Posted on October 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Tricia O'Malley, who writes paranormal romance and paranormal cozy mystery novels.
O'Malley, a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, lives in the Caribbean with her much doted-upon dogs, Briggs and Blue.
She loves fun vacation reads, hates wimpy characters, and hosts a serious addiction to traveling the world.
She is the author of a popular stand-alone novel, Ms. Bitch, and four well-loved series: The Mystic Cove series, the Isle of Destiny series, the Siren Island series, and the Althea Rose mysteries.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
TRICIA: My dog was stolen. No, really, my dog was stolen. It was a particularly difficult time, but after I recovered him (yay!) – I decided to write about the experience.
I’d never written a book before, let alone taken a writing class outside of high school English courses.
I submitted to agents for months, and after a slew of rejections, I picked up a few books on self-publishing and taught myself the business of writing.
I went on to publish my first book – The Stolen Dog – which hit the New York Times bestseller list three times.
Since that time, I’ve learned a lot more about the business and craft of writing, but I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to give it a go if I hadn’t had an extraordinary event propel me into doing so.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
TRICIA: I live on a small island in the Caribbean. Readers have this vision of me writing by the ocean with the breeze in my hair.
I actually have to write with curtains closed and facing a blank wall. I find that if I try to write by the water, I end up just staring out to sea. It’s too distracting!
I need to shove myself into a cave with little to distract me in order to focus.
I also use the Freedom App to turn off internet while I’m writing so I don’t get sucked into the black hole of social media and e-mails.
SADYE: What historical figure would you most like to meet, and why?
TRICIA: Grace O’Malley, the famous Irish pirate queen. She serves as a jumping off point for my Mystic Cove series.
If there was ever a strong woman who owned her life, her choices, and her destiny – it was Grace O’Malley.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
TRICIA: I had a reader write to tell me that before she read my books, she had never believed in love.
She found my stories helped her to have hope that one day she could actually find real, true, and lasting love.
That message stopped me in my tracks. It’s a hard life not to have hope for love – be it romantic love or other kinds – and I’m happy that I was able to infuse this reader with hope for a brighter future.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
TRICIA: I love writing about strong women.
I believe that our choices determine our destiny, and we are all just one (or several) choices away from living the life we dream of.
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
TRICIA: It took me a few years to learn this, but I’m happy to say that I practice this now — your time is your most valuable asset.
You can spend all day reading blogs and forum posts about writing, best practices in publishing, or the newest marketing tips.
But, at the end of the day, you’re only one person and you can’t do everything. You have to decide where your time is most valuably spent.
For me, I’ve now learned that my time is best spent writing my next book, connecting with readers on social media, and sending out newsletters. All of the other stuff has fallen to the side.
This helps me to remain less stressed about having to “do it all.” Your readers only want one thing from you, really, and that’s your next book.
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Categories: Author Interview