September 9, 2015

Interview: Katie O'Rourke, Author of MONSOON SEASON & A LONG THAW

Katie O’Rourke was born and raised in New England, growing up along the seacoast of New Hampshire. She went to college in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in gender and sexuality. She lives in Tucson, Arizona where she writes, loves and is happy.
Monsoon Season, her debut novel, was a bestselling e-book. Her second novel, A Long Thaw was released in 2014.

*What would you be doing right now if you were not an author?
 I don't make my living as an author so I'd likely be doing the same thing. I'd still write. (I might write more because I wouldn't have to spend time marketing and promoting and doing math.) I'd just have a smaller audience.

*5 years ago: what were you doing?
 Five years ago, I was still unpublished. I was sending out queries on my first novel, had a second finished and was writing a third.

*Do you have a certain writing ritual?
 I really don't. i'm more likely to write in the evenings on my netbook. I do more of my rewriting and editing on my big PC. I like music over silence.

*What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
 I think the toughest thing to hear is that a reader doesn't  connect to your main character. The truth is that there are all different kinds of readers and you can't please them all. But for someone who writes character driven fiction, your main character is so close to you. So that's always hard to hear.

*Ever fangirled over another author? Who was it?
Tucson has a book festival every spring and each year they'll have famous authors who come to the event and people wait in the longest lines to hear them speak. I never do that. But this past spring, one of the speakers was Sue Miller. I was so excited that not only did I plan to wait in the line, I had a plan with another writer friend to try to convince her to come to dinner at my house. Ok, so that probably wouldn't have happened,  but she ended up canceling at the last minute so I guess we'll never know.

*Is there an author you'd like to meet?
 Sue Miller, Julia Glass, Jennifer Haigh

*Biggest writing pet peeve?
 I'm sure I have one, but I can't think of it. I suppose if something about writing annoyed me greatly, I probably wouldn't do it.

* Do you read other's reviews of your books?
  I always read them, but I never respond (except to say thank you). All reviews have potentially helpful feedback, even if they seem mean. And every reader has a right to their point  of view.

Fun Five:

Fav Color: blue, like the blue of the interviewing font actually

Fictional Character you'd like to spend the day with? Mirabelle from Shopgirl

Fav food pad see ew

Fav song and/or singer ani difranco

Guilty pleasure red meat

Riley refuses to call herself a battered woman - she doesn't fit the profile. When her boyfriend Ben hits her, she doesn't know what to call it. She does know to pack her things and run to the one place that feels safe - home. Riley discovers she's pregnant and her emotions become tangled. She can't shake the fact that she's still in love with Ben... A horrific accident then turns Riley's world even more upside down, forcing her to accept help from those around her. Before she can begin to heal, she must learn the difference between being independent and being alone. A gripping emotional drama, perfect for fans of Anne Tyler and Anita Shreve.

A multi-generational story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family. 

A Long Thaw is about two female cousins who were close as children and reconnect as adults. Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close, Catholic family. But the divorce of Juliet’s parents fragments this family and sends the girls in very different directions. 

Juliet grows up too quickly, on the west coast, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. On the east coast, Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child. As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them in spite of the years apart.

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