Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Tim O'Rourke on the blog. He' the author of various YA books (some of which he's going to tell us a bit about), including the vampire tale Vampire Shift, that I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing last month.
It was so great to interview Tim. His answers were so insightful and beautifully honest. I hope you all enjoy the interview!
Tim has also has very generously offered up a SIGNED paperback copy of Vampire Shift to one of my followers!
More about the giveaway later on in the post, but for now lets see what Tim has to say.....
Hi Tim, I’m so excited to interview you. Thanks for agreeing to answer my questions! Let’s begin shall we....
In your novel, Vampire Shift, your take on vampires is so unique, where did this idea come from?
I was reluctant to write a vampire story for quite a while, and my reason for this was because I felt that everything had already been done. I only wanted to write a vampire tale if it could be different from anything else that was already out there. Although I started writing ‘Vampire Shift’ without my mind really made-up, I knew that I wanted them to fly at incredible speeds and have huge black wings that looked kind of prehistoric. It was then that I thought about vampire bats. I did a bit of research about these amazing creatures and their habitat and it was then that I really came up with the idea for my vampires and where they came from and where they lived.
Your main character is a tough female cop who lets her instincts and what she “sees” guide her, do you find it difficult sometimes writing from a female’s perspective or do you find it easy to slip straight into the character?
That’s a tough question to answer. I’d like to say that I slip into character while writing but there is always a risk that I could make Kiera too masculine. That wasn’t my aim and I don’t think you have to be masculine to be a strong determined female. Again like my vampires, I wanted Kiera to be different from other female leads in similar books in that genre. I wanted her to be her own woman, who wasn’t solely reliant on the guys in the book. I wanted her to be headstrong, tough, resourceful and smarter than the guys in a lot of ways. I think that’s why Potter has a problem with Kiera sometimes - perhaps he secretly feels threatened by her. But that’s good.
Personally, I felt a soft side for Potter emerging as I read the book, do any of your characters have an extra special place in your heart?
I do enjoy writing about Potter - he’s a wise guy with a smart mouth (or so he thinks) but he gives me a chance to be the complete opposite to who I am. Murphy I really like because he is kind of fatherly, someone the others can look-up too. Luke was difficult to write sometimes because there is stuff about Luke that doesn’t come out until the second book (I don’t want to give too much away here!) but he is more of a complex character than he first appears. I will definitely have more fun with Luke in the second book. But over all, Kiera is my favourite. I love her resilience, but most of all her tenacity. She never gives up. She has a mind that doesn’t stop asking questions. She’s like the kid at the birthday, who hounds the magician. Whereas most kids would enjoy a good magic trick - that isn’t enough for Kiera. She’s knows she’s being fooled and she wants to find out how.
What do you think it is about vampires that appeals to people so much nowadays?
Immortality - that’s what I think but I could be wrong. When I was sixteen I thought I was going to live forever and maybe reading about vampires takes me back to that. Vampires are godlike creatures who seem indestructible, they are beautiful and sexy and perhaps we would all like to be like that. Who wouldn’t want to be swept off their feet by Luke or Potter and soar through the sky like angels?
How about you? Do you have a favourite supernatural creature?
I have loads. As a kid I was hooked on all the superheroes. I know they are not supernatural like vampires and werewolves, but it goes back to that wonder of imagining yourself flying, jumping incredible heights, running at amazing speeds - they are all things that we wish we could do. But if I were pushed, I would have to say my favourite supernatural character was Dracula and my favourite superhero was the Hulk and to me they are not so many miles apart. Both are able to change shape and form and they are both tragic characters.
Tell us a bit about your other books.
Apart from ‘Vampire Shift’ I have written three other books. ‘Black Hill Farm (Book One)’ and ‘Black Hill Farm: Andy’s Diary (Book Two) are a dark paranormal romance. I think out of everything I’ve ever written these are two of my favourites. Although very dark, I love the characters and felt really sad when I had to leave them behind at the end of the second book. There was a temptation to write a third, but I didn’t because I’ve told the story and I need to know when to walk away. There are some great twists in
the books and nothing is at it really appears. In fact, the picture isn’t complete right until the end of book two. Of all the characters that I’ve ever created Andrea (Andy) Black is my favourite. Like Kiera she is strong and bold but she has this real sensitive side. I think she is misjudged in the first book, but the second book (Andy’s diary) shows another side of her. She was the character that I found most difficult to let go of. I think the character most
like me, in any of my books is John Walker from both the ‘Black Hill Farm’ books. There is a lot of me in him.
My other book, ‘Zachary Black & The Doorways To Endra’ is written for a slightly younger readership - perhaps 14 years and up. It is a real rollercoaster of a ride. There are some dark parts too and also a few vampires (although they are called the Slath in the book) and a few Werewolves (known as the Noxas). Again, just like in ‘Vampire Shift’ I’ve tried to put a unique spin on these supernatural creatures.
If you were stuck in an elevator with any 4 people you could choose-- living, dead, real, fictional—who would they be and why?
~Christopher Reeve more than anyone. He is my hero. I remember watching the superman films as a kid - apart from the flying and his red cape, I loved the way that he was a good guy. What I mean is that he was honest, loyal, and dependable - those were things that I always looked for in adults as a kid. Although he could be tough he also had this really sensitive side, and I loved the way he always used his powers to protect humans - he was like a guardian angel.
~Dirty Harry. I know he is at the other end of the spectrum compared to Superman, but he is also one of the good guys. I remember watching the movies as a teenager and loved his cocky attitude and how he was relentless in his pursuit of the bad guys. In his own way, he fought for justice.
~Jim Henson. I would’ve have loved to have met him. His imagination must have been huge. To think up of all those different characters, and to bring them all to life with a flick of the wrist. I love Kermit, he is so honest but naive with it. He always see’s the best in people and is always happy to give people a chance. He is loyal and dependable, but most of all I love that Kermit is always telling his friends to follow their dreams - that nothing is impossible.
~Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She was headstrong and determined. Not afraid of adventure and loved her friends. She oozed tenacity and wouldn’t give-up her quest whatever the odds. She is a real inspiration.
Who has been the biggest inspiration to you throughout your life?
A friend of my called Patrick. He was like a father to me. I had real problems with reading and writing as a kid -but the problem was, I was always thinking up stories but had no way of expressing them. But Patrick would sit for hours (and I mean hours) and help me read and write. I would take my stories to him and he would go through them with me, marking all the spellings and grammar. He bought me my first books when other people thought that I wouldn’t be able to read them and perhaps they would be a waste of money. And when I’d finished one book, he get me another and then another. He really encouraged me and that meant more than anything.
Are there any news about upcoming projects that you’d like to share with use today?
I’m currently writing ‘Vampire Wake’ the second book in the Kiera Hudson Trilogy and I hope to have this out in September this year. The third and final Kiera Hudson book will be out before Christmas and that will be it for 2011. The second Zachary Black book is in note form, and I hope to have that out early next year along with another series of books based around a character called Jack Darker. There will be five books in that series and I’ve written the first three. I will be releasing them during 2012.
6 Quick questions:
1. Favourite colour? Blue
2. Winter or Summer? Winter
3. Cats or Dogs? Cats
4. Favourite food? McDonalds (Lol!)
5. Favourite holiday destination? Florida
Thanks again for taking the time to answering my questions and I wish you all the best with your writing!
Thanks Rachel for the opportunity of being interviewed on your great blog. I loved your questions and some of them really had me thinking about my answers. Good Job!
Find out more about Tim and his books on his website: http://www.ravenwoodgreys.com/ and his goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4193568.Tim_O_Rourke
Get all the goss about Tim's books on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ravenwoodgreys and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/wwwRavenwoodgreyscom/109170242508
When twenty-year-old police recruit Kiera Hudson is posted to the remote town of The Ragged Cove, her life is changed forever. Investigating a series of horrific murders, grave desecrations and missing persons, with her unique ability of 'seeing', Kiera soon realises her life is in danger. But when Kiera falls in love with Police officer Luke Bishop, not only is her mind and her heart opened to a terrifying new world, she comes to suspect that Luke might be involved in the killings. In a race against time to unearth the truth, Kiera must discover the identity of who or what is behind the gruesome deaths on the 'Vampire Shift'.
~Simply leave a comment on the interview and a way to reach you.
~Tim is willing to ship internationally, so this is open to EVERYONE!
~The giveaway will run from July 30th (today) until August 30th, after which a winner will be chosen using random.org
~Once I've emailed the winner, they will then have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
You can earn extra entries by:
+1 Following Tim on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ravenwoodgreys
+1 Following Vampire Shift on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/wwwRavenwoodgreyscom/109170242508
That's it. A big thanks again to Tim O'Rouke for participating in such an insightful interview and good-luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!