Saturday, July 9, 2022

Dark Drink by Tina O'Hailey - Book Tour

Dark Drink

Jude and Mercedez have kept deadly secrets from each other.

 Jackson’s suicide haunts Jude. She burned all evidence of her brother’s depravity. One less monster in the world, right? Tech-savvy Mercedez is the last living witness to a teenage amateur horror film that ended with a gruesome death. She never told.

A viral video (thanks, Whiskers) brings internet fame—forcing flip-phone wielding Jude to choose between her job as the second female in the VP motorcycle motorcade or her mixologist hobby.

 Global visibility brings naked vulnerability—someone has subscribed to Jude’s channel.

 Missing neighbors found dead in side-by-side freezers, viral drunk “I quit” videos, spammed porn magazine subscriptions, snail mail severed fingers, sabotaged cave trips, cryptic social media comments, and stalking photos push the codependent friends over the edge (literally, off the side of a bluff) when best friends find out secrets can kill.

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Author Interview
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Playing outdoors. BUT, I use that time to think about what I’m going to write next. So, it is all part of the process.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I wouldn’t. She had to struggle, suffer, battle, doubt, love, hate, doubt some more, in order to become. You gotta want it kid, go earn that grit.

 3. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
It’s not books—but it is storytelling. My dad. Big barrel-chested man with rolled up t-shirt sleeves and greased back hair. We’d ride dirt bikes out into the woods and have a picnic. A regular tea-party. Blanket on the ground. Cookies. Little sandwiches. Thermos of iced tea. Balloons and streamers on a couple of occasions. And we’d make up stories together. He’d start off with a sentence, then I would take over and tell the next part, then he’d continue it until we had strung together a magnum opus filled with intrigue and complexities only we could understand. Sometimes horror. (I liked the scary things.) Sometimes dystopian. Many times, comedic. No matter the story—time stood still then. We were in our own universe, away from everyone. He died when I was 15, and man, do I wish he could have read my books.

4. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
I was born an author, and never thought of myself as anything else. What an insufferable child I must have been. My parents gave me a typewriter and a room to hide in at an early age. They probably would have done anything to get me to stop playing the piano. At least it wasn’t a violin. Or tuba.

5. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?Adventurous. Explorer. Completionist.

6. Have you ever met anyone famous?
I’ve met many famous people. My favorite one is Tom Ford (huge fashion designer. Started at Gucci.). I was asked to give him a tour of the building I work at. They only described him as a Harvard man and didn’t tell me anything about him. I know nothing about fashion. By day, I teach animation at a college. We have a lot of computers and technical things in our building. Picture me in jacket I probably got from a secondhand store, and I think I’m dressed snazzy if everything is an almost matching shade of black. Now, I’m also face-blind – so I don’t know a good-looking face for nothing, but I can see people. Really well. This man had an inner nerd and a good heart. We joked and cut up the whole time I gave him a tour of the facilities. By the time we got to the game studies lab (seriously, we study games intensely), I said something like, “Now time to fly that nerd flag high. Here we can look at some D&D campaigns.” His face lit up, and we talked in depth about who and where and when we had played D&D. Probably the best time I have ever had touring someone in a nice suit and shiny shoes. Only YEARS later, as I’m watching the recently released GUCCI movie, do I realize who I had been cutting up with.

Then there was the time that I interviewed Warren Beatty on stage…and I got him to laugh and cut up. Oh, I see a theme here. 

7. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
I wish I could say a year or less. But it takes a little longer: a year and a half, generally.

8. How do you select the names of your characters?
Do you know how horrible I am at this? It stumps me. I’m a professor – so it isn’t like I don’t have 80 names a quarter to put in the memory banks. Yet, every time I stare at that blinking cursor as if I have never heard a name before in my life.  Except for Jude and Mercedez in this recent book. They kicked the door down with their badass selves and demanded I capture their story.

 When I’m stuck, I use friends’ names and in my head, dress them up as the character, and let them play act on my mental stage. Then later I change the names to the real one I finally sold my soul to the devil to come up with. That can run into trouble when I accidentally have to kill a friend. You know, for the narrative. Nothing personal.

9. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
The movies I can run on continuous loop: Bladerunner 2049, Oh Brother, Where Art Though, Little Shop of Horrors (80’s version), Shawn of the Dead, Memento.

10. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Exactly what I do now. Cave. Hike. Kayak. Write. I would teach less, probably. And solo caving might shorten that life span.

11. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read. Read. Read. Until you have an opinion about why you like what you like and hate what you hate.
Write. Write. Write. Love what you did. Hate what you did. Love it again.
Weep. Splash some cold water on your face and do it again.

12. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!

1.     Been on motorcycles since I was 13.
2.    Caver.
3.    Hiker.
4.    New Kayaker (It’s like hiking for my upper body!).
5.    Ambidextrous.
6.    Face-blind. (If I stare at you, it’s because I can actually see you and I’m trying so hard to memorize your features.)
7.    Learned math when I was 3 by assigning colors to 0-9 and looking at a sibling’s algebra book (the answers were in the back). Math is beautiful – but that messed me up for ACTUALLY learning what numbers were.
8.    Was in a diving accident when I was 10 (or so), inverted the curve of my neck and jacked up the C1 (the vertebrae that goes into the skull and should have killed me). Never told my mom.
9.    Ace and married to my best buddy for 31 years.
10.     Love bitter: strong coffee & cigars – the darker the better.

13. What is your favorite genre to read?
Medical Thrillers 

14. If you could travel anywhere in the world to write, where would you go?
My mountain porch. So spoiled.

15. Would you ever write under a pseudonym?
If I ever write something smutty. First, I’d have to be possessed to achieve that. But if I did, that would certainly be under pseudonym. Angel Bayents. That chick, she’s got it all worked out.

16. How do you choose your book covers?
My publisher does those. I can design a character, model it, animate it, render it pretty --- but I am not skilled at knowing what makes a good cover design.

17. What’s one thing you’d like to say to your readers?
My genres are all over the place, I know. I’m still exploring each one and fending off these demonic characters that have to be exorcised from my head. Everything I write is connected – it exists together, no matter the genre. It’s ok if you don’t read the other genre books. Pick a place, start there. Each one is also a stand-alone. And most importantly, thank you. Please leave a review – it’s how you hug an author.


Author Bio –

Tina O’Hailey is an animation professor, a caver, and an occasional mapper of grim, wet, twisty caves (if she owes a friend a favor or loses a bet), whose passion is to be secluded on a mountain and to write whilst surrounded by small, furry dogs and hot coffee. Tina was once struck by lightning.

 She has served as an artistic trainer for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks, and Electronic Arts. Any movie credit she has is minimal and usually found in the special thanks section. The meager credits do not account for the great honor it was to teach talented artists who worked on numerous feature films and games.

She has authored animation textbooks “Rig it Right”, “Hybrid Animation” published by Focal Press, and the Darkness Universe novels “Absolute Darkness”, “When Darkness Begins” published by Black Rose Writing. O’Hailey is a member of the NSS, VES, and International Thriller Writers.

 Her favorite motorcycle is her BMW R1200C—mathematically perfect for her short legs, turns on a dime, and is the ugliest bike ever.

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