Friday, March 15, 2013

Author Interview: Michaelbrent Collings

Michaelbrent Collins
#1 Best Selling Author

Hooked: A True Faerie Tale

Fill in the blank favorites - Type of hero. Type of heroine.

My favorite heroes and heroines are the ones that DO things. Not the ones that wait in a castle for Mr. or Ms. Right to come along and “save” them. Don’t get me wrong, I like a bit of saving now and then, same as anyone. But if I sat in my room waiting for someone as amazing as my wife to come along, I’d probably still be there. Lonely and a bit sad. No, I think life is enjoyed by those who go out and take it in their hands. And that is reflected in my reading tastes.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?

On my nightstand (by which I mean a combination of my nightstand, my Nook and Kindle apps for my iPad, and the back of my toilet <grin>), I have too many books to count. I’m a member of numerous writing associations, including the Horror Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Writers Guild of America. So I’m always getting free books pushed at me. But when I have to pick… well, it’s still a lot. I have a Dave Barry book (the guy’s hilarious), some fantasies, some horror, my wife’s loaning me her copy of MATCHED, there’s a book about the settlement of Utah, one about Abraham Lincoln, a Mistborn book… and the list goes on. And yes, I’m actually reading them all. I’m a dad, which means I have a better chance of reading if I kind of hide books every five feet around the house, where they can be grabbed anytime I have a spare moment.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Probably South America. I’m gearing up to write a novel set down there, so that would be helpful.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I’d have to say horror/thriller. I like to read all kinds of books, but I grew up with horror as kind of a part of my DNA. My dad is a horror writer, and he was also one of the leading scholars/academics on the subject of horror literature. So every night I went to bed listening to him type in his home office… and listening to the gentle sound of screams emanating forth from whatever horror movie he had going on in the background. Good times.

What is one silly fact about you?

My arms are made of licorice.

Just kidding. That would be ridiculous. Who has arms made of licorice, really? The whole thing is ludicrous! It boggles the mind and belies the laws of physics and good sense. I should stop typing nonsense. Sheesh.

Besides, they’re actually Twizzlers.

What got you started on your writing journey?

See above re: my Dad. He was an English professor with a personal library in the tens of thousands. I was
reading full-sized adult novels by the time I was eight, and it was only natural to start writing as well. He was and is my favorite and best writing coach. And after only a few decades, I got good enough at it to actually start selling my work!

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

I don’t write steamy romance. As with so many things, I think it’s best left to the imagination. My favorite “sex scene” of all time is simply Rhett Butler carrying Scarlett up the stairs. You know what’s going on, what’s going to happen. You don’t need it spelled out. Ditto the love scene in Cary Grant’s To Catch a Thief. At some point it ceases to be romance and starts to be a biology lesson. Romance, for me, IS clean and sweet. That’s not to say there isn’t an element of sexual tension to it, but I find a great deal more strength in writing about the first time you touch a loved one’s hand than the first time you get down and dirty.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?

Lots of writing. As of now (January 28, 2013, when I wrote this), I have a new book out called Darkbound. And it is neither sweet nor romantic. It’s a dark, scary horror novel about six strangers who get on a subway that takes them not to the next station, but to the places they most fear. After that I have a cozy mystery called Blood Relations that should bow in March or so. I have a third book in my YA fantasy series The Billy Saga that should come out end of the year, and probably another horror novel or two. There are also some screenplay deals I hope to hammer out. Should be a busy year!

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

The uniform. Awesome that I get to work without pants.

Just kidding. Now that that image is forever stuck in your minds… probably just the fact that I get to do something I love for a living. It’s a dream to be able to pay the rent with my imagination. And I love the look on my wife’s face when I surprise her. I read everything I write to her before it goes to anyone else – she’s my best alpha reader. I read it aloud, and occasionally I catch her flat-footed with a plot twist or a reveal. Awesome feeling.

Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?

“How can I send you more money?”

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Lots. I filter things, of course – I think it’s a bit egotistical to expect others to pay me for some kind of open-
source therapy session – but the “me” somehow makes it through. Most of my work shows my philosophy of life, especially when viewed as a whole. Life is hard, it can be cruel, even downright ugly. But it’s also beautiful and worthy of love and our attention and care. We are all jewels, and should be treated as such.

Where do your ideas come from?

The cereal aisle in the local Walmart. There’s a very small bin in the middle of it that’s full of ideas, most of
them $9.99 or less.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I think I’ve written about 25 books, and most of them have been published in one form or other through the years.

Please share about your book

Hooked: A True Faerie Tale is a story I wrote that was my response to something I saw all the time: people who were vampire “purists” who hated vampire romances like Twilight, and the vampire romantics who didn’t like the blood and guts of “real” vampires. So I wanted to write a book that could bridge the gap. That could be dangerous and scary and threatening, but could also show a real romance. Not the kind where the girl is basically stalked and where two people fall in love for no reason other than because the story demands it. No, I wanted vampires that scare, that are terrible and terrifying. I wanted heroes and heroines that were heroic because of their flaws, not because of a lack of them. I wanted a romance that grew out of “real” interactions, rather than out of someone’s smell or eyes or rock-hard abs. And because reviewers from the horror and the YA and the romance worlds have all responded to the book, I think I’ve accomplished that. Yay, me!

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Real chick who won’t quit.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

I actually can’t tell you without giving away the plot. Read the book and find out for yourself. You can actually check out a sample on Amazon. Do it. You’ll be hooked.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Because you want to read a book (and have your daughters/sisters/friends read a book) where the girl doesn’t wait for someone to kick butt for her, she does it herself. Because you are a can full of awesome-sauce and you know this book will only make your awesomeness grow.

1 comment:

  1. I need to check out that cereal aisle for an idea on how to build a mental image wiper-outer (there's a certain image of a pantsless writer I need to address) ;).

    Loved Book 1 of the Billy Saga.



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