Chat with Authors Lori and Brendan O'Gara creators of the book The Travelers' Song
Life is the most powerful of all forces in the universe. It will survive any obliteration. Life on Earth, unforgiving and beautifully dangerous, is not the same as it was four thousand years ago. Technology dependent humans lost control and as a result, almost destroyed themselves. In this age, knowledge is currency. Technology is magic. Evolution prevails. A group of travelers on a mission of the Seven Kingdoms in search of the greatest food of the lands. It is a covert mission. They are spies searching out the remnants of technology for the self-proclaimed Emperor. Together they must face the evil that lurks in this world of unknown risks to find the good that remains.
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
Hello! We are so thrilled to be here sharing our story with you. We are the O'Garas, Brendan and Lori.
Family and writing are what our life revolves around. Our philosophy for creating this life is simple. We are advocates of human decency, honesty and respect, who believe that magic is real if you take the time to look for it.
We reside a few miles from where we grew up together on Perdido Key on the Florida Gulf Coast. When not at the beach, writing or reading, we can be found wandering the stacks in a library, perusing antique stores and thrift shops, playing tabletop role playing games, or spending time with our large blended family that consists of six children, seven grandchildren and one dog named Harley Quinn.
To make this interview easy for you, dear reader, Lori will be answering the questions.
What books do you have available? Can you give us a short description of them?
Between the two of us we currently have twelve books published. I have a contemporary fiction series titled, The Perdido Key Novels. Brendan wrote and published a fantasy themed cookbook before themed cookbooks tied to fiction were cool called Gadlin O'Hale's Fantastic Recipes: From the Seven Kingdoms taken from the greatest Pubs, Taverns, and Inns”.
After about a hundred readers saying, "The recipes are great but what happens to the characters?" Brendan asked me if I wanted to write a fantasy novel series with him. I agreed and that is where our fantasy books started. Our fantasy series is called The Necromancer’s Song the first book is titled The Travelers’ Song. We have three compendium books in the series as well that includes a cookbook.
I have also have a passion for what I call No B.S. Christianity. I have three books and an online publication about finding the truth in religion.
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
We tend to blend genres. Our fantasy is gothic, steampunk with some sci-fi in there too. My contemporary fiction has elements of romance and mysticism as well.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
We have completely different writing styles that like magic come together for coauthored projects. I am a plotter though I don't use an outline. We both use a plot diagram that we created together. I tend to write the beginning, the end, and then the middle. Brendan writes each scene as the inspiration hits him and in that aspect he is very writing by the seat of his pants.
Even if it is an individual project, we tend to work together. We have a shared writing bubble in a home office that we call "The Study". It is not unusual to hear nothing but the tapping of keys for hours then one of us says, "Hey can you double check this fact?" Usually me! I tease Brendan and call him my research assistant, but really we both have our hands in every step of a project. Also, it helps that we now have an amazing editor.
What is your writing routine like?
On the weekends, in the evenings….Butt in chair, red wine in a glass….then we give each other a target word count..not just any words, they have to be good words.
We write every day often in stolen moments between everyday life happenings. Even when we aren’t sitting front of the computer we are writing. We talk about our WIP when doing regular mom and dad stuff, cooking, picking up kids from school, driving anywhere, at the dinner table. Writing happens all the time.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
For Brendan, he is partial to the Necromancer. This character has good intensions that come across as evil. He is the villain everyone wants to hate, but as you get to know him, you can’t. For me I like to write characters who are a bit neurotic, quirky and good hearted. Strong willed, courageous rule breakers.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
We are storytellers so we get inspiration from every place we visit, every person we talk to, every dream we have. Really, it is what creative people do. We gather tidbits of things here and there, then weave them into a magical place.
Do you add romance to your writing? Is it steamy or clean?
It depends on the project we are working on at the time. In our fantasy it is clean. We have a little bit of sexual tension between characters, but nothing heavy. Now, in my contemporary fiction it is steamy.
What was your favorite scene to create?
Brendan’s favorite is action with a lot of moving parts. He enjoys getting in to the motivation of for the actions and creating the scene as it evolves. For me it is the magical supernatural elements in every scene that cause an emotional response. Whether I am writing a romance or fantasy, it is the emotionally charged scenes that I like the most.
Where do you get character inspiration?
We get inspiration from every person we meet, things we see, and stories we hear. It really depends what genre that we are working on. If we are working on fiction it can be from a conversation, being out in nature at the beach, or something that catches our curiosity. If I am working on a nonfiction project, I am a research librarian, so I will research an idea apart to find inspiration. In our fiction, we have created characters based loosely on people we know or a composite of traits from several people. The old adage is true, it is easy to write from what you know. That changes depending where you are in your own life story though.
What genre do you prefer to read?
I read mostly contemporary fiction, sci-fi, and epic fantasy. I also like narrative memoirs by everyday people. Brendan is a self confessed big fantasy nerd. He likes Neil Giaman, Greig Beck, Robert, Aspirin, and Robert Jordan.
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
No, we read a lot but to say we craft ofter any one author is not true for us. When a writer tries to emulate another they either do a terrible job of it or loose their now voice. We do all we can to avoid writing in a formulaic style that comes form copying another writer’s voice.
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
We have published pieces together and individually. In all our work, whether it is a novel, blog post, or article you will find common themes. Honesty, magic, truth, friendship, and respect. A constant theme in all our fantasy writings is that life is the most powerful of all forces in the universe that is also fragile taken for granted. Most of us only get one shot at life, but what if there was more?
What does your editing process look like?
We have an amazing editor, Kimberly Huther of Wordsmith Editing in New York. Before she gets a manuscript for us, I usually edit as we build the draft when we are working on a project together. I have a bad habit of editing as I write and Brendan never edits.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
Not much snacking, but yes we drink red wine or a good Irish whisky. Our favorite, ironically or maybe not, is called Writer’s Tears. It is great.
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
Not really a favorite time of day. Brendan is a light sleeper so he writes at all hours. Whereas I sleep like the dead. I like to write in the afternoons. Honestly, we write all the time.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Perdido Key Florida. We grew up there and so when we can we go home.
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
We are a Marvel house. Brendan’s fav is Captain America and I love Black Widow
What hobbies do you have?
We are table top gamers and collect all the things that go with that. We are into Warhammer 40K, AOS, D&D, Pathfinder…those sorts of things. I love Doctor Whoso watching, reading, playing anything DW related.
Brendan and Lori O’Gara write in the fantasy, contemporary fiction and nonfiction genres. They have published novels together and individually. The O’Garas reside a few miles from where they grew up on Perdido Key, Florida. When not at the beach, writing or reading, they can be found wandering the stacks in a library, perusing antique stores and thrift shops, playing tabletop role playing games, or spending time with their family. A large blended family that consists of six children, seven grandchildren and one dog named Harley Quinn.
Brendan O’Gara has passion for the extraordinary and lives life as if a new adventure is just around the corner. He has been an avid gamer since he was a child and continues to play D&D, Pathfinder and other RPGs. His experiences gaming and passion for cooking gave him inspiration to write a fantastical cookbook. He has published novels of dark fantasy, and steampunk fantasy in collaboration with his wife, Lori O’Gara. When not gaming or writing, Brendan spends his time on family adventures with his five children and a Staffordshire named, Harley Quinn.
Lori O’Gara is a writer of contemporary fiction, fantasy, and real-life commentary. She is an advocate of human decency, believes that magic is real and love is a gift from the Devine. Lori is happiest with her feet in the sugar white sand on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. When not at the beach, writing or reading, she can be found Page 1 of 3 wandering the stacks in her library, watching Doctor Who or spending time with her family.
Amazon Author Pages Lori O’Gara: