Today, I am very pleased to have author Dan O'Brien, author of the YA novel The Ocean and the Hourglass, stopping by for an interview and giveaway!
Dreams are not for the faint of heart, they are for the brave to follow.A Book, an Hourglass.An adventure into the mind.Nicholas had always dreamt of faraway places, distant lands beyond imagination. Wandering into the library on a cold day, he finds an adventure that he had not been looking for. Transported to a distant world, Nicholas finds himself involved in sweeping adventures of a broken and lost kingdom. Filled with sea giants and ancient cities, the young man soon finds that the adventure was greater than he could have ever imagined.
Q. What three words best describe The Ocean and the Hourglass?
Philosophical. Thoughtful. Personal.
Q. Where did the idea behind this particular book come from?
I had a dream about this book, and that dream lingered throughout
a work day until I decided that it was a novel I thought I wanted to write. I liked the idea of how it moved and the hardship and thoughtfulness that was required to be a hero.
Q. Are your characters (from any of your books) purely fiction or are they based on real people?
Some of the characters are drawn from real experience - even when those characters are fantastical in nature - and most have an element of someone I have met along the way. A forthcoming novel is drawn directly from people I have known, with the events being being pure fiction, but their mannerisms, personality, and overall characterization reminiscent of friends and family.
Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of writing? The most rewarding?
Not being able to have everyone love your writing is always the most difficult. When editors and agents give you the party line - we loved it, but don't think it fits the current publishing trends - it kind of discourages you from moving forward. However, most readers are very supportive, even when they might not gravitate toward your novel in principle. I am passionate about writing and the act itself is tremendously rewarding, though it pales compared to one person enjoying what I have written and being affected by it in some way.
Q. Do you have a favorite book among those you've written? One that you are most proud of?
I really enjoyed writing The Journey. I would be tempted to say that novel is one I am most proud of. The End of the World Playlist - a forthcoming release - is also very near and dear to me because it is something I never intended as releasing as fiction, but I had such a positive response to it that I felt I needed to share it with a larger audience.
Q. What are you working on now?
I am working on a slew of novels that I will be releasing throughout this year. Deviance of Time, Path of the Fallen, andThe End of the World Playlist are the novels that should be out the soonest. There are others down the pipeline that I am excited about, but it is too soon to talk about them. The sequel to Bitten is on its way as well.
Q. In The Ocean and the Hourglass, Nicholas is transported to another, faraway world...what made-up world from any book/movie/tv show would you love to be transported to? What would you do there?
I would imagine I would want to be transported to either the Star Trek universe or Middle Earth universe, simply because of how much time I have spent there through novels and movies. However, the Island from Lost or Greendale Community College from Community would also be pretty interesting. I imagine listening and watching would be what I would want to to do mostly.
Q. Who is your favorite literary villain? Who do you just love to hate or hate to love?
There a few villains that come to mind, but I imagine I would have to go with Gollum - who is not really the villain of the novelper se. Tyrion Lannister is another solid choice - from A Song of Fire and Ice series - though again, he is not really the main antagonist. Something similar about both of these characters is that they are likable despite circumstances. Both are fallible and damaged, but interesting to read nonetheless.
Q. What's the one book you wish you had written?
I don't think I have a book I wished I'd written, but I do have a few ideas I wish I had hopped on board earlier for. There is this sense of what is trending at any given time, and sometimes you catch the trend before it takes off, and sometimes you are left wondering what might have been if you were quicker to the plate in terms of churning out a particular theme or genre.
Q. What's the one book you think everybody should read at least once?
I would have to say either Les Miserables by Victor Hugo or The Prophet by Gibran.
Thank you so much Dan for taking the time to answer my questions and giving us all the chance to get to know you and your work a little better! Oh, and I'd love to go to Middle Earth as well and Tyrion Lannister is one of my favorite book (and tv show) characters ever!
I have been writing novels for over a decade and had a couple published by traditional, small houses. Riding the self-publishing boom, I have four books in print that are available in paperback or e-book format. If you are interested in reading them, I am always open to sending out samples (or PDFs) to those who are interested. I was born on the east coast and spent most of my life moving around. I recently settled into California where I am a graduate student in Experimental Psychology. I was a fitness trainer and am a lifelong student of martial arts. I write a little bit of everything and have lately been focusing on a few new novels, continuing some series and embarking on a screenplay binge. Hope to hear from other avid readers and novelists out there.
Dan has generously offered one (1) signed copy of his YA book The Ocean and the Hourglass to give away!
Open to the US and Canada only
Will run from 1/30 - 2/5 at 11:59pm ET
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- Must be 13 or older to enter
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