Monday, December 19, 2011

On Writing Author Interview: Novelist Erin O'Riordan

To avoid pre-conceived notions which can sometimes be connected with certain genres, the number of books published and/or an author's appearance, none of that information will be revealed until the bottom of the interview.   So pour a cup of coffee, have a seat, and check out this interview - see how much, or how little, you have in common with this published author.

What is your favorite part of being a writer? Connecting with readers. I enjoy finding out what they like in books, and of course I also like when they connect with something I’ve written.

What is your least favorite part? The numerous rewrites can get a little tedious sometimes, but they’re totally necessary.

Name one obstacle you’ve had to overcome. I’m really shy, so I’ve had to learn to be a little brave about telling people about what I write when they ask.

Is there a specific part of your writing you’re working on to improve? I’m constantly learning and working to improve. Probably the one thing I work on most is creating interesting characters versus interesting details.

What part of your writing makes you particularly proud? What makes me most proud is reading a page or two out loud and having it sound, to my ears, like someone else wrote it. I love it when it takes on a life of its own and becomes something greater than the product of my imagination.

What does your favorite main character have in common with you? I’m most like Allie Van Zandt – she loves her job, she’s a good friend and she’s a really loyal girlfriend.

Do you do a lot of research for your projects or do you only write about what you already know? I mainly write about what I know. I’ve written a few historical pieces that have required some research, but I’ve been a little afraid to take on a large-scale historical work.

How do you use the internet for your writing? Research and connecting with fellow authors and fellow readers.

What one marketing tool have you had good success with? I had great luck reaching readers the month I gave away a free book on Smashwords. I’ve also had some success with ads on Facebook, and of course my sales went way up the month I had an ad in RT Book Reviews.

What good writing habits have you developed that you think would be helpful to someone starting out? I take good notes, and I keep track of all my submissions. I write something almost every day of my life, whether it’s a blog post, a journal entry, edits to an article or progress on a short story or novel.

Do you have any bad writing habits that you’d advise writers to avoid? The worst writing habit you could possibly have is not to write at all. When you have ideas, get them down in some format. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike, though. Write something, even if it’s an e-mail to your brother.

Do you have any strange writing habits? I don’t, but my cat does. He likes to drape himself around the back of my laptop. From my point of view, he looks like a furry pair of bookends, head on one side and tail on the other.

When you’re not writing, do you read, and if so, what? I love to read. I try to read as much as I possibly can. If a fellow authors offers me a book to review, I rarely say no if it looks interesting. When I’m not reading books to review for my blog, I like paranormal romance, young adult fantasy novels, literature and several kinds of nonfiction. I like to mix it up, keep it interesting. I’ll usually finish 1-2 books a week.
What words of wisdom do you have for young writers? Don’t be afraid to let other people read your work. Okay, you can be afraid, but do it anyway. Submit to any publication that will read young people’s work. If you get rejected, shake it off and try again, because the more work you have published, the easier it is to get your new stuff published.

What advice do you have for someone looking to get published?  It's basically the same advice - be persistent.  If anyone other than your mama’s ever told you, “Hey, you’re a pretty good writer,” then you already have what it takes; the rest is just polishing and learning your craft.

Any thoughts on what this author writes?  How many books published?  Here's a little more information about the author...
How many published books are to your credit?   5

Do you have an agent? No

Are you self-published? Yes

How many different companies have you published with? 3 – Eternal Press, eXcessica Publishing and Melange Books

How long have you been writing? Professionally, since 2006. In actuality, since I learned my ABCs.

Do you write full-time? If not, what is your other job? And how do you balance work/writing? I write and edit full-time. I work from home as a content editor on behalf of a company that produces educational and career content when I’m not doing creative writing. When I’m very lucky, I also get to edit other people’s books.

So, any thoughts?  Here's the full scoop:

Erin O'Riordan lives in the Midwestern United States. Her short stories, essays, and film reviews have been published in numerous magazines and websites. She writes the Pagan Spirits series of erotic romance novels and, with her husband Tit Elingtin, standalone crime thrillers.

Erin is the author of the erotic romances Beltane and Midsummer Night; the young adult romance I Made Out With a Teenage Communist!; and the crime thrillers The Smell of Gas  and  Eminent Domain.

Erin's books can be purchased at, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

What are you working on now? The third book in the Pagan Spirits series, St. James’s Day.

Anything else about being a writer that you’d like to share? Write about what you love; other people will love it, too.

You can learn more about Novelist Erin O'Riordan on her home page at, and at her book blog

Is there anything else you'd like to know about this author, or any questions you'd like added to future interviews?  Let us know...drop us a comment below.