Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Interview with Tracey O'Hara

I can't believe that the release date for Dawnbreaker is less than two weeks away. Have you reserved your copy? Better hurry!

In the meantime, I've got an interview with the fabulous Tracey O'Hara as she talks about writing and her new book, Night's Cold Kiss. I'm currently giving away a copy, so scroll down to Monday's posting and leave a comment to enter the contest!

1. What first got you interested in writing?

Long story really. About 15 years back I found out some information about my great-grandfather in WWI. To those of us downunder the, the epitome of the Aussie spirit is our involvement in the iconic Gallipoli Campaign fought on the shores of Turkey. Think the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan… with cliffs.

At 4.30am on April 25, 1915, the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed on a hellish beach with shear cliffs under heavy enemy fire. The took the beach and held it for the next 8 months. There is a great movie called Gallipoli and starred a very young Mel Gibson. If you want to know what Aussie mateship is all about, see that movie.

My great-grandfather was in the first assault on the beach in the pre-dawn darkness. As he scrambled up the beach along with his brother, he was felled with a leg wound. When the beach had been secured, he was evacuated to England to recover where he met my great-grandmother. But that’s another story.

Now, I knew he’d been to war. And I knew he’d been wounded. But what I didn’t know was the facts of the landing and the fact he wasn’t alone. Six Keid boys joined the army, four served on Gallipoli and only two returned home from the war. The more I looked into the lives of these six men, the more fascinating their story became. So after 8 years of on again off again researching, I decided I wanted to write some of this history down. (You can read more about my Great grandfather here

When a friend looked at some of what I wrote, she asked if I’d ever considered writing fiction. I hadn’t. I’d always read it, but never thought of writing.

That’s what led me to my love affair with words and storytelling. And I will write my great-grandfather’s book one day. I promise, Mum.

2. Do you see any particular character traits that are similar between you and your main character?

None. Well maybe her pig-headed stubbornness. Honestly, Antoinette can be one annoying chick. I guess the same way there is a little piece of me inside my children, there is also a little piece of me in each of my characters. They bear my mark, but they’re really their own people. Imaginary, true, but real to the story.

If you couldn’t be an author, is there anything else you would be interested in giving a try?
I find this an interesting question because for a long time I didn’t know I was an author. Apart from the fact I still work full time as a computer analyst/programmer, I spent years on what I call my creativity quest. I used to sketch a lot when I was younger. So I tried doing that. Nup. Didn’t satisfy my creativity urge. I tried craft, painting Warhammer figurines and wood working. I designed and started building a mega dollhouse palace. I was going to make the all the furniture and furnishings myself. I built my own wood working bench and everything. But I soon lost interest in that too. Nothing sated my creative appetite, nothing until I discover the hidden author buried deep within. So if I couldn’t be an author—then I have no idea at all.

3. What part of the writing process do you find to be the hardest?

I guess it’s the first draft. To try and get those story elements swimming around in my head down onto the page. I actually love the rewrite process, to hone those rough words into sparkling ones. I think the book I just handed in was particularly hard for me. Second book syndrome big time but I learned so much.

4. What first drew you to writing urban fantasy?

I have always been a fan of the supernatural. I’m a huge Stephen King fan and love Sci-fi and fantasy. So I started writing the story I wanted to write. When I first started Night’s Cold Kiss it was going to be a paranormal romance. I hadn’t heard the term urban fantasy at that time. As the story unfolded I kept getting people say you can’t do that in a romance, and I kept wanting to make it darker.

With urban fantasy, the world is my oyster. My world that is, not the real one. I have a chance to play “god” and mold creatures and situations with my twisted little mind.

Thanks, Tracey, for popping by and answering my questions!

Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Night's Cold Kiss. Just scroll down to Monday's entry and leave a comment.


RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview Tracey and thanks Jocelynn for having her on your site.
That is an amazing story about your great grandfather and Gallipoli.
If he hadn't been wounded in the leg, he wouldn't have been sent to England where he wouldn't have met your great grandmother and you would never have been born.
I love how the events of one's life add up to a unique story.
Thank you for going into fiction writing Tracey.
All the best,

Karolina said...

It makes you wonder if she's a fan of Marie Antoinette's story :P Other than that, she seems nice. I'll definitely read her book.

belle-blanc said...

That's so great, a Vampire character named Mira! :)
Your book Nightwalker will be released in Germany this December... I'm curious about to read it. Greetings from Germany, Mira!

Karen W. said...

Thanks for the interesting interview. I enjoyed it a lot. Good luck with the book, Tracey! It sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me Jocelynn. It has been a real thrill bing involved in your mega contest extraviganza.

RK - yes if there had not been those events then I would not be here - it can really blow your mind thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Goodluck with Dawnbreaker release Jocelynn.

And thank you Karen

Eleni Konstantine said...

Great interview Tracey. One day you will get to writing the story I'm sure. So fascinating when we think of our families and what they have done/gone through.

Mel Teshco said...

what a fantastic interview - learn something new about someone everyday! =)

Sandie Hudson said...

Great interview Ladies. Tracey thanks for sharing, I love finding out new things about friends.


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