March Featured author oft he Month: P.A. O’Neil

Author interview

  • What is the first book that made you cry?

I don’t really remember, but I do know which one moved me in a way I will never forget. It was Panti – The Making of a Woman: A Memoir by Rory O’Neill.

  • What is your writing Kryptonite?

My husband. When I was working, I only wrote when he was at work and never on the weekends. Then he retired. It became harder to find time to write. Now I am retired, and it’s only gotten worse. If he wants my attention, I will not deny it, but fortunately, he does allow me a day or so a week to work. I’d much rather prefer having a set schedule, but somebody has to do the shopping and the laundry.

  • Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

This is a hard one as I have many friends in the writing community who support my work, and whom I support in turn. I guess it is my editor, Dennis Doty. He started as a friend I could trust to tell me the truth. I have since hired him as my editor and have learned a great deal about how to polish my work. He’s still a dear friend, even though he did have me remove my semi-colon key.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Keep writing, even if it is just to store your stories in a notebook, your words are meaningful.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Oh my, no one truly prepares you for the time that needs to be devoted to marketing and publicity. Yes, I read a few books on the subject beforehand, but until you have the product in hand, it doesn’t mean all the much. It’s actually very similar to becoming a parent for the first time. Your opportunities and activities change, some for the better, some for the worse.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

The best money was in hiring a professional editor. Besides Dennis, I have paid to have my worked edited by a couple of other people as well. Best investment ever!

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I actually have a Muse, only I can see her, but she is quite real to me. She’s everything I am not, tall, leggy, daring, and loves to live life on the edge. There are times when she tires easy and takes off for places unknown to recharge her batteries, but when she returns it is with a vengeance and we must work, work, work!

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have an unpublished novel, it is at the stage when I need to polish and plump it up before it is worth spending any money on her for a private edit, or time for manuscript submissions. There are a couple of stories that are partially written and notes for at least two dozen more.

  1. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Yes, Grant Hudson’s book, How Stories Really Work. He presents storytelling as a science as much as an art. There times when I watch movies, or read certain books, where the light switch flips on and I have one of those a-ha moments, where what he taught sinks in.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes they name themselves. Most of my stories are based on dreams that I have had and the names I use are the ones thought of in the dream. Other times, I will use names that seem appropriate, or I will “honor” someone by using their name (usually a last name). If I use a first name, I always ask permission if the character is not exactly of the same personality type of the person named, and this is because I think their name is really cool.

  1. What is your favorite childhood book?

Go Dog Go, by P.D. Eastman

Blurb for Witness Testimony and Other Tales

Some authors paint such vivid pictures with their words that the reader feels as though he or she is actually present, a silent observer or phantom, almost participating in the events of a tale. Such an author is P. A. O’Neil — but that’s not all: there’s a powerful golden thread of charm or warmth or humanity that runs through her stories too. Not to mention that within these pages you’ll also encounter Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and more, and venture to as far-flung places as Venice, Vancouver Island and Faerie. With a Foreword by Steve Carr. P.A. O’Neil has been writing professionally for four years. In that time, her stories have been featured in multiple anthologies (many of them international best-sellers), as well as on-line journals and magazines from several continents. She and her husband reside in Olympia, Washington, with her adult children living nearby.

Author bio for P.A. O’Neil

P.A. O’Neil has been writing professionally five years. Her stories have been featured in multiple anthologies, as well as on-line journals and magazines from several continents. She is twice winner of “Story of the Month” on the website. She and her husband reside in Thurston County, Washington. Her book, Witness Testimony and Other Tales, is available in paperback and eBook, from Amazon. For links to other books which feature her stories, look under the Photo sections of her Facebook author page: P.A. O’Neil, Storyteller, or visit her Amazon author page: P.A. O’Neil.

Link for Witness Testimony and Other Tales

Witness Testimony and Other Tales: O’Neil, P. A.: 9780244279622: Books

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