Dark Drink by Tina O’Hailey / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @tohailey

Jude and Mercedez have kept deadly secrets from each other.

Jackson’s suicide haunts Jude. She burned all evidence of her brother’s depravity. One less monster in the world, right? Tech-savvy Mercedez is the last living witness to a teenage amateur horror film that ended with a gruesome death. She never told.

A viral video (thanks, Whiskers) brings internet fame—forcing flip-phone wielding Jude to choose between her job as the second female in the VP motorcycle motorcade or her mixologist hobby.

Global visibility brings naked vulnerability—someone has subscribed to Jude’s channel.

Missing neighbors found dead in side-by-side freezers, viral drunk “I quit” videos, spammed porn magazine subscriptions, snail mail severed fingers, sabotaged cave trips, cryptic social media comments, and stalking photos push the codependent friends over the edge (literally, off the side of a bluff) when best friends find out secrets can kill.




Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?

My first actual comic book series was Cerebus. Cerebus the Ardvark. When I was 18. I missed a bunch of things growing up in the sticks. Though, I remember a Star Wars oversized special edition #2 as my actual first comic book, when I was 6. I read that thing a million times. First time I remember seeing visual storytelling supporting a narrative. Latest graphic novel: Preacher.

Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?

My mother. She had a bookshelf stocked with books. Most were Harlequin romance, which I passed on. But Erma Bombeck, V.C. Andrews, Stephen King—those books I most certainly devoured before I was an appropriate age. She defended me—so gloriously—when a teacher at school took away a book I was reading, stating that it was too mature for me. Sixth grade. My variously reading mother, took the same book off her personal shelf and handed it to me. “You dare them to take that away from you. It is your mother’s.” The book: Nurse by Peggy Anderson.

So, my mom instilled me with a love of reading and rebellion.

When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?

You exorcise your demons: dress them up, make them worse, kill them, and that’s therapy. It’s what writers do. In my latest book, Betty, a very judgy and unhinged older woman, is a composite character of about four people. Every cringy word between her and Jude are conversations I have actually had. Though some things I gave that character are from a very good person I have met, unfortunately Betty is unhinged and soiled the concept (When you read the book, you’ll realize how literal that sentence is.) Yeah, people watching is a great art.

The psychopaths in the book are composite characters too. I started out with some nasty people as a basis, but the characters took on a life of their own, as they do, and became even more creepy and horrifying. It can backfire on you. In my first book, Absolute Darkness, I used my best friend’s name for a character. The character wasn’t him, but it helped me make a composite buddy character. I didn’t know that character was going to die. Then be revived (because—time travel) and die again. And again. He’s alive in Dark Drink because my books all exist in a multi-verse and I like this one where that character is still alive. 

But I do find myself, often, saying, “You’re going in my next book.” And it isn’t a good thing for them.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Do you know how horrible I am at this? It stumps me. I’m a professor – so it isn’t like I don’t have 80 names a quarter to put in the memory banks. Yet, every time I stare at that blinking cursor as if I have never heard a name before in my life. Except for Jude and Mercedez in this book. They kicked the door down with their badass selves and demanded I capture their story.

When I’m stuck, I use friends’ names and in my head, dress them up as the character, and let them play act on my mental stage. Then later I change the names to the real one I finally sold my soul to the devil to come up with. Though, as in the previous question – that can run into trouble when I accidentally have to kill a friend. You know, for the narrative. Nothing personal.

Do write other things beside books (and shoppinglists 😉 )?
I used to write textbooks. But students prefer videos and such, so I stopped doing those and occasionally do a youtube tutorial. I’m slow. It takes an hour to write an Instagram post, sometimes.

If your movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?

I’ve been in animation for years and helped start a film department, so I get the hard-hitting truth to this answer: they are different, separate, and have to be. Each medium is a version of the thing. So ‘based on’ and hopefully they made it better. To prep for writing a sci-fi book I’ve been reading the Expanse series and watching the show simultaneously. That’s a great masterclass to see how the narrative was changed. Both are great in their singularity. But they are not the same.

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

I’ve stared as this question for an hour, drank coffee, came back to it—I can’t think of just ONE person. Koontz — for his dialogue and character relationships. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro — for her knowledge of history. Hugh Howey — world building. Adrian Tchaikovsky — complex world building and multiple styles. Lee Child — pacing. Tess Gerritsen — her art of ending each chapter with something that Makes. You. Turn. The. Page. Also, incredible pacing.

Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?

I bug everyone equally. A million questions. If you hike, cave, kayak, with me, or come anywhere near me—I will ask you a question. Because, you are expert on something or have some secret ninja vat of knowledge that I don’t.

Recently, while climbing a hillside to get to a cave, I commented that I needed an Apple Pie Moonshine recipe. One of the cavers not only had one committed to memory, which he recited as we trekked forward, he had some to sample upon our return from the cave—don’t drink and cave. I live in a sublimely synergistic universe.

I worked on this book with a writing group who were exceedingly helpful. A dear friend of mine (not the one I killed in the first book) inspired the concept of the drink recipes and the main character’s love of making cocktails. Over zoom (during the quarantine), he consulted with me about the characters and the mixology concept. Once I was talking to his wife on messenger and while he did something else, he shouted a drink recipe—from memory—for the book.

Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?

My poor dog has to listen to the dilemmas. The cat edits.

What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)

I love to read the comments. Of course, who doesn’t love encouragement? We creative types sincerely need it. Feedback, however, is extremely helpful. It’s a book – for the reader, not for me. So, it is important for me to see how the reader experiences the characters and narrative.

Thank you


About the author

Tina O’Hailey is a professor in animation and game programming, caver and occasional mapper of grim, wet, twisty caves (if she owes a friend a favor or loses a bet), whose passion is to be secluded on a mountain and to write whilst surrounded by small, furry dogs and hot coffee. Tina was once struck by lightning.

She has served as an artistic trainer for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks and Electronic Arts. Any movie credit she has is minimal and usually found in the special thanks section. The meager credits do not account for the great honor it was to teach talented artists who worked on numerous feature films and games.

She has authored animation textbooks “Rig it Right” and “Hybrid Animation” published by Focal Press and the Darkness Universe novels “Absolute Darkness” and “When Darkness Begins” published by Black Rose Writing. O’Hailey is a member of the NSS, VES, and International Thriller Writers.

Her favorite motorcycle is her BMW R1200C—mathematically perfect for her short legs, turns on a dime, and is the ugliest bike ever.


Author Links










Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Drink-Absolutely-Gripping-Psychological-ebook/dp/B09VMBWVG9

US – https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Drink-Absolutely-Gripping-Psychological-ebook/dp/B09VMBWVG9


7 gedachtes over “Dark Drink by Tina O’Hailey / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @tohailey

  1. Pingback: Dark Drink’s Blog Tour: Day One – coffeediem

  2. Pingback: Dark Drink Blog Tour Links – coffeediem

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