Friday, August 28, 2009

Night's Cold Kiss - Tracey O'Hara

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.

So would you describe yourself as a panster or plotter?

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.


Tracey O'Hara said...

thanks so much for having me Christina - and yes my husband is such a card.

Louise Reynolds said...

Will always remember that fantastic announcement in Sydney. Could it get any better than that?
Louise Reynolds

Louise Reynolds said...

oops, Melbourne!

Mel Teshco said...

That call story never gets old Tracey! I think it shows once again that where there's a will there's a way (and lots of grit and determination!!)

Maree Anderson said...

Such a fabulous call story, Tracey, and having met you in Brisbane, I can soooo picture your reaction, LOL!

Great interview, Christina -- it's easy when you've got such good subject matter, huh?

Rachel Bailey said...

As one of those friends who was keeping the secret the next day, I have to say that yes, it was a *fabulous* call story! Can't wait to see NCK on the shelves down under!!
Thanks for interviewing her, Christina!

anna cleary said...

I think I have a charming photo of you Tracey celebrating your heart out on that blessed weekend when you received the fateful call! Can't wait to get my hands on Night's Cold Kiss.
Ohhh. That title!


Catherine Bybee said...

How fun! I love books with kick-ass heroines and thats what this sounds like to me. Congrats and best of luck with all your work!

Helen Hardt said...

Hi ladies! Tracey, I've just started to explore UF, and your story looks like a great one! Nice to meet you!


Serena said...

Oooh I LOVE that call story and I agree with the others - t never gets old :) And I vividly remember meeting you at the RWA Melbourne conference last year and how excited I was when you told me! And I still am! I am lucky enough to have judged this story in an RWA competition. It was one of the most brilliant entries ever! (Note: I don't often read paranormal so that is really saying something!!) And I've also read the first three chapters - just wonderful! I have already ordered my copy (from the Book Depository in the USA - NO POSTAGE! UK Book Depository has it too)

Thanks for the interview, Christina. You have the most brilliant people on here :)

Sharon Archer said...

Thanks for having Tracey to visit, Christina!
And HUGE woohoos for you, Tracey!! I'm still amazed you didn't explode with that Call news in Melbourne! It was just wonderful being there and seeing your excitement and feeling so thrilled for you!

I can't wait to get my copy of Night's Cold Kiss. I love that warehouse 'visual' that lead to the birth of your story.

Wendi Zwaduk and Megan Slayer said...

Great post and what a fun sale story. Loved it.

Congrats on the 3 book deal.


Cari Quinn said...

Great interview, ladies!

I love UF. It's probably my favorite genre. I'm so looking forward to picking up Night's Cold Kiss! Oh and I loved your Call story, too, Tracey, not feeling your lips and all! ;)

Eleni Konstantine said...

Great interview ladies.

Tracey congrats & fantastic your husband is such a supporter of your work.

Waiting for my bookstore to give me a ring when your book is in. *twitching* They better hurry up!

Tracey O'Hara said...

Oh so sorry - been so lax in answering - fogive me.

Louise - thanks sweetie I will

Mel - you know it baby - remember when!!!

Maree - yes it was quite unreal and I bet you can

Rachel - it was a very special breakfast that day - have no idea what I ate

Tracey O'Hara said...

Anna - I hate to think what it looks like

Catherine - she's pretty kick arse alright

Helen - thank you

Serena - you know what you meant to me :-)

Sharon - you are so sweet - I was a babbling mess that weekend.

Tracey O'Hara said...

Wendi - thanks very much

Cari - I don't know why my lips were numb

Eleni - you may have a little wait yet.

Christine - thanks again - it was fun

Amanda Ashby said...

I just got goosebumps about your call story!!!! That's so amazing! And Raymond E Feist is one of my fav authors so that's soooo cool that you guys share a publisher!!!!