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Author Spotlight

dv headshotDavid Vinjamuri is the talented author of Operator, one of my top reads of last year – and you have to know that I’m picky, especially when reading a genre I write in. I was struck by how well-edited and generally thought out that book was, and as I learned more about David’s journey, I thought his story would make an interesting blog, especially considering how much I harp on quality and consistency. David writes a column for Forbes.com, in addition to having a fascinating background in the intelligence field, and just released his sequel to Operator, titled Binder. He was kind enough to take out a few hours of his time to put up with me pestering him. The below represents the results of that interrogative.

 

Russell Blake: David, I enjoyed your first novel, Operator, a great deal. It was one of the better written indie novels of 2012. As I began stalking you, I discovered that you write for Forbes.com – what’s it like to write fiction while working for a pub like Forbes?

David Vinjamuri: I enjoy the combination. On my Forbes column I write about brands and increasingly about publishing. It’s completely grounded in reality and gives me a chance to make structured arguments. Writing thrillers is more about telling stories, which is the other thing I love.

RB: How did you get hooked up with Forbes?

DV: I traditionally published a marketing book called Accidental Branding in 2008. It got good exposure and I was invited to write articles for BrandWeek and Advertising Age as a result.  Then my editor from AdAge moved to Forbes and invited me to become a contributor.

RB: So why sully yourself with writing action/adventure novels when you have a real career?

DV: It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was twelve.  My first real job was working as an intelligence analyst at the State Department. I had an offer to join the CIA a couple years later but decided to go to grad school instead. I went to The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and planned to return to government when I graduated but when I considered the size of my student loans I ended up in the private sector. I worked for Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, DoubleClick and others in marketing. But I always wanted to write thrillers. So when the opportunity to write a business book came along I was really thinking it was a sideways way to get into writing fiction.

RB: Interesting. I think your intel background shows in your writing – certainly in Operator. Let’s just say it had a certain veracity to it that’s often lacking in the genre. Now let’s move on to process. How do you come up with your ideas? And when you have one, how do you proceed from there?

DV: The four thrillers I’ve worked on (one finished but unpublished, Operator, Binder and the one I’m currently working on) all started with an idea for the opening scene. When I lived in DC, a girl I’d dated from my hometown killed herself with a gun. At her funeral a guy who’d been stalking her overseas showed up and claimed he was her fiancé. That became the jumping off point for Operator. For Binder, I imagined a scene from the sixties – a bunch of protestors pulled off a bus at night by men in hoods and beaten. One of the protestors goes missing but it turns out she was never on the bus. Then I think about what will create the central tension in the book and wind a story around that.

RB: Interesting, and a lot like how ideas like JET started out, with just the name and a rough concept of a killer chase sequence.

DV: Like minds…

RB: Let’s talk about craft. Are there specific things you focus on with each book? Do they change?

DV: Absolutely. With Operator, I was very focused on language and the kinesthetic issues. I have been a thriller reader since I was eight years old, but I also read a lot of literary novels. I was frustrated by some of the writing in mainstream thrillers. That’s part of what made me want to write thrillers. My other pet peeve with thrillers was the mechanics of the action sequences. I was a wrestler before college and I studied judo, aikido and tang soo do. I was also a weapons analyst at State. I really wanted to write something that wouldn’t make experts cringe.

With Binder, I had different issues. I wrote Operator as an origins story. Michael Herne, the main character ended up being a little aloof, probably more than I wanted. I also thought that my female characters were one-dimensional. So in Binder I was focused on making Herne more relatable and introducing some stronger women. I still think Nichols is too generic but she will return and I’ll make her more human. The second big issue with Binder was pacing. Operator was really trans-genre. It started as a mystery but ended as a thriller. I wanted to do the same thing with Binder, but I knew that some people got bogged down at the beginning of Operator. So I looked at serial novels all the way back to Dickens to understand how serials pull you from chapter to chapter. That also helped with plot. Twists and surprises are a great way to maintain tension.

For the next book I’m working more on character and on dialogue. Most of my writing before Operator was expository, so dialogue does not come naturally to me. I want to improve at writing characters that can be identified by their speech patterns alone.

RB: If you have this sense of forward movement, does that mean you’re dissatisfied with what you’ve already written?

DV: I always pick up an older book or article and say “how could I write that sentence?” I hope that I am developing as a writer. I have a very clear idea of the kind of writer I’d like to be. I’m not interested in rambling soliloquies or extended artful descriptions. I want to evoke images and feelings with the fewest number of words possible. I also want every single book I write to cause half my readers to miss a night of sleep. But I’m not there yet. I have more to learn. I like writing as an indie because I can bring an audience along with me as I grow.

RB: Do you outline or are you a pantser?

DV: I’m somewhere between the two. Before I start a book I’ve thought about it for a couple of months at least. I think of that inciting incident, the central tension, the characters and the layers of the story. But I don’t try to lay out the plot in detail. Since I’m writing in first person, I want to be authentically surprised by the direction that events turn. I spend a lot of time as I’m writing trying to figure out the next twist and plot turn. I am very detail-oriented.

RB: How many drafts do you do? And how do you know when it’s “done?”

DV: I did seven drafts of Operator but only three of Binder before it went to the editor. It goes to the editor when I can’t make it significantly better on my own.

RB: Let’s discuss editors, beta readers, proofreaders, etc. Do you use them, and if so, how? What’s your approach?

DV: After I’ve advanced the story as far as I can, a couple of friends with specific talents read the book. One holds the opposite political views I do and he helps me scrub bias from the books because they’re not meant to be political. Another reads just for relationships – she’s not a thriller reader and tells me honestly when something Michael or a female character does makes her cringe. Once I’ve done that it goes to a developmental editor. I get back a few pages of thoughts on pace, plot, characterization, dialogue, etc as well as margin notes, and I redraft. Then it goes to my Army contact (a Master Sergeant at Fort Bragg who runs the armory and is an instructor at the Special Warfare school) for technical review. Then the manuscript goes in for line editing and finally proofreading and formatting. The process is expensive and time-consuming but I am very sensitive about the quality critique of Indie authors. I obsess over my work and I like having total control. That doesn’t mean that mistakes don’t slip through, but I try my best.

RB: Operator was one of the cleanest self-pubbed books I’ve read, so your best is better than many. What’s your preferred writing environment like? Silent, or music? If so, what kind?

DV: It’s generally silent because I get into a zone and I forget to put on music. But I have a playlist which includes everything from Adele and One Republic to Johnny Cash, The Stones, Pitbull, blues and classical. I have eclectic tastes.

RB: How many hours a day do you write when you’re writing fiction? And how do you approach a novel? Immersion? Organized? Chaotic?

DV: Unfortunately I’m juggling a bunch of different things. I teach master’s degree students at NYU, train corporate marketers, write the column for Forbes, speak professionally and do some consulting. There’s very little predictable about my schedule. Some weeks I can spend two or three full days writing, other weeks I’m caught up with other stuff. Because I have two small children I try to do my work during business hours or late at night if I must, but I write better during the day.

RB: How many hours, total, would you guess you have into a first draft, and then any subsequent drafts?

DV: At least a thousand, possibly more. I’m afraid to count.

RB: What are you working on now?

DV: The next story in the Michael Herne saga. I’m determined to get it out in 2014.

RB: What counsel would you offer to other authors desirous of going down the indie path?

DV: The writing has to be its own reward. Every writer wants readers but even successful writers may have a period of years when there are very few of them. If you can’t find happiness in the process of writing, the road will be too steep and uncertain to succeed. That’s true for both traditional and indie writers. You also can’t assume that writing a good book will ensure that it sells. That’s marketing and it’s a completely different job. Unfortunately traditional publishers market very few titles actively, so this also applies to both kinds of writers. What’s different for indies is that you don’t have the benefit of a disinterested agent or acquisitions editor telling you “this is a good book” so you have to have the stubborn self-confidence of an entrepreneur to succeed.

RB: Any last words of advice?

DV: Things are changing fast. The most important thing for indie authors right now is to focus on craft and quality control. The more feedback you can get in the process – from editors to independent reviewers – the better chance you have to improve as a writer. I want to get better with every single book.

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Hugh Howey is one of the resonating success stories of the indie publishing movement. His Wool series is a massive hit, and he recently signed a deal with Simon and Schuster where he retained his ebook rights, in a move that was hailed as groundbreaking only a short time before Colleen Hoover did the same. The landscape is apparently changing so fast that last week’s news is this week’s legend, but one thing that seems to be consistent is that readers are embracing well-written indie-published books with enthusiasm. Hugh is a wonderfully warm and down to earth author whose talent is only exceeded by his humility. He’s a fitting model for the industry, and it’s with great pleasure that I welcome him to the blog.

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NEWS: A great review for Silver Justice from Sheila Deeth is a must-read!

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RB: Hugh, your Wool series is a blockbuster. To what do you attribute its success?

HH:  I attribute its success to the readers. They are the ones who read the first Wool and demanded more. I wouldn’t have written the rest of the series without their feedback and reviews clamoring for me to continue the saga. And everything since then has been a product of their enthusiasm, their telling family and friends, and all the great buzz they’ve created. For some reason, this story resonates with people. They’ve done the rest.

 

RB: You’re not exactly an overnight sensation. How long have you been at this, and what was your journey?

HH: It feels practically overnight! I’ve been writing seriously for four years. I had six novels and a short story published before Wool took off. The last year has been insane. This time a year ago, I worked in a bookstore shelving other people’s books.

 

RB: Your recent deal with Simon & Schuster where you kept your ebook rights was considered a landmark for indie authors. Do you see this becoming the norm moving forward?

HH: I sure hope so. It might not become the norm, but it should become more common. Colleen Hoover recently received a similar deal. And before us there was Bella Andre with Harlequin. Publishers are much more flexible than they get credit for. I think they’ve been fortunate to watch and learn from the film and movie industries. They are adjusting faster than those businesses did.

 

RB: Let’s talk process. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write? How long between when a book idea comes to you, and when it’s ready to be written?

HH: I plot and structure, but I leave room for my characters to meander and inform the plot as they go. It’s a wide path I lay out. But I know where it’s headed. I have to have the final scene in my head before I start. Otherwise, I think readers can sense when a story is wandering aimlessly.

 

RB: Do you have a set schedule for writing? What’s your typical writer’s day like?

HH: I get most of my writing done in the morning. I aim for 2,000 words a day. I can usually get this done between 6 and 11 in the morning.

 

RB: Do you have monthly or annual word goals? How’s your discipline?

HH: My annual goals are to publish around 200,000 words. That might be three short novels or two long ones. I wrote five novels over 60,000 words each last year, which I consider a success.

 

RB: Longhand or computer? Any trick software you favor for writing?

HH: Oh, computer. My hand cramps after the first page of longhand. My software of choice is Apple’s Pages, because of how clean the fullscreen mode is. Too bad Apple has abandoned the application. I would love an update.

 

RB: How do you come up with your characters? Based on real people, pure invention, or a combo?

HH: It has to be a combo. I pull from people I know and all the fictional characters I’ve encountered over the years. And probably too much from myself.

 

RB: Do you ever have issues with motivation? Writer’s block? If so, how do you move past it?

HH: No, I can always write. The problem these days is finding the time! I have way too much business-related stuff to handle. It was easier writing around my day job, because when I wasn’t working, I didn’t have anything on my mind other than the book in progress. These days, I can’t stop thinking about the emails piling up, the books to sign and ship, the upcoming travels, and so much more. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but I would have thought when I quit my day job that all I’d have to do is sit around and write!

 

RB: Describe your work environment. Quiet? Music? Window? What is it like?

HH: Silence. Me and my laptop and my dog. I can be on the sofa or out in the back yard or in the bed. All I see is my laptop and all I hear is my dog grunting to be taken for a walk.

 

RB: How many hours a day do you write? Are you consistent every day, or is it sporadic?

HH: I try to spend 3-4 hours writing a day. I’m pretty consistent. Except when travel intrudes. And then I try to cram it into plane rides and gate waits.

 

RB: How many times do you polish before your manuscript is ready for edit – how many drafts?

HH: I aim for 7-8 complete drafts. The last one or two are light edits, but those are often the most important.

 

RB: Adverbs. Satan’s foot soldiers, or valuable tools?

HH: Valuable tools! Man, what’s up with all the rules for writers? Just say what you want to say. Convey information. We are writing for readers, not English majors. What’s strange is getting an email from an aspiring writer with some sample of their material attached. The email is invariably a better read than the writing. We put too much pressure on ourselves. Just write. Use your own voice. Forget complete sentences and how many –ing and –ly words you’re using.

 

RB: Let’s talk pricing. How do you arrive at your pricing model, and how do you know it’s “right?” Do you see that changing over time? If so, in what way?”

HH: I’m not the right one to ask. I have zero confidence in my own writing, so it’s all I can do not to make it all free. I undervalue and therefore underprice everything I write.

 

RB: What do you think about the current state of trad pub vs. self-publishing? If someone came to you and asked which to do, what would you say?

HH: I think a very beautiful interplay between the two is coalescing. The stigma against self-published work has disappeared among publishers. 1 out of every 20 books sold last year was from E.L. James, who originally published on a fan fiction site. That’s mind boggling. It has publishers looking everywhere for the next bestseller.

Over a year ago, well before Wool took off, my advice to myself and my fellow writers was to view self-publishing as the new querying method. Stop wasting your time trying to prove yourself to agents and editors. That process is SLOW. Self-publish and start writing the next work. Rinse and repeat. If you work catches on with the gatekeepers who matter (the readers) the rest of the publishing world will come to you. If you can’t please the readers, going traditional isn’t going to help.

I know that sounds simplistic coming from someone who has had success, but I was harping on this before my sales took off. Of course, I was ridiculed for suggesting such a tactic. I still am. But even though I have publishers clamoring for my next work, I continue to self-publish first and wait for things to play out afterward. I can’t sit on a finished work for a year while the marketing machine warms up. Books are now published forever. There’s no longer any pressure to earn a bundle in six weeks or six months. Your book might take off ten years from now. Move on.

 

RB: What counsel would you offer a newbie who was interested in pursuing the author’s path? Is there anything you feel you have done that is primarily responsible for your remarkable success?

HH: I may have touched on most of my best advice above. I recommend two things, really: Write because you love to write and for no other reason. That’s the first thing. Secondly: make your work available. It doesn’t matter how. Give it away if you must. It’s not going to do anything for you unread.

 

RB: What’s your biggest writing regret? The one thing you wish you could do over, or differently?

HH: I wish I would’ve printed a few hundred copies of the first Wool Omnibus. Those things are going for several hundred bucks on eBay! I think I might sell the copy my wife owns. Don’t tell her.

 

RB: Whose work most influenced you, and why?

HH: After reading Douglas Adams, I wanted to become a writer. After reading Ender’s Game and hearing that Card was from my home state, I started to think it was possible. These days, it’s Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, and comic book writers like Geoff John, Robert Kirkman, and Joss Whedon.

 

RB: A question about genre. How much flexibility do you allow yourself in terms of genre-hopping? Do you have a rule of thumb you would recommend?

HH: I’m a few chapters in to my first erotica novel. I’m going to write it all. Reader beware.

 

RB: What’s your current project? Can you tell us anything about it?

HH: I just wrapped up the last SHIFT book and am working on DUST, which is the last book of the WOOL series.

 

RB: What’s the best thing about being an author?

HH: Working without getting dressed. Sorry for the mental image.

 

RB: You’ve been extremely gracious sharing your time and views. What advice would you leave budding authors with, if you only had thirty seconds to impart it?

HH: Stop reading my advice and go write. Entertain yourself. Enjoy the process. Dive into your characters mind and heart and reside there. Have fun and be good to one another!

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave since Xmas (and there’s nothing wrong with that – I’m not judging. OK, maybe I am, but what the hell are you doing living in a cave, anyway?) you have by now heard about the meteoric rise of indie author Colleen Hoover, whose latest novel Hopeless is selling faster than tequila in Tijuana, breaking records all over the place, and has occupied the #1 spot on Amazon most of the time since Christmas. That’s many thousands of books a day, folks. Some days, tens of thousands. And as if that wasn’t enough, she just inked a deal with Simon & Schuster for the paperback rights to Hopeless – retaining all ebook rights, which is only the third time I’ve heard of that happening (Bella Andre with Harlequin, and Hugh Howey with Wool). Remarkable for a seasoned veteran, to be sure, but how about for someone who released her first book on Amazon a year ago?

So who is this masked woman with the strength of ten indie authors? Where did she come from? Whose shirts does she wear (when she wears anything at all)? What’s her secret? How does she do that crazy thing she does? It was with these and other burning questions in mind that I hunted her down and forced her to respond to my interrogatives by pretending to be from The New Yorker, or at least from New York or some place over on that coast with an accent. I think she was so dazed from her recent Nightline appearance (see all the details at her blog) that she answered before checking to see what that release she signed actually said, and thus my latest Author Spotlight, and the first of 2013, was born.

So without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen, a remarkable success story and a very nice, down to earth lady…Colleen Hoover!

Colleen

 

RB: Your first two novels since beginning to self-publish in 2012 were hits, and your latest, Hopeless, is a blockbuster – a huge sensation. To what do you attribute its success, and what was your journey as a writer?

CH: Obviously, the success of the books lies in the people who have read it.  Word of mouth was a huge proponent in the sales of the books.  I never paid for advertising, so I believe it’s a combination of finding your market.  And a lot of luck.

 

RB: How did Slammed and Point of Retreat break out and hit so big? What do you think, if there was any one thing, that pushed them past the tipping point? Or was it more of an organic build?

CH: I saw a very small increase on a weekly basis the first couple of months.  By the third month, readers were recommending the book to bloggers.  Once the bloggers began releasing reviews on it, I saw a huge increase in sales.  Especially when a blogger with a large following would review it.  I think it helps that the books are contemporary romance, which has a huge fan-base.  It also helps that before writing my first book, I had never read a contemporary romance, so SLAMMED doesn’t fit the mold.  I think it was just different enough that people were recommending it because it was different.

 

RB: You’ve been selling a gazillion books a week ever since Hopeless started booking orders in December. Besides just being slathered in awesome sauce, can you put your finger on why this one took off like it did? Word of mouth? Big pent up demand from your last ones? Something special with marketing?

CH: I wasn’t sure how this book would do.  I was very nervous about it.  When I wrote my first two books, I didn’t think anyone would read them, so I didn’t feel the pressure I felt writing Hopeless.  I eventually just had to tell myself that I didn’t have to publish this one if I didn’t like it, so it became fun to write.  I didn’t release the title or the cover of the book while writing, because again, I didn’t want to feel pressure to put it out there.  I also didn’t tell anyone when it would be released, so the day I announced that it was available there was a huge rush of buyers.  It broke Amazon rankings a few hours later at #6, which was a complete shock.  I wasn’t sure if it would stick or not.  I think the cover has a lot to do with the initial success.

So as far as marketing, I did absolutely zero marketing of this book before it was completed.  Readers knew I was working on a book, they just didn’t know what it was about.  So, again…I really can’t put my finger on what has made this book do as well as it has.  It could have gone either way, really.

 

RB: If you had to summarize what you do as a writer to a reader new to your work, how would you present it? What’s the Colleen Hoover difference?

CH: I love plot twists and shockers.  It is really difficult to explain what my books are about to new readers, because until you dive into it, I don’t really WANT people to know what they’re about.  The fact that we are required to write a blurb is my least favorite part of books.  If it were up to me, the reader would go into my books not knowing a single thing about them.  I think they’re more fun that way.

And that’s essentially how I write them.  I can’t do outlines, they never work out.  I sit down and begin writing, not knowing what to expect from the characters or how the book is going to end.  It’s a lot more fun that way.

 

RB: Let’s talk process. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write? How long between when a book idea comes to you, and when it’s ready to be written?

CH: It’s different with every book.  With Slammed, I had ZERO idea what that book would be about.  It unfolded with each sentence.  With HOPELESS, I had an idea and even wrote an outline, but every page of that outline was thrown out once the characters started veering away from it.

I have a few books I’ve started that didn’t pan out, so it doesn’t happen every time.  I just know once I get to a certain point in my writing when the characters actions start pissing me off, that’s when I know it will be a book that will be finished.

 

RB: Do you have a set schedule for writing? What’s your typical writer’s day like?

CH: I have absolutely no schedule.  I write when I’m inspired.  Sometimes I write fourteen hours straight for days in a row.  With Hopeless, I hit a huge block after the first few chapters and actually went an entire three months without writing.  Then when I passed the roadblock, I picked it up and wrote every day until it was finished.  I am extremely disorganized and cannot go by a schedule for anything, especially writing.  This is why I don’t give myself deadlines or tell readers what I’m publishing next.

 

RB: Do you have monthly or annual word goals? How is your discipline?

CH: I have no goals.  The only goal I have is to continue to enjoy what I do. If I put three books out a year or one book out in the next ten years, I want it to be because I chose to do so.  Not because I’m on a publisher deadline or a personal deadline.  Otherwise, it would feel like work.

 

RB: How long have you been writing? And what prompted you to go indie versus trad pub in 2012?

CH:  I have always loved to write, but I’ve never attempted a novel until I started writing SLAMMED.  I had no intentions of publishing a book because I didn’t think I had the talent, to be honest.  Or the patience.  So I put it on Amazon so people I know could read it.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that book would turn into a career for me.  I think if I had any idea that so many people would be reading it, I would have chickened out and never finished it.

 

RB: How do you come up with your characters? Based on real people, pure invention, or a combo?

CH: I don’t use real people.  I just write until they are fleshed out.

 

RB: Do you ever have issues with motivation? Writer’s block? If so, how do you move past it?

CH: I do.  I try not to think about it too much when it happens.  I just wait until I get a new idea that inspires me.  As long as I never give myself a deadline, I don’t feel the pressure once writer’s block occurs.

 

RB: Describe your work environment. Quiet? Music? A special space? What is it like?

CH: Quiet.  I need absolute quiet.  I have a small building that is detached from my house so that I can’t hear children.  I also make it a point not to bring negative energy out there.  I don’t pay bills or do “work” where I write, because I want it to remain an inspiring place to go.

 

RB: How many times do you polish before your manuscript is ready for edit – how many drafts?

CH: Several.  I mostly edit as I go.  I can’t continue on to another chapter until I’ve re-read and edited the previous chapters several times.

 

RB: You just did a deal with Simon and Schuster where you held your e-book rights. That’s the second deal like it, both with S&S, I’ve heard of. I see it as tremendously positive for authors. What can you tell us about it?

CH: I was very happy with my choice to self-publish HOPELESS.  However, I also have been very happy with the deal I made through S&S with my first two novels.  I had turned down a trad offer for Hopeless before its release, but once I self-published and it began doing well, I accepted the offer for print rights.  I did this because I did not want to give up e-book rights, but trad publishers have the ability to do things with print rights that a self-published author is unable to do on their own.  To me, it’s a win-win.

 

RB: I am convinced there has never been a better time to be an author. Stories like yours reinforce that conviction. Movie deals, landmark book deals…how does it all feel for you? Have you changed in any way that you feel is significant?

CH: It has been incredible.  I honestly believe that 99.9% of my success has been timing and luck.  If this had been two years ago, my manuscript would have collected dust and I never would have submitted it to anyone other than my mother.  So yes, this is definitely the time to be an author.  And I like to think I haven’t changed in any way.  I’m much busier, that’s for sure.  Other than that, I still wear my pajama pants to Wal-Mart when I run out of milk.

 

RB: What counsel would you offer a newbie who was interested in pursuing the author’s path? Is there anything you feel you have done that is primarily responsible for your remarkable success?

CH: I get this question a lot and I hate that I don’t have a good answer.  I have NO idea why my books have done as well as they have.  I don’t have any secrets or magic potions to share.  I write because I love to write and I hope it will remain that way.  Everything that has happened since publishing my first book has been incredible, but I have no idea what sets one book apart from another.

 

RB: What’s your biggest writing regret? The one thing you wish you could do over, or differently?

CH: I don’t believe in regrets.  In fact, when I sign SLAMMED, the one thing I write in every book is, “Never Regret.”  J

 

RB: Whose work most influenced you, and why?

CH: I don’t know that I was influenced by one particular author.  I’ve just always loved to read and feel that’s where my love for writing began.

 

RB: Are you working on anything you can talk about?

CH: I am always working on something.  But I’ll never talk about it before it’s ready to be released.  ;)

 

RB: You’ve been extremely gracious sharing your time and views. What advice would you leave budding authors with, if you only had thirty seconds to impart it?

CH: Don’t set out to write the next bestseller.  Write because you love to write.  Readers can tell the difference.

Colleen, thanks so much for stopping in and giving the world a peek into your process and your thinking. Every author is different, although I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who holes up for 14 hours a day when writing, or wears PJs to WalMart – and yes, there’s a long restraining order story in that, but one which I’ll save for another day.

Everyone, go check out Hopeless and see why it’s taking America by storm, and while you’re at it, check out JET, which is free right now, and which has been associated with miraculous healing episodes all over the world, and which I will also soon  be redoing with a picture of a fluffy kitty on the cover, or a puppy wearing a bandit mask – not that I would ever pander, but still…

 

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