Featured Interview With Tina O’Hailey
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I live in the mountains of Tennessee on the Cumberland plateau. By day I am an animation professor and by night I write thrillers, fantasy, and text-books. On the weekends that I am able—I like to explore caves or go on motorcycle rides.
My previous career was a lovely one where I worked in the animation and game industry as a "artistic trainer" for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks, and Electronic Arts. I helped artists who worked on Lilo and Stitch, Mulan, Dinosaur, Brother Bear, Nascar, NFL Coach, Madden, etc. I worked as an artist as well on those films when my classes were over and we were all in to finish the film. Now I help students prepare for their creative career and help oversee their student films to completion.
Pets? I have three long-haired Chihuahuas and a huge cat who aggressively cuddles. All have strong opinions of the laptop which seems to always occupy what would be a prime napping location.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I don’t remember when I wasn’t an author. Writing, telling stories, thinking about characters, dissecting why what I read is enjoyable—or not, judging the dialogue I read, studying people, etc. It’s been a makeup of me for as long as I remember me being me.
I hand-made newsletters as a child and put them in the neighbors’ mailboxes at age eight. While teenagers were pining over teen magazines, I was pouring over the writer’s market and writing horribly doomed query letters for equally horrible novels.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Alexander (the MC of When Darkness Begins and Absolute Darkness) owes his beginnings to a character named St. Germaine written by Chelsea Quinn Yarboro. I married a man for his bookshelf, straight off the “farm” as I was. I did bring with me a sizeable King, Dickens, and English Ghost Stories collection. On that bookshelf sat a few of Quinn’s books and my fascination with the history of her character inspired me to keep writing.
I did have the most fan-girl five minutes to speak with Chelsea Quinn Yarboro at DragonCon last year. We spoke about the rhythm of writing. Though, I blushed so very much when I met her (and let me explain—I meet and talk to a LOT of famous people. I interview them on stage for the University, or have to tour them. But, I never blush and fawn like I did when I met Quinn!) Also, I don’t like to go into crowds. For — reasons. However, I took myself (with my best friend at my side) to DragonCon and stalked all of Quinn’s panels until I could meet her and blush like a school-girl. I’d show you the picture, but I only received permission from her to put it on my facebook page and wouldn’t want to push that kindness by attaching it to an interview. (You can see it for yourself on my FB page though: https://www.facebook.com/tina.ohailey Look for Quinn’s hot-pink hair and my red face and dorky smile!)
Tell us a little about your latest book?
This book is a coming of age vampire tale. But, not like anything you just pictured in your head. Firstly, Aithagg and Catha are average teens – living in a cave – 40,000 years ago. They are maturing as their people, the Vechey, do and getting ready to go through a ritual that pushes them into their nearly eternal lives as time-guardians. Aithagg and Catha are promised to one another, much to the chagrin of their parents. They will go through the ritual together and if all goes well become untangled from time itself. But all isn’t going well. Catha is not able to see through time like all of her peers. She can only ear grown food like a child, or a Linear (mortals). Her parents treat her like she is already dead—killed by the ritual—like most of her siblings. Aithagg tries to find a way to help Catha survive the ritual. Their people’s matriarch, Eterili, who is as old as dirt and smells like it, sees all and manipulates all. Aithagg and Catha are unsuspectingly part of her grand-design.
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