I'm excited to welcome my special guest this week, Tracey O'Hara, another Aussie author whose debut book is hitting the shelves this week. I first cyber-met Tracey a few years ago on a RWA paranormal loop we're both members of and have been looking forward to reading Night's Cold Kiss for ages!!
Tracey joined the RWAus in 2004 and writes dark urban fantasy for Eos, an imprint of HarperCollins
Hi Tracey it's great to see you here! Can you tell us a little about your book?
My husband describes is as about 7 inched high with pages and a cover.
(Christina: OMG! That's so funny. Just like something my husband would say!!!)
But if you want to know what is about:
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.
Yay! I love vampires. How did the idea for the plot come about?
The idea started with a visual image of a tomb raider type girl creeping through a dark warehouse with a male vampire watching her from the rafters. And then Night’s Cold Kiss was born.
I love that visual. I also love sale stories (ok I am just nosy!!) so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?
After a late night drinking champagne at the 2008 Melbourne RWA conference, I woke at 6:30am to several emails on my smartphone - including 1 from my agent with the subject headers of "Urgent!" and another with a really heart stopping subject of "OFFER!!!" That one caught my attention, as you can imagine. I was lying in bed at this point. I sat up. The blood drained from my face. And I said, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, My God."
My room-mate immediately sat up. "What's wrong?" "I think I have just SOLD." I couldn't feel my lips - my eyes couldn't believe that I was reading I had an offer from Diana Gill of Eos Books for a three-book deal. (Eos is the sci- fi/fantasy line of HarperCollins and published some of my favourite authors like Raymond E Feist, Kim Harrison and Vicki Pettersson.)
Three books. Not one, not two, but three books. There must be some mistake! There must be some other Tracey O'hara. But it was no mistake, it was all real as my agent reassured me when she rang my hotel room about an hour later. It was one of the most excruciating days of my life - I couldn't tell anyone yet. I had to sit through the lovely Margie Lawson's workshop, not taking in a word she said. I apologised to her later and she so understood.
I was able to tell some of my friends, thank goodness or I would have burst. Anyway, the next day I had formally accepted (no-brainer there) and I was able to tell everyone. Anne Gracie announced it. It was the absolute best conference.
Wow, that is some sale story! It must have been torture to keep that fabulous secret to yourself for a whole day!!!
Now onto the nuts and bolts. Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?
I try to write every day, or at least something writing related like editing. And yes especially when doing the first draft I set a daily goal, keeping track of it on an Excel spreadsheet.
A little of both, I plot the main story line then pants a lot of the in between. The characters tend to reveal how they react to things as I write. I guess I subconsciously know how it will go but sometimes I am still surprised to learn things about my characters.
I know that feeling only too well!! What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?
Well at the moment having a book due in real motivating.
Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?
I really don’t have any light bulb moment - I still feel like such a babe in the woods with all this stuff. My first book has just been released so I am still learning new things every day.
Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?
I have my husband who is doing a copyediting course and I a close friend of mine who isn’t writing at the moment, but as soon as she is I will be so there reading for her. And I also have a beta reader. That’s it for the moment.