such a life of its own, that ,it became a novel and from there, it grew wings and became a trilogy!
I love writing and the way it transports me to a different world. It feels very similar to when I am reading a book that I become totally absorbed in.