Paranormal Party Guest – Erica O’Rourke

I’m still celebrating my debut. (Hey, I’ve waited almost 20 years for this!) I am so lucky to have incredible writer friends who’ve each supported me during my writing apprenticeship. I hope you’ll stick around for the whole party season. Mingle with my friends! We’ve got prizes up for grabs, and there’s always virtual cake to feast on.

Today’s very special guest is Erica O’Rourke, author of Dissonance (book 1 of a new series from Simon & Schuster) and the Torn Trilogy (K Teen/Kensington).

I’ve always been in complete awe of Erica. We first met as YA Golden Heart finalists in 2010, and I was impressed by her kindness and wise counsel. She went on to win the golden necklace as well as a fetching fluorescent crown the rest of us YA ‘losers’ gave her. We share a love of cats, driving stick shift, and sushi. (Though, I’m still trying to get her to try the raw stuff just once***! Will you try sashimi if I hit the bestseller list, Erica???).

I’m so excited to have her with us today. Her latest series is about a rare ‘Walker’ who has the ability to cross the multiverses. You’ll find Erica at the following locations in this universe:

Facebook | Twitter Website 

***Correction: Erica assures me she does like sashimi! I don’t know I thought otherwise all this time. Perhaps an Erica O’Rourke in an alternate universe isn’t a sashimi fan!

Erica O’Rourke

Having spent time around people who are avid fans of horror, I have come to the conclusion that some people enjoy the adrenaline rush that accompanies mortal terror.

I, however, am not one of those people. Faced with a trailer for a scary movie, I do not feel an adrenaline rush. I feel overcome with with the urge to curl into a little ball and weep uncontrollably. On Halloween, I openly scowl at the houses with the rotting corpses in the yard. When I drive by a haunted house, I hit the gas.

I am a scaredy-cat, and I am totally okay with everyone knowing it.


What terrifies me the most?  Scary books. Books stay with you. Books are magical. Books have power. A well-written horror novel seeps into your brain and takes up residence there, hiding until you think the fear has dissipated. You feel confident, like you’ve finally a grown-up and Can Handle This.

Spoiler: I can’t.


Growing up, the children’s section of our library was tiny, but it had a healthy selection of Christopher Pike and Fear Street. Desperate for new material, I went ahead and read them, and regretted it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Eventually, my book-induced insomnia forced me to create a new rule: No scary stories after 4pm.  The hope was that I would forget the book in the hours between four and bedtime, allowing me to fall asleep without assuming a vengeful ghost was coming to slit my throat with a dull butter knife.

Spoiler: It didn’t work.


Finally I gave up reading horror novels. I was safe. All was well. And then I went to see Silence of The Lambs. Crime is different than horror, I told myself. Hannibal Lecter might be evil, but he was still a man, not a demon or an evil spirit.  To my surprise, I liked the movie very much.

I liked it so much, I decided to read the book. Crime is different than horror, you see. Everything would be fine.

Spoiler: Everything was not fine.


Not only could I not sleep, I couldn’t stay in the house by myself. I was utterly convinced that Hannibal Lecter was going to come to life while my back was turned, climb out of the book, kill me in my sleep, and bust out the chianti.

But I had to finish the book, because that’s how my brain is wired. So I went with the only reasonable alternative:

I hid the book in the basement. Every night. And the minute I finished it, I returned it to the library and swore off scary books entirely.

Since then, I’ve read a few truly excellent-yet-terrifying, but nothing else has ever been relegated to the basement. Which is good, because in our current house, my bedroom is in the basement.

I’m an easy target.


Thanks so much, Erica! I had to keep my copy of The Amityville Horror out of my sight too!

Paranormal party people, there are two prizes to win today!

  1. For your chance to win a $50 Amazon e-card and a Kindle copy of This Is Your Afterlife, give my Rafflecopter a shot. Click HERE.
  2. Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Erica’s Dissonance! Are you a scaredy-cat? Can you read scary books after 4pm?

See you back here tomorrow, when magical realism author Elizabeth Langston makes her grand entrance!

~ Vanessa



18 thoughts on “Paranormal Party Guest – Erica O’Rourke

  1. Erica, I really appreciate you being here to help me celebrate my book launch — thanks so much! I absolutely adore the gifs.

    I’m with you on the power of scary books. I don’t mind admitting to being a scaredy-cat either! Like I mentioned earlier, the Amityville Horror was terrifying to me as Silence of the Lambs was to you. Scared as I was, I devoured it in one night (a) because it was so compelling and (b) because I wanted to read it as fast as possible so I could get it out of my house! No book has ever affected me that way before or since.


  2. Erica, you could’ve been describing me in the above post! I am such a scaredy cat. To this day, I will squeeze my eyes shut during the scary parts in movies. And when I was younger, the books that terrified me were Steven King’s It and The Dark Half. Instead of hiding the books in the basement, though, I just didn’t sleep. For a week. Lol. I do my best to avoid scary books, but once in a while, they’ll sneak up on me. And then I’m back to not sleeping. 🙂
    Congratulations, Vanessa! You are about to enter your second week as a published author. You’re an old pro at this now – how does it feel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Pintip! I’m in the scaredy-cat club with you! I need to have the scare-inducing book out of my sight, though. I keep imagining the horror creeping out of the pages and into real life. Scary movies — I can handle them sometimes, but I usually watch them with my eyes shut. Ha ha!

      Wow, my second week already? It doesn’t seem real somehow!

      Thanks for coming by!


  3. Hi Erica and Vanessa
    Erica, I could spend all day just looking at your gifs – such fun!
    I used to be quite a fan of scary movies and books, and still enjoy a really creepy thriller. The movie Alien really had me on the edge of my seat, the idea of the heroine Ripley, played by strong Sigourney Weaver, out in space with the hideous predator somewhere in the ship (she had a gorgeous cat, too!) really creeped me out. I loved the first series of Supernatural too (okay, so maybe Dean and Sam were the attraction). But the better the special effects have become on movies and the gore more apparent, the less appealing I find them. Sometimes the scariest things are those only hinted at in the shadows of the room.
    Congratulations, Vanessa, on your debut THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE (which I am reading and enjoying!) and Erica on your new release DISSONANCE. BTW – they both have such beautiful covers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kandy! I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying This Is Your Afterlife already. I love the gifs too. I’m a bit obsessed with this cat gif page, btw:

      Alien — yes! So tense and suspenseful. I *have* actually watched that with my eyes fully open and of course I remember the cat. 🙂 ‘Supernatural’ — you definitely need your eyes open for that on. Sam and Dean are adorable. I agree with you on overt horror. It doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but sometimes just a piece of music can really send chills down my spine.

      Thanks very much for swinging by!


    1. Oh, Amy, I’d forgotten about that pig. Eeep! Do you remember the flies? My paperback edition was sprinkled with illustrated flies. I once lived in a really old cottage. Came home from dinner one night and found mosquitoes swarming in just one of the bedrooms. We moved out not long after!

      Thanks so much for celebrating with me! xx


  4. Hi Erica! Hi Vanessa! Vanessa, I’ve eaten a whole chocolate cake at your launch. It’s now time to move onto the apple and cinnamon. Can you see if the kitchen has it ready yet? Nom, nom, nom. Erica, congratulations on all your success – I think the premise of the new series sounds really intriguing. And I’m so with you on horror – too much imagination is my curse and horror just sets my imagination whirling in horrible dark circles. By the way, I love the scared octopus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, Anna! Don’t you love the smell of cinnamon in the morning? I’ll check with the kitchen now. I think there might be some fresh chocolate slice. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway! (See, this is where a vivid imagination comes in handy!)

      Scared octopus is adorable. I just wanna hug him. Or….he should hug me with those eight arms!

      Thanks bunches for stopping by! x


  5. Hi Vanessa and Erica! I’m smiling at the scaredy gifs! Aren’t they clever! Erica, I’m a bit like you in that my imagination gets a hold of a horror story and I can’t sleep! Argh! So hard to get those images out of my head.

    Vanessa, I mentioned a scary movie to you that I saw ages ago (The Changeling) but I’ve remembered a horror flick I’ve seen more recently – SAW. Horror and no resolution at the end to leave you with some level of comfort (shudder).

    Congratulations to both of you on your publishing success and on your pre-pub successes too! Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon, I’ve seen Saw as well! Terrifying. It kept me up at night. Hmm, for someone who doesn’t like a lot of horror, I sure have seen a lot of horror flicks in my time. I actually did put The Changeling on my wish list after you first mentioned it to me. Sucker for punishment, I am!

      Aren’t those gifs fun? So mesmerising. Thanks so much for coming by to celebrate with us, Sharon!


  6. Hi Erica, hi Vanessa! What fun this post was, and the gifs! I’m with you, Erica, scaring is not for me. My kids love horror films. Where DID they get that from? Not from me, that’s for sure. I don’t try to watch horror and some thrillers are too much for me. As for reading them – no way. I find if I’ve watched something disturbing in the evening I need to either watch or read something lighter before I turn the light out.

    Congratulations to you both on your current releases. Here’s hoping for many, many more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fabulous to see you here, Annie! I bet picking a movie for the whole family to watch must be interesting in your house!

      Like you I’ve learned to watch or read something pleasant late at night. I can’t tell you how many bad dreams I had after watching Breaking Bad! I think, if you must watch horror, watch it in the daytime. Sometimes it takes the fear factor away. Sometimes… 😉

      Thank you for visiting me today! x


  7. Not sure how in the world I missed Erica’s post. ugh. Erica, I loved horror books and movies. Well, when I wasn’t alone. I remember once when I was maybe twelve or thirteen and I wanted to watch Halloween (the original) all by myself. Alone. Nobody but me. I was so cool. And unafraid…
    My parents left to take my brother trick-or-treating, and I started to watch the movie. Within the first few minutes, the music was too spooky. The visual of the sidewalk in front of the house plus the music was too much. I quickly switched to IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN. And I never even liked Charlie Brown. haha.


  8. Kim, I my (witch’s) hat’s off to you for even trying to watch Halloween by yourself! Spooky music and sound effects can really get on my nerves. Sometimes in my day job I *have* to watch horror movies. I vividly remember working on ‘A Haunting in Connecticut’. My workmates were oh-so-amused every time I screamed at the scary bits in the office.


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