Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Author Interview - Colleen Coble - Part II

Welcome back, Colleen! Let's jump right into our Q&A session.

4.  Our readers would be interested in your writing process. Would you share your methodology? Plotter/SOTP?

I'm kind of in between but mostly SOTP. I start off with an interesting premise and some kind of fun conflict between my protagonists. I often don't even know who the murderer is myself though. I've tried plotting, but it takes the fun out of it for me if I know who did it. :) So I throw my characters into harrowing circumstances and see what happens.

5.  Every writer has research secrets. Do you have any tips for our readers on conducting research?

I approach research a little differently. I start with a PLACE. People in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are different from people in Arizona. And the things that are in the news are different. So I figure out where I'd like to set a story, and then I read history and newspapers in that area to get a feel for the kind of people who settled there and the interests they might have. It really gets my creative juices flowing.

6. What new projects are in the pipeline? Will there be a new release in 2011?

There is always something going on! In April the 3rd book in the Mercy Falls series will release. It's called The Lightkeeper's Ball, and the cover is just fabulous. In October my 4th Lonestar book ships. Lonestar Angel is my favorite in that series. I've also done something new and fun with my writing buds, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt. It's a novel in four parts called Smitten. It's about four friends who decide to save their dying Vermont village by turning it into the romance capital of the world by playing off the town's name. The fun thing is that our characters have our own personalities!

I'm planning a new contemporary series right now too set in an imaginary town in North Carolina called Hope Beach. I'm excited about it too.

Thank you, Colleen, for sharing your great insights and writing tips. I'm writing notes on your SOTP approach and research. No wonder I can't figure out whodunnit as I'm reading! You keep yourself in suspense as well as the reader. :)

Question for Readers:  Have you read any of Colleen's novels? Which one is your favorite?

Question for Writers:  I thought Colleen's SOTP and research approaches were unique. Do you have some unusual research tips? Do you think you might try starting out with finding a setting for your characters before you get into the plot?



18 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

No research tips but I think it's great how she puts so much stock in setting. I really need to pay more attention to that too.
I've read one of her books, I think.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I love it that Colleen herself doesn't know who the murderer is at first--what a fun lady!

I've not read any of her books, but I'd like to. I love mystery, and they sound superb.

Thanks for this interview. I like yours; they are just the right length.

Karen Lange said...

Great interview. I like her emphasis on researching setting and going from there. And yes, I've read some of Colleen's books and enjoyed them!

Thanks to both of you for doing this. :)
Blessings,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Thanks for stopping by. I think you'd like her books a lot. They always have romance involved.

Setting is an area I need to focus on more as well.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

I was surprised she didn't know the murderer from the start. No wonder she keeps me guessing. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

As I said to Jessica, setting is an aspect of storytelling that I need to refine. I liked Colleen's research methods.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Tonya said...

I have not read any of her Novels but I have seen a few of them and the ones I have looked at sounded really good. I do plan on purchasing one in the future. One day I hope to sit down and start writing, but I have to figure out where to start first *wink* Thank you for this interview. Blessings.

Diane said...

I have not read any of Colleen's books but I always love a good cover to admire. Good luck on all your future books! :O)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Tonya -

The best way to start writing is to write. :) If you journal or jot down your thoughts, it gets the pump primed. Try writing about your experiences.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diane -

I know you enjoy mysteries. Colleen whips up interesting scenarios. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Rhonda Schrock said...

This was very interesting, Susan. I was surprised that she doesn't even know whodunit!

I'm not sure I've read any of her books, but they intrigue me.

Good job, Susan! (And, BTW, you do share grace with others.)

Marianne said...

i just wanted to say thanks, both for the interview with Colleen Coble and your other posts, as well as following mine. i a following yours, as well. thanks

Faith Imagined said...

Wow! Colleen sure has a lot of projects in the works! How exciting! The Smitten series sounds so fun!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

I know you're a fan of mysteries. You'd enjoy her books a lot.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marianne -

Thanks! I'm always happy to meet other bloggers and get to know them. I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

I'm amazed at authors who can write several books a year. Each book requires so much time and effort.

Have a great weekend!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh, that's funny. That she often doesn't know the bad guy either. She sure kept me guessing through Lonestar Sanctuary.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

Yes, I laughed too. No wonder I couldn't figure out who dunnit. She didn't know at that point.

Blessings,
Susan :)