Interview with Margo Bond Collins

Thank you for joining me in the shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette over there. Weird things live here.  Where do you hail from?
I grew up in a small town in Texas near Fort Worth—my hometown was the home of the only college (at the time) where one could obtain a degree in rodeo. After living all over the country, I am back in small-town Texas, not far from where I started.
Tell me about your latest book. What makes it stand out from the crowd?
In Waking Up Dead, when Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in Alabama?
I think what makes it stand out from the crowd is the ghostly narrator!
Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I have a YA paranormal romance coming out soon from Solstice Shadows Publishing, as well as Legally Undead, an urban fantasy that is set to be released by World Weaver Press in 2014. I’m currently working on sequels to Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead and I’m writing a paranormal romance novel.  I’m also editing collections of academic essays on Farscape, Teen Wolf, and The Vampire Diaries.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
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.
How did you deal with rejection letters? Any tips for unpublished writers?
Mark the publisher off your list (keep a list of submissions!) and send the piece to the next publisher. But don’t let the rejection of one work keep you from submitting to that publisher again!
What tools of the trade are must-haves for you? 
A computer and coffee. Everything else is optional.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research a story?
I once walked into a bizarre little building in the Bronx and asked if I could see their back offices for a story setting. They said no. So I decided it must be a front for money laundering . . . (it’s more likely they thought I was insane, but I like my version better!).
What do you like to read?
All sorts of stuff. I have a Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature and teach college English, so I’ve read tons of books! But when I’m reading for fun, I usually read urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of all kinds.
Who is your favorite author and why? 
I tend to have lists of favorite authors according to genre and to time period. But at the moment, here are a few: I love books by Neil Gaiman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Faith Hunter, Stephen Graham Jones, Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Holly Black, Janny Wurts, Jennifer Estep, Rachel Caine, Patricia Briggs, Janet Evanovich . . . and those are just the ones who come to mind immediately!
Now for the fun questions.  Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job alongside writing and will you tell us about it?
In my other life, I teach college English courses online. I teach eve
rything from freshman writing to graduate courses in literature.
If you weren’t a writer, what career might you have chosen?
I might wither and die. Seriously—I think that no matter what other career I had, I would still end up writing. But I have often thought that I would love to be a physicist or an astronomer. I’m fascinated by the way our universe works, from the smallest quantum particle to the largest black hole to the densest neutron star. I think the same impulse toward discovery that leads me to write would make me a good scientist, too.
Who is your favorite superhero (or heroine)? Can be from a comic book, movie, novel, cartoon, video game or anywhere else heroes reign.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No question.
Your favorite book hero?
Odysseus. I love the stories he spins out along the way—he’s such a fabulous liar!
You finally have an evening free to spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?
Just one evening? I would curl up at home with a good book and my family. If I had a whole week, I would take us someplace new and exciting—I would love to see the pyramids in Egypt or the Great Wall in China.
You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you? Why?
Definitely a big cat—a leopard or a panther. I’ve been fascinated by cats since I was a child.
Thanks so much for being my guest today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
Thanks for having me! Here are all my links; I’d love to hear from readers!
Connect with Margo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead
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Book Trailers:
 Authors name/Pen name: Margo Bond Collins
Author’s Bio:Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.
Your website address:http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Other links you would like promoted, such as facebook, twitter:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead
Book Trailers:
Waking Up Dead

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Blurb:
When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?
Genre: Paranormal Mystery

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE


FIVE E-COPIES TO GIVEAWAY!
Excerpt 1
When I died, I expected to go to heaven.
Okay. Maybe hell.It’s not like I was perfect or anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven.
Instead, I went to Alabama.
Yeah. I know. It’s weird.
I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed, actually. Murdered.I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife–and probably a Bad-Mommy complex. Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.
At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready for it–ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.
And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about pissed off.
You know, even reincarnation would have been fine with me–I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug.Whatever.But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right? Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on television tell us.
Let me tell you something. The living don’t know jack about the dead.
Not this dead chick, anyway.
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Excerpt 2
As Molly straightened up, the man slipped the wire over her head and twisted it around her neck. She struggled, but he pulled the garrote tighter and tighter.
I was screaming at the top of my ghostly voice, for all the good it did me. I moved up behind the man and beat at his back with closed fists–fists that slipped in and out of his back without ever making real contact. He shuddered a little–clearly he was one of the very slightly sensitive ones–but he didn’t loosen his hands.
I reached up and tried to grab the wire, tried to pull against the pressure he was exerting on the wire and it did loosen for an instant. But only for an instant. The living have more control over solidobjects than the dead do. I never resented that fact more than at that moment.
But I kept trying. I kept trying as Molly’s face turned purple, then blue, then black, kept trying even as she drooped in the man’s grip.
Then he loosened the wire and it was too late. I watched that wispy, light-on-fog life force slip out of Molly and move on to wherever it is that other people go when they die. I was glad she didn’t show up next to me as a full-blown ghost. At that moment, I wouldn’t have wished my impotent half-existence on anyone.
I couldn’t help thinking that if I’d been alive, I might have been able to save her.
If I could have cried real tears, I would have. As it was, I was sobbing hoarsely and calling the man every dirty name I could think of.
I was still cursing as I followed him around the kitchen. First he opened the pantry and pulled out a box of Hefty garbage bags. Then he grabbed a knife out of the block on the counter. And finally, he picked up Molly’s body and carried it to the bathroom.
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Excerpt 3
“Hey,” I said, hurrying after the woman. “Wait up.”
“I know you’re not talking to me,” she said. She stared straight ahead and pushed her cart down the middle of the aisle toward housewares.
“I am talking to you. Look. I know this is really weird, but I need your help.”
“Well, I’m not talking to you. I don’t know what your problem is, but you can take it somewhere else.”
I wanted to reach out and grab her cart, to make her stop and talk to me, but of course I couldn’t. Which gave me an idea.
I scurried out in front of her, planting myself in her path.
“Move,” she said.
“Not until you hear me out. Please?”
She moved her cart to the left. I stepped out to intercept her. She moved to the right. So did I.
“You got some kind of death wish or something?” she asked.
I laughed and shook my head. “If only you knew.”
“I’ve got no time for this,” she said. And she slammed into me with her shopping cart.
At least, that’s what she planned to do.
The shopping cart, however, slid right through me. When it stopped, the basket had sliced cleanly through my midsection. The bottom rack merged with my ankles. From my perspective, it looked like two perfectly solid objects–me and the shopping cart–hadmelted together. I don’t know what she saw.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t good.
The woman’s eyes widened, then rolled up into her head as she slumped to the ground in a dead faint.
I bent down to try to wake her up, but no matter how hard I concentrated on making contact, I couldn’t even touch her.
I hate being a ghost.
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