Introducing Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Author L.G. O’Connor

Trinity-Stones_webI had the pleasure of meeting L.G. (Liz) O’Connor this past August at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City. She attended my presentation on hybrid publishing and graciously accompanied me to my first signing afterward, where she hovered near the grand ballroom doors, peddling my book to the conference attendees as they exited (I think you sold at least four, Liz!)! She is a fun, sharp, and dedicated writer. In 2013, she published Trinity Stones, the first novel of the Angelorum Twelve Chronicles. Publisher’s Weekly says, “O’Connor tackles important worldbuilding, while also kicking off the story with a bang.” Her second novel in the series, The Wanderer’s Children, will be published in in December. She’s accomplished all this – while working a full-time job! Thank you, Liz, for taking the time to answer a few questions!

What are you working on?

childrensmallWow. A better question might be what am I not working on *laughs* given my list. Right now, I’m buried under an avalanche of projects that are coalescing all at once. I’m in the throes of finishing production—literally this week—on the second book in the The Angelorum Twelve ChroniclesThe Wanderer’s Children—which will be available for presale during the first week of October through all major print and digital retail outlets with my new publisher, Collins-Young Publishing. On top of that, the audiobook production of Trinity Stones is in the final stages for an end of October launch on Audible and iTunes. But three’s a charm, right? I have a new project—a contemporary romantic women’s fiction novel—that I’m partnering with an agent on to potentially go wide on rather than small press. But I can’t really say any more about that for the moment *smiles*. All of this while continuing on with the Trinity Stones publicity tour and working a full-time job. Next stop: New Jersey Romance Writers Conference October 17 – 19.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I love this question because I made a conscious choice to deviate somewhat from the formula of pure urban fantasy or pure paranormal romance for the The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles. As an avid reader of both genres, I found that I preferred a blend of both rather than either genre straight up. I’m very character driven when I read. I want to fall in love the cast and feel like I’m part of their team, but I also want a rich and complex story that keeps me thinking. As result, The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles are not predictable reads or books that you can skim through without paying attention. That said I kept my world recognizable by using contemporary settings in New York City and San Francisco in an attempt to simplify. The series has some elements of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I tried to ground the story in reality and biblical history as we know it. From there I applied literary license.

When I first started the series in 2009, there weren’t many “angel and demon” stories on the market in the adult category and now there are too many *chuckles*. But I feel my take still provides a fresh perspective. My objective was for the story to have a broader mainstream appeal than just the two genres it’s associated with. Truly, my goal was to appeal to literary readers who wanted a change of pace; mothers who had been reading their teenagers Young-Adult series and needed something with a bit more spice; and New Adult readers looking for strong mid-20s characters whose college bonds are still very much alive and well. Based on my reader feedback so far, I’m definitely appealing to readers of all ages new to the genre and looking for a change of pace.

 Why do you write what you do?

I write what I love to read. I take the best of it and blend it together into my books. At the end of the day, writing is hard work. If I didn’t love my characters and their stories, I couldn’t be this passionate and devote as much time to writing on top of a full-time job. Writing is like a marriage of sorts. For me, I have to love my worlds and the people in them. I could never write a depressing book with unredeemable characters—nor could I read one—which leaves out roughly half the bestseller list for me *laughs*. As an example, Gone Girl was a did not finish (DNF) for me after chapter 3.

How does my writing process work?

Except for times like now when I’m on a short writing hiatus having just finished the proofread phase on two books simultaneously – I’m usually super disciplined. Working a full-time job leaves me with only 45-minutes every morning, about 1.5 – 2 hours most nights, and then 8-hour blocks on the weekends. I write on average 20 – 30 hours per week depending on what phase I’m in. Just to give you an idea how this translates: I’ve written three full length novels in three years and partials on several others.

My actual process varies depending on the book. I started as a “pantser” and have developed into a “plotser.” That said, my contemporary came to me in outline form over three days, and the first draft was fully written in six weeks as part of National Novel Writing Month last year. As a result, I try to outline a little more but only use it as a guideline. I’ll participate in NaNoWriMo again this year using the third book in The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles. I’m hoping to launch it this time next year.

On a day-to-day basis, I write in scenes and never in order unless I’m finishing the connective chapters at the end. I draft, read & revise three – four times before moving on to the next scene. All scenes are read morning and night to give my brain a chance to see it clearly. Most scenes start in medias res, must have a goal, and leave us in a place where the page must be turned. Honestly, I think I’ve done this better on my last two novels than on the first.

My biggest piece of advice for new writers is “writing is revising.” Embracing both the drafting and revising will make you a stronger writer. I happen to love both.

Headshot - BioL.G. O’Connor is a member of the Romance Writers of America. A corporate strategy and marketing executive for a Fortune 250 company, she writes adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She is currently working on the third book in the Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, Book of Four Rings, for publication in 2015. In addition, she is writing an adult contemporary romance series. An avid antiques collector, L.G. lives a life of adventure, navigating her way through dog toys and soccer balls and loaning herself out for the occasional decorating project. When she’s feeling particularly brave, she enters the kitchen . . .

Find & Follow L.G. O’Connor Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Darien Community Association Book Launch Photos!

Wow! I had such a wonderful time chatting with the members and friends of the Darien Community Association at my Fairfield County Book Launch this past Friday! Thank you Amy Bell and Heather Pommernelle for arranging and promoting the event and to Barrett Bookstore for selling The Vintner’s Daughter! Also, special thanks to Autumn Howard for snapping these photos and Carolyn Eddie for baking her delicious (and my favorite) scones!

MAA Girlfriend Weekend and Book Club!

I thoroughly enjoyed spending the weekend with my mother and her high school friends in, who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Maria Assumpta Academy in Petersham, MA! What an inspiration these strong, funny, independent women are – and I’m so appreciative that I was able to join them in Punta Gorda, FL this weekend! Here are some pics of our MAA Alumni Book Club (discussing The Vintner’s Daughter of course!).

 

To my WD Conference Friends: An Important Correction!

To all my new friends/fellow writers who attended my talk at the WD Conference:

I recently discovered that I incorrectly informed you all that She Writes Press accepts manuscript submissions from men. I assumed this because the She Writes online writing community includes men, but unfortunately She Writes Press does not. My apologies. This really disappoints me. My publisher is hopeful that one day she’ll find a partner to establish a He Writes Press, but for now, I encourage all of you to take a look at some other reputable presses like Booktrope, White Cloud Press, and Turning Stone Press, to name a few. And, as always, I urge you to speak with other authors and agents who’ve published through these presses to make sure they’re a good choice for you!

In the meantime, please keep emailing me with your questions and concerns. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with many of you in the days following my presentation and I hope to continue a dialogue with all of you!!!

 

Osterville Library Book Signing Photos!

Thanks to the wonderful crowd of folks who gathered at the Osterville Village Library on Saturday to learn about the inspiration and research behind The Vintner’s Daughter and listen to me read a passage! Special thanks to the Osterville Library and Books by the Sea for providing books for sale at the event! I had so much fun meeting you all and I’m thrilled that you’ve chosen The Vintner’s Daughter as one of your summer reads!

Photos by John Donelan

The Historical Novels Review & Virginia Pye’s 4 and 20 Interview!

virginiapye

Virginia Pye, author of River of Dust

Well, it’s been a whirlwind of a week, my friends! This past Saturday, our family enjoyed the lovely wedding of my nephew Josh to his bride Rose, on Sunday I spoke to a crowd of 100+ aspiring and published authors at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC, and yesterday, The Vintner’s Daughter officially arrived for sale at booksellers throughout the U.S.! To top off the great week, The Historical Novel Society published a wonderful review for my debut novel (and a blurb), and Virginia Pye, author of River of Dust, interviewed me for her fantastic blog, 4 and 20 (as in 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie)!

I didn’t have any “blackbird” pie, Virginia, but I celebrated with a huge wedge of strawberry-rhubarb pie and a relaxing outing at Dowses Beach in Osterville, MA this morning!