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Friday, April 10, 2009

Meet Catherine Anne Collins



Today's guest is award winning author Catherine Anne Collins. Catherine, welcome to the blog, and congratulations on your two new releases. How exciting to have two new books out in one month! And I love your cover for A Witch's Lament.

Thanks, for having me, Elaine.

Just for fun what are some of your pet peeves?

Okay, this might seem like a strange one, but it irks me no end when people don't use their turn signals when driving. The signals are there to let other drivers react accordingly and its a great way to avoid accidents. Not only that, but I can't count the number of times I've sat at an intersection waiting for an oncoming car to pass so I can pull out, only to have them make the turn. Talk about inconsiderate.

People who are late or don't show up at all are high on my list of pet peeves. Yes, the world seems to run at a hectic pace these days, but be considerate enough to realize that other people's time is just as valuable as yours. If you say you'll be there at a certain time, be there. Keep in mind the person you are meeting might have other plans that include other people. By being late, you have no idea how many other people you affect.

Hormones. That's it, just hormones. No more needs to be said.


I hear you! What do you read for fun when you’re not writing?

I have a varied taste in reading material depending on my mood. Fantasy, suspense, romance, action. A few of my favourite authors are Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mary Jo Putney, Terry Goodkind, Jose Litton, Susanna Kearsley, James Rollins, Anne Bishop, Jean Plaidy, Karen Marie Moning. It's a long list with new authors constantly being discovered.


What genre do you write it? What drew you to write in that genre? If you mix genres talk about that too.

Mainly fantasy romance and paranormal romance, though somehow I did end up writing a contemporary with no magic and not one sign of a faerie or pixie anywhere. It's called Solitary Cove and will be released later this year (hopefully). The filming of the movie Welcome to Mooseport, which was filmed in my hometown, gave me the basis for the story.

But I do prefer writing about places that exist only in the mists of time. Atlantis, Avalon, Camelot, the myths and legends surrounding these places provide great material for weaving stories and leave a lot of leeway for personal interpretation.


Oh, that's a good line. 'places that exist only in the mists of time.' What is the weirdest experience you’ve ever had with a fan?

Well, nothing too weird. A couple of instances come to mind, though. I remember this tough, biker-type guy buying a copy of my first book, Sword Across Time. A couple of weeks afterwards, he came to me and said that he'd finished reading the story. I braced myself for him to ask for his money back or something. Instead, he told me that he loved the book and that when he reached the end of the story, he had a tear running down his cheek. A happy tear, not a sad one. I tried to imagine this big guy crying over my book and I have to say, even with my imagination, it was difficult to imagine. By the way, just so you know, all my books have a happy ending.

Another strange happening to do with the same novel. I received an e-mail from a reader who said they'd just finished reading my book and they loved it. They couldn't put it down. Not so unusual except for the fact that the book had sat on their bookshelf for four years before they read it and contacted me. I definitely
was not expecting a fan letter that long after the publication date.



Catherine, both of your fan stories are very nice, especially the biker guy. Who says men can't cry, right? So tell us, what in your life (movies, books, people) has made a real lasting impression on you? Why?

There was a librarian at my school when I was in about grade 4. I think she was thrilled to have a student who visited the library by choice to ask for specific books. Enough so, that she even interrupted the class I was in a couple of times to bring me the books I'd requested. I have to admit, it was a little embarrassing having her tiptoe into the classroom and over to my desk while the teacher was at the front of the class speaking, but her intentions were good and she did feed my thirst for reading material.

The Lord of the Ring movies have also greatly influenced my writing. I walked out of those movies with the creative juices just pumping. I think there is something to be said for the friendship, dedication to moral duty and the supreme loyalty to the death if need be. My favourite line from the movie is near the end of the first one when Aragorn realizes the Frodo has to go on by himself. He kneels down to Frodo' level, looks him in the eye and says, "I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor." That single statement says so much and brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

Every book I read leaves me with an impression and some small bit of motivation or flame of creative fire.



What is the hardest part of writing for you?

For me, the hardest part is trying to flesh out the story and keep it going. I can come up with a million ideas for great stories and have a rough idea of what I'd like the story to be, that's the easy part. I'm what's called a panster, I don't outline, but prefer to write by the seat of my pants, so to speak. The problem with that is that I have no idea what's going to happen until I write it. I don't know my characters until I see how they react to circumstances. Once in awhile my writing comes to a halt because I come up against a wall and just don't know what comes next. My solution usually comes to me at night when I go to bed and start imagining my characters and their situations as if they were real.



We have something in common there. I'm a panster too. Where can we find out about you and your book (include your publisher’s website and your personal one).

My website is: www.catherineannecollins.com
My publishers websites are: www.crescentmoonpress.com
www.wingsepress.com
www.trebleheartpress.com

Cathy, thanks again for stopping by. I wish you great luck with your two new releases. Readers, you can check out Cathy's web site for buy links.

I hope all of you have a blessed and happy Easter.

2 comments:

LuAnn said...

Not using turn signals bug me, too! I'm the one always yelling out the window, "Why do you think they put them in cars, anyway?" Of course, no one ever hears me except my husband, who hardly ever uses his, either. (Sigh)

merlinsmuse said...

Oh, if you want to talk husband's (imagine me rolling my eyes here). Mine has this habit of waiting until we're almost on top of the stop light or stop sign before putting on the brakes. He doesn't understand why, on the first snow storm of the season, he almost slid the car into a street post.

Must be a man thing. :-) But you gotta love them.

Catherine