Saturday, November 27, 2010

Darklight On…Tracey O'Hara: Q&A

Welcome to DarkSider Tracey O’Hara for today's Darklight On!! 


Your debut novel, Night’s Cold Kiss was both shortlisted for an Aurealis Award and won the R*BY award for Romantic Elements. Congratulations! How did this change your view of your work and you as a writer? 

It’s a little surreal to have your work nominated for the Aurealis best horror novel and the Romantic Book of the Year in the same year. But it was gratifying to see that I have successfully been able to appeal to both genres. The Aurealis nominations was surprising, with that particular award your book can be put forward for more than one category and NCK was up for Best Fantasy and Best Horror – as there is no Urban Fantasy category. Being a finalist in the R*BY was amazing, and to then go on and win it, words cannot explain how honoured and surprised I was.

Your next book, Death’s Sweet Embrace, is due for release early next year – can you tell us a little about this?

Death’s Sweet Embrace is a different book to NCK though. The heroine, Kitt, is a doctor who is more mature and level headed than Antoinette. DSE is set in the same world and while Antoinette does get quite a bit of page space in this book, it is Kitt’s story.

The concept of the Dark Brethren series is like a TV series centring in the same world with a key set of characters. Each book contains a self contained story/mystery and focuses on different character as the main protagonists. But just because one hero or heroine has had a book, does not mean necessarily mean that it’s the end of their tale. Book three had a different protagonist again, but with another book I have planned I want to go back into Antoinette and Christian’s lives.


Who are you favourite authors? 

I have so many but I have decided to break it down to my top five and why.

1. Stephen King – he is the master of a scary tale – although my husband would disagree. I love how his stories build up and up from a slowish start until all it all comes together.

2. Raymond E Feist – he was my window into adult fantasy. The Magician is probably my all time favourite book.

Tracey with George R.R. Martin at WorldCon
3. George RR Martin – I love how he twists the reader and takes then along for the ride. I get lost in George’s books and actually get depressed to have to leave it and come back to the real world.

4. Terry Pratchett – OMG – laugh out loud funny. If I want to laugh I read a Terry Pratchett book and all is right with the world. Death and Death of Rats are my favourite characters.

5. Anne McCaffrey – one word – Dragons. No more needs to be said.

I do have many more favourite authors, as you may have noticed that there are no romance writers in there – that is because I have only been reading romance for the last 6 years. But I do have them – and like I said – too many to name.



Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series? 

OMG – do I – again like authors too hard to many to name. So again – I am going to name my top five and why.

1. Supernatural – I’m in serious lust with the car. I love that deep rumble of the engine and the heavy metal music on the stereo. Though not so fond of the squeaky doors. But I really like the mix of paranormal and humour and love the banter between the brothers Sam and Dean.

2. Firefly – The characters in that show are just so well done. I have a soft spot for each of them – except the doctor – sometime he just annoys me.

3. All the Alien movies – even the one with Winona Rider in it. And Ripley is the original Kick Arse heroine.

4. Terminator – the first one. While the others are good to okay, it is the first one that gives me that heart pumping suspense – especially with that music.

5. Star Trek Next Generation – also one word – Picard. Though I will go on to say I am re-watching this with my husband at the moment and totally love it.

Noticeable absences from this list are Buffy, Angel and True Blood. The reason being is that I don’t like the lead characters all that much. Buffy and Sookie are just downright annoying in an “oh woe is me – I’m so important and everything happens to me, you must all feel sorry for me – I’m the centre of the universe” way. Angel and Bill are pretty pathetic in an “oh woe is me – I’m a vampire and such a monster so I’m just going to sulk because I will never be good enough” way. But it’s the secondary characters that make those shows well worth watching. Still it keeps them from my top 5.

I am also waiting with baited breath for The Game of Thrones series based on the George RR Martin series The Song of Ice and Fire.

You attended WorldCon (AussieCon 4) in Melbourne this year. How did it appear to appear as a published author? 

Wow, Worldcon was so much fun. Hanging out and partying. Awesome. AND got to meet 
GEORGE RR MARTIN (see top five fav authors above). He held my hand – and I even got a photo thanks to Erica Hayes.

It was strange being a published author – a lot more people knew who I was than I imagined. I pretty much expected to be invisible in that world. And on the other hand – I was invisible to a lot so I could just hang out and be a spec fic fan like the rest.


I love the dark look and uniformity of your covers (they’re spectacular) – did you have any say in them? 

Yes and no. The first one I described the opening scene and what I would like to see on the cover. What they came up with totally met my description and exceeded my expectations. I almost cried with joy. With DSE I was asked for my input – and that cover will never be seen. The final cover they did come up with was again so perfect and matched a scene in the book my editor suggested we use. I had the same cover artist – Larry Ronstant – who has done an absolutely AMAZING job. Hope he does my next one too.


Do have a favourite of your characters? 

It’s a hard question – but I do have to say one of my favourites is Viktor. And yes – those of you who have read NCK – I know. I really know.



What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 



Revising.

Because revising gives me a chance to take a skeletal story and flesh it out, building the layers of detail and depth.

Revising is making my story shine.

And best of all - revising means I have written.



Tracey's Death's Sweet Embrace is due for release in January in the US and in April in Australia.

17 comments:

  1. With covers like your, Tracey, I hope you have larger versions of them framed and hanging on your office wall - they're just spectacular. I love them!

    Nothing more appealing that a powerful, emotion/plot-provoking picture. And both of these do that for me.

    Can't wait for DSE to hit the shelves! :-)

    How could you not wonder about the story within with these (even before you flip over to read the back cover blurb)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi :)
    Thank you for the excellent interview.
    I love all those authors too.
    I also like that "revising means I have written".
    All the best,
    RKCharron

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Tracey,
    I love that you are in lust with Metallicar. Yes, the sad fans named it. I'm more in lust with Dean, however it was a close thing when Cas came on the scene... mmm, so much hotness in one show. Oh, and sometimes it is cringe-worthy-scary and laugh out loud funny. Why did you get me started on SN?
    I won't start in on Firefly, because then I really won't stop.
    I've already told you, but the cover to DSE is awesome. I like the sound of Kitt and I can't wait to read it. Great interview too.
    xo
    Jess!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love those covers! And really can't wait for Kitt's story. =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kylie - yes - I have been rather blessed by the cover faerie.

    ReplyDelete
  6. RK - so great to see you here with us darksiders :). And I do love to have written. :))

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ahh - Metallicar - and thanks for the great pic too. I do like that car. I know - SN has everyting a paranormal lovin gal could want :).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rach - you know I love you - but I forbid you from reading this book - it's scary. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh Rach,
    I agree with Tracey!! I've read parts of this book number 2 and it really is quite scary. And superbly written, I must say =)
    Can't wait to read the full Trace!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Can't wait to read DSE Tracey. As you know I loved Night's Cold Kiss and whooped with joy when you won the R*BY.

    And everyone, check the post again, there is now a photo with Tracey with George RR Martin at WorldCon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Scary? Oh. Maybe I'll leave it for now...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mel and Rach - tee hee. And thanks Mel.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Eleni - you awesome thing you. Look at this faboulous blog you have put together. And thanks for putting up the pick of me with George. (yes on a first name basis - at least in my own head :))

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know you know how we feel about Viktor, but I will still whine till you break down and give us what we want . Look forward to reading DSE

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ahhh, Cap'n Tightpants. Nuff said. I've come to Supernatural late but agree the humour and horror and everything in the between.

    Revising? You already know I think you are strange & unusual for this idea of fun/like you have.

    You already know I lurve the cover & am looking forward to seeing it on the shelves (so then I can get myself one of my own).

    ReplyDelete