Sunday, 10 March 2013

Interview with Erin O'Quinn


Hi everyone.
I recently got to chat to Erin O'Quinn and wow what a lovely woman she is, I could listen to her for hours. You can tell by the way she talks that she is a very intelligent lady with a cheeky side :)
Check out her lovely author picture:

So let's get to the interview.

Hi Erin (great name btw J ) thank you for accepting to be interviewed. As my blog says ‘ Complete randomness from a crazy author’ so expect the unexpected.

Hello! Thanks for welcoming me to your blogsite, Lavinia. My pen name is  Erin O’Quinn, and I don’t know if I’m scared or cracking up to answer your questions. Let’s have a go at it!

How long have you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing in December of 2010, just a few years ago. I had already earned a few university degrees in English and Comparative Lit, but my writing had been largely technical and random. So I guess you can say that I always wanted to write, but I never thought I’d be writing a book. Several books by now, actually.

That is awesome J
Have you come up against any hurdles along the way?

The largest hurdles for me are those I set for myself. I’m a tedious perfectionist, so I seem never quite at the point of letting a MS go. The other hurdles are those faced by any writer—the psychological hurdle of wondering whether I could have anything at all to say to an audience wanting and needing something good to read.

Yes I know exactly how you feel. I was not going to publish any of my work but my daughter Erin begged me to, then my friends and family gave me encouragement. It was a scary journey.
What would you say is the most difficult thing about being a writer?

For me, it’s keeping a MS both interesting and well-paced—telling a good story, and keeping the reader’s eyes open. That’s a lot harder to do than I ever imagined! But a third element is important to me, and that’s telling a story that deeply pleases me, Erin O’Quinn. That’s where the real challenge rears its head. What’s compelling to me is certainly not something that may please a majority. How does a writer please a wide audience, and yet answer the deep inner need to please oneself too?

I find that sometimes I just write a story for me. It gets it out of my system and then I can decide, at a later stage, if I plan on sharing it or not.
What or who inspires you to write?

Almost anything can inspire me: my cat, my husband, a chance remark, a random posting on Facebook. Like all people, I tuck little things away in the old brain, and they come popping out when I least expect it. As an example, several months ago I was involved in a long conversation thread in a FB group, and one of the writers mentioned a character he wanted to develop more fully, a hard-drinking, hard-living Irishman. That reminded me that I, too, had begun to write about such a character, one who lived about a hundred years ago. Before long, I was fleshing out that character, making him one of two men in a MM story I wrote for last November’s Nanowrimo. Now he’s set in virtual stone, so to speak, in a MS I’ve just submitted for publication by my publisher Amber Quill Press.

I have never taken part in Nanowrimo. I’ve been tempted, but…….
If your books are a series, how many books do you plan to have in your series?

Let me start by saying that the MS I just turned in is subtitled “The Gaslight Mysteries.” Oops! That means I’ll have to write at least one more! In the first one, two unlikely men become partners in a private investigation business, and together they solve a murder mystery. No more than a few hours after turning that one in, I was busy writing another, the immediate aftermath of the crime, what the characters had to face afterward. So I don’t necessarily “plan” for it to be more than two books. If I can turn out just one good sequel, I’ll wait and see if the second one inspires a third, and so on.

Sounds like a good plan J
Do you have any other writing projects on the go, apart from your current series?

About six months ago, I had a two-part historical series published by Siren Bookstrand called “The Iron Warrior.”  The books are WARRIOR, RIDE HARD and WARRIOR, STAND TALL. I really like those characters, and there seems to be one more book inside those guys. So I’ve finished a few chapters of a sequel, a final reckoning called WARRIOR, COME AGAIN.

If you could be any of your characters who would it be and why?

I write a lot of MM books, so it might sound rather odd for me to “be” a man. So to seem a little more normal than I really am, I’ll choose a woman I created in a series of romances I wrote about ancient Ireland.
Mockingbird is a dwarf. She doesn’t even make five feet. And she is definitely not beautiful. She’s a woman about forty with a past I’ve only begun to explore. She has a young daughter about 18, and she’s a widow, her husband having been killed in an accident at sea at the very time she was delivering their daughter. Now, almost twenty years later, she falls in love with a man who’s well over six feet, a man whom one could describe as “huge” except for one thing—he’s a cripple.  The man is a trained scholar, and yet this woman fascinates him to the extent that he falls in love with her. She is deep and intellectual and has an inner beauty that makes her much taller than a normal woman...and far more attractive.
So we have a dwarf and a cripple. A woman joined in love to a man who is larger than life,  just as she is too. And those two characters are getting close to being the stars of their own novel, called THE BLOOD OF  KINGS.
I think I’d be Mockingbird if I could, because of her huge intellect and her radiant inner beauty. Those are two traits that I greatly admire in anyone, male or female.

That does sound great. I can tell just by talking to you that you are very intelligent.
What genre would you say your books are in?

I write primarily in two genres. As Erin O’Quinn, I write M/F and M/M romances. Under my real name, which I keep under wraps, I write YA and adult fantasy.

Oooooo I wanna know your real name. I love YA J
Do you have any favourite authors?

My favorite authors are Vladimir Nabokov, Michael Chabon, poet Seamus Heaney and contemporary novelist Nya Rawlyns. All are brilliant, each in his or her own way. All are poets, again in their own crazy way.

As a Brit we have one burning question going around our country…………… Do you scrunch or fold? ;) (toilet paper)

I’m a reformed scruncher, now a folder. Trying to keep our planet from being buried in our own crap, I find that folding saves a bit of paper.

What do you like to do besides writing?

What I like to do and what I do are like alien worlds colliding. I like to garden, I like to draw and paint, I like to write poetry, and dabble with foreign languages like Gaelic and Chinese.  I love to browse the flea markets and thrift stores, looking for buried treasure. And yet what do I do? I sit at this damn keyboard and tap out prose, miles and miles of prose.

LOL I know the feeling.
What is your favourite cheese?

I love hot, hot, hot. Any cheese with jalapeno and/or habaneros sluiced and slathered through it.

I like Jamaican jerk cheese. That is lovely.
Sweet or savory?

Nope. Gotta be hot.

Would you rather be attacked by one horse sized duck or 20 duck sized horses?

Um, I think I’d prefer a hundred handsome dwarves or one homely tall man. I mean, if I’m going to be attacked and all.

If you had one wish that I could wave a magic wand and grant you, what would it be and why?

I’d be just starting out in this wonderful game of trying to be a writer, rather than having a backlist. Why? Because I’m convinced that I did it all backwards. I should have begun slowly, with my own name, and a really good character to develop in several books. Instead, I kind of started with a grown-up heroine who was the MC in several books. Then she went back to childhood in another set of books.  I thereby confused two generations of readers instead of just one. Ay, ay, ay.

Hey, Lavinia, this has been a ton o’ fun. I hope you’ll have me back sometime. I have lots of books to intro to an unsuspecting public.
Today, let’s just show the covers and buy links of my two historical M/M novels, set in St. Patrick’s Ireland, and featuring a couple of unusual men.

Thank you so much for taking part in this interview. It was lovely speaking to you and I cannot wait to give you another interview about your other books J


  1. Hi, Lavinia

    Thus was a rare treat! No formulaic interview from you, no way.

    I'm glad to give my warriors another hard ride, another tall stand. The log line for this series is: FOR TWO PASSIONATE WARRIORS, WHERE DOES LUST END AND LOVE BEGIN?

    Great fun. Will love to answer any comments from your viewers. ~Erin

  2. A lovely, lively and entertaining interview! Well done.

  3. Thank you much, Miss DragonLady. I confess I quite enjoyed the disjointed, crazy questions, and how they all came together into a portrait of the author. Not a pretty picture, to be sure! But Lavinia is great at bringing out one's hidden nature.

  4. I like to be random and break up the monotony of the usual questions that are asked :)I want the authors to feel relaxed and have fun and I want the readers to see that quirky side :)

  5. Disjointed, crazy and spontaneous...gee, Erin, what could possibly be wrong with that? Sounds like the writer's life to me. We look forward to your future craziness.

  6. Hi Miriam, so glad you made it.

    Yep, this interview snuck up and ambushed me, showing more of myself than I usually reveal. Fun times, eh? Nice to see you, my friend. :~)

  7. So nice to see an author interview that breaks out of the usual box and gives a fresh insight into a favorite writer - good job Lavinia and Erin!

  8. Thanks a lot, Sessha, especially since I know you tried several times to leave a comment. Dang old tablet/mobile anyway. I'm thrilled that you responded! :~)

  9. This was a great interview! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it - and the off-the-wall questions were a hoot. I can certainly see the correlations between Erin's writing and her love of hot 'n spicy things .... xD Awesome interviews, awesome writers - this page is great!

  10. Hahahaha, Mo, I never caught that correlation until just now—hot peppers and Erin's writing. Such a wit you are.

    Thank you for stopping by today! I enjoyed your comments a bunch. ~Erin