Ellie O’Neill talks about bringing realism to the world when writing about the supernatural.
I never set out to write any particular genre. I wasn’t conscious of checking off a box in terms of style. But I guess I did! I think when you write romance, whether it’s with a supernatural element or not, it has to feel real. There has to be genuine emotions and expectations. There can’t be too many coincidences or unrealistic moments.
I feel like the reader needs to feel like this can happen to them, they need to be moved by the story. They have to get lost in the power of a love story. And if you include a supernatural element to the story, I think it’s even more important to be rooted in some type of reality.
I’m thinking off the top of my head here, but in the Twilight books, Bella is an everyday girl (initially) – she drives a knocked-up truck, her parents are split up, she’s self-conscious, and struggling in a new town. She’s incredibly normal and it’s from that starting point, that the extraordinary situation of falling in love with the devastatingly handsome, but a vampire, Edward is believable.
The same is true for Reluctantly Charmed, Kate always had to feel very genuine and relatable because of what was about to happen to her. The more mystical the story gets, the more important it is that the reader is invested in her story. She’s a normal girl in an extraordinary situation.
And the romance … ahhhhh, I hope I did her justice. When I was writing I fell in love with her character so much, I couldn’t just put her with anyone, he had to be amazing. He had to be the dreamboat. The perfect guy for her, because not everyone is going to understand or cope with her situation. I always knew she needed a very strong and self-assured man by her side, someone that wouldn’t be threatened by her fame. I’m pretty sure I found him. He definitely complements her, and I see a bright future ahead!
It’s Kate McDaid’s birthday and she’s hoping to kickstart her rather stagnant love-life and career when she gets some very strange news. To her surprise, she is the sole benefactor of a great-great-great-great aunt and self-proclaimed witch also called Kate McDaid, who died over 130 years ago. As if that isn’t strange enough, the will instructs that, in order to receive the inheritance, Kate must publish seven letters, one by one, week by week.
Burning with curiosity, Kate agrees and opens the first letter – and finds that it’s a passionate plea to reconnect with the long-forgotten fairies of Irish folklore. Instantly, Kate’s life is turned upside down. Her romantic life takes a surprising turn and she is catapulted into the public eye. As events become stranger and stranger – and she discovers things about herself she’s never known before – Kate must decide whether she can fulfil the final, devastating step of the request . . . or whether she can face the consequences if she doesn’t…
Reluctantly Charmed is about what happens when life in the fast lane collides with the legacy of family, love and its possibilities… and a little bit of magic.
Ellie O’Neill sold spider catchers in Sydney, flipped burgers in Dublin, and worked in advertising in London, but all the while she had that niggling feeling she had stories to tell. Swapping the dizzy disco lights of London for her parents’ suburban Dublin house, she scribbled away knowing that there was something about Irish fairies she needed to share with the world. Then, most unexpectedly, Ellie fell madly in love. Five years later, Geelong, Australia, is home to Ellie, her Joe, and their fabulous baby.