Invisible Friends by Tina O’Hailey – Guest Post

Invisible Friends by Tina O’Hailey – Guest Post

Today on the blog we welcome author Tina O’Hailey, with her guest post ‘Invisible Friends‘ as part of the blog tour for her new book ‘When Darkness Begins’ which is released on the 28th May 2020. This post contains affiliate links.

Tina O'Hailey

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.

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Invisible Friends

Earlier this year, in the before, I gave a talk to students about writing. The students were mostly digital media students: animators, motion media artists, visual effects artists, etc. All of us are engaged in some form of storytelling or another. I talked about my imaginary friends.

When I was young and in pre-school, I did indeed have an imaginary friend who was just as real to me as anyone. His name was Dino, and yes—he was a purple dinosaur who could shrink down to fit in my pocket. He accompanied me in social situations, I believe, and enjoyed the plays I put on for him. Mother made me load him into my brother’s red jeep one day and say goodbye to him. I did. I even buckled his seatbelt. I never heard from him again.

I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t writing. It is a part of my daily routine. What I’ve had to accept over the past ten years is that talking to imaginary friends is ok—and encouraged. The characters in the book appear, and I simply follow them. See what they do. Find out what they like. Throw obstacles in front of them and see how they react. If you write—I’m assuming you do the same thing. I give myself quality time with my characters to question them thoroughly, usually on motorcycle rides or long drives to work. Then—I write. Some days they don’t talk. Some days they demand. Many days I tell them to be patient, I have other work to do, but they will have their moment.

So, I’m a grown women talking to imaginary friends and coaxing a story from them. Sometimes the things I put them through are merely me exorcising my personal demons (fear of drowning and my love of caving—Absolute Darkness) or diving into an area I want to research (how did homo-sapiens evolve and what happened to those other species? What if they didn’t actually disappear and were stronger than us?—When Darkness Begins). It’s all perfectly normal.

Meanwhile, I study and hone the craft as best I can. I hate it. I love it. I loathe it. I’m proud of it and then I think it is a pile of junk—all perfectly normal.

I think the hardest part for my introverted soul is the marketing. I beat the drum and shout from the roof tops about the book, and crow when the review come in, knowing full well that some people will like the work, some people will not. Then I have to retreat for a few days while I doubt every single thing I said or wrote no matter how I try to talk myself out of it—introverted, can’t help it. I’d love a fairy godmother to jump in and take over that side of it for me, let me write. I’m sure I’m not alone in that thought. But then I’ll talk to someone that enjoyed something I did, and it makes my day. So I’ll get up and continue to talk to my imaginary friends.

I’m still sad that Dino never even sent a postcard.


When Darkness Begins by Tina O'hailey

When Darkness Begins
A Darkness Universe Book One

Author – Tina O’Hailey
Publisher – Black Rose Writing
Pages – 230
Release Date – 28th May 2020
ISBN 13 – 978-1684334957
Format – ebook, paperback

Interview synopsis 2020

If you could change time to save your first love—even if it meant turning your back on the universe—would you?

It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators—devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.

Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind—unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.

Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?

Purchase online from:

Amazon.co.ukAmazon.comAmazon.inBlackwell


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