Friday, July 27, 2012

Erica O'Rourke Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

I write books about girls who make their own fate and fall for boys they shouldn't.

I live outside Chicago. I like to travel but I'll never really leave this city.

I prefer cookies to cake (even cupcakes), television to movies, and autumn to all the other seasons.

I like sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift.

I hate fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about myself.

Social Media

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

My all-time favorite? I couldn’t choose just one! Neverwhere by Neil Gamain is definitely one. And A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. And Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy. All of them deal with my favorite theme: Outsiders finding their place in a world that is much bigger than they realized. My favorite books outside my genre are probably Pride and Prejudice, because it’s a master class in character study, and Richard Powers Goldbug Variations, which does amazing things with story structure and theme – and whose protagonist is a librarian. Love that. And anything by Libba Bray, because she’s a genius.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Determined, snarky, caffeinated.

Tell us your latest news.

BOUND, the third book in the Torn Trilogy, comes out on June 26th, 2012. It’s a bittersweet feeling to wrap up a series, but I’m very excited about my next project…which I can’t talk about just yet, alas.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

The short answer is self-discipline and community.

The long answer is that I’m always leery of telling people what they MUST do. There are many roads to Oz, so write your books in the way that works for you, whether it’s longhand or on the computer. Drink whatever beverage you need to, whether it’s coffee or Coke. Be a plotter or a pantser or whatever gets the job done, so long as the job gets done. Writing is an insanely wonderful job, but it is, in fact, a job, and I have to treat it like one. There are people depending on me to make my deadlines when I’d rather be watching Doctor Who, to behave in a professional manner when in public or on the internet, to honor my commitments. I am lazy in many, many areas of my life: laundry, yardwork, going to the dentist. And I have a generous, patient, tireless husband who makes sure our kids are not neglected when I am on deadline. But writing is the one area where I HAVE to be disciplined, because no one else can pick up the slack. It took me a while to develop that self-discipline, but it wasn’t until I did that my career took off.

I also think having a community is vital. Writing is so solitary, but publishing is very public, and it’s essential to have friends who help you transition between the two. Critique partners, of course, and author friends, so you can talk shop, and friends who are NOT authors but will listen to you complain and give you a cookie to cheer you up or reward you. Professional organizations like RWA and SCBWI and whatever other resources you can muster. It’s not good for anyone to spend one hundred percent of their time in their own head, and a community, cobbled together from all the parts of your life, will give you balance and perspective and friendship – and vastly improved mental health.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

It probably felt long at the time, but looking back it went quickly. I had about a year of querying, revising, querying again – and then one of the judges in a contest I had finaled in offered to buy the book. I feel very fortunate about how it worked out, because I’m the world’s worst querier.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Bound, how would you introduce it?

Bound is the last book in a trilogy about a girl trying to figure out where she belongs: the magical society she swore to protect after her best friend’s murder, or the mortal world, where her family’s ties to the Chicago Outfit are threatening her dreams for the future. There’s magic and the mob and cute boys.

Aside from Mo, which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?

Probably Luc -- at the start of the series, he was very clear about his role in Arc society, and he had no compunction about endangering Mo or asking her to give up her own plans in order to ensure the future of his people. He knew what fate was demanding of him and he was happy to fall in line with it, and it frustrated him that Mo wouldn’t do the same. But he’s come to care about her as her own person, not just part of a prophecy, and it’s making him question his own beliefs about destiny and responsibility, and what it means to love someone.

What part of Colin did you enjoy writing the most?

Colin was a ridiculous amount of fun to write, with the exception of his backstory. I love writing scenes where he goes toe-to-toe with Luc. He genuinely can’t stand Luc, because he knows what a threat Luc represents to his relationship with Mo, not to mention Mo’s safety. At the same time, he’s acutely aware that he can’t protect Mo from the dangers of life with the Arcs, so Luc becomes a necessary evil, in Colin’s eyes, and the resulting tension between them is so much fun to play around with.

I also enjoy the kissing scenes, of course. Again, there’s so much tension – Colin’s obligations and his sense of morality are in direct opposition to his feelings for Mo, and all that conflict is a writer’s dream. Plus, I’m very smitten with him.

What was your inspiration for the series?

I was reading a lot of books about girls with magical powers who were destined to save the world and watching a lot of Buffy, and I started wondering what would happen if the “chosen one” died, and the sidekick had to save the world: If Ron Weasley had to defeat Voldemort, or Xander Harris had to fight the Big Bad on his own. Because they’re both great guys, but let’s face it – they’re not your first choice when it comes to fending off The Forces of Darkness. But…what if that’s who you had? The sidekick, with no powers, no weapons, no secret knowledge? What kind of sidekick would even take on that job? And the more I thought about that sidekick, the more I was fascinated by the idea…and Mo Fitzgerald was born.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?

In Bound, I’d have to say the faceoff with Anton in the alley. Anton is creepy. He is a creepy, creepy dude, mostly because he looks so normal, and then inside he’s just a festering pit of madness and evil and cruelty, and he would cheerfully slit Mo’s throat if he thought it would accomplish his goals. It’s unsettling to write about that kind of malevolence close-up.

There’s also a kissing scene that is memorable, mostly because of my agent’s reaction to it, which involved a lot of exclamation points and capital letters. But I don’t want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say that the kissy bits are fun to write. 

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I’d love to introduce Mo to Door, from Neverwhere. Mo is very book smart, but Door would teach her a lot about street smarts and navigating a society where the rules don’t make sense to outsiders.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

Learning how to define yourself is one of the most difficult, most exhilarating parts of growing up, and it’s work that’s never entirely finished. I loved the idea of taking a character who spent her entire life defining herself in relation to other people’s thoughts or expectations and forcing her to decide who she wanted to be. I also liked exploring how different concepts: truth, love, justice, responsibility – could be noble and destructive, sometimes simultaneously.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

I’d never be smart enough to co-author a book with Libba Bray, but I would love to watch her work on a story from start to finish. It would be a master class in storytelling. I think she’s one of the smartest, most interesting, most talented people alive.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

“Did I wake you up?” (I love naps, but I never like to admit to people who call that I’ve been napping. So instead I pretend that I just have a bit of a sore throat. They’re completely not fooled, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.)

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

I don’t read reviews unless my agent or my publicist sends them to me, or the reviewer @messages me on twitter. Even nice reviews make me kind of sweaty and uncomfortable. I’m really grateful that people take the time to read my books – and even more grateful that they review them, because it’s not an easy job – but I know myself well enough to know I would become freakishly obsessive about it pretty fast. Reading reviews, checking my Amazon numbers, looking at my Goodreads page are all rabbit holes I don’t want to go down, so I prefer to focus on whatever’s next.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

How many unused toiletries I have – lotions and perfumes and creams and cosmetics. I have, no lie, four or five boxes of this sort of thing, most of which have never been opened, or only used once. The sad truth is, I am too lazy for such things. Most days I stick to moisturizer, Carmex, and Neutrogena hand cream.

What book are you reading now?

For research, The Harmonic Dimension, by Gary White

For pleasure, I just picked up Saundra Mitchell’s The Springsweet, which I’ve been aching to read since the minute I finished The Vespertine.

Where can readers stalk you?

Confession: I am a terrible Facebooker, so if you want to reach me, that’s about the least effective way to do so. You’ll have much better luck at any of the other three places, or by using a carrier pigeon.
Twitter: @erica_orourke
My blog:
Facebook: EricaORourkeBooks

Mo Fitzgerald has made her choice—a life and future in Chicago with Colin, leaving behind magic, the enigmatic Luc and the world of the Arcs—but every decision she has made, from avenging her best friend's death to protecting the people she loves, has come at a terrible price, and the more she struggles to keep her magic and mortal lives separate, the deadlier the consequences. Original.

Erica O’Rourke’s Bound is the grand conclusion to a great trilogy. It picks up right after the events of Tangled as Maura “Mo” Fitzgerald is torn between two worlds. With forces from each end pulling her in, Mo has to decide which path is the right one for her and the guy that is best for her. Although each side offers a desire, they also have something that is trying to overcome her. Something big is on the horizon for Mo since this is the last book. All of the pressures are closing in as Mo tries to protect everyone, knowing that she will not be able to save everyone. When the collision between the worlds comes, it pits Mo in a chaotic dilemma.

Erica made certain that Bound would possess all the elements needed to close a fantastic trilogy. It was truly epic with an all out action-packed finish. Exciting and greatly appealing, Erica keeps readers on the edge of their seats with plot twists that come from all angles. The side plots that were uncovered during the first two books are entirely filled and everything goes into one direction that makes the Torn Trilogy a satisfying one. Bound is absolutely amazing, unique and thrilling. Although it is sad to see the series end, it fills in a sense of eagerness for the next book on Erica’s agenda. 

You can purchase Bound at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Erica for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Bound by Erica O'Rourke.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Id hope so!! Thanks so much for the giveaway!!

  2. I try my best to treat my friends in the same ways in which I would like them to treat me!! That being said, I also am a person who likes her alone time and that sometimes frustrates my friends! They don't always get why I would rather sit and home and read by myself then go out and do whatever. Come to think of it, it frustrates my hubbie somtimes too!! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  3. I do hope so. :] Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. I hope so!I'm not the kind that's outgoing but someone you can lean on when you have problems and someone you can laugh with without pretentions.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Yeah I think so. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  6. Well, I'm really MY friend.. I speak to myself when I'm confused or sad. I'm weird, I know, but that makes me feel better when no other friend is around!

  7. Yes, I always try to treat people the way I would want to be treated.

  8. I guess i am... I've always wanted a friend who knows when i am sad and when i am happy who does not go on the words that i say but on what i really mean... and i am lucky i finally got a friend just like me last year now she is the best-est buddy i have i can share with her any thing... :)

  9. I definitely would want me as a friend. I go out of my way for my friends and I would do pretty much anything possible for my friends.

  10. Yes! Well I hope so!

  11. I try hard to be a good friend, but I'm a natural loner, so it's always a challenge, especially since so many of my friends are so wonderful.

  12. Yah, I think so! tnak you for the giveaway :D

  13. I think so, I'm the type of friend that will be there for any of my friends and would do anything for them. So yeah I would<3

  14. I would hope so me and my bff have been friends for 26 years

  15. YES~! I'd like to think so. :)

  16. I am simple person, so I guess so.:D

  17. Yes, cause I would not want me as an enemy!

  18. Maybe, but I talk tooooo much :P Sometimes it's annoying

  19. I think I am because I always try to be a good friend. Everybody says that too.

  20. nope, i am too solitary a person. i don't like to go out and hate change - so i am not a fun person to be around. strangely my friends nevertheless like me a lot :)

  21. I hope so. I think I'd want me to be more outgoing, though. I'm really shy, and I can see why that might not be fun for some people who like to go out and do stuff. ^^;

  22. I would love to have a friend like me! I think I'm a pretty awesome friend--I always try to be there for the people I love and don't ask for anything in return.

  23. LOL, someone who would put up with me ;)

  24. Honestly, no. I am to flighty and am never around when people need me or for big events like weddings.

  25. Of course, I think I am a great friend :)

  26. Absolutely. I'm fiercely loyal, supportive, and a good listener. I'll also always tell my friends the truth!

  27. i believe so. i treat people the way i want to be treated.

  28. I like to think I am, but I never get to see my friends much.