1. Tell me about your book Out of My Grave and where you got your inspiration for it?
Out of My Grave is about a young woman who, like most of us, wants more out of life than what she presently has. It also goes along the lines of be careful what you wish for, and to have patience. Of course, it has Gothic elements in it, as it is a vampire romance. I don’t want to give too much away! I’m not sure where my inspiration came from. I guess it’s just one of those ones that came to me and I just started writing.
2. Who has had the most influence in your life? What lessons did this person teach you?
I would have to say that the person who has influenced me the most would be my grandmother, who passed away back in 2001. She used to write me stories when I was little and tell them to me. We even found out just recently while going through some papers that she had queried a publisher in the 70’s with a book she had wrote, and she never told anyone about it. She got a rejection, which I have in a frame in my room. She thought that because she didn’t get passed grade 8 that she couldn’t write. So, I guess when I write, it’s for her.
3. Ninjas or Pirates?
Hmm, I would have to say Pirates. Especially if it’s Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow!
4. Do you have a writing process? If so describe it.
I usually start with which idea I’m most drawn to. I then usually do as much research as I can while I write little excerpts from it, which are all over the place. Then I’ll get right into it and write until my little heart is content.
5. You’re given one million pounds/dollars/euros, what would you spend it on?
Well, first I would pay off all my bills. I would then take my mum out for a night on the town, go see a movie or a show, have some dinner, maybe even in a limo, get all dressed up. I think then I would try my best to save as much of it as possible…after a little shopping spree!
6. How would you describe yourself in three words?
Obessive, romantic, and eccentric.
7. What is the most demeaning/demoralising thing ever said about you as a writer?
I would have to say when a reader said that because I self published my first novel (Out of My Grave) that I had no talent. They were pretty harsh and it was upsetting, but everyone has their own opinion and you can’t change that.
8. How do you react to a bad interview of one of your books?
At first, I’m devastated. Then I pick myself up, dust myself off, thank the person and sincerely say that I hope that I can write something in the future that they will like.
9. Have you ever killed someone in a novel and regretted it later?
I wouldn’t say I regret it, I miss them. I think other writers would agree that we get attached to our characters. But, in the end, it’s important for the story.
10. What’s your favourite book and why?
I would say my favourite book is The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. I’m a big Anne Rice fan, so I love almost all her books, but that has to be my favourite because of how much I love Lestat!
11. What do you like most about being a writer?
I just love writing. There’s a Stephen King quote that explains it: “The answer to that is fairly simple—there was nothing else I was made to do. I was made to write stories and I love to write stories. That's why I do it. I really can't imagine doing anything else and I can't imagine not doing what I do.”
12. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done or ever been done for you?
I’d say the nicest thing would be that a friend from high school, who I’m not really that close with, thought of me when planning her trip to France. She asked me if she could bring me something back, and I thought that was the sweetest thing, especially since we don’t talk often.
13. Is Elvis really dead?
He is alive in the hearts of all his fans! Nine year-old me is overjoyed with this question! I think I will always be an Elvis fan.
14. What three things would you save from a fire at your house? (assume that all your family get out safe.)
My laptop, my purse and my favourite teddy bear named Elvis. I wish I could carry all my books, but I don’t think I’d make it out in time!
15. What are your current projects?
My current project is a vampire paranormal historical romance. It’s influenced from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the movie). I am really pleased with where it is going.
16. If you could chose one person, living or dead, real or fictional to mentor you, who would you chose?
I’d choose Anne Rice mentor me. I would love to meet her one day.
17. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d say I considered myself a writer when I had completed my first novel and realized that’s what I wanted to do.
I turned and looked towards the fireplace, feeling the heat beating off of it, warm and comforting. I let my head fall back on the plush armchair, my eyes slowly beginning to close as the heat wrapped around me like a warm blanket. I wasn’t asleep. I was in that lovely in-between place; I was aware of everything around me, yet my mind was wandering. Of course it wandered back to the same person, his beautiful eyes looking deep into mine. I could see my newcomer looking at me as Dale had never and would never look at me, lovingly, perhaps even…lustfully?
I suddenly felt a cold chill enter the room. I opened my eyes slowly before looking about, specifically to the fire, worrying that it was going to die out, but it was strong as ever. It seemed the heat from it was strangled, stifled from the immense draft that had wafted in.
I then got the feeling of eyes on me, like someone was watching. I stood up slowly, putting my book on the table beside the armchair, looking around once more. The room empty, of course, not even Higgins was in the room, which was still quite cold.
I turned and grabbed my shawl off the chair, wrapping it around myself tightly, hugging my shoulders.
I walked out of the room and into the hall, making my way to the staircase. I stopped, the feeling of being watched continuing. I turned behind me and looked around.
“Bess? Is that you? I think I am going to go off to bed now.”
I looked down the hallway, seeing nothing and no one. My heart began to speed up, fear slithering up my spine.
There is no one there. You are just being foolish.
As I turned around I knocked into Bess and let out a scream.
“My God child! You scared me half to death!” She put her hand over her heart.
“You? What about me, dear Lord.” I began to pant heavily, adrenaline running through me.
Stephanie O'Hanlon graduated from the Toronto Film School with aspirations of starting a career in film, but found herself drawn to writing. After self-publishing her first novel, a vampire historical romance, she decided to narrow her sights on general historical romance, fuelled by her love for history, the 18th century in particular. Now a full time writer, she lives in the city of Oshawa in Ontario, Canada. More information can be found on her Facebook page or her Blog.