Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
After earning a theatre degree at UC Santa Barbara, I packed up my car and moved to Hollywood to find a job in film production. Eventually, I worked as a “script girl” on a TV sitcom, and later an assistant to Michael Ovitz, at the time the most powerful agent in Hollywood, which was a crazy, fun, stressful job.
After stints as a tech writer/editor, even an improv comedienne!, I sold my first novel, RIGHT CHEST, WRONG NAME, to Harlequin in 1996.
In 2003, I opened a private investigations agency with Shaun, my then-boyfriend and current husband. As a former criminal lawyer, he had trained many PIs, so he mentored me in the fine art of sleuthing.
More recently, I’ve written a romantic-mystery series for Harlequin Superromance, and self-published three mysteries and five nonfiction books, one being my current release, How Do Private Eyes Do That?. If any of Karen’s Killer Book Bench readers would like to win a Kindle copy of How Do Private Eyes Do That?, leave a comment (or a question about private investigations, if you’d like). Two winners’ names will be randomly picked from the comments.
1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?
Romantic-mysteries appeal to my romance-writer background and my investigator reality. Writing nonfiction appeals to the left side of my brain 🙂
2. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)?
Plotter. I go into dangerous territory when I “pants.”
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
Those “ah-ha” moments when things click—a plot twist, character revelation, etc.
4. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?
What I already do: legal investigator.
5. What’s your favorite meal of the day?
Dinner. Time to let go of the day and relax with my honey.
6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why?
It depends on the character’s personality. The more complex and conflicted they are, the more fun they are to write. I wrote two romantic-mysteries, THE UNGRATEFUL DEAD and THE ZEN MAN, in first person (male POV), who had a wickedly funny outlook on life. Loved writing my last female protagonist, a down-on-her-luck criminal lawyer in MISTLETOE AND MURDER IN LAS VEGAS, who was a mass of contradictions, and said things that made me laugh!
7. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?
Superhuman mentality, a la Brainiac, so I could solve cases faster and finally understand how to do my taxes.
8. Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?
San Francisco. I think Northern California is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.
9. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you?
Before I was published, I had an insightful rejection (for a dark mystery) from an agent. He said, “You’re a talented writer, but nobody wants to read sad stories. Write lighter and you’ll sell.” I took his advice and wrote a romantic-comedy, which was my first book sale.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I’m working on a time-travel mystery series. First book will be out in 2017.
Be sure to come back to read more about Colleen and HOW DO PRIVATE EYES DO THAT? on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
Links to Colleen’s website, blog, books, etc.
Colleen Collins Books: http://www.colleencollinsbooks.com
Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes (PI blog):
Amazon Author Page:
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Colleen is giving away a Kindle copy of HOW DO PRIVATE EYES DO THAT? to two lucky readers who comment or ask a question about private investigations on her **Author Peek** or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs. Thank you, Colleen, for sharing your story with us.
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!