Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Interview with paranormal mystery author Margo Bond Collins

It's my pleasure to introduce you to paranormal mystery author Margo Bond Collins today. She's chatting about herself and her new novel, Waking Up Dead. She even has a giveaway (see below)!

Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

Welcome, Margo. Please tell us about your current release.
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?

What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote this book when I lived in Alabama for a few years. I remember driving to work one morning (I teach college English) and seeing just a wisp of fog move across the statue in the middle of the town square. The statue was of some Civil War figure, and I remember thinking that it looked oddly ghostly. In between teaching classes that day, I started writing Callie’s story.

“Hey,” I said, hurrying after the woman. “Wait up.”
“I know you’re not talking to me,” she said. She stared straight ahead and pushed her cart down the middle of the aisle toward housewares.
“I am talking to you. Look. I know this is really weird, but I need your help.”
“Well, I’m not talking to you. I don’t know what your problem is, but you can take it somewhere else.”
I wanted to reach out and grab her cart, to make her stop and talk to me, but of course I couldn’t. Which gave me an idea.
I scurried out in front of her, planting myself in her path.
“Move,” she said.
“Not until you hear me out. Please?”
She moved her cart to the left. I stepped out to intercept her. She moved to the right. So did I.
“You got some kind of death wish or something?” she asked.
I laughed and shook my head. “If only you knew.”
“I’ve got no time for this,” she said. And she slammed into me with her shopping cart.
At least, that’s what she planned to do.
The shopping cart, however, slid right through me. When it stopped, the basket had sliced cleanly through my midsection. The bottom rack merged with my ankles. From my perspective, it looked like two perfectly solid objects--me and the shopping cart--had melted together. I don’t know what she saw.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t good.
The woman’s eyes widened, then rolled up into her head as she slumped to the ground in a dead faint.
I bent down to try to wake her up, but no matter how hard I concentrated on making contact, I couldn’t even touch her.
I hate being a ghost.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The next novel that is coming out is Legally Undead, the first in the Vampirarchy urban fantasy series. It is forthcoming from World Weaver Press in 2014. I am currently working on sequels to Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead. I am also writing my very first full-blown romance. It’s a paranormal romance involving some unusual shapeshifters—I have some exciting news about it that I’ll be discussing on my blog in the next few months; be sure to watch for it!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Always, I think. I’ve written since I was a child. 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. I also have a Ph.D. in English, so I’ve also been an academic writer for most of my adult life. Almost every job I’ve ever held has had to do with writing.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
In my day job, I teach English courses online. Because I teach online, I do have some flexibility in my schedule, and that means that if I’m suddenly inspired to write, I can take a little time to do that. I also have to be incredibly self-disciplined—it’s easy to put off writing if I don’t feel like doing it! However, I try to fit in at least an hour or two of fiction writing a day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I use the word “ultimately” far too often—something I find funny because it’s rarely the right word (if it’s “ultimate,” it can only be once, right? There’s no need for fifty “ultimately”s in a book!). So the very first thing I do when I finish a draft is run a word search for “ultimately” and change it out.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mostly a writer. But anything other than an English teacher! However, then I decided to go to graduate school, and I was given a job as a graduate teaching fellow. The first day I stepped in front of a class, I knew it was a job I would love. Since then, I’ve done everything I can to be both a working writer and a writing teacher.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love to hear from readers—I work hard to answer any social media messages I get and I’m always excited when someone I don’t know personally contacts me about my book.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves

It’s been my pleasure. Thanks for sharing!

Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of four copies of Waking Up Dead or a $10 Amazon card--and follow the tour for even more chances to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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