Interview: Margo Bond Collins on writing and Sanguinary (@MargoBondCollin)
Today I’m hosting an interview with Margo Bond Collins, the author of vampire tale Sanguinary. Check it out! 🙂
Only fifty years left before vampires rule the world.
When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city’s vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department.
But she didn’t know then what she knows now: there’s a silent war raging between humans and vampires, and the vampires are winning.
So with the help of a disaffected vampire and an ex-cop addict, Cami is going undercover, determined to solve a series of recent murders, discover a way to overthrow the local Sanguinary government, and, in the process, help win the war for the human race.
But can she maintain her own humanity in the process? Or will Cami find herself, along with the rest of the world, pulled under a darkness she cannot oppose?
Interview with Margo Bond Collins
When did you start writing? What has your writing life been like?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making up stories. The first story I remember actually writing down was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since. But about ten years ago, a friend suggested I join in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). Until then, I had always written short stories. That year, I finished the first draft of what would eventually become Legally Undead—it will be my third published novel, but it’s the first one I wrote.
I ended up as an English major in college because I was fascinated by the ways stories work. And then I went on to graduate school because I couldn’t figure out what else to do. I ended up with a Ph.D. in literature almost by accident; I just never quit wanting to learn about all the stories in the world!
So now I teach literature and writing in my day job, and the rest of the time, I write, both as a fiction author and as an academic.
What gave you the idea for this book?
Most of my ideas come to me almost in passing, when I see something that catches my attention. In the case of Sanguinary, it was a color. My husband and I have season tickets to the Dallas Opera, and the interior walls of the Winspear Opera House—the ones that separate the lobby from the theater itself—are a gorgeous dark red. As we were walking out one night, I glanced back and saw that the tint of the outer glass walls turned the inner walls to a blood-red. At the same time, I saw a woman in a dark red dress of the same color. And of course that led to thoughts of vampires and murder (doesn’t that happen with everyone?! Or is it just sicko writers?)—and the story spun out from there.
How often do you write, and how much?
I write something every day, whether it’s academic writing, fiction, or my blog. I’ve recently started making sure that no matter what else I may be writing, I write something fictional every single day. “How much” varies. I aim for a minimum of 500 words a day—my average word-count for thirty minutes of writing. I generally write more than that, but sometimes I don’t quite reach it. Last night, for example, I managed to write one sentence just before I fell into bed. But I made sure to get that one sentence down so I could continue to claim that I write every single day!
Which authors do you admire and why?
Too many to count! Because I’m a literature professor, I have piles and piles of favorite authors. Right now, though, I’m particularly fond of Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, Holly Black, Ann Aguirre, and Melanie Karsak. What I love about all of them is their ability to create such realistic worlds, to draw me in and keep me interested in the stories they spin out.
Where do you write and what do you use: PC, laptop or MAC?
I have an office that I use for all my work: academic writing, fiction writing, editing, and online teaching. My desk is against a window so I can see outside. I’m surrounded by books and papers. I write directly on my laptop, but when I get stuck, I sometimes switch to handwriting; this seems to shift my brain onto a different track and helps me get over writer’s block.
What are you working on at the moment?
Piles of projects! I’m currently working on the next entry in my Hometown Heroes series, a contemporary romance novel. I’m working on the sequels to Fairy, Texas, Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead. And I’m working on the next Night Shift book.
What are your writing goals for the rest of 2014?
Always keep writing! I have three works in progress that I plan to complete. And I also have two others that I want to get to. So I guess that means my goals are to finish several more novels. (I’m suddenly realizing that I might be insane . . . )
Any advice for aspiring writers?
The very best advice I ever got was just this: keep writing new things. Always have a work in progress. Finish writing a piece, do a quick edit, and submit it somewhere for publication. Then move on to the next project. Don’t wait to hear back—that way lies madness! If it’s rejected (and often it will be; that’s the nature of writing for publication), don’t let it get you down. Just send it out again and go back to your work in progress.
Thanks so much for having me today!
And thanks for stopping by! 🙂
About the Author:
Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.