Margo Bond Collins is an author of a paranormal mystery novel entitled Waking Up Dead. She has kindly agreed to be interviewed and the following is the result of our interaction. Enjoy!
In my other life, I’m a college professor; I teach English courses online. I live in Texas with my husband and our daughter and a number of thoroughly silly animals. Waking Up Dead is my first published novel; it will be released by Solstice Publishing on October 8.
Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?Waking Up Dead is a paranormal mystery. My second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.
In Waking Up Dead, when Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?
When did you start writing? I’ve always wanted to write. For as long as I can remember, I have made up stories. When I’m driving (which I find immensely dull), I amuse myself by making up characters and figuring out ways to make their lives difficult. The first clear memory I have of writing a story is of writing what would now be considered fan fiction—it was a story set in the world of The Wizard of Oz, and I wrote it out on a yellow legal pad.
Why do you write? In some ways, I feel compelled to write. So first and foremost, I write for myself. I write to tell the stories I want to read. And I hope that others want to read them, too!
One of my favorite quotes about writing is from Neil Gaiman; every time I read it, I am reminded of yet another piece of a life of words:
"You write. That's the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat." --Neil Gaiman
Who is your favorite author? There are too many to list! I tend to have lists of favorite authors according to genre and to time period. But at the moment, here are a few: I love books by Neil Gaiman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Faith Hunter, Stephen Graham Jones, Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Holly Black, Janny Wurts, Jennifer Estep, Rachel Caine, Patricia Briggs, Janet Evanovich . . . and those are just the ones who come to mind immediately!
What are you reading now? I always have several books going. Right now I’m reading a collection of academic essays on the television show The Walking Dead, Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the forthcoming novel by Melanie Karsak entitled Chasing The Star Garden, and KateMarie Collins’ Son of Corse. I’m also re-reading Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series.
Who is your favorite character to write? Whichever one I’m writing at the moment is always my favorite!
Do you have a writing process? I have an office that I use for all my work: academic writing, fiction writing, editing, and online teaching. My desk is against a window so I can see outside. I’m surrounded by books and papers. I write directly on my laptop, but when I get stuck, I sometimes switch to handwriting; this seems to shift my brain onto a different track and helps me get over writer’s block. I write something every day, whether it’s academic writing, fiction, or my blog.
But the single biggest thing that I do to write? It’s narrating. I have an internal monologue—and sometimes dialogue—going on all the time. I think in words; when I have a mental picture, I practice translating it into words in my mind. I tell myself stories and I work out plot lines and I figure out arguments to make about literature. I think about the words to use to explain writing to my classes and I practice describing my surroundings. I think in my characters’ voices and in my own voice. When I get blocked, I go for a walk and let my characters take over for a while until I have another scene.
What I’ve learned in all my years of teaching writing is that writing is a deeply personal process; everyone has different writing rituals, and those rituals can change over time. I used to have to have a clean space in which to write. Now I just need a place to put my laptop (having a three-year-old child might have influenced that change). I used to have to set rules for myself: writing two hours a day, not going out to the pool in the summer until I had written three pages, and so on. I still use those when I’m stuck or resenting the need to write, but these days, the only rule I have for myself is this: Just write.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author? The very best advice I ever got was just this: keep writing new things. Always have a work in progress. Finish writing a piece, do a quick edit, and submit it somewhere for publication. Then move on to the next project. Don’t wait to hear back—that way lies madness! If it’s rejected (and often it will be; that’s the nature of writing for publication), don’t let it get you down. Just send it out again and go back to your work in progress.
What inspired you to pursue writing?I’ve always written. But about ten years ago, a friend suggested I join in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). Until then, I had always written short stories. That year, I finished the first draft of what would eventually become Legally Undead. I’ve been addicted to novel writing ever since!
What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?In my academic life, I write articles about television and movies, so I often have something running in the background. I tend to incorporate the things I love into my writing life, so I’ve written articles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, The Walking Dead, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries. Pretty much anything with a supernatural slant. I also love crime shows: NCIS, Castle, Longmire.
What are your current projects? I’m currently working on sequels to Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead and I’m writing a paranormal romance novel. I’m also editing collections of academic essays on Farscape, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, and The Walking Dead.
Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Cats.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
Favorite food? Enchiladas.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla.
What are 3 things you never leave home without? Smartphone, debit card, and ID. If I have those three things, I can get anything else I might need!
Laptop or desktop? Laptop.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
TV or Movies? TV, but only if I can skip commercials.
Margo also wanted to share her links and Information for you if you wanted to contact her!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575
Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead
Please join me and the other amazingly talented authors over @ Skulldust Circle where we have formed a Writer's Circle that must be seen--a collection of brilliant, up & coming independently published speculative fiction authors with much to give both now and in the future!
All Artwork and covers by William J. Kenney
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