Q&A with Zoé-Lee O’Farrell

Im taking part in the blog tour for Ouija today and I’m delighted that author Zoé-Lee O’Farrell has agreed to answer my questions! My post is written with thanks to Zoé-Lee for being a willing participant!

Have you always wanted to write?

Yes and no. I mean who hasn’t imagined having their name out there on a book, but my passion has always laid with numbers. I love words but they don’t love me! So I never thought it would be possible. Now, I have the writing bug and can’t wait to write the next one. 

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

Short answer no, none of them have! I have always been an accountant, well since leaving University. I have worked in the movies, which is my other passion, worked for a learning and engagement company, a construction company all in Finance. Now I work for an Arts Charity, which is just inspiring to work for, and my boss is the one who has been helping me with my writing! At my age too!

What was your inspiration for Ouija?

When Jim Ody of QMP mentioned this new series, he wanted to write, he mentioned it me. He asked if I wanted to give it a try, I had no idea where to start. I remember one Saturday changing the bed sheets (So rock and roll) where the Prologue just came to my mind, and I had to write it down quickly. I am not quite sure how the rest came to me; my ideas came to me at the most strangest of times! 

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?

Well, this was easy in one sense, I have read a lot of YA Horror. I love it! Plus most typical horror films always start of with a group of friends. They are all stereotypical but then even they surprised me. I think they all have elements of me, they use my lingo for sure! I used different peoples features for some of them. I think Lara is the most like me, looking wise, definitely not personality wise………

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Bit of both really. I had the bare bones of how I wanted the story to go, planned some of the scenes and the end, I knew the end. I always found it hard to believe when I read about authors say that their characters surprise them. Not going to lie, one character here completely surprised me. In my head, the future for them was completely different and then they went and did a thing. It shocked me and actually made me quite sad. Which character, well you will have to read it 😉 

How did you research Ouija? Did you enjoy it?

OMG I LOVED researching this book! I spent hours researching Ouija boards, and yes I have done them in the past! I spent so long researching the demon that was summoned, I wasn’t sure who I was going to summon but when I read about it, it was fate, because when this demon is summoned they spell ZoZo on the Ouija board, and growing up that was nickname! I also had to research how some of the characters die, two because of the way they died I had to make sure it was realistic, and one of the others because well it’s a YA and I didn’t want it to seem like I was encouraging anything. Even the google search I did on the demon is written in the book exactly as I did it. 

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

Gosh, I never know what to say, I mean I have my favourite authors I can call friends but none of them write in the genre I have done, so I wasn’t influenced by them. But my favourite horror writers are Jonathan Janz and Richard Laymon. I love the vibe they both bring to their books, with the slashing and hacking and the fun times in between.  

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

I was asked this the other day, so its easy! Elvis Presley, I grew up listening to him with my Dad, so he could come and play in the corner, (And bring my dad too). Arnold Schwarzenegger because I have so much I would love to ask him about his life and Kelly Jones, lead singer of Stereophonics, as the eye candy. Could you imagine Kelly and Elvis duetting – heaven! 

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Erm…I am not sure really, there is no one I can think of. How about I say……Kelly Jones because secretly I would love that!!

Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Ouija?

Me! LOL Joking!! Oh gosh, I mean I love it when I ask people this but I never thought about it for myself – what a tough question!!!! Think all the actresses would be too old that I like, but a young Elizabeth Olsen for Lara, young Sarah Michelle Gellar for Caley… no ok…. Millie Bobbie Brown for Lara, Jace Norman for Jon (Had a mum crush on him in the last series of Henry Danger) Chloë Grace Moretz for Caley, Tom Holland for Ben, Karen Gillan for Sophie and Eddie Redmayne for Simon – god that was tough!! 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time!? Well I am busy organising blog tours, running around with my mini me, reading, gardening, watching footy, always something going on at a weekend. Finding time to sleep lol

What is next for you?

I have an idea for another YA Horror so hopefully, all being well that will be out February 2022. I have two books which I started to write and need the time to carry on!

Favourites:

Book? Like what is my favourite child!? Erm The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Or one of my recent favourites, The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech – heart still broken

Film? Refer to the above, however about I just give you my 5 LOL. Lord of the Rings, Dirty Dancing and Labyrinth 

Band/Singer? Jesus! Well Stereophonics and Tom Jones (Plus loads more 😉)

TV show? Supernatural

Colour? Blue

Place? Anywhere my family are

Biscuit? Chocolate Hobnobs

***

Ouija is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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