Erica O'Rourke

Get Lost in This Story…

The First in a hot new YA Series…

Mo Fitzgerald knows about secrets. But when she witnesses her best friend’s murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo—quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo—will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances. And she’ll have to choose between two very different, equally dangerous guys—protective, duty-bound Colin and brash, mysterious Luc. One wants to save her, one wants to claim her. Which would you choose?

Romantic Times Book Reviews gave Torn four and a half stars, saying, ““I loved everything about this book. It’s got fast-paced action, a mysterious underworld and a dark, exciting quest for vengeance. O’Rourke had me hanging on every word. A great summer read, and a definite must for paranormal fans.”

Torn is the first book in a series; the second, Tangled, will be released in February 2012. Bound, the final book in the trilogy, will be published in Fall 2012.

Welcome to Get Lost in a Story today, where I am excited to host my friend and fabulous new YA author, Erica O’Rourke! Erica is kicking off a brand new Young Adult line for Kensington’s K-Teen imprint that has been highly anticipated. Erica was also a 2010 Golden Heart finalist with myself, Angi, Cat, Jillian and Maureen and her book won last year’s RWA Golden Heart® award in the Young Adult Category. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it… You don’t want to miss Erica’s interview, either. I’ve loved her since the moment I met her (even more so now that I see we share a ridiculous passion for blue cheese) and I know you will, too.

Erica O’Rourke writes books about girls who make their own fate and fall for boys they shouldn’t. Winner of the 2010 Golden Heart Award for Best Young Adult Manuscript, Erica lives outside Chicago with her family, including two very bad cats. She likes sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift. She hates fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about herself.

However much she hates it, we convinced Erica to talk about herself just a little today… So, let’s get to the Get Lost Interview!!!

Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

Erica: I have too many to choose just one, but Casablanca is definitely in my top five. I am a big fan of the bittersweet ending, and Humphrey Bogart is the perfect damaged hero.

Heather: How often to you get lost in a story?

Erica: I’m constantly finding myself drawn into stories where I tell myself, “Just a few more pages,” and the next time I look at the clock, it’s 3:30 in the morning. I’m also perfectly willing to put things like cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming on hold if there’s a book clamoring for my attention.

Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

Erica: One with a strong voice, interesting characters, and high emotional stakes. I love YA, but any book with these qualities will suck me right in.

Heather: What’s the first book you remember reading?

Erica: Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. I still have it, actually. But I remember sitting on the floor of my living room looking at the pictures, and the marks on the page suddenly transformed into letters and words. I’ve never stopped.

Heather: Where do you read and how often?

Erica: I read all over the house, but my favorite is probably at the kitchen table, where the light is really good, or in bed, where I can be cozy. I try to grab minutes throughout the day to read – while the coffee is brewing, or while I’m waiting for a file to print – and every night before bed. No matter what how late, I have to read at least a few pages before I fall asleep.

Heather: What sound or noise do you love?

Erica: The sound of trains and airplanes. I grew up near a busy train line and O’Hare airport in Chicago, so those are very comforting sounds to me.

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?

Erica: Yes, absolutely. I have a soundtrack for every book I write. Some fit a particular scene, some a specific character. I CAN write without my soundtrack, but I find the words flow more easily when I have the right music playing.

Heather: What was the first story you remember writing?

Erica: Wobble the Witch Cat. There is some discussion in my family about whether this was a retelling of a book I heard at school or a story I created on my own, but I was very proud.

Heather: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?

Erica: Writing, because I’m able to go back and revise until I’m satisfied – or as close to satisfied as I can get. I read a study once that suggested the number of words in our written vocabulary is significantly greater than our oral one, and it’s certainly the case with me. I’m far more likely to use precise language when writing than speaking – and if I don’t, it’s almost always a stylistic choice. Or I’m really tired.

Heather: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

Erica: Thank you for your time, and your enthusiasm, and for reaching out to me. I love talking to readers – hands-down, it’s the best part of this job.

Heather: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?

Erica: I’d love to be a librarian, because it allows you to talk books all day long.

Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

Erica: I lie down on the couch, fire up a long-neglected TV show, and then fall asleep before the theme song has finished.

Heather: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?

Erica: Neil Gaiman, because he’s so intelligent and boundlessly creative, and I would love to understand his mind better.

Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

Erica: Coffee – with skim milk and real sugar. When I don’t want caffeine, though, I like Tazo’s Green Ginger tea.

Heather: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why?

Erica: Middle ages. Fleas. No baths. ‘Nuff said.

Heather: What is your favorite cheese?

Erica: Blue cheese. I can eat vast quantities of blue cheese all by itself or with various things: nuts, jam, crackers, salad, fruit. It’s a little alarming how passionately I feel about blue cheese.

Heather: What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Erica: Hummus, pita bread, and leftover frozen pizza.

Heather: Tell me how many hats you have in your home?

Erica: My middle daughter collects hats, so…a lot. She has a cowgirl hat, a colonial soldier hat, a beanie with a propeller, two baseball caps, at least one beret, a firehelmet…I can’t even remember the whole collection. She’s pushing for a fez, because if Doctor Who has taught us one thing, it’s that fezes are cool.

Heather: Dog person or cat person?

Erica: Dog. We have cats, but I’m horribly allergic to them, so I can’t pet them. It is no fun to have a pet you can’t play with. Also, one of the cats routinely tries to kill me by knocking heavy things off the shelf directly above my head. And they’re absolute rubbish when it comes to killing bugs.

Heather: Which is your favorite language other than your native language?

Erica: French. It’s just so swoony-sounding.

Heather: How much money does it take to be happy?

Erica: Enough to pay your bills and allow for a little treat now and then.


Heather: So, I noticed on your website that you love sushi but hate fish??? What gives?

Erica: I hate fish. HATE THEM. They are slimy and fast and many of them have sharp teeth. As a kid, my parents used to take me to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and they have a giant tank right inside the entrance where there are sharks and fish of all kinds. It’s very dimly lit and exceedingly creepy. As a kid, I used to have recurring nightmares that the tank would break, and all the water would rush out and fill up the room. And then the fish would eat me alive.

Now, sushi is delicious – fresh and healthy and an utter delight. And I would feel that way about any sushi, whether it had fish or was a vegetarian roll. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that part of the appeal is, if I am eating the fish, the fish is not eating me. I WIN.

I’m not saying I want to eat spicy tuna into extinction, of course. I’m just trying to even the numbers a bit.


Erica: What’s the scariest thing you ever did…and were glad of it later?


Erica: Yes: I’ll send a copy of Torn, plus a printed set of Verity’s postcards to Mo, to the winner. The postcards include a link to a secret page on my website with bonus content.

Thanks so much for being with us today, Erica! Where can your fans find out more about you on the web?

Twitter: @erica_orourke

Tumblr: ericaorourke.tumblr.com

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Join us tomorrow when Angi hosts Winnie Griggs!


  1. Scary stuff, eh? When I was a kid, stores were right up close to each other, and I used to climb on the roofs and jump from roof to roof. It never scared me, but the thought of it now? Whoooboy. The perception of fear is a funny thing.

  2. Awesome sounding story. Can't wait to read it! As far as scary goes, I'm a total wimp. I'm scared of everything (go figure since I write romantic suspense). The scariest thing I tried and was glad later is white-water rafting. My extended family - about twenty-five of us - went to Gatlinburg and they strong-armed me into joining them when they went whitewater rafting. I was scared to death. I LOVED IT! Now I want to try a fiver! Really!

  3. Sounds awesome! I am a wuss. The scariest thing I've ever done is attempt to have my kids without the drugs. And I failed at that because I was begging for the drugs after a while, LOL.

  4. I'm an international btw. Erm my scary story is that in high school, we went on an activity trip for 5 nights where we did things like rock climbing, bungee jumping, canoeing etc. The scariest bit of that trip was when we had to go in this cave, and the tunnel was literally so small that we had to get on our stomachs and shuffle. I'm not necessarily claustrophobic but it was hard because it was sooo dark and we were in there for ages. I'm glad i did it though because it was an amazing experience :)


    tasnim x

  5. I am terrified of heights and I get motion sickenss! In February, we were in FL and my daughter had an opportunity to go parasailing, but was 15 lbs too light. So guess who got to go with her!! (couldn't be a wimp in front of her!). It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Much easier than the time she tortured me by dragging me to the top of the Empire State Building.

    Thanks for the great contest! I would love to win this book for her - she is 12.

    susanmik AT gmail DOT com

  6. When I was in highschool I was part of the ROTC program. Every year, if we wanted to go they offered to take us on a rappelling trip. I thought it would be so much fun so I went one year. OMG, was I wrong. I never realized how completely terrified I was of heights. TERRIFIED! When it was my turn to begin rappelling I just froze. I just couldn't do it. The only problem was I had already climbed to the top of the building and the only way you could get down was by rappelling. Eventually they had to bring me down kind of like zip line style. The whole entire time I was balling my eyes out. I hated it and never wanted to do it again. Then a year later we went to a bootcamp program and they made me do it again twice. Again I spazzed out. So after both traumatizing experiences I have learned to stay away from activities involving heights.


  7. I don't need to be entered in the contest b/c I'm currently reading Torn on my Nook. I just wanted to say I'm greatly enjoying it! It was one of those great book moments where I heard of it and bought it on a whim, no real expectations, and I love the writing and story. It's like the perfect balance of contemporary-meets-paranormal for me... not even sure if it's paranormal or just straight magic. Either way, I highly recommend it!

  8. HI Erica!

    Some of the scariest things I have ever done have not been life and limb scary, but more directed at the risks we all take in life to get anywhere. Like taking creative risks, stuff like that.

    Of course the first time I skied down a black diamond run was also memorable! I think I half skied, half fell down the hill!

    Congrats on Torn!

  9. Thanks for visiting, Erica! Your book is at the top of my TBR pile. (And that's saying a lot since I just got back from conference. :)

    I think sushi is the perfect revenge against your fear of fish. ;)

  10. Hey Erica, welcome to GLIAS! So glad I snagged Torn at the literacy signing (thanks Nancy) and can't wait to finish my revisions so I can start it.

    Hands down, the scariest thing I ever did was ride the Big Shot at the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. It starts at 900 ft in the air and shoots you up a hundred feet. At the top, the thing sort of floats for a long second before starting back down. I'm terrified of heights. I had no idea what possessed me.

  11. Erica and Heather, wonderful interview. I've so been looking forward to reading Torn. The scariest thing I ever did was doing a police ride along on Roller Coaster Hill. There were kids on ice and it wasn't that cold outside and the deputy had to get to them. We made it, he made the kids get off immediately, so, yeah, I was glad I went along for the ride ;) Best wishes on Torn and Tangled. Is there a pattern here?

  12. Torn sounds like a really good read and I am looking forward to reading it. The scariest thing I ever did was ride in a car down a little country road doing 140 miles an hour. This happened when I was in my late teens would never do it again. Also was on a motorcycle doing a high rate of speed, or the crazy things we do when we are young, would never do those things now.

  13. Welcome to GLIAS Erica! I just noticed that this message didn't post yesterday. Ah...technology...can't live with it, can't live without it.

    Hope you had a ghreat time "getting lost."


  14. Hi, guys! Sorry I wasn't able to pop in yesterday, but I am under a really tight deadline. Anyway, you all are a lot braver than I am, with your tales of derring-do. My scariest thing wasn't really optional, so it doesn't count as brave: my middle daughter was very sick and needed to be transferred via helicopter to another hospital in the middle of the night. Happily, she was fine, but I would very much like to never repeat the experience again.

    And the winner of the giveaway was...commenter #1, Abigail Sharpe!

    Thanks so much for having me here, ladies -- it was a treat, and a wonderful way to spend my first week as an officially published author!