Colleen Helme

Read more about Colleen Helme.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: December 29, 2010

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Title: Songbird | Publisher: Mundania Press | Genre: Fantasy Romance | Release Date: October 1, 2010

Please tell us your latest news!

Songbird is my first published novel to be released, but I am looking forward to two more novels coming out in 2011 from Mundania Press. They are Flame of Destiny due out the end of January and The Relic due out in late September! All are fantasy romance novels and I am thrilled to be writing in this wonderful genre.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Writing is a labor of love and although I am always eager to finish a novel, in some ways it's hard to leave the characters I have come to know so well. I guess in a way I leave a part of me in each of them and don't want to see it come to an end. But I guess that's what is so great about a book. You can read it again and again.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This is a hard question because there are so many authors I admire. One of my favorite books is Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold. I was entranced by the world she created with different Gods and their relationship with the characters. I also love anything by Sharon Shinn, and Jim Butcher. I just started a series by Gini Koch - Touched by an Alien - that I really enjoyed. Not my usual fare, but lighthearted and funny. Sabriel by Garth Nix was not at all what I expected and I really enjoyed that one too. I could go on, but there isn't enough room here!

Do you have a specific writing style?

Hopefully my voice comes through in my writing. I like to use descriptive words and love to weave the story into something visually and emotionally stimulating. I want to draw the reader into a world they want to spend some time in with characters they would like to become friends with.

Do you see writing as a career?

I am excited to be doing something I love, and with two more books coming out in the next year I am hopeful that it could be a career. I have ideas for three more books, so now I just need to decide which one to write first!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I have always loved stories and when they didn't end the way I liked, I always made up my own ending. This turned into making up my own stories and letting my imagination run wild. There was a time in my life when writing was a needed outlet from some difficult things I was facing. Writing helped me get through them, and I found that even in difficult moments, you can still find good and positive things to lift and strengthen you.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read. Learn the craft. Writing is such a personal thing, but done right, it is an amazing outlet with untold wonders to explore.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My family is amazing. They have the sometimes questionable opportunity to be the first readers of the chapters or scenes as they come out of my head. I like to bounce ideas off them so they are my first readers. It's not always easy for them, but I appreciate all of their input. It helps me be a better writer.

Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?

I am an on-call receptionist, so this leaves me with some free time which I like to fill with writing. I have learned to be creative with my time and when a computer isn't available, I find writing in a notebook works great as well.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

I usually envision a "what if" scenario and write a scene. The story develops from that point and then I end up flying by the seat of my pants. I spend a lot of time in my head thinking about what's going to happen next, but sometimes it just comes while I'm writing and it feels like magic! About half-way through I have a pretty good idea of where I want to end up, but not always.

Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it.

I have to have a diet soft drink handy! If I don't then I can't start until I get one.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing?

I need some quiet time to think. I don't like to have a lot of distractions because once I'm in the 'zone' I like to stay there.

What main genre do you write in?

Fantasy Romance

Writing a book and getting published has been an amazing adventure. I am grateful for the support and encouragement of my family and publisher. Writing is a solitary endeavor with the potential to touch thousands of people. There is real magic in that!


Colleen Helme