Author Caitlin O'Conner
Caitlin O’Connor searches for truth in fiction, and drags her characters through hell to find it. A proud eccentric who aspires to be omniscient, she enjoys listening to music, trying to understand physics, and admiring unusual works of art.
She lives in South Africa with her son and a malevolent lovebird that requires daily libations of blood.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a person of short-lived obsessions. I get my kicks out of catching and releasing large spiders that wander into the house, but roaches make me shriek in soprano. I’m also a single parent.
Tell us your latest news
My debut novel, Finding the Phoenix, was released in October.
About the book...
Descended from humans and a vanished race of elemental beings, only the Awakened know the truth about our world. Only they can hold back the fanatic Handmaidens of the Skaath Diurga--shadow creatures born from an ancient betrayal..
However, the Circle of Awakened is incomplete without the Child of Heaven: a human destined to Wield the Spirit element. Before she can Awaken, she must die.
Heaven has no memory of dying, except the experience of death itself. It’s that memory, of a place called ‘The Between’, that convinces her the man claiming to be her Guardian might not be completely crazy. Besides, even crazy is better than the life she’s leaving behind to be the Circle’s Wielder of Spirit. All she has to worry about now is her training, and figuring out how to fit in with the Awakened.
Tragedy strikes when one of the Guardians is killed, and ulterior motives thrust Heaven into the middle of the Circle’s quest for justice. She’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for the people she’s come to care about..
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first finished a book. I wrote for fun for years, mostly by hand in Irish rule jotters, but I always got bored or lost the plot at some point.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My style tends to be direct, but that just makes it so much easier to be sneaky about the subtleties. I like to keep a tight focus on my characters. Although I favour third person POV, I often keep it as close as first person. I’m a big fan of the fast paced book that keeps you reading way past bedtime so that’s the type of book I write.
How much of the book is realistic?
In terms of events, not much. Each of my main characters has their own psychological and emotional issues which I’ve kept true to real life, and some elements of the magic system are based on existing Occult concepts. For example, the idea of Spirit having a dual nature, and the Handmaidens using blood to summon the Skaath.
Imagine what it would be like to wake up one day and find yourself in the morgue .
....a thrilling fantasy tale set in modern-day South Africa.
I loved the mystery surrounding the history of the Circle and the Skaath Diurga. I'm certainly looking forward to learning more about the lore of these two secret societies that have been waging a silent war in our world for what seems to be eons now.
...a series that promises great potential, which I am certainly looking forward to reading to its conclusion.
What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
Dune by Frank Herbert because my wildly emotional teenager self deeply admired the teachings of the Bene Gesserit and pure logic of the Mentat. Heaven and Earth by James Van Praagh, and various other books on spirituality, psychic ability, religion, and the Occult because these topics have always fascinated me.
What book are you reading now?
I’ve just started reading The Division of the Marked by March McCarron.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently revising my second book and plan to get it off to beta readers soon.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated.
I’ve always had a very active imagination and I’ve been an analytical reader from a young age. I considered every book I read as a personal challenge to see how fast I could figure out what was really going on. As much as this amused me, it was inevitable that my thoughts would turn to criticism. Books didn’t satisfy me as easily as they used to so I decided to start writing my own stories.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Technically speaking, it took a lot of rewrites before I was happy with the action scenes. On a personal level, there were occasions where my characters got to me. I’ve cried while writing some of the more emotional scenes.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing, and learning about writing. Don’t be disheartened if you go back to your work and find errors on every page, that just means you’re getting better.
What makes you laugh/ cry?
I have a terrible weakness for lame jokes and anything that’s so bad it’s good. Children’s movies make me cry almost every time. I cried during Spirit, Frozen, all of the Ice Age movies, Sherman and Mr Peabody…the list goes on and on.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love doing research, not only on topics for my writing, but anything that captures my interest. I used to do a lot of Dungeons and Dragons type role play online, but I don’t have much time for it anymore. I play the occasional RPG game on my PC, usually with my son looking on.
Favorite foods / Colors / Music?
I love pasta and most veggies, and I like to snack on cheese and onion flavoured chips. I listen to a wide variety of music, but my favourite genres are symphonic and power metal.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would’ve loved to work with animals, possibly as a dog or horse breeder.