Friday, October 7, 2011

Guest Post: Writing A Female Lead with Tim O'Rourke and Giveaway!

Today I have the amazing author Tim O'Rourke with me once again on the blog. Tim is the author of The Kiera Husdon books, among other various YA titles and today he's going to talk about what it's like writing a female lead. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post where one winner will receive Tim's ENTIRE back list......

Writing A Female Lead

Since publishing my books earlier this year a couple of things have changed. The first is that it’s great to be able to share my stories, characters and ideas with others, and secondly the emails I receive from those who felt passionately enough about my work to send me an email or two.

The one question I thought that I would be asked the most is “where do you get your ideas?” and I had a whole bunch of answers lined up! But oddly enough, I have only been asked that question once or twice. The question I get asked the most is, “you’re a guy, right? So how do you write such convincing female characters?” and to be honest, I usually respond by saying, “you know, I haven’t really given it a great deal of thought.” Most of these questions are aimed at my character Kiera Hudson from my two books ‘Vampire Shift’ and ‘Vampire Wake’. So seeing as this question crops-up the most, I’ve spent sometime honestly thinking about it and this I guess is my answer to that question:

Kiera Hudson came about by chance really. It had been suggested to me that I write a vampire book. I was a little reluctant at first because I thought that everything there was to say about the subject had been done. But the pressure mounted, so I relented but on the condition that I could make it different. First off, I wanted my female lead (Kiera) to be different from other female characters that I’d read in this genre. I wanted her to be strong, determined but most of all her own person. Sure Kiera would fall in love, but it had to be on equal terms. She had to have her own life, job, car and apartment. I didn’t want her to be reliant on anyone. So I came up with Kiera, who was twenty-years-old, was fresh out of police academy, drove around in a beat-up old 60’s mini and had her own apartment – and had a passion for music. But I still wanted more for her – I wanted her to be smart and a rival to some of the more experienced officers in the male dominated work environment that she was going into. So I gave Kiera the ability to see things. This wasn’t initially a supernatural ability – but she saw things because she was clever, observes and noticed things that others failed to see. This made her very sharp at working out what had taken place at a crime scene, but she could do more than that – Kiera has the ability of figuring you out simply by seeing what you are wearing, eating and who you are dating.

So I never really sat down and made a conscious effort to make her female and I think if I’d done that, then I would have given her all the traits that me as a male writer thought she should have had – and if I’d done that, I would’ve probably made a right mess of it. I just made Kiera a well rounded person and I think that was the trick – I thought of her as a person instead of male/female. I hope that makes sense. Kiera doesn’t look physically strong as I don’t feel that she had to be masculine looking to match her rivals. I wanted her to solve the problems that she comes across in the books with her wits.

There is plenty of romance in the books, especially book two ‘Vampire Wake’ and somebody said on a blog somewhere that for a guy, I write ‘swoon’ really well. I don’t know if ‘swoon’ is different for men and women, but to be honest when I write about Kiera, I pretty much think about how I feel when in love or think back to those feelings I had when first meeting that person I was attracted to. Again, I didn’t write Kiera’s feelings by sitting in front of my laptop and saying to myself, “now if I was a girl, how would I be feeling right now – seeing this gorgeous hunk for the first time?” I just wrote about the feelings I’ve had in the past and have now. I did some honest soul searching and just wrote those feelings down. And I think being honest is important too – because the reader will know if you are trying to kid them and they won’t forgive you for it.

Male or female, we all have our hopes, dreams, insecurities and a broken heart or two – so I just tried to encapsulate some of those feelings that I’d experienced into some of the situations Kiera found herself in.

So if I’m to answer the original question honestly, when I write Kiera Hudson, I try and put aside the whole female/male thing and think of her more as a person, who has her own worries, fears, insecurities and dreams. Because after all, we all experience those emotions at one time or another, right?

(Tim O’Rourke)

Find Tim on:
~His website

Add Vampire Shift, the first book in The Keira Hudson Trilogy on Goodreads.

And while you're here, feel free to check out my reviews of Vampire Shift and Vampire Wake and my interview with Tim.


As I mentioned earlier, in celebration of the release of Vampire Wake, the 2nd Kiera Hudson book, Tim has very generously offered ONE of my followers ecopies of his ENTIRE back list! One winner will receive the brilliant Vampire Shift and Vampire Wake as well as both Tim's Black Hill Farm books, Black Hill Farm and Black Hill Farm: Andy's Diary and his YA thriller Doorways in ebook format.


~You MUST be a follower to enter.
~Simply leave a comment on the post with a way to reach you.
~Open to EVERYONE!
~The giveaway will run from October 7th (today) until November 7th, after which a winner will be chosen using
~Once I've emailed the winner, they will then have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

Extra Entries:
You're welcome to earn extra entries by....
+1 Adding any of Tim's books on Goodreads here.
+1 Tweeting about the giveaway
+1 Following Tim on Twitter

Please leave all links in your comment.

And while you're here, check out the trailer for Vampire Shift:

I'd like to thank Tim O'Rourke for stopping by the blog and offering us this awesome post annd giveaway.

Be sure to check out Tim's books and good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. hey, Rachel. thanks for inviting me to the giveaway.
    i'd like to enter as Jenny (username Staria on Goodreads), a follower here with (Jen), and on Twitter @Starija.

    i followed Tim O'Rourke through Twitter, and i've already had one book from him added to my Goodreads list.
    links:!/Starija/following &


    thank you again for the chance,

  3. Wow incredible trailer here. I love the sound of this book and I have it on my wishlist at Amazon. I would love to win this incredibly generous giveaway, but regardless I plan on getting Vampire Shift :)
    +1 Added Vampire Shift to my TBR on Goodreads.
    +1 Tweeted about the giveaway -
    +1 Follow Tim on Twitter (twitter name ZDz59001)

    I also shared on facebook, because this is just too good not to:)


  4. Thanks so much for sharing Denise! Both Tim and I sure do appreciate it!

  5. Just popping by to say I love Kiera Hudson series. I love Potter...and can't wait for more books in the series:D


    P.s. I have all Tims books, just wanted to drop by read the Guest Blog. I like the answer too.

  6. Hi Michelle!

    Oh, I love this series too! And how can you not love Potter!?!? Can't wait for Vampire Hunt!

    Thanks for stopping by =)

  7. I added Vampire Shift and Vampire Wake on Goodreads (GR name Jen aka Spam Master J)

    I followed Tim on Twitter (twitter name LRAtRandom)

    GFC follower: LRAtRandom

    Thanks for the contest :)


  8. Thanks for this giveaway! Great prizes!
    GFC: Sonia

    I follow Tim on Twitter (@SoniAdolfa)and I added Vampire Shift on Goodreads:

  9. Thank you so much for the chance to win♥
    GFC: Jeanne
    twitter follower: @JanaRathouska

  10. *rolls around in a pool of blood* happy happy - maybe I should give this up now that halloween is over but I can't...I'm just so creepy like that

    tlabunski **((gmail))**
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  11. I've been dying to get my hands on this book! The trailer is amazing! :)
    I follow by email ( and Twitter BubbleGirl1313

    and i have already added Vampire Shift to my goodreads


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