I am very excited to have Kate Marie Collins on Penny’s Tales today. She is the author of the fabulous book Daughter of the Hauk and has a brand new book ready to be released very soon, Mark of the Successor. First let’s find out a few things about this wonderful gal!
- Tell us all about Kate and what makes her tick and what do you like doing when you aren’t writing!
I’m a pretty simple person, really. As long as you’re honest with me, we’ll get along fine. I don’t deal well with people who won’t tell me what they really feel.
In my questionable spare time, I love to read. I make candles, participate in the Society for Creative Anachronism (medieval re-creation group), listen to music, play Dungeons & Dragons, read comic books. I’m a geek and love it.
2. Tell us about your family – married? Kids? Where you live?
My husband and I have been married for 17 years as of last November. We have two daughters, 14 and 11. Three cats (Athena, Witchy Kitty, and Caspar), and an odd assortment of dust bunnies that go along with having felines adopt you. Best way to describe where I live is Seattle Suburbia. Though, when the weather’s nice, Paradise would work as well. On a clear day, you have a hard time not seeing Mt. Rainier!
- If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?
I really want to go to Scotland or Ireland. I’ve felt a draw to those countries for as long as I can remember! Ideally, I’d rent a car and have no other concrete plans except for when my plane left to go home. I just want to drive around the country and discover whatever I can.
- What is your favorite all time movie?
“Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” hands down. After that, I love “The 13th Warrior” the most recent Star Trek movies (the reboots), and the comic book movies (Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men).
- What about weekly TV show? Why?
Oh, I have dibs for our big t.v. on Tuesday nights for NCIS! The writing is excellent, the acting top notch, and it’s not always about killing the bad guy. Solving the case and arresting the culprit is just as important. And the characters are very real…they understand love, hate, and the need for revenge.
- What is the most scared you have ever been?
The first time I clicked on the ‘send’ button to submit my first story to a publisher. I was absolutely petrified – my hand was shaking! I expected a rejection, knew that was part of the learning curve, but I really was more terrified they’d say yes.
- If you could have any fantasy, what would it be?
Enough money to know our daughters could go to college without coming out in debt, our house was paid off, and we had a really well padded retirement fund. The more I think on it, my life’s pretty great. Are there things from my past I wish I could erase? Certainly. But those experiences made me the person I am today, the author I’ve become. My life now is a fantasy in several ways and I wouldn’t trade it.
- Now, Tell us about your book?
“Mark of the Successor” is a fantasy novel, suitable for all ages. My youngest is chomping at the bit to be able to read it! It centers on Lily, a young woman whose life has been pretty rough. Her mother wouldn’t have even sent her to school if she could’ve found a way out of it. A few months before her 18th birthday, Lily wakes up to find her Mama acting odd, and a strange man standing in their living room. When he disappears into thin air after telling her mother to have Lily ready to travel in the morning, Lily starts making plans to run away. Only to have more strangers, and another portal, appear in her bedroom. The story is really about Lily finding herself and being able to cut herself free of years of abuse, finally coming into who she really is as a person instead of trying to make others happy.
- Where did you come up with the idea for your story?
I used to participate in an online writing group, and we’d hold weekly challenges. Someone would toss out a topic and you’d write whatever you were inspired to on the subject. One week, the prompt was ‘A Known Unknown’, so I had the idea of a small girl heading off to school the first time and seeing the bus lumbering down the road. The scene is still in the book, as the prologue! After I wrote it, though, Lily would not be quiet until I’d written an entire novel.
- What is your favorite thing about writing?
Being in the zone. When you’re in the zone, the words are flowing, your fingers are flying across the keyboard, and nothing else is around you except the words. It’ll get to where my fingers will feel different, like they’re itching to be on the keys. I love that feeling.
- What is your biggest pet peeve about writing?
Writers who don’t give me credit for my intelligence! I absolutely hate reading a novel where the author feels like they have to tell me six times in two pages that a character is a cop/used car salesman/six feet tall. Give me credit for being able to remember that!
- Do you have a favorite author?
Several, but I have a special place in my heart for the recently departed Nick Pollotta. First off, he was the only author who would make me laugh aloud to the point of tears with some of his novels. Seriously, you do NOT want a drink in your hand if you’re reading anything under his name. He friended me on FaceBook and took me under his wing, patiently putting up with me asking all sorts of questions on the ethics of writing, etc. “Mark of the Successor” is dedicated to him. He recently passed away and won’t see it, but his wife told me he’d be very touched. Who knows…maybe she’ll buy a copy and he’ll read it over her shoulder someday.
- Where can people find you? (give all your links)
My blog is at: http://www.katemariecollins.wordpress.com
For Twitter, you can find me as @DaughterHauk
And, on FaceBook, it’s http://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492
- Most important – where can we buy your story?
Once it releases on May 16th, you’ll find it at the Solstice bookstore (www.solsticepublishing.com), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo!
MARK OF THE SUCCESSOR
Kate Marie Collins
Dominated and controlled by an abusive mother, Lily does what she can to enjoy fleeting moments of normality. When a break from school only provides the opportunity for more abuse at home, the sudden appearance of a stranger turns her world even bleaker. Disappearing without a trace, he has left a lingering fear in Lily. His parting words to her mother, “Have her ready to travel tomorrow,” is something her mind refuses to accept.
Running away is the only answer. But before Lily can execute her plan, a shimmering portal appears in her room. Along with two strangers who promise to help keep her safe. With time running out, she accepts their offer for escape and accompanies them into a brand new world. A world in which she is
Can she find her own strength to overcome both an abusive past and avoid those who would use her as a means to power?