Guest Post: Debut Author Olivia Newport

Today my friend and fellow debut author, Olivia Newport, shares a quote with us. Olivia will be joining me, Katie Ganshert and Dani Pettrey for an a-ma-zing launch party on May 15th! Mark your calendars  & plan to join us.




“It always happens. When you give these little people power, it goes to their head like strong drink.” Violet Crawley, dowager countess of Downton Abbey

I do love the dowager. She’s one of the reasons I got hooked on Downton Abbey, the popular PBS Masterpiece Classic series. Her sense of superiority lets you know just where you stand. This quote comes from a moment when Violet Crawley did not get her way with a person whom she considered to be beneath her social status, but who had authority in a particular decision.

Another reason the show captivates me is that I’ve written a book called The Pursuit of Lucy Banning set slightly before the era of Downton Abbey, but with many of the same themes—the rich and the not rich, social structures in upheaval, young women striving to discover who they might become, young men examining what it means to love.

My characters in a wealthy neighborhood of 1893 Chicago mirror Violet Crawley and her opulent, privileged environment. And then the glass turns on my own life. Violet Crawley would not have given a working stiff like me the time of day, but she challenges me to look—really look—at the people in my life.

Who are the people I fail to notice? Who are the people I feel superior to? Who are the people who support my life and keep me comfortable? May God give me grace to make space for them, to nurture genuine connections, to be an instrument of God’s love.



Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is. Find her at


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  1. April 3, 2012, 5:46 am   /  Reply

    That’s an attention-getting intro. of your debut novel–wishing you great success. And people-watching, and then taking a 2nd look to glean for life and writing, is one of my favorite pastimes.

  2. April 3, 2012, 6:05 am   /  Reply

    I’ve never watched Downton Abbey, but can see how a character like Violet could make one think about her interactions with other people. I’ve met a few people in real life recently that I hope I never become. Good luck with your book.

  3. April 3, 2012, 6:08 am   /  Reply

    Olivia, your book sounds great, I can’t wait to read it. It’s funny that you talked about Downton Abby. I hardly watch television but I have read so many blogs with people talking about the show that I finally bought season 1 and 2. I just watched episodes 2 and 3 from season one last night. I could have watched more but knew I needed my sleep. I can already see that I will come to love these characters.

  4. April 3, 2012, 6:35 am   /  Reply

    I’m afraid with our fallen nature, there are many we fail to notice, that we in our own peculiar way feel above. Thank you for reminding me to ask God to open my eyes to those I need to see.
    The Pursuit of Lucy Banning sounds like a great book!

  5. Karen S. Elliott
    April 3, 2012, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    This looks like a wonderful book! It is always interesting to look at others’ points of view. Though we may not always agree, we might gain insight into why they think the way they do … upbringing, nurturing, etc.

  6. April 3, 2012, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    Sounds like an interesting book!

    And I love what you said about looking for those people who you would normally fail to notice. Intentionality is key in showing Christ’s love to others.

    And I wanna hear more about this launch party!

  7. Patti Mallett
    April 3, 2012, 10:08 am   /  Reply

    It’s nice to meet you, Olivia. Wow! Fun launch party for you ladies!! I know it is far, far from me, but wish it wasn’t so!

    A dear friend recently told me how much she and her husband LOVE Downton Abbey. I checked on Amazon and saw they have it. (Also might find it at the library.) Your book sounds very intriguing! And Chicago is such an exciting city!

    Your last paragraph is one to store away and ponder. Thank you for those wise words (exactly perfect for Beth’s blog).

    All good wishes, Olivia!! And thanks, Beth, for introducing us to your very special friend!

  8. April 3, 2012, 10:25 am   /  Reply

    I’m so very excited for the four of you! You only have a debut novel once, so it’s awesome to see you guys connecting and being innovative with the launches. Olivia, I love the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey, so I know I will love Lucy Banning. 🙂 Congratulations!

  9. Beth Vogt
    April 3, 2012, 11:29 am   /  Reply

    It’s so fun having Olivia here today. I haven’t found the time to watch Downton Abbey, but I am so intrigued by all the chatter about it — and the dowager sounds like quite the woman, doesn’t she?

  10. April 3, 2012, 11:45 am   /  Reply

    Thanks, everyone for the enthusiasm and warm wishes! I’m hoping to hold The Pursuit of Lucy Banning in my hands soon. In the meantime, Hubby bought seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey and we are watching the again together. So many great insightful lines about the era that still challenge us a hundred years later.

    • Patti Mallett
      April 5, 2012, 9:03 pm   /  Reply

      I’m #17 for a “hold” on Season 1 @ the library. ; )

      • Beth Vogt
        April 5, 2012, 9:21 pm   /  Reply

        Whoa. I may just purchase season 1 — after I get past my deadline.

  11. April 3, 2012, 12:19 pm   /  Reply

    Ooh, I love Downton Abbey, so I was immediately hooked on your post, Olivia. I have a feeling I’ll be just as hooked on your book. 🙂

    And, Beth, the Dowager Countess is hilarious. 🙂

    • April 3, 2012, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks, Melissa. I hope you will enjoy visiting Prairie Avenue with my characters.

  12. April 3, 2012, 3:20 pm   /  Reply

    Great post, Olivia! I love the quote, and I am super excited about The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Can’t wait until it arrives.

    • April 3, 2012, 3:40 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks, Dani. I’m also looking forward to your SUBMERGED!

  13. April 3, 2012, 3:21 pm   /  Reply

    Lovely post, Olivia:) I am also a fan of the dowager! Maggie Smith has the best lines in Downton Abbey and so often, while ‘inappropriate’ for what we expect now, revealing of how often we treat people despite living in a PC world.

    • April 3, 2012, 3:40 pm   /  Reply

      I have an “Aunt Violet” in my series. She’s not quite a dowager, but has been known to say what’s on her mind!

  14. April 3, 2012, 4:48 pm   /  Reply

    Love this quote. Can’t wait to dig into your book, Olivia!!

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