So, I've been working on this for awhile, but with blog mishaps, gmail going kaput on me and all that other good stuff, this took a bit longer than I expected. *sigh*
I am thrilled to welcome Colleen Gleason to my blog. I've been reading her books since The Rest Falls Away came out. Her Gardella Vampire series is very much like...well, Buffy meets 19th Century England. If you haven't read any of her books, I strongly recommend them. To help with that, I (or she depending on which one of us gets to it first) will be choosing a winner for a signed copy of a book of your choice. And don't forget that the latest in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles When Twilight Burns comes out on August 5th.
Colleen was nice enough to let me do an interview. Of course, now that I've got the answers, I have more questions! Ack! :)
Q. How long did you dally with writing before you started taking it seriously?
A. I wrote eight books before writing THE REST FALLS AWAY, and I guess, considering I was working full-time in a professional management position, raising three kids and taking care of my husband...I always took it seriously. Did I always have time to write? No. Did I make time to write? Yes. That's how I was able to write nine books before selling.
I didn't watch much TV, and I usually wrote after the kids went to bed every night. It also helps to have a good critique partner and/or group, to whom you feel somewhat obligated--or, if you're like me, sort of selfish in wanting them to read as much of your work as you do of theirs! :-)
Q. Do you have any suggestions for newbie writers when it comes to keeping their mind on writing? I have a horrible time keeping myself focused. If you have any suggestions, they'd be greatly appreciated. :)
A. Turn off the email program. I write most of my new work on a laptop, somewhere where I can't connect to the Internet. Like at a coffee shop that doesn't offer free wireless. That means I'm not distracted by home stuff, nor am I distracted by email, etc. When I go to the coffee shop, I know I'm going to write. My brain, my body, everything is ready for it....it's like going to work.
Well, I am going to work, actually. So that's what helps me.
Q. What is your worst fear?
A. Finding a spider the size of my hand...or larger. Near me.
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be & why?
A. I really would love to go to Italy...I've never been, and have set one and a half books there! I know I'd love the food, the architecture, the history. I'd also love to see the Taj Mahal, but I'm afraid I wouldn't enjoy the food quite as much.
Q. Since most writers seem to be pretty eccentric, what is your biggest eccentricity?
A. Me? Eccentric? Well, people who are not writers don't get how I can write in a coffee shop or restaurant. (People who are writers often do get that!)
Um...I know! I hate garbanzo beans...but I adore hummus. Go figure.
Q. What is your favorite color?
A. The Maize and Blue! (For those non-Big Ten Fans, I'll translate: the colors of the University of Michigan)
Q. What is your favorite hobby(ies)?
A. Reading, eating, napping. Actually, I love to cook, and when I have the time, I love to garden.
Q. Is there a particular actor that makes your heart go pitter-pat?
A. Johnny Depp does a pretty good job of that, and so does Clive Owen. It used to be Gerard Butler, but his attraction has worn off a bit. I also have the major hots for Sting.
Q. Who is your biggest influence when it comes to writing?
A. I think Elizabeth Peters, as far as other writers, because she is the mistress of subtlety. Her books are so well-written, so literate, with lots of humor and sexual tension and romance...and also great mysteries.
As far as non-writers, I'd say my agent is a great influence on what direction I go in, and how I approach things. She has made a huge difference in the way I write, not by telling me what or how to do it, but by pointing out certain tendencies that I had...so that I could either embrace them or kick the habits. I've done a little of both, and it's made my writing stronger.
And my two critique partners...who don't let me get away with ANYTHING. Seriously. I would have floundered long ago. And no, you can't have them. They're mine. :-)
Q. What is your idea of the ultimate writing project after you're finished with the Gardella series? Is there something you would kill to do but can't or aren't sure about?
A. I want to do more Gardellas in a different time period. I also have a book written that so far hasn't found a publisher--a female version of a Clive Cussler or Michael Crichton novel. I loved that book. I hated writing it, but I loved it when it was finished. That would be a great project to continue on.
I always wanted to write a really erotic story about Robin Hood, Maid Marian and the Sheriff of Nottingham....but my friend Colette Gale is doing that. ;-)
Thank you so much for being willing to come on my blog. I really appreciate it!
You can visit Colleen here.
As for my readers, please, feel free to ask questions. Colleen said she would stop by to answer, so any questions you have need to go in the comments section! The winner will be chosen Sunday 8-3-08 by Midnight PST. :) Have fun!