Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Author Spotlight on Tracey O'Hara

Hi Tracey. Just wanted to thank you for letting me grill you.

So let’s get to the good stuff.

What has changed in your life now that you have a published book that soon to be released upcoming bestseller?

Aww - bless. One of the biggest things is now get to talk to lovely people like yourself and Estefanie. Seriously, people actually want to know stuff about me and my books. Amazing. I even got a request for a signed photograph which I thought only happened to models and actors. And getting my first fan email was such a thrill. It is nice to know that there are people out there reading and liking my book. Besides that, my life has just become busier. Juggling family, a day job, promotion and writing takes a lot of energy.

What can you tell us about your characters, Antoinette and Christian?

Firstly my race of Vampires are called the Aeternus and when they go bad they succumb to what is called Necrodrenia. So the Aeternus are the “good” ones and the necrodreniacs, or dreniacs as they are referred to, are the “bad” ones.

Antoinette is one angry young woman. At the age of six she witnessed her mother’s murder at the hands of an Aeternus, not a dreniac, and she’s sort of declared war on both races by becoming a top notch Venator (dreniac hunter). She’s held her rage on slow simmer for a very long time and when her world turns upside down it sometimes make her act irrationally or impetuously, often against her better judgement. Sometimes I just wanted to smack her upside the head myself. She also has a lot of inner strength and I think as the series progress and we her embrace things I think this will become more apparent.

Christian is a 400 year old Aeternus from an old aristocratic bloodline. He is loyal to those close to him and very dedicated to his work. Antoinette brings out something in him he finds a little disturbing. He has his own scars, and his own guilt to contend with, which often makes his interactions with Antoinette explosive, whether it’s in disagreement or making love. One thing that I sometimes find a little annoying with vampire stories is that vampire protagonists often despise what they are. There is nothing more annoying after a while than a “oh woe is me, I’m such a monster” type. Not so with mine Christian is Aeternus and is proud of it.

What was your writing process when you first started working on Night’s Cold Kiss?

Wow! You really are grilling me. When I started NIGHT’S COLD KISS, I wrote sporadically. I wanted to write this story in my head, but I didn’t really think it would be anything more than doing it for myself. I knew nothing about the craft of writing and had to learn everything. I started to do workshops and read how to books. Then I entered the first 3 chapters into a couple of contests. When the feedback I received was enthusiastic, I ramped honing my craft. NIGHT’S COLD KISS was my learning book and I am so very, very pleased it was picked up.

How long did it take for Night’s Cold Kiss to be completed. Like how much time did

it take from the moment you turned in your manuscript of NCK to the publisher?

I started NCK in January 2005. As I said previously I went through a large learning curve and it went through several rewrites. When I first started the book, Antoinette’s family not only trained hunters, but were also owned and performed in a travelling circus. That changed on advice I received. I kinda miss it though, it had some great characters.

My editor bought NCK in August 2008 and the final version was done and dusted pretty much November 2008. So from start to finish Night’s Cold Kiss took me just over 3 ½ years to write.

Do you have another job besides being a published writer?

Yes — I work full time in IT as an analyst programmer.

How do you deal with the demands of family with your professional life?

At the moment, badly. My children are grown so they can pretty much take care of themselves. My husband supports my writing, but I have neglected him over the last couple of years. I’m still trying to find the right balance in my life.

Is it true that you are almost done with the sequel to Night’s Cold Kiss?

Yes – I have handed in my second book titled DEATH’S SWEET EMBRACE and started book three. It was such a different book to write than the first and I learned quite a bit about it and myself in the process.

How many books do you have planned for the Dark Brethren Novels?

I don’t really have a definitive number of books in mind. There is so much more about my worked that I want to introduce readers to. From elven drug lords who make potent narcotics from plants and run the drugs through a race of bear shape-shifting bikers to dark Djinn who use 3 wishes to trap people so they then possess their bodies and wear them like clothing to Mer environmental terrorists targeting the land races for polluting their oceans. I’m currently contracted for 3 books so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how they go.

As for the sequels, do you plan to continue on with Antoinette’s adventures or will have a new heroine and hero in the next book?

Antoinette’s story isn’t over but that doesn’t mean she is going to be the main character all the time. I look at this kind of like a TV series in a way where the focus on one episode may be on different people, but the threads of the other characters still come through.

I don’t want to give away anything, but this next book has a different hero and heroine. Kitt is a snow leopard felian and Raven is a wolf canian. Actually again I have different terms and rules for them – Animalians instead of weres or shape-shifters. It is a complex world and the rules are difficult to explain quickly.

What are your favorite online places that you visit often?

Night Time Romance Reviews of course. And there are a number of blogs like the Sci-fi Guy, Deadline dames and Fangs, Fur, & Fey that are my favourite stops. Love Vampire is really cool for vampire stuff and I’ve just started visiting Michele Hauf’s Vamp Chix blog as well. Actually there are far too many to name.

Do you have favorite author?

You ask all the tough questions. Again there are so many. Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist and Anne McCaffrey are right up there as my all time favourites. Lately I have been enjoying Jocelynn Drake’s Dark Days series, though I have only read NIGHTWALKER at the moment. Vicki Pettersson’s zodiac series is also awesome. I don’t get nearly as much time to read as I would like to. Also Keri Arthur and Nalini Singh are fabulous. But I have some others outside of Paranormal as well like Anna Campbell, Anne Gracie and another debut author Kris Kennedy all who write wonderful and different historicals.

What was the last book you read, last movie you saw and last song you heard on the radio?

I am currently reading THE CHILD THIEF by Brom. It’s an awesome modern, dark and twisted take on Peter Pan where it’s not all magic and wonder in Neverland. I love it. And the illustrations are awesome.

The last movie I saw was Police Academy 4 on late night TV last night, but the last movie I saw at the cinema was either Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen or Terminator 4. I can’t remember which because it was a while ago.

The last song on the radio. I don’t rightly know. I was last listening to one of my favourite bands Rammstein on CD.

What do you do on your spare time? Do you have any spare time?

Sleep – and I don’t get much of that. Any spare time I try to spend with my family by seeing a movie with my boys or watching a DVD with my husband. I love movies almost as much as I love books.

Last question of the night.

What is it about vampires do you think that drives the world to go crazy over?

It is really a hard thing to put my finger on. I think for me there is something very intimate about penetrating fangs and sharing of bodily fluid. It can be excitingly dangerous that a vampire could rip out your throat as quick as kiss you. Today’s vampires are more often heroes than villains and made to be sexy but vampires of old were not so nice. I like them too, the monsters. I love a good scare. It makes the adrenalin pump and makes you feel alive. Also there is the fact that most are immortal and aren’t bound by the same moral or legal constraints as us mere mortals which offers a kind of freedom. To walk in the shoes of a vampire for a short time in the pages of a book gives us a taste of immortality.


Thank you, Tracey. I definitely enjoyed coming up with these grilling questions for you. I want to wish you lots of success on your upcoming release of Night’s Cold Kiss but from what I’ve read you won’t need.

You’re so sweet and thanks for having me here again.

Tracey O'Hara has one of the best debut series released in 2009.  Here is a little glimpse of Night's Cold Kiss.
For centuries war raged between the humans and Aeternus vampires—until courageous efforts on both sides forged a fragile peace.

But the rogue Necrodreniacs will never be controlled—addicted as they are to the death-high . . . and bloody chaos.

Since witnessing the murder of her mother, Antoinette Petrescu has burned with fiery hatred for the vampire race—even for Christian Laroque, the noble, dangerously handsome Aeternus who rescued her. Now an elite Venator, Antoinette must reluctantly accept Christian's help to achieve her vengeance—even as he plots to use the beautiful, unsuspecting warrior as bait to draw out the bloodthirsty dreniacs.