Meet Liv Arnold, the Award-Winning Romance Author, Sex Advice Columnist, and Mental Health Supporter That Uses Humor in Her Writing

Liv Arnold

Tell us about yourself

I’m a romance author that writes fun, flirty, and filthy books. My work — Law & Disorder, Etched in Stone, and Stepping Stone — has themes of mental health, sexual empowerment, forgiveness, family, and loyalty.

I also give sex advice for Cosmopolitan and other women’s media outlets.

A day in the life of a romance author

I’m cranky in the morning and think better from the afternoon onward. I set 20-minute timers where I non-stop write and don’t look back. When the timer goes off, I reward myself with ice cream. Hips don’t lie.

I’m always constantly learning. If I stop learning, I’m going backwards. I recently did an online screenwriting course by Nancy Fulton Meetups. It was great in knowing where to start.

What makes the ideal leading man for a romance book?

A guy with a sausage dog because two wieners are better than one.

Writing sexual wellness in romance

Often, people don’t count romance as a “real” genre. Maybe because in some books, there are raunchy sex scenes, or the storyline isn’t always realistic. But romance novels give women a voice to say what they desire and have mind-blowing sex. That’s what everyone deserves.

I get a lot of inspiration from Sexyland, an adult shop here in Victoria, Australia. In a scene from Stepping Stone, the main character always had an interest in BDSM and looks at a shop similar to Sexyland for ideas.

Mental health challenges portrayed in books

As I’ve experienced anxiety most of my life, a percentage of Stepping Stone’s profits are going to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The character has PTSD, resulting in a drinking problem, depression, and hallucinations. I drew the challenges from my anxiety symptoms and was inspired by a friend who served in Afghanistan. Romance books aren’t just about the fantasy and the happily ever after. I enjoy writing authentic characters with relatable challenges.  

Mental health and sex

Since I was young, I always took a few hours to fall asleep. I didn’t realize it was anxiety. However, I started drinking Shroomie Co, a reishi hot chocolate for sleep, and the smooth drink calms me. I didn’t know that reishi mushrooms (not those special, getting high mushrooms) help with stress.

I started taking medication in 2015. There are not only the side effects of hands shaking and tiredness but also not being able to orgasm for the first few weeks. Considering that over 50% of people are diagnosed with a mental health issue in their life, few people discuss the side effects of the medication. I tried many things to feel sexy during those weeks, and I still couldn’t climax for ages. But hey, who was counting? Me, I was counting.    

Highlight of your career

I was shocked when New York Times Bestselling authors I respect — Meredith Wild, J. Kenner, and Cherry Adair — provided a cover blurb for Stepping Stone. They’re absolute rock stars and genuine women. I wanted to be an author after reading their novels and pretty much be them.

Your ideal date

Grocery shopping and checking all the eggs to make sure there are no cracks in any.

What’s one place you would like to visit?

Italy. I have some unholy things I’d like to do in Vatican City, including licking the cream out of a pastry shell. Holy cannoli.

What did you want to be when you grow up?

Stifler’s mom.

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