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Continually trying to answer the question...can a man of few words write a successful novel?

I'm a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writer from small town USA who struggles everyday to balance my passion for prose against the need to be a full-time bread winner. Finding ways to devote more time to my writing is the challenge, but for now all I can do is follow this tug at my heart to wherever it leads. I'm here primarily to soak up all the knowledge I can from the writing-centric blogosphere, but I'll do my best to contribute by thinking of new and innovative ways to churn the writing pot.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interview - Crystal Collier





Hey everyone!  I've come out of blog-seclusion today for a very special treat because Crystal Collier is in the house talking about the release of her new book MOONLESS!  


Welcome to my humble digital-abode, Crystal.  First off, let me put on my charming host hat ...can I offer you some coffee, a croissant, a piece of cheese?

Thanks so much for having me! (And like I’m going to say no to cheese!) 

Who can…right?  Let’s get right to it shall we? And you needn’t worry about responding while you’re chewing, I’ll edit that out in the post process.

Um…okay.

A lot of aspiring writers find it interesting to peek behind the curtain and see what other writers processes are like.  For instance...are you a pantser or plotter?  Laptop or Desktop?  Prefer AM or PM writing sessions? 

I eat cheese, dream strange dreams, then write. Kidding! Well, partially anyway. My writing originates from “story dreams,” complete with characters, plot and setting. But like a good movie, you can only cram so much into a couple hours.

Unless you’re Peter Jackson, then it might go on forever.  How many different revisions did MOONLESS go through before you felt it was ready?


Wow. Um, we’re talking in the ballpark of two hundred?

In 2002, MOONLESS bloomed as a novella. It wrote itself in a matter of days. But then, (as with all first drafts,) it went straight into the folder labeled “never to see the light of day.” Still, I loved it, and it kept demanding attention.

In 2006 I sent out a couple queries, just for fun, and the response was awesome. Agents loved my concept. The writing? Not so much. A very kind agent friend gave me some pointers and set me free.

Fast forward several years. I hosted a major beta reading (30+ readers) and people actually liked my writing! They liked the story! They wanted me to publish it!

*gulp*

Welcome back to querying, and the revisions of madness.

You also operate a pretty successful blog.  Do you find it a help or hindrance after publication? 

I might be (AM) addicted to blogging. 60% of what I know about writing came from the blogosphere—so while I won’t call it a hindrance, I do struggle to find the balance between writing, revisions, hanging with my bloggies, and other promotions.

What would you say was your biggest setback along this path to publication?  How did you overcome it?

Kids. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
  
What's on the horizon for you?

MOONLESS is the first book in a tri-series. That’s right, TRI-series. (Major plotting here.) With ten books (and three separate protagonists) in varying stages of completion, the real question is, how quickly should I publish them?
 




I want to thank Crystal for taking the time to drop by and answer a few questions for us.  Below is a listing of the remaining stops on Crystal's blog tour, as well as an all-important Rafflecopter.  Above all else, check out MOONLESS...you won't be sorry!


November 14
            Libby Heily: Author Interview & Excerpt #3
            Cathrina Constantine: Excerpt #4
            T.W. Fendley: Author Interview About my Current Work
            DL Hammons: Author Interview
November 15
            Ashley Chappell: Top Ten Fantasy Novels that Inspired Crystal
            Laura Clipson: Character Interview with Kiren
 
Words of Wisdom
            Kimberly @ Meetings with my Muse: Top Ten Ways to Send a Boy Running
            Robyn Campbell: Review & Author Interview
November 18
            Laurel Garver: How Crystal develops Characters
Gwen Gardner: Truth or Lie
Carrie Butler: Truth or Lie
Natalie Aguirre: Author Interview & Giveaway
November 19
            Christine Rains: Excerpt #4
Mary Waibel: Character Interview with Kiren
Bethany Kaczmarek: Character Interview with Miles
November 20
Scribbleweed: Showing VS Telling 
            Ellie Garratt: Character Interview with Kiren
            Aldrea Alien: Top Ten Reasons to Eat Cheese
November 21
            Meradeth Houston: Character Interview with Kiren
Mary Pax: Guest Post
C. Lee McKenzie: Truth or Lie
Ashley Nixon: Excerpt #6
November 22
Elizabeth Seckman: Truth or Lie
Melanie Crouse: Review
Medeia Sharif: Excerpt #5
Nicole Zoltack: Truth or Lie
November 23
            Jessie Harrell: Excerpt #6
Hart Johnson: The Naked Cheese
November 24
TC Mckee: Review
November 25
Michelle Wallace: Excerpt #2
Clare Dugmore: Excerpt #7 & Truth or Lie
November 26
Elise Fallson: Excerpt #7
Larissa Hardesty: Top Ten—You Know You Live in Florida When
November 27
            Julie Musil: Author Interview
November 28
            Suzanne Furness: Excerpt #8
Sharon Johnston: Review
November 29
            Julie Flanders: Excerpt #5
Misha Gericke: Where Moonless Came From
November 30
            Sherry Auger: Review
            Chrys Fey: Excerpt #8





a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 comments:

  1. Great to see you out of your palace of seclusion, DL! (...and did you ever get my e-mail?)

    And CONGRATULATIONS to Crystal for an eleven-year-long overnight success! It's wonderful to see "Moonless" out -- I really admire your stick-to-it-ness, hope you have a fabulous blog-tour, and I wish you tremendous success with this and all your future work!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you, Chris. Overnight success, huh? Okay. I'll take it. =)

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  2. Ah yes, kids can definitely get in the way! I can only write when my little one is sleeping. Sigh. Congrats Crystal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tiana. It definitely gets easier as they get older and you learn some amazing techniques. (Like the the power of ignoring.) --Kidding.

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  3. GREAT interview, DL and Crystal!

    11 years from writing to published is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it wasn't my first book. That's the scary part. It's about time, eh?

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  4. Congratulations again to Crystal! Great to read her interview here today.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's so tough to write when you have kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here here! Not just to write, but to edit, query, market...

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  6. Wow, Moonless went through a lot of revisions. Glad it got to see the light of day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... Well I was still learning. You know, you have to hone your art somehow.

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  7. Hi Don and Crystal - well from the amount of maturing time Moonless has had - it deserves to come out into the light .. and I think having that tri-series mapped out is brilliant ... all the very best .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hilary. I guess the point is, it did mature, and therefore the characters are that much more real and the story is that much more involved. I'm a fan of writing and time. Like cheese and time, they are a great combination.

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  8. What an inspiring story! Congratulations.

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  9. Crystal, you are an inspiration. I have one of those long, slow projects that has spent a lot of time simmering and is now getting some much needed attention. Congratulations on the book, I will read it.

    Also, I liked what you said about blogging and balance.

    And Mr. Hammons, it's so nice to see a post from you. Thanks for listing all the participants in this blog tour over the month — I haven't seen that before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It's good to know the long game does eventually pay out, eh? ;)

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  10. Nice to see you, DL, and great interview :) I'm looking forward to reading Moonless.

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  11. Nice interview. Thanks, DL, and congratulations, Crystal.

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  12. nice your site thanks for sharing love you all teme good work keep it up
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  14. DL, I hope you will stop by and accept the award I've nominated you for.

    ReplyDelete