ATO- Colleen Houck
Today is another very special #ATO for me because the fantastical Colleen Houck is taking over with an interview and more about the novella for her A-maz-ing Tigers Curse series: TIGERS PROMISE. I was so excited to read this story and I loved it, just like this entire series! If you haven’t heard about, or read this series–you so should! I was actually reading TIGERS QUEST (book 2 of the series) as I started pulling together and planning everything for my Legendary Saga. Just another reason I love this series so much. But enough from me, time to hear Colleen’s answers to some of my interview questions and learn more about her wonderful series.
Take it away Colleen!
- As a writer, we have to do a lot of research to make sure our stories are rooted in facts. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever researched?
I had to research a place called The Body Farm. It’s a site, I can’t remember where exactly where they dump bodies that have been donated to science and they place them in various locations such as a swamp, a forest, in a woodshed, etc. Then they study the rate of decay. The reason I was researching it was so that I would understand how zombies would look for a chapter in Tiger’s Destiny called The Cave of Sleep and Death.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Battle scenes are tough for me. My little brother actually acts them out and explains to me how when you swing a sword a certain way there has to be follow though and you can’t have it coming down on the bad guy’s head in the next move.
- Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.
I always light a candle as I write. It reminds me to add the five senses into my book. If the character doesn’t see, smell, taste, touch, or hear something, then neither does my reader.
- If you were attending a Halloween party, what would your costume be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be the Queen of Hearts. The dress is fun and I’ve been ordering people around since I was a kid so I’d be a natural at it.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? And how did you handle it?
The toughest criticism comes from ordinary people leaving reviews. At some point every author needs to learn to turn a blind eye to it. I once got a very detailed email from someone with pages full of bullet points explaining why I was a terrible author. I was crying by the middle and then, when I got to the end, the person said, “By the way, I’m 13.” I wiped my eyes and vowed never to take that stuff seriously again. Ultimately, the person we are writing for is ourselves and all you can do at the end of the day is your best. If you end up with lots of readers who love to read your story then fantastic! But you’ll always have a group who want to cut you up in little pieces and throw you to the wolves. It comes with the territory.
- If I wasn’t afraid I would _________ (What?)
- If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Social Media. There’s an aspect about it that I love and it’s great to interact with fans but it takes up so much of my time that I often feel chained to it. The expectations that come with it are very high. There are some people who will poke, prod, and pester you, demanding that you acknowledge them in some way. A fan wrote me a long letter that I actually took the time to read and at the end I responded with a, “Thank you so much!” The next day they cursed at me saying I should have written them back something equally as long. That was one of 200 emails I looked at in one day. Social media draws us closer than ever to the people we admire but I think it also creates pseudo relationships that can be damaging in a way, too. And it definitely shrinks or makes invisible the boundaries of where you have a personal space.
- Your books all take place in many different countries; did you travel to any of these places for your book?
No. I wish I had and have plans to go visit at some point.
- If you could change ONE thing about your Tigers Curse Series, what would it be? Why?
I wish that I’d been able to write Tiger’s Dream immediately following Tiger’s Destiny. It’s hard for me to put that on hold while I write my new Egypt series. Retaining the details of an entire series while adding a new one is not an easy thing for my brain to do.
Before the curse, there was a promise. A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story. Before Kelsey there was a girl, raised by a villain, whose love for a hero changed the course of history.
Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities secret while evading his dark powers. When Lokesh promises Yesubai to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she becomes the central pawn in his plot to destroy the ruling family and take power for himself. Yesubai is trapped by her father’s threats and desperate to protect the man she comes to love, but she knows that any decision she makes will have dire consequences. As dark forces gather around her, Yesubai must decide if she’s willing to reveal that somewhere deep within her she has the power to change everything.
New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Her first four novels, Tiger’s Curse, Tiger’s Quest, Tiger’s Voyage, and Tiger’s Destiny were New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. TWITTER FACEBOOK WEBSITE
I am so happy Colleen was able to stop by and take over today, and I hope you all enjoyed her interview! I’m serious, her Tiger series ROCKS! I am also super excited because next week’s #ATO will be me and the release of CLAIMING EXCALIBUR!!!!! Just wait until you see what I’ve got for the release 😀
<3 always LH