Thursday, June 19, 2008

Star Light, Star Bright....Interstellar Interview with Patti O'Shea

Nationally bestselling author Patti O’Shea wanted to be a doctor, a pilot, an archaeologist, an astronomer, a figure skater, an oceanographer and a photographer. Then at fourteen she discovered writing and knew what she wanted to do when she grew up.

Of course, life called for a practical career so she chose to earn a degree in Advertising Copyrighting (and took far more credits than she needed). Promptly after graduation she began work at Northwest Airlines and has since served in Accounting, Technical Records, Tech Publications, and is currently stationed in 757 Engineering.

Along the way of her far off travels she’s experienced a lot of cool things including seeing almost all of King Ludwig’s castles in Germany. With her wanderlust sated she decided to get serious about writing. On that front she’s also been busy as shown by her seven novels which have received starred reviews in Booklist and been ranked on the Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks and Borders bestseller lists. Patti has also garnered eight awards including the Winter Rose for Best Paranormal and Write Touch Readers Choice Award for Best Paranormal. Currently, she’s a finalist for the More Than Magic, Booksellers Best and the HOLT Medallion Award.

I got the chance to meet Patti on the web here at Star-Crossed Romance's Blog. She’d volunteered to be a guest poster when ETERNAL NIGHTS came out. Of course, when I got the go ahead to start interviewing I knew I wanted to have her in my line-up. She’s genuine, funny and just plain awesome. Of course I’d heard her name, since I owned all the 2176 novels and Crimson City series from Dorchester. But my ears perked up when she gave us a teaser about her Light Warrior series with TOR. After reading the first book and diving head first into the second, I’m elated that Anna Genoese gave her the chance to do something bold! Kudos to you Patti and keep up the good Gineal work!

What cool sights or occurrences from your travels from Papua New Guinea all the way to Canada have you used in your novels?

I think a lot of what I've seen and where I've been creeps subconsciously into my books. There have only been a few of times where I dug into my travels and deliberately used them.

The first time was in THE POWER OF TWO. When Jake and Cai go to the Raft Cities, I based the poverty and condition of the homes on what I saw when I visited Samarai Island in Papua New Guinea. The island is small–I was able to stroll around it in less than twenty minutes–and there's not much opportunity available for the people there. That seemed to fit with the problem of the Raft Cities and I imagined that the ordinary citizens who lived in this fictional world would have similar issues and challenges.

The other times I tapped into my travels were when I wrote THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL and IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. Both stories spend at least some time in Los Angeles and I used Venice Beach and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Crimson Veil and a more general view of LA in Midnight Hour.

I don't count anything set in the Minneapolis area because it’s where I live, but IN TWILIGHT'S SHADOW and IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR take place in my home town. Both stories are littered with places I've been or have driven by. For example, the cemetery in the opening scene of Midnight Hour is across from my day job and the gas station in Twilight's Shadow—where Maia sees the demon—is on the way home from my dentist's office.


If you had the Gineal power to open a transit to any locale you’ve visited, where would you disappear to unwind (or hide from those pesky deadlines)?

Without question, I'd head to Australia. I spent four weeks there a while back and absolutely loved it. The only problem would be deciding where in Australia to hide–Sydney, Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Alice Springs? Everywhere I went, I had fun and felt relaxed.

After being part of two huge continuity series—2176 and Crimson City from Dorchester—would you sign on for another one? Can you share any perks or downfalls you ran into?

I would be willing to do another continuity if I had the amount of freedom on the new series that I had on 2176 and Crimson City. I don’t think I could handle it if I had to adhere to a certain plot or characters.

Perks: Writing is usually a solitary occupation, but on the continuities, we had an e-mail loop where we discussed, shared, and commiserated. I really enjoyed that.

The downfall is actually the other side of the perks' coin. Since we were working as a team, sometimes an author couldn't do something she wanted to do because it would impact another book in a way that wouldn't work for that writer. So there were discussions and give and take and trying to decide priorities on the points in discussion.

Was your Gineal series sold as the grain of an idea or from a partial submitted to Anna Genoese at TOR?

The Light Warriors series sold on a partial for IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and a two page overview for IN TWILGHT'S SHADOW. Twilight’s Shadow ended up bearing almost no resemblance to its synopsis.


With a few successful titles on bookstore shelves everywhere, what do you think is the X-factor that’s set you apart from other paranormal writers?

The comments I hear most often are that my characters feel very vivid and real, that the adventure is thrilling, the suspense keeps the reader turning pages to find out what happens next, and that I write very hot love scenes. The last thing is funny because no one ever commented on my love scenes until Booklist reviewed THE POWER OF TWO. I mentioned to my agent that until that review I'd always assumed my love scenes were adequate because no one said anything, good or bad. Since then I've received a lot of positive comments and that's pretty cool.


In the war between “paranormal romance” and “urban fantasy”, how would you label IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW?

I call my books paranormal romance because no matter how much other stuff is going on, the focus is always on the hero and heroine and everything moves their relationship forward. I also wrap up the romance in one book and move on to another couple in the next. Midnight Hour features Ryne and Deke, Twilight's Shadow has Maia and Creed, and the third book in the series will be Shona and Logan.

To me, Urban Fantasy carries out the relationship over multiple books and the romance is more of a subplot than the focus of the story.


Out of all the strong heroines you’ve created which one do you think you’d call friend in real-life? And which hero do you think of fondly and wish you could revisit?

Oh, man! Tough question because they're all my best friends–both the heroes and the heroines.

If I had to choose a heroine who I might hang out with in real life, it would probably be either Ravyn from RAVYN'S FLIGHT or Mika from THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL. Mika because she's outgoing and fun, and since I tend to be introverted, she'd be good at dragging me out to do things. Ravyn is a possibility because she's calm and balanced.

Picking the hero I'd like to revisit is easier–Deke from IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. He's a smart aleck with a sarcastic sense of humor and I love that. Most of the guys I work with are like this and my own sense of humor tends toward sarcasm, so I'd have the most fun with him, I think.


Like any other fan, I’m excited to see Maia Fraiser, Ryne’s sister, show up in book 2 of your Gineal series! Who else can we look forward to seeing in future books?

During IN TWILIGHT'S SHADOW we learn that Creed, the hero, has a younger sister, Shona. The third story in the series is hers and she's paired with the Seattle-based troubleshooter for the Gineal people. The blurb I have up on my website is:

Glass artist Shona Blackwood is ignorant of her Gineal heritage and unaware that people who can do magic actually exist, but when she's targeted for death, troubleshooter Logan Andrews is assigned to protect her. A straightforward job quickly goes askew and what Logan doesn't know might cost both him and Shona their lives.

Right now, I have two more stories in the series that I'd like to write if things work out–Logan's brother, Kel, and Sin Duncan who readers met during IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. There’s also this other paranormal idea that I’ve been burning to work on, I just need to find some time.

I assume you’ll be promoting IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW, but where can your readers/fellow writers find you online?

I’m lying low right now since I have a deadline fast approaching, but I have a blog (there’s a link on my website: http://www.pattioshea.com/) where I try to post at least three times a week and I can also be found on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Links to MySpace and Facebook are on my Contacts page and my Twitter page is: http://twitter.com/Patti_OShea. Anyone who wants to friend me should feel free. I’m easy.

Got a question you want answered about Patti's novels? Ask it, and you could win a signed copy of IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR!

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10 comments:

jennybrat said...

Hi Patti

What three words would you use to describe your writing voice?

Besides paranormal romance, are there other genres you would like to write in the future?

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Patti, when you're writing: what scenes do you have the most fun with -- the adventure, the romance, dialoque...the paranormal elements?

Caffey said...

Hi Patti!! Excited about your Midnight Hour release!! I do love the covers TOR is giving you for this series, really seems to fit in with the blurbs.

You mentioned that you want to write the stories too of Logan's Brother, Kel, and Sin, but that time is limited. Are you working on another series in between this series? How difficult is it working on more than one series at a time especially if they are both paranormals?

With this creative world you developed with the Gineal People, how do you organize such an intense and involved series? Meaning more planning...rather than 'at your seat writing'?

Thanks!

Skylar Masey said...

Jennybrat is our winner for the copy of IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR! Thanks so much for all your posts!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Patti, sorry I missed being here earlier! I'm so glad you could join us! Good luck on that deadline (I know you'll make it :-D )

Patti O'Shea said...

Hi Jenny,

Hmm, tough question. Edgy, honest, and conversational? Totally guessing here.

I'd like to try romantic suspense. I have a few ideas in that area, but other stories burning brighter to be told at this point.

Patti O'Shea said...

Hi Savannah,

It's definitely the dialogue! I love listening to the give and take between my hero and heroine. Ryne and Deke from In the Midnight Hour were particularly fun.

Patti

Patti O'Shea said...

Hi Cathie,

When I've sold a book, it's the only one I can work on. Between books is when I play around with other ideas. I know some authors are really good at working on multiple projects at the same time, but I just can't.

Well, I wish I could say that I was highly organized about the series, but it wouldn't be true. :-) I'm mostly a seat of the pants writer (although I do more plotting than I used to), and while I knew a lot about the Gineal society before I sat down to write, there were a lot of elements that just kind of showed up without any planning on my part--especially with IN TWILIGHT'S SHADOW. :-)

Patti

Patti O'Shea said...

I want to apologize to everyone for being late replying to comments. I have a book due in 8 days and have been head down over the keyboard. It just occurred to me this morning that I better check in. I'm very sorry.

Patti

Savanna Kougar said...

Patti, I'm not in your league. But, I've been doing the intense edit thing. So, I'm just checking in again.
I luv the dialgque between my heroine and hero also.