Author Interview: Denise O’Hara

(Kelly is written by Kelly Blanchard. Denise is written by Denise O’Hara.)

A strong ocean gale raked across the beach, causing Kelly to lift her hand to shield her face from the spray of the ocean water. In the distance, she could see ominous clouds looming of an approaching storm, but she still had time. The storm was still a little over an hour out, and it certainly made for a lovely backdrop and an interesting place for an interview.

Kelly saw a woman walking down a path to the beach to join her, and Kelly finished wiping off the shell she had just scooped up from the sand then went to greet the woman. “Denise O’Hara? Nice to meet you. I’m Kelly Blanchard.” She shook Denise’s hand. “How are you? Looks like we’ve got a storm coming, but we should be fine. Hope you don’t mind the strong winds that sometimes blows to shore at times.” She smiled at Denise and shrugged. “But you have to admit, in all its power and dread, the storm is quite beautiful—though we’re completely safe from it, don’t worry.”

Denise couldn’t help smiling back. “I was raised in the South where hurricanes are a regular visitor. I’ve always admired the power and beauty of nature. Nice to meet you too, Kelly.”

Kelly smiled when she heard this. “Tell me more about yourself. What is it you do in real life? Full-time mom? Full-time writer? Or do you have a job on the side?” She raised her brows as they walked along the beach. Writers came from all walks of life, and Kelly was curious about Denise.

“What do I do in real life?” Denise pondered the question for a moment. “Your question isn’t one that I find I can’t easily answer at this particular time in my life. I’m right at the point where life is changing and lots of new things are beginning. I am a mother of two, but one is well into his twenties now and quite independent. My daughter is all grown up as well, though she still lives with us, at least for now. I’m happy about that because she has become one of my dearest friends in all the world. But I started writing in earnest about a year ago. I seem to have a one track mind about it. When I start I find I want to continue and neglect everything else.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “Having a one-track mind though can be useful for things like writing. Helps you complete the project before you.” She smiled at Denise. “So, you’re a writer, but when did you first begin writing? Have you always been a book lover? When did you begin getting very serious about writing?”

“Oh yes, I’ve always been a book lover since early childhood! My favorite memories are of being outside reading a book and looking up at the trees and sky. I’ve always written but only began self publishing about one year ago.”

Kelly cocked her head to a side when she heard this, but then wind from the ocean rushed over them, getting her hair into her face, so Kelly pulled her hair back to focus on Denise once more. “What happened a year ago that made you determined to finally publish?”

Denise turned her face into the gust, letting the wind blow her hair back and breathed in the salt air. “I find as I get older I’m braver, I suppose. I just felt like it was time to do whatever I’ve been wanting to but never did.” She looked at Kelly and grinned. “I’ll tell you what else I did for the first time. I rode a roller coaster that absolutely terrified me. And I loved it!”

Kelly laughed when she heard this. “Good for you! I have only ridden one of those in my life, and never again! I’m glad you discovered you loved it.” She smiled widely at Denise. “So, what do you write? Tell me about your story?”

“I’ve always been a fan of the classics. I started out by exploring what a favorite literary couple, Darcy and Elizabeth of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, could get into in variations of the story. There’s is such a great love story to explore,” she replied as she gestured towards the crashing waves. “I’ve always thought their relationship was very much like the tempestuous ocean. Always beautiful but it can be calm and quiet one minute, but easily become fiercely passionate the next. The current story about them is where the two characters start off in the 1800s but through unexpected events find themselves in the year 2012. I wanted to see them just as they were originally written but transplanted into a modern setting.”

When she heard this, Kelly lifted her brows and looked at Denise. “Now that sounds very fascinating! What do they think of this modern world? Of the internet? Cell phones and such?” She had a ton of questions but decided to limit herself. She didn’t want Denise to spoil the story in any way, but Kelly was curious!

Denise laughed. “Well, that was the most interesting bit for me to discover. Darcy is a man of the world and upper-class. Elizabeth was a country girl. Though a gentleman’s daughter, she was used to many different classes of people. As I wrote I found that she was the one who had the easier time adjusting. It’s an exciting world for her and she has so much more freedom than she previously did. Darcy on the other hand… let’s just say he was happy with things just as they had been. But to be together he had to give that up. Theirs is a love story that’s truly timeless. With her help and enthusiasm, he’s finding his way.”

“Very interesting.” Kelly nodded with a smile as she heard this then motioned for Denise that they should probably head for higher ground as the wind was beginning to pick up. “So, what inspired this story?”

Denise followed Kelly as they walked against the wind. Just before reaching the bench nestled among a circle of sheltering palm trees, she looked back at the crashing waves. The wind took the scarf hanging loosely around her neck. “Ah!” She laughed as she watched her accessory fly off high into the sky. “What a marvelous day!” she said as she brushed her hair into place, laughing again as they reached the bench. ” I’ve always loved time travel. There’s a little gem of a movie my sister discovered many years ago called Late for Dinner, that we must have watched a hundred times. It introduced cryogenics as a means of suspending time when all other options were gone. I used that premise for my story.”

“That’s very cool.” Kelly smiled as they came to the bench. “I love time travel stories too. They always present complications that are fun to work out.” She looked at the sky. “Our time is about up though, but what’s your story called?” She looked back at Denise with furrowed brows.

“Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless.”

“Nice.” Kelly nodded with a smile, but then she had to sigh. “Well, Denise, unfortunately we have to part ways, but it has been delightful learning about you and your story. I can’t wait to see what character you will have me meet in the next interview!” She beamed. Meeting characters from other stories was always fun. “Thank you for meeting with me and for the chat. It was wonderful.”

“Thank you, Kelly. You’re such a lovely person. It was my pleasure getting to meet you!”

“You as well! You take care, Denise, and keep writing—and publishing!” With one final smile, Kelly waved then walked off .

<~>~<~>~<~>

Denise O’Hara has two novels available on Amazon. Be sure to check them out!

Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless (Book 1): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1530073294

Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Adventures (Book 2): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IYNC1EW

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008382708352

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