Interview with Marie O'Mahony, Photographer



In August when I was in Ireland, I got a professional photographer to take some photos of me. This was a first for me. Always before now, I have done my own author photos by taking selfies, but Marie is an old friend of my friend Claire (author and audiobook narrator C.S.E. Cooney), and I had seen some gorgeous photos she’d done of Claire in the past, so I figured I should take advantage of the fact that I would be in the same country as she was.

You can find Marie O’Mahony Photography on Facebook here.

Image description: Me! A person with short purple hair and an orange hair flower (made by Betsie Withey), wearing a navy blue floral top and glancing upward as if they have a mischievous idea, perhaps? Photo by Marie O’Mahony Photography, August, 2019.

I’m just sharing the one photo on this post, but next week, I will share a couple more. This one was the one I ended up using the most recent time someone asked me for an author photo. I love the way Marie captured the colors of the flowers behind me in a way that feels both bright and understated, and I also love the way I am obviously thinking of something that amuses me in some way. That’s extremely true to my general outlook. All my life people around me have pulled me out of reveries to ask what I was laughing about, and usually my thoughts race by so fast I can’t even begin to explain!

You can also see that I have big dark bags under my eyes. This is because the photo session happened the day after WorldCon and right as I was coming down with a cold. Alas! One always hopes one will be glowing with healthful vigor when one has a photoshoot, but life doesn’t always cooperate. And, perhaps, another big factor is that I don’t really wear makeup much, so the small amount of lipstick I put on here was about as much as I knew how to do. Even that felt strange to me since I do it so infrequently! But I knew I wanted to have some chance of my lips matching my top, just for the sake of the color pop. I really love colorful things, as most anyone who has ever really met me can attest.

I’ll talk more about what the process was like next week in a paid subscribers only post, but for now, please enjoy the interview I did with Marie in which she talks about her journey as a photographer and gives a few tips for how to get started with photography for anyone who is interested, but has no idea where to start.

One of her big tips is to search for photography groups on Facebook! There are apparently a lot of them where people share knowledge. She also recommends taking online classes at Creative Live.

Okay, so next week, another podcast (but no interview this time, just me!) and several more photos! That’s going out to paid subscribers only. But Julia, you say, I have not paid for your newsletter yet! I’m not sure I can! To you, I say that’s okay! I have a special offer for a 30 day free trial. If you get this trial, you can look at all the past subscribers only letters and listen to the podcasts, too! And if you are already subscribed to the OMG Julia! podcast as a free subscriber, once you activate the trial, the paid episodes will show up as available to download in that same feed on your podcast provider of choice!

Get 30 day free trial

Click that button or visit to get the free trial, and definitely feel free to share it with anyone else you think might be interested!

Halloween Special Edition!

Hello, friends! Happy Halloween!

Image Description: A spooooooky jack-o’lantern with spooooky fog rising from it sits atop some spoooooky logs.

I’ve got a bunch of seasonally appropriate things to share with you today!

October is Ghost Month!

First, although I officially left Fireside Magazine in April, I did edit all of the 2019 content before I went, and I had a lot of fun with the October stories, all of which have to do with ghosts or hauntings in some way. I’ve always loved ghost stories, and I was delighted to be able to assemble a bunch of different kinds for this themed story month.

Here is a quick guide to all of them with links so you can read them (or listen to the audio versions) if you like!

“Lost Girl” by Catherine Lundoff: This story leads us off with a traditional gothic house and a ghost who may not really remember who she is, but knows what it is that ghosts do.

“The Haunting of 13 Olúwo Street” by Suyi Davies Okungbowa: This story is from the point of view of the haunted house, which witnessed a violent crime, and loves and respects the victim. It’s set in Lagos, Nigeria, and I love the way the setting influences the personality of the house.

“On the Other Side of the Line” by A. T. Greenblatt: Having seen some of the more traditional forms of hauntings, now we diverge into some different territory. This story isn’t exactly about ghosts or haunted houses as such, but it is about loss, and the feeling of having loved ones stuck beyond the veil. I read this one and it kept coming back to me: the confusion, the frustration, the sadness. And that ending! So bittersweet!

“Radio Static” by Carolin Jansen: Carolin Jansen works in a hospital, so of course this hospital set ghost story feels very true to … not life exactly, I suppose. This one also looks at all the same themes in the Greenblatt story, but from a completely different perspective. I love the way these two stories are in dialogue with each other.

And finally:

“What Cannot Follow” by Eugenia Triantafyllou: We end the month’s story haul with another haunted house that has a new family moving in. This story is short, but it packs a lot into its small wordcount, and it goes places I didn’t expect when I started reading it.

New Podcast! And a Special Offer!

The other really exciting thing that I’ve been working on for quite a while (and has finally launched!) is a new podcast that I host with my friend Geoffrey Pelton. Geoffrey is a Boston area comedian who’s been my friend for over a decade. One night after some of our mutual friends had gone to see one of his shows we got into a discussion about the weeeeeeeeeird movies we’d seen as children. You know the kind I mean? The ones you maybe only half remember, and then when you try to tell someone about them they seem completely implausible?


“I think a kid puts peanut butter on his head and then his hair won’t stop growing so he gets kidnapped by someone???”


“Raggedy Ann and Andy go on some weird quest into a cave and ride a weird horse or camel or something???”

As you dig deeper into these memories you might start to wonder why people thought these things would make good children’s entertainment. And you might also think, “Well, this explains a lot about how I got to be the way I am…”

Geoffrey and I have just the podcast for you!

Image Description: An empty movie theatre with the words “This is why we’re like this” over the curtain.

This Is Why We’re Like This is a podcast where we (and our guests) discuss the movies and tv shows that helped make us who we are today, for better… or for worse.

You can sign up for free over at and get new episodes (and the all important show notes with pictures and links and stuff) straight into your email inbox. There’s also a paid subscriber option that gets you 2 bonus episodes each month, but! Remember how I said we had a special offer?

If you sign up for free today, we’ll give you three months of paid access! So you can get the two bonus episodes in November, December, and January free!

Note: you have to sign up for our Substack to get the paid access, but those episodes will automatically show up in your podcast feed once you do! We’re on all the major podcast providers, and once you subscribe on Substack and add This Is Why We’re Like This to your podcast listening queue in whichever app you usually use, your feed should update with both free and paid access episodes automatically. Plus you’ll get the show notes right in your email with links to things like the commercials we watch!

Here’s a guide to the episodes we’ve already released:

Shadowman: A segment of the 1980’s Twilight Zone reboot. This one was directed by Joe Dante (director of The Howling), and it terrified me as a kid.

Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure with Christa Carmen: Christa Carmen is a horror author, but I was unprepared for the amount of terror I would experience while watching her beloved childhood classic!

After These Messages: Teddy Ruxpin and Puppy Surprise with Christa Carmen: In our After These Messages shows, we watch some commercials that are somehow related to either a movie we’ve just watched or a guest we’ve had on. In this case, Christa chose a couple of toys she remembered playing with as a kid.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side with Diana Lu: Just in time for Halloween, comedian Diana Lu suggested a scary movie! It turned out I had also been scarred by at least seeing part of this one when I was young, too!

After These Messages: Halloween Candy with Diana Lu: This one just came out today! Obviously we had to watch candy commercials and talk about our favorite things to get in a trick-or-treat haul!

The free three months of paid access is a Halloween treat and only good for the next 24 hours, so sign up now and share the deal with all your friends! That link again:

Okay, that’s all for today! I hope you’re having a good Halloween wherever you are!

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