Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are very happy to welcome the fabulously talented Colleen Faulkner to our sites today!
Writing as herself, Colleen Faulkner, she is the proud creator of the GRAYSON TWINS and BACHELORS, INC series as well as numerous single titles.
As Hunter Morgan, she established a wonderful backlist of romantic suspense novels (entire backlist as Hunter Morgan can be found here: ttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/290431.Hunter_Morgan).
As V.K Forrest, Colleen graced us with CLARE POINT, a phenomenal paranormal romance series.
And as Sarah Gray, Colleen added mashups to her library of literary excellence.
While we highly suggest that you check out ALL of Colleen’s books, for the sake of today’s Event, we’re going to talk about her CLARE POINT series as V.K Forrest, and her two mashups as Sarah Gray.
The CLARE POINT series that Colleen released as V.K. Forrest currently consists of 4 books – “Eternal”, “Undying”, “Immortal”, and “Ravenous”, with a 5th coming out in the Summer of 2012.
As Sarah Gray, Colleen has released “Wuthering Bites” and has a new release, “A Vampire Christmas Carol” that was just dropped in November.
For those of you not yet familiar with Colleen’s work as V.K or Sarah, we thought we’d give you the synopses of the books to whet your appetite…
“Undying”, CLARE POINT Book #2:
“Ravenous”, CLARE POINT Book #4:
“A Vampire Christmas Carol”:
Intrigued? Good. Colleen’s books are fabulous and you definitely should check them out, but for now, let’s get to the Interview and learn some more about the wonderful author behind these fabulous books, shall we!?
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Colleen! We’re so proud to have you here today, and are very excited to help you promote “A Vampire Christmas Carol” and the CLARE POINT series, as well as hopefully introduce some new readers to your entire backlist.
COLLEEN: Thanks so much for having me. I spend so much time sitting alone in my office writing that I love having the opportunity to chat with readers. While I am a writer, I was a reader first and foremost. I think readers have a special bond, no matter what we like to read.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always like to start out by getting to know our guest author a little bit better.
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?
I'm a grandmother!! My first grandchild, Dahl, (named after the author Roald Dahl) was born last year and he calls me Yaya—Greek for Grandmother. We're not Greek but I just couldn't see myself being called granny or mom-mom! He only says about 10 words, but Yaya is one of them.
I love single malt scotch. My Scottish ancestors??
I love to travel. I've been to almost every state in the US and to Turkey, Iceland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Denmark, the Czech Republic, France & Spain. Next on my list? Ireland next summer with my daughter-in-law and grandson. We'll be staying in the little village where she's from.
Q2): We read somewhere that you live in your family’s 250 year old farmhouse. What’s the history and story behind the place?
COLLEEN: I grew up in a farmhouse built sometime before 1740 and my parents still live there. The original house is 2 rooms, one upstairs, one down, built from hand-hewn logs. Around 1800 the "wealthy" family living there added a 2 story 4 room addition. In researching the property, my mom discovered that our own relatives once owned the house. The property is called "Penelope's Advantage". In the 19th century a woman named Penelope inherited the house and property making her wealthy and quite the catch of the county—allowing her to choose her own husband! The house and property, now just 10 acres, are very dear to us. I can't tell you how comforting it is to have tea with my mom in the same house where I grew up—at the same kitchen table! I sit on the bench I sat on as a child—a bench my dad made.
Q3): What are 3 things that never fail to make you smile?
COLLEEN: My grandson's voice on the phone when he YELLS my name, "Yaya!".
Hearing my 4 adult children in another room laughing with each other
Thoughts of my Great-grandfather Faulkner telling me stories when I was a child. Even though my mom is an author, too, he's the one that gave us both a love of storytelling.
Q4): What are some of your hobbies and/or things that you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?
COLLEEN: I'm a voracious reader—I read every genre. I just joined a book club that meets once a month. Last month we read SOMEONE KNOWS MY NAME by Lawrence Hill. Great story about an 18th century woman kidnapped in her village in Africa and sold as a slave in the American Colonies. It was fiction, but well-researched and based on facts.
I love going to the movies. I like drama, action, suspense. I'm not a comedy or chick flik fan but will go see almost anything.
I'm a foodie and read cooking magazines, watch food channels, and make crown roasts for fun.
Q5): You’ve written in so many different facets of the Romance genre. Do you have a personal favorite niche?
COLLEEN: I really don't have a specific preference. I like being able to switch genres because it keeps me on my toes, as a writer. I never have to worry about being bored when I go to work every morning.Switching genres also challenges me. I try to always add an element I haven't tried before,
Q6): Who are some of your favorite authors, and what are a couple titles in your TBR pile/list right now?
COLLEEN:I never read in the genre I'm writing at the time so I've been reading historicals—and some suspense. Favorite authors: Judith French—my mom! Katherine Irons, Kathy Reichs, Anya Seton ,JK Rowling, Ken Follet's historicals.
On my Kindle, waiting to be read: THE KITCHEN HOUSE,Kathleen Grisson, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, S.J. Watson, WATCHERS, Stephen King,A GAME OF THRONES, George RR Martin
Q7): With Fantasy being such a popular genre these days, what about it fascinates you the most personally?
COLLEEN: I think fantasy calls for a great deal of creativity on the part of the writer. I'm in awe of great fantasy writers like JK Rowling and Tolkien. The more "freedom" a writer is given, the harder the world is to create. I started out in the historical romance genre in the early 80's because history was something I knew and was comfortable with. I knew the "rules" to set a book in 17th century London. With fantasy, you have to make up your own rules and then remain within those boundaries.
Q8): What are the best and worst parts of writing for you?
COLLEEN:I love the freedom it gives me. I hate the freedom it gives me. I usually write on a contract, which means I sell a book before I write it. It's exciting to sell a book and to say I'm a writer, but the day to day job is like any other. Some days it's more fun to go to work than other days. When my kids were growing up, it was nice to be able to fit my schedule around theirs. I've always been a 5 days a week, 40-50 hours a week writer, but I could take off part of a day to do something with my kids or husband and make up for the hours missed at night or on a weekend. The hard part is not playing hooky too often. It's so tempting to go to a movie, or have lunch with a friend or just take my dogs for a walk on a sunny day, but because I write on a contract I always have due dates looming. So far, I've never been late on a deadline. (knock on wood!)
Q9): What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have a routine that you follow? Are there specific things that you have to have with you to get the creative juices flowing, etc?
COLLEEN:I'm what's referred to in the writing world as a plodder. I plod along day to day—no exciting bursts of creativity or staying up all night to write a great scene. I write Monday through Friday, 8-5ish. I often take an hour break in the middle of the day to go to the gym, grab lunch or go for a walk. I begin each day with a perfect cup of tea and email. I answer personal and professional emails. Then I read what I wrote the previous day and edit. Sometimes it takes me an hour, sometimes it takes me half a day! Then I write the next 10 pages. 10 pages is an average day. When I first start a book, it may take me all day to write 5 pages. At the end of the book, when I'm on a roll, I can do 15. I follow a book outline, so I always know what scene I intend to write next. I work on the scenes in my head when I'm driving, vacuuming, cooking, taking a walk or on the elliptical at the gym. I'm always thinking about the book I'm writing when I'm not writing.
Q10): If you could have a super power, what would you want it to be and why?
COLLEEN: To be able to make a tennis ball appear in my hand so I could throw it and hit people doing dumb things! You know, not to hurt them, just to get their attention!
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: O.K, now we’ll ask some questions directly related to books and your writing… J
Q11): What led you to want to write the paranormal classic mashups, and why Wuthering Heights and A Christmas Carol over the other choices available?
COLLEEN :Mash-ups are created from classic literature that is no longer copyrighted, so first I had to pick a work that's no longer copyrighted, then one that another author hadn't already . . . mashed-up. I had a long list of possible books and then I chatted with my agent and editor deciding which books could best be adapted to include vampires.I knew from the beginning that whatever I wrote would include vampires. Wuthering Heights was perfect—Heathcliff could have been a vampire! And I've loved Dickens and loved A Christmas Carol since I was a child. I always wondered what made Scrooge such a Scrooge. That question is answered in A Vampire Christmas Carol.
Q12): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of the CLARE POINT series?
COLLEEN:We have great beaches in Southern Delaware. One day I was sitting on the beach with my book, watching the people around me, and it just popped into my head "What if that hunky guy next to me is a vampire? " Then, everywhere I went, every stranger I met, I imagined he/she might be a vampire trying to keep it hidden from we mere mortals. I did a lot of research into vampire legends all over the world and one of the things many had in common was the idea that vampires were created when humans displeased God and . . . He cursed them. I wanted good vampires,(though not entirely good) so I decided mine had once been bad, but were now trying to redeem themselves. I wanted my vampire books to have a suspense theme, so that's how I came up with the idea that the Kahills were trying to protect humans from evil in the world.
Q13): What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc) in bringing “Wuthering Bites” and “A Vampire Christmas Carol” to life?
COLLEEN: The biggest challenge was trying to adapt the work and still retain the original authors' words. It's very humbling to dissect Bronte's or Dickens' work. There's a reason why we consider them classics! It was also difficult to lengthen A CHRISTMAS CAROl. It was originally only about 27K words and to make it a novel I needed at least 70K words.
Q14): Is there an underlying message in CLARE POINT series that you’re hoping your readers will grasp?
COLLEEN: I like the idea that, in the end, good always outweighs evil. I think the Kahills also teach us to fight the good fight.
Q15): How many books do you have planned for CLARE POINT?
COLLEEN: I created the series to remain open-ended. There will always be evil in world and there will always be Kahill vampires to fight it.
Q16): Do you plan to write any more mashups as Sarah Gray?
COLLEEN:I don't currently have plans to write another mash-up, but you never say never in this business.
Q17): What can we look forward to from any of your other pseudonyms in the near future?
COLLEEN: V.K. Forrest's VORACIOUS will be published in 2012 and I'm considering writing something contemporary in the women's fiction genre—just to see if I can do it.
Q18): Way in the future, when you decided to stop writing and retire, what do you hope your thoughts are, and what do you hope other people’s thoughts will be, about the legacy you’re leaving behind?
COLLEEN:I have no plans to retire! My mom, Judith French, is still publishing, so I think I have a few years ahead of me. But what I hope my writers get from my work is the pleasure of the read. At heart, I'm a storyteller rather than a writer. I want to entertain my reader, if only for a short time. And it's my hope that my readers take something good, something memorable, from the characters they meet in my books. A good book to me is one that makes you think about it when you're not reading it.
Q19): Is there a question that you’ve thought it would be great to be asked in an interview but have never been asked? How would you answer that question?
COLLEEN: No one has ever asked me if I ever think I'll run out of words. I've written close to 70 books 50k-120k words each in the last 25 years. That's a lot of words. The answer? I sure hope not! I don't think so because I'm a storyteller and there's always another story to be told.
Q20): Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers while we have you here today?
COLLEEN: I just want to thank readers for being there to read my books and the books of others'. If I could have any job on earth, writing would be it, so readers all over the world make my dream come true every day.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Colleen, thank you so much for being with us today. We’re very excited to read “A Vampire Christmas Carol” and can’t wait for book 5 in the CLARE POINT series! We’d love to have you back to promote another release in 2012 if you’d be willing!?
COLLEEN: I'd love to come back and chat. I was very hesitant when I was first asked to write a series with vampires and now I've come to love these characters more than any other characters in any other book I've ever written.
Colleen is graciously offering up a signed copy of “A Vampire Christmas Carol” to a lucky winner from LITERAL ADDICTION and a signed copy of “Wuthering Bites” to a lucky winner from Book Monster Reviews.
To Enter: Make sure you are a member of the Book Monster Blog (by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page), and then post a comment on the interview and make sure you leave a valid email address. Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing.
Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!