We're a family of readers. Meeting the most interesting people. Reading Romance, Christian Romance, Contemp, Chick Lit., Suspense Romance, New Romance, YA, Some can sizzle your blood. My hubby will be writing on Hist., Sports, Cookbooks, Bio. & Mystery. What type of genres do you enjoy? Some good author interviews coming. We're on Twitter:@1RadReader59 Instagram:@1radreader and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksreviewedauthorstoo/. Enjoy reading, we will.
Brenda M. Collins Here Now
I would like to
thank Brenda for coming to be with us today !!!
Thank you so much for inviting to meet your friends today.
I’m in my office in Alberta Canada, watching the sun sparkle off
the ice on my window. Winter has come in like a lion this year; we’ve already
had almost two feet of fluffy white snow fall this week. I can almost hear
those Christmas bells ringing! ;-)
Rad-Reader:What made you decide to
become a writer?How and when did you
realize you wanted to do it?
Brenda:My mother, concerned that
I had so little interest in reading as I entered my teens, bought me my first
romantic suspense novel. That’s when I knew what I wanted to be when I grew
up—the next Agatha Christie. However, as often happens, I let LIFE get in the
way. And it’s taken me decades to circle back to that dream.
our readers about yourself… Is there anything personal, you the writer, would
like to share with our readers that they would find interesting.Something no one knows about you?How about something personal? (Funny
an Irish saying, May you live an
interesting life, so I would say I have the luck of the Irish. My first
career was in computer security when it was in its infancy, so I got to see the
emergence of the internet while travelling all over the world.At one point, when I was in my late twenties
and in Paris on business, I got lost in the warehouse district late one night
when the subway shut down, and was rescued by a dark, handsome stranger. I
finally wrote the whole episode down after having to repeat it to friends so
often. It’s posted on my website if anyone wants to read the whole true story.
Now, I’m pursuing my dream of being a commercial fiction author. It’s not as lucrative,
but just as interesting. With my dear hubby, I also love rock hounding, silver-smithing,
and am willing to try anything else that peaks our interest.
Rad-Reader:Where did you grow up and
did it influence your writing at all?
Brenda:I was born on an the
island in the North Atlantic, off the east coast of Canada, called Newfoundland. Its history dates back to
the Vikings, and, culturally, we lean heavily to Irish. Folktales, and
storytelling, are bred into my family genes.
books influenced your writing style do you think? Why?
Brenda:According to some sketchy
family lore, I’m related to Wilkie Collins. LOL But I learned the power of a
well-placed clue by reading Agatha Christie. I discovered strong character
development from Rex Stout and Dick Francis, and romantic suspense from Mariah
Stewart and Kay Hooper. And of course, like everyone else, I’ve learned so much
about the art of storytelling from Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb!
Rad-Reader:What genres do you like to
write and which do you write the most of?
a bit of a genre bender – I’ve always got a cozy mystery running through my
stories, and a hero and heroine who have to build a relationship of some kind
to resolve the puzzle and reach their goals. But then I may weave in paranormal
elements, or give it an old style detective twist, or wander into the
international suspense thriller genre…really wherever my imagination and mood
kind of books do you like to read?What
new authors have peeked your interest?
Brenda: I’m all over
the paranormal suspense and romance genre at the moment. I can’t list all fabulous
authors I’ve found. And there are more great ones yet to be discovered, I’m
sure. I picked up Jeanine
Frost’s HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE this Fall and fell in love
with Cat and Bones. I’ve already read the rest of the NightHuntress series
and can’t wait until January2014 when
UP FROM THE GRAVE is due to be released. And Roxy
Boroughs can write anything from literary fiction to
romantic suspense. It amazes me that she can create a sweet romantic hero, like
Jimmy Frost, in Home for ChristMas,
and then a chilling serial killer, like the one in A Stranger’s Kiss. Isn’t that the definition of a virtuoso–a person with exceptional skill
across many areas?
you good at English/Writing in school?
Brenda:My mother told me recently
that I was the only one of her six children who would refuse to leave the
kitchen, where she would supervise our homework,until she had helped me find the exact word I
needed to capture my story for a writing project. Apparently my imagination
exceeded my vocabulary even then. LOL
Are you in any writing groups?Do you
use long hand, computer. Typewriter, or dictate it?
Brenda:I’ve been attached to a computer for too many
years to count—I don’t think I know what to do with a pen anymore. I’ve been a
member of the Romance Writers of America since 1998, and the Calgary chapter
(CaRWA) since its inception ten years go. I’m also a member of RWA’s Kiss of
Death and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters. For some silly reason, I
didn’t pursue my writing in university – what was I thinking! – so I’ve
depended on those wonderful groups to teach me everything I need to know about
the writing craft and the publishing industry. I’d be lost without their
expertise, support and friendship. Rad-Reader: As a person who grew up with paranormal activity in our home and have esp and and a long line of family members with it, it is hard for me to read about it. I can live it just can't read about it. I know I am weird, been told that my whole life. LOL :D
about your characters?Are any of them
real?You know based on real people
you’ve known or at least some of their traits?
Brenda:Most of my characters come
to me in my dreams fairly well formed so I wouldn’t say they are real. But certainly
I am a people watcher so I’m sure my subconscious is pulling in traits and
mannerisms that I’ve observed. I’m also a research hound. While Joey Frost’s actions are her own in The Holly and The Ivy, I relied heavily on Officer Devon
McCrea of the Polson (MT) Police Department to make sure Joey didn’t stretch
police procedures beyond the breaking point. And I suspect that the characters
are often reflecting some facet of my own personality, for better or for worse.
Rad-Reader:What made you want to be a
part of this trilogy series?
Brenda:That’s an easy one – CJ Carmichael and Roxy Boroughs.
Those two are amazing authors and I was thrilled and honored that they wanted a
newbie like me to join them on this project. They were so supportive and
encouraging as we developed the through-plot of the abandoned baby mystery, and
we had a hoot for a week doing the continuity revisions together at Carla’s
place in Montana. My writing has grown so much
through this experience, I can’t thank
them enough for including me.
Rad-Reader:Is there more you want to
do with the story that you could not fit into the three books? Do you think or
did all the characters say what they needed to say or will there be a reunion?
Brenda:Funny you should ask-the
three of us got together for lunch to discuss our launch plans and started
talking about our secondary characters. We each had come up more story ideas
before we’d even launched the first three! We haven’t made a decision yet to
move on our ideas so let’s see if the readers have a few suggests before we
tell you who caught our attention, shall we? Rad-Reader: No question whatsoever. You have to at the very least have a reunion. We have to know if everyone ended up doing what they were meant to do and if the towns people they were helping made it too.
Rad-Reader:Tell us about your
cover.How did you select it?How important do you think it is to the sale
of your book?
Brenda:A book cover is your
critical first impression to your reader. It has to leap out to your reader
yelling, “I’m the book you want to read!” For A FROST FAMILY CHRISTMAS series,
CJ, Roxy and I nearly drove our cover artist crazy trying to find exactly the
right set of covers that would convey the heartwarming, New England romantic
holiday nature of our trilogy. We had the added challenge, because we were indie
publishing, of needing covers that would still be clear and readable when
shrunk to a 1” by 2” thumbnail on Amazon. We think we succeeded on all counts
but would love to hear from our readers’ opinion on that.
Rad-Reader:Was Christmas important to
you or was it a was it just another day?Any traditions like the Frost family?
Brenda:Christmas was HUGE in my
family! I don’t think my mother got to bed on Christmas Eve until the last of
her children moved out of the house! She blamed it on having to get ready for Christmas
Day, but personally, I think she just got too excited to sleep. She even
started a tradition called the Christmas Ball, that’s still in play (pun
intended) to this day within the extended family across North America. She uses
paper streamers, coins and dollar store trinkets– she writes funny verse for
each ‘prize’. After the big family dinner, we pass the Ball around the table
and each person reads their verse, and opens the prize. New rules have evolved
over the years, like if the streamer breaks, it’s bad luck, and, as more of us
moved farther away, whoever gets the $1 coin has to write the thank you note to
Mom. She’s 88 years old this year and still makes one for each of us and
several of our first cousins’ families – so we’re all wrapped together in
streamers on Christmas Day!
many books do you have out? What is your newest book that is out?
Brenda:I’ve published a sweet paranormal
romance, WITCH IN THE WINDand a sweet romance anthology called STORIES OF CHANCE ROMANCE with Roxy
Borough, for which all author proceeds are donated to the fight against breast
Rad-Reader: This is my second year cancer free from thyroid cancer stage one and I want to thank you for all cancer patients out there this is so nice of you both to do.
just released a sweet holiday romance, The Holly & The
Ivy (A Frost Family Christmas -
Book Three). It’s one of three heartwarming stories that take place
in the fictional town of Carol Falls, Vermont in December. Each novella is a
complete romance, with a mystery running through all three books that is
resolved in my story.