Friday, August 1, 2008

Welcome to The Wonderful Colleen Gleason!

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'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 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!


kim said...

Colleen Gleason!! Squeeeee!!!

Ahem, sorry. Now that I have that pesky fangirl moment out of the way....

Do you have the whole Gardella series planned out and if so how many books will be in the series?

Oh and on Italy...agree with you. I have never been but it is one place I would love to go some day.

Great Interview!

Katie(babs) said...

I heart Colleen.
Team Sebastian all the way!
How did you research a vampire slayer? Was it because of Buffy?

Bridget Locke said...

I'm not in the running, because this is my blog, but I did have a major question (which is why I can't believe I didn't ask it in the interview! *smacks forehead). Have you figured out which man Victoria is going for? I mean, I'm Team Max all the way, but her chemistry with Sebastian is pretty hot too. *sigh* Just curious. :)

Katie Reus said...

Very cool interview! And amen to good CP's. I love mine!

colleen gleason said...

Hey Kim! Good question about the Gardellas. I have always only planned on a finite number of books about Victoria, and the fifth and final one (AS SHADOWS FADE) will be released in March.

However, I'm hoping to be able to do more books about Venators in different time periods...more on that soon, I hope!

Italy would be so lovely, wouldn't i? I'm so jealous of Eloisa James, who gets to spend her summers there.

colleen gleason said...

Hey Katiebabs. I thought you were too busy at RWA to hang with us non-SFers this week! Glad to see you.

(But I heart you too. As you well know. Because of the ARC. Yes indeedy.)

How did I end up researching a vampire slayer...well, I had watched about one season of Buffy about the time I thought of doing it (Buffy totally inspired me), and then I just ran with the idea.

I have always loved Sydney Bristow, and I had written two previous books about strong female action heros (not yet published, unfortunately), so I merged all that into one character...and gave her a vis bulla. ;-)

colleen gleason said...

Bridget...I've always known which man Victoria's going to go for. Ever since the first book, and it hasn't changed.

You'll have a pretty good idea by the end of WHEN TWILIGHT BURNS which way the wind's blowing. :-)

Sarai said...

WOW what a great interview. Italy and India are my 2 must visit places for different reasons and yes I am jealous of anyone who can spend a whole summer there!

Great advice for the writiers. I have a HORRIBLE time getting focused after work simply b/c my brian is mush. But you have MAKE TIME for writing.

Once again a great interview!

Christine said...

Great interview!
I recently read The Rest Falls Away and really loved it. Victoria is a great character and I'm really enjoying trying to figure out her relationships with Maximillian and Sebastian and how they all play a role in her Venator 'career.'

I've had the first two Gardella books on my TBR shelf for months and even bought The Bleeding Dusk during release week without having read the first two books. Of course When Twilight Burns is on my To-Buy for next week, too! I think I was probably Colleen's most dedicated, yet unread, fan ever! Well, not so unread any longer. :D

... looking forward to catching up with the rest of this series this month!!

colleen gleason said...

LOL...Christine! Thank you so much for supporting me. But, gee, girl...go read the books! :-)

Or are you like me, and like to hoard them and read them all (the whole series) at once?

I have about four IN DEATH books that I haven't read and am saving for a glom--and there are at least two more that have been released that I haven't bought yet.

Christine said...

LOL I know!!! I'm so bad (or so good, depending on how you look at it), at glomming an author without having read any of her books. I've got the first 3-5 books in quite a few authors' series on my shelf. Its frightening actually. In February this year, I bought a used collection of J.D. Robb's first 29 In Death books (including maybe 2-3 anthologies and shorts in booklet form) on ebay for about $100. The good news is that I've read the first four so far. The bad news is that she writes so darned fast, I probably won't catch up until the year 2020! ;)

I'll catch up on the Gardella series much more quickly. I did just read The Rest Falls Away last week, so I'm on a Colleen Gleason roll now! Woo!

BTW, Venator rhymes with Senator, right? Just making sure my inner voice is pronouncing that correctly. ;)

Christine said...

Isn't that interesting that Kate is Team Sebastian and Bridget is Team Maximillian? After having read just the first book, I think I'm leaning toward Team Sebastian, but no way am I ruling out Max yet. Can I say both?

colleen gleason said...

Christine, you are right--Venator rhymes with Senator. editor, even though she edits the books...says VenerAYtor, even though she knows it's VenaTOR.

And as for Team Max or Sebastian...I've known since the first book which team I'm on, but most people don't pick a team until after RISES THE NIGHT.

So do let us know!

Rowena said...

Wow that was a really good interview, I seriously need to read these books, why on earth haven't I read them yet? I enjoyed the interview and I will definitely be checking these books out soon...(if my TBR pile doesn't kill me first!) =)

Tracy said...

Ok I've heard such great things lately but I've not read. I know, I suck. But it's great that people are saying wonderful things about Colleen's books! I need to read one this weekend before she shows up on DIK! arg! :)

Great interview!

Lady of the Review said...

Wow! Keep up the great comments everyone! :) I know some of y'all are still in SF for the conference. That's why I kept it open thru Sunday. :)

I'm tired. Going to go write for a bit, then it's off to work on the morrow. *sniffle*

Tracy said...

omg I finished The Rest Falls Away today and I'm SO sad! Phillip! My poor Phillip! lol

I know Colleen said she's known who's V's gonna be with from book one - but I want Phillip! (yes, I'm stomping my my feet like a small child!! lol)

Oh well! waaaah!