Meet our guest, Margo Bond Collins!
Where are you from?
I grew up in Stephenville, Texas—the only town in the country (at the time) where the local college offered a degree in rodeo! (It may still be the only place that offers a rodeo degree, for all I know; I just haven't checked lately.) I lived all over the country, but about five years ago, I moved back to Texas so my daughter could grow up near family.
Why do you write?
In some ways, I feel compelled to write. I've told stories for as long as I can remember, and virtually every job I've ever held (newspaper reporter, newsletter writer, college English professor) has had to do with writing. I love sharing the worlds and characters that spin and run around in my head. So first and foremost, I write for myself. I write to tell the stories I want to read. And I hope that others want to read them, too!
One of my favorite quotes about writing is from Neil Gaiman; every time I read it, I am reminded of yet another piece of a life of words:
"You write. That's the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat." --Neil Gaiman
What inspired you to write your first book?
That depends on what you count as my "first" book. 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 was my third published novel, but it’s the first one I wrote.
What genre do you typically write?
I write contemporary romance and urban fantasy—and various combinations of those, so that sometimes they add up to things like "paranormal romance" or even "paranormal mystery."
Do you feel like you have a specific writing style?
Yes and no. I generally try to get out of the way of the story and keep the prose clean and straightforward. But of course that doesn't always happen. And I almost always end up with heroines who are at least a little sarcastic and heroes who want to take care of them (even if the heroines don't think they need anyone to do that).
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
I spend about six weeks writing the first draft. The revisions vary—sometimes it can take me just a few weeks to revise, but other times, it can take much longer. I'm currently revising a novel that I wrote six years ago, then put away. I pulled it back out about three months ago and have been wrestling it into shape ever since.
What do you do to conquer writer’s block?
When I get blocked, the first thing I do is switch to writing long-hand. For some reason, just changing the mode of writing can sometimes unblock me. If that doesn't work, I do something entirely different—go for a walk, do some yoga, take a shower, go grocery shopping. Sometimes I just need to let my subconscious work on the problem for a while!
What can you tell us about your favorite character from your book?
When gift-shop owner Kylie Andrews was dumped at the altar, she took her Mexican Caribbean honeymoon alone—and when a handsome stranger offered to take her mind off her problems, she was happy to spend a week with him. But when she got off her plane in Texas and saw her picture in a tabloid, she realized that she had been with rising country star Cole Grayson. Now Cole is in town for a concert and determined to win her back—but she’s just as determined to keep him at arms’ length. The child of a former rodeo star, she doesn’t want to end up in the spotlight—and as a musician, that’s right where Cole wants to be.
What actor or actress would you like to see play your character in the movie adaptation
I think I'd like Hayden Panettiere to play Kylie—she's got that sweetness to her, but can also play tough if necessary.
And for Cole, I would love to see Josh Holloway, because he's got that fabulous grin (those dimples!) and an underlying playfulness that Cole needs to charm Kylie into giving him another chance.
Who is your favorite author and what is it about them that inspires you?
There are too many to list! 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 Elizabeth Hoyt, Amanda Quick, Jade Lee, Kathy Lyons, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Neil Gaiman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Faith Hunter, Stephen Graham Jones, Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, Holly Black, Janny Wurts, Jennifer Estep, Rachel Caine, Patricia Briggs, Janet Evanovich . . . and those are just the ones who come to mind immediately!
What book are you reading now?
I always have several books going. I just got back from the RWA conference, where I picked up huge piles of books! I just finished reading Linda Bond's romantic suspense novel Live at 5, and loved it. I realized at RWA that although she's been on my TBR list for years, I've never read Nalini Singh's work (and I feel bad about that!). So that's where I'm starting. And from there, I plan to go on a romance-reading spree!
What are your current projects?
When I began writing, everyone said "write the first novel of a series, but hold off on writing the second until you know what will get published." I took that advice, and then a whole pile of books were accepted at once, so now I have a crazy sequel-writing year coming up!
I have a new urban fantasy release coming out in the fall, entitled Sanguinary, and it's the last of the "first books" I wrote.
I am currently working on the sequel to Taming the Country Star, tentatively entitled Opposing the Cowboy. There will be two more books in that series, as well. I am also working on sequels to Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No! I think that Taming the Country Star is a great kickoff to the Hometown Heroes series!
Can you share a little of your work with us?
Taming the Country Star by Margo Bond Collins
He'll do anything to win her heart. She'll do anything to keep him away.
Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.
Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…
Kylie Andrews’s Texas-themed gift shop, Cowbelles, sat on the very outer edge of Fort Worth’s Stockyards District, not far from Jimmy’s Honky Tonk. And much to her dismay, no matter how often she cleared it, the wall adjacent to her store remained covered with announcements for local events.
Like, for example, concerts.
She stared at the latest layer of advertisements.
From the topmost poster, Cole Grayson stared out at her, leaning against the edge of an old barn door, guitar at his feet. One booted foot was kicked up against the wooden wall behind him. His dark-blond hair curled around behind one ear and fell down across his eye on the other side. A cowboy hat rested on the ground next to the guitar.
Her hand drifted up toward the image, hovering several inches from the picture of his face. She glanced around. None of the other shopkeepers were outside. No one was watching.
“Bastard,” she whispered to herself, and ripped the poster off the wall.
At least, she tried to. It was thicker than she had expected, attached more firmly, and it resisted her pull.
Chewing on her lip, she took another look around, dropped her bag to the ground, and reached up to grasp the edge with both fists, jerking at it in opposite directions. A tiny tear opened up along the side, and she yanked harder. Finally, the poster ripped—right across Cole Grayson’s lying eyes.
She tugged at the image some more, glancing around surreptitiously every few moments and dropping ragged pieces of paper on the ground at her feet, until there was nothing left on the wall but a few fluttering strips.
Gathering the mutilated shreds together, she opened her bag and shoved them inside until they overflowed, bright ribbons of color in the morning light.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I get stuck, like everyone. I hit writer’s block sometimes. But I loathe editing and revising. I know it must be done, but I hate it with a fiery passion.
Do you have any advice for other 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.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would love to hear from you! I have a monthly newsletter, and I love interacting with readers—plus, I'm always giving away fun book-related stuff. So sign up or come find me on social media and let's talk books! :)
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Taming the Country Star Buy Links
Nook US: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-the-country-star-margo-bond-collins/1119610297?ean=9781622661664
Kindle Worldwide: http://bookShow.me/B00KK4DORC
About the Author
Margo Bond Collins is the author of contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including 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.
Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins