is finally here in Talk Supe to talk about his latest novel
his shift from YA/New Adult to PNR plus a special appearance from THE Hacker herself, Linda O'Rourke. I'm a big fan of Tim O'Rourke and I'm so psyched to have him here today!
Talk Supe: Hi Tim & Linda! Thank you for dropping by Talk Supe, FINALLY!
Tim O'Rourke: Thanks for having us.
Talk Supe: What made you switch genres from writing YA/New Adult to Paranormal Romance?
Tim: I like writing romance – even if the relationships I write about do develop in dark place – like ‘Black Hill Farm’. I think the relationship that Kiera and Potter have in the Kiera Hudson series is fairly dark. In Cowgirls & Vampires I just wanted to explore a relationship from a more adult perspective. People have often commented that I have pushed the boundaries with my YA books so if I wanted to take the relationships a step further I knew I would be crossing over into the adult market and leaving YA behind which is what I did with Cowgirls & Vampires.
Talk Supe: I know world-building isn't that big of a problem for you as you have a way of creating dark and mysterious places where your characters fit perfectly whether it's an unobtrusive farm or a small town ridden with Vampyrus. Now you're taking us to 1888 Colorado, what were your challenges writing about this place in this time period?
Tim: I knew very little about Colorado or what it would have been in 1888. I’ve had to do more research for this book than any of my others. The towns in the book are all fictitious so that was okay, but I needed to know the kind of shops there would have been, what sort of food would have been eaten, how the people dressed. I even had to research toothbrushes! Carolyn Pinard who does my copy editing had lived in Colorado at some point and sent me some pictures of the mountains that I could work from, and some information about the rail road. I also had to do some research on horses. For book two I’ve arranged to visit some stables!
Talk Supe: I know you love vampires and their arch nemesis, the werewolves, do you have plans on writing about some other otherworldly creature aside from these?
Tim: I do enjoy writing about vampires and werewolves but only if I can put my own spin on them. For instance the Vampyrus and Lycanthrope in the Kiera Hudson Series and the Skin-turners from Cowgirls & Vampires. I do like witches and sorcery which are featured in my Doorways series but those books are for younger teens. I would like to write a very dark YA or perhaps adult book about witches. That is something I would really like to do.
Talk Supe: What inspired Cowgirls & Vampires?
Tim: I wanted to start on a new series as there are only three more books to come in this current Kiera Hudson series. By the time I finish them I would have written 12 Kiera Hudson books. I love writing about Kiera but I wanted to write about other characters too. I wanted my new series to be even darker and more for the adult market. Sometimes writing for a particular market can be restricting. I didn’t want to feel like that when writing my new series – I wanted to make it more graphic in lots of ways. I had an idea about this character called Sammy who was studying criminology and was interested in why and how criminals went about committing their crimes. But she wasn’t going to be able to ‘see’ things like Kiera could and I didn’t want Sammy to have all the modern day technology to be able to figure out the crimes. So setting the story in the past seemed like a good idea. But what if she was a modern day girl caught up in murders from the past? I liked the sound of that, so the story evolved from their really.
Talk Supe: I love how you don't hold back on the gore, "sugar" is not a word synonymous with Tim O'Rourke and I love that! But what dark places have you been visiting because "graphic" doesn't even begin to describe certain parts on your stories.
Tim: I grew up reading a lot of James Herbert and Clive Barker as a teenager. They both write pretty dark stuff. I don’t know if they’ve influenced me or not but I always found their writing fascinating. I draw a lot as well, and Lynda says my artwork is darker than my writing. She often says she wonders what goes on inside my head sometimes. But I don’t think that you have to be disturbed in any way to write dark stories. I think a good writer is like a good actor – they can take on different roles.
This part is special because Tim's biggest fan... and critic, Linda O'Rourke, joins the fun.
Talk Supe: I am a HUGE fan of The Hacker, Linda. Thank you Mrs. O'Rourke for threatening Tim and for making sure he keeps Potter. I would've joined the revolt if he killed him off. I'm curious, how much input did you give as far as C&V is concerned? Is Harry your idea? I think he'll give Potter a run for his money, btw.
Linda O'Rourke: Harry wasn’t my idea. Tim seems to be able to pull these characters out of the air or from some place. I often wonder if Tim doesn’t have multiple personalities! I suggested that Tim set the book in a modern cowboy town – but Tim didn’t like the idea. He wanted to take the story into the past as he thought it would be darker that way. He didn’t want to set the story in a place where you could call the police for help by switching on your mobile phone. He wanted it to be remote – like the only people who were going to save the characters was themselves.
My role in Cowgirls & Vampires was much the same as it is in all of Tim’s books. Tim writes the books and each night he passes me the chapters to read over. Sometimes I know what he has planned and other times I don’t. Tim will sometimes want to discuss with me certain plot points and we bounce ideas around and off each other. I think what I bring to the books is this: I cut out all the stuff that I think either slows down the story or just doesn’t fit. The books that I have cut the most were Vampire Hollows and Dead Angels. I cut about 10,000 words from Vampire Hollows because I just felt that Tim was making it too fantasy. As for Dead Angels it was just way too dark. I mean some parts of that book were really disturbing and just had to go. I thought the reader would be sickened by what Tim had written. Sometimes I suggest an idea to Tim and see where he takes it. For example Tim didn’t want to write a vampire book. But after he had finished the second Black Hill Farm book I suggested he write a story about vampires. Tim said no at first. Tim likes writing murder mysteries, so I suggested he wrote a book about a small town where the murders were being committed by vampires. Fifteen days later he handed me Vampire Shift. I also mentioned that I thought westerns were making a bit of a comeback, so he wrote Cowgirls & Vampires.
Talk Supe: Did you help Tim with the research and the sexy parts of the book?
Linda O'Rourke: Tim wrote chapter 23 then handed it to me at the end of the day along with some other chapters he had written. Prior to him writing that particular chapter, Tim asked me a couple of questions like, “Can we go and practice the scene a few times over?” (Lol!). No he didn’t really. He just went away and wrote it. The only thing I did with chapter 23 was move a few sentences around – but that was it. I think Tim writes female characters really well, and seems to nail their feelings every time. I often wonder how Tim writes female leads so convincingly but he says he doesn’t think about it too much.
Talk Supe: Going back to you Tim, did you read PNR books for research? I told Michelle Auricht to have you guys read some Black Dagger Brotherhood and Night Huntress as "reference" material for Sammy.
Tim: Before writing Cowgirls & Vampires I think I was reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle again. The thing that I had in the front of my mind when writing about Sammy, was I wanted her to be different from my other character Kiera Hudson. I’d spent so long writing about Kiera that every time I sit down to write about her it’s like slipping back into my comfort zone. I really love Kiera and she is now like an old friend so I was worried that little bits or Kiera might slip into Sammy’s character. So I was really conscious that I had to make her a new character in her own right. I hope I achieved that.
Thanks Tim & Linda! The interview was so much fun and I am looking forward to more collaborations from you two especially from Sammy.
Signed paperback copy of Cowgirls & Vampires plus Kiera Hudson swag.
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