Kathleen O'Reilly wrote her first romance at the age of eleven, which to her undying embarrassment was read aloud to her class. After taking over twenty years to recover from the profound distress, she is now proud to finally announce her career - a romance author. Now she is the award-winning author of nearly twenty romances published in countries all over the world. Kathleen lives in New York with her husband and their two children who outwit her daily.

 

Access Romance Scavenger Hunt

 
I’d like to get a book published? What advice do you have?

The biggest obstacle to publication is never finishing the book. Actually, if you get past Chapter 1, pat yourself on the back and celebrate the milestone. Writing a book is a commitment that few people realize. It takes time away from both TV watching and laundry. It takes about the same determination as it takes to climb Everest, all for an unsubstantiated dream. Besides all that, it takes a lot of cojones.

Do I need an agent?

Probably.

How do I get an agent?

First, you have to finish an entire book. If you’ve gotten that far, the first task is figuring out which sort of book you wrote. Fiction. Non-fiction? Mystery? Romance? After that, go to the bookstore and pick up one of those agent listing books (there are many). Read it. Figure out which agents would like to read your book (and no, not all of them will) and query them. If they want to read your book, they will respond back and tell you.

Could you recommend me to your agent?

I could but she would kill me. I choose life.

So, I have a story. Will you write it?

No.

What do I need to know about writing romance?

Join Romance Writers of America. www.rwanational.org. There are chapters all over the U.S. and many parts of the world, and if that doesn’t work for you, there is an online chapter as well. There are also organizations for Sci-fi writers and mystery writers and all sorts of writers, but I don’t know about those.

top.

Are you the characters in your books?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.... WHOMP (sorry, that was the sound of me laughing myself out of the chair). Not even close. You are more like the characters in my books than me. My own life is tediously boring. On the other hand, I find other people’s lives fascinating. So, tell me what was the most interesting thing that ever happened to you? I might put it in a book.

Where do you get your ideas?

The New York Post. Seriously. Sometimes Newsweek or Time, but mainly, it’s the Post.

Why do you write romance, couldn’t you write something else?

I’ve written computer programming books, I’ve written normal fiction novels, and I’ve written romance. By far, the stories that I love most are the ones that end with two people finding their way and living happily ever after. The world could totally use more of that happily-ever-after thing. Oprah? Are you listening to me, girlfriend?

Isn’t romance nothing more than sex?

You are such a man asking that question, aren’t you? Every self-respecting female I know understands the HUGE differences between romance and sex. And if you are a man and do not understand those differences -- read a romance novel. Trust me on this one, and tell your wife or girlfriend to send the thank-you cards to me. And if you truly are a female asking that question, honey, we need to talk. You have bought into that whole male-initiated conspiracy that women don’t need romance, only sex. But I see through their clever subterfuge. Read a few books, and then we’ll discuss more.

I bet you live a life of leisure, with a box of bon-bons at your side, fresh flowers tucked in every corner of the room as you write on your overstuffed chaise lounge (probably in red velvet with gilt trim). Do you?

Of course. Ask my husband. He’ll tell you as soon as he’s finished with the cooking, and the laundry, and the important child-rearing things. I swear.

What do your children think of your writing?

My daughter wants me to sell to Little Brown so she can get the latest Stephanie Meyer book before everyone else does. My children have their priorities.

What does your mother think of your writing?

My mother is very proud, but she’s not a romance reader, and I don’t twist her arm.

Is your husband the model for your heroes?

That’s what I tell him. It keeps him happy.

Did you always want to be a writer?

No. I wanted to be rich. Being rich has always been a primary goal in life. However, God laughed at me, mocked me, and said, no, you will be a romance writer. Sigh. Never argue with God. Invariably, you will lose.

top.


What sort of books do you read?

I like to read romance, mainly historical and contemporary. I love thrillers. And anybody that makes me laugh will make me happy. I love to laugh.

Any authors that you like best?

This seems to change over time. If you read my blog (link here), you’ll get an idea of what I’m reading and liking. If I find a good book, I usually share the experience.

top.

What about sequels? Are you going to write a follow-up to the Diva’s Guide?

Probably not. I would like to, and maybe someday, but right now, it’s not on the horizon.

Are you ever going to write another historical?

I hope so. Keep your fingers crossed.

Is it Etienne’s book?

Probably not, but you know, I’ve got this story,so maybe someday...

And what about Avery from Just Kiss Me?

I think he should have a book, too. I keep threatening..uh, telling my editor that I’m going to do that.

Cain, from the O’Sullivans trilogy?

Probably, not sure when.

Where can I find the out of print books?

There are used booksellers on Amazon, half.com and ebay. My books can usually be found.

What about those covers? Do you design that? I bet that’s a lot of fun.

Uh, they are a lot of fun, but no, I don’t do that. There are professionals at the book publishers that design the covers. It’s a huge thing with meetings, and casting calls, etc. All the authors do is fill out a form with various information about the story. It’s very Dilbert-ish. Someday I’ll write an article about the birth of a cover, but not today.

I don’t live in the U.S. When or where can I get a copy of one of your books?

Most of my books for Harlequin have been reprinted in many, many countries. My historical was reprinted in Italy. And The Diva’s Guide to Selling Your Soul was published in Russia and Romania.

top.