I was given the
chance to chat with a very talented author this month, who
took time out of her busy schedule to spend some time with us
here at Joyfully Reviewed. So, without further delay…let’s
A love of books and
reading has always been a part of your life, did you always know
you would write one day?
No, not really. I’ve
always loved to write, and while I started with creative writing
assignments, I graduated to writing really bad poetry for a high
school crush. It wasn’t until I’d actually gone through my entire
TBR pile one night with NOTHING new to read that my husband asked
why I didn’t just write my own book. Once the thought took hold,
it was like someone opened up something deep inside of me,
unlocking a door, and all of these characters and plots lines were
just there. That was over twelve years ago, and I’ve been writing
I read you are part of
several writing groups, do you recommend joining a writing groups
for aspiring authors just starting out?
Absolutely. Writing is
such a solitary endeavor for most of us, joining a writing group
has many advantages. Each group that I belong to is very
supportive, but each one is unique in it’s own way. Belonging to
these groups has definitely helped advance my career, but it was
because I am a member of NJRW that I was able to be in the right
place at the right time and submit a manuscript to Avalon Book’s
brand new historical line in 2001…and sell my first book. <g>
if you decide not to join any writing groups, there are other
options, such as critiquing with other writers (either on-line or
in person) and attending writer’s conferences. For aspiring
authors, I would recommend all of the above. <g>
Tell us about Colleen
and what makes her tick. How would your husband describe you?
Hmmm…what makes me tick?
Without two HUGE cups of tea in the morning…not much. But
seriously, I’m a hopeless romantic still deliriously happy being
married to the man I fell in love with at first sight. We have
three wonderful “adult” children that we’re so proud of, even if
they’re a bit skeptical about the whole love-at-first-sight thing.
<g> Without my family, the solid base of who I am, I wonder if I
last time someone asked me how my husband described me, I gave his
answer word-for-word, but this time, I've decided to embellish it
just a tiny. His whole existence is centered on making me happy,
giving in to my every whim, showering me with gifts, throwing rose
petals wherever I walk…Okay…so that’s just a bit over the top, but
in truth, he likes me and is my best friend. Which is what keeps
us going strong, because he’s my best friend, too. He’d probably
tell you I’m moody (just step back from the chocolate bar and no
one gets hurt) and have a tongue that would clip a hedge, but that
life without me would be boring!
Writing romance, do you
believe in happily ever after and do you think that there is one
right person for everyone?
I absolutely believe in
happily ever after, BUT sometimes you have to really work at it. I
used to believe there is one right person for everyone, but as the
years go by I have realized that at different stages of our lives
we have different needs, hopefully the person you’ve chosen to
spend the rest of your life with will grow with you in a similar
direction, but if they don’t, life is way too short to spend it
unhappy. We are each responsible for our own happiness and should
never depend on someone else to make us happy.
How does the writing
process work for you? Do you outline and plan or just go where
the story takes you?
I usually write a fairly
detailed synopsis first, and then once I get going on the story,
the characters come alive and start arguing with me and move the
story off in the direction they think it should go. Who knew the
heroine in my wip was going to be diving for the sidewalk as some
nutcase is doing a drive-by shooting? I sure as heck didn’t.
<sigh> It used to bother me that my characters just wouldn’t
cooperate, but I’ve learned to embrace it.
How do your story ideas
come to you?
Dreams, people I meet, a
bit of news I either read or hear about, a song, communing with
nature, everyday life…and of course the voices.
Is your family
supportive of your writing? Do they read your work?
My family is very
supportive and they encourage me to write. My daughter is the one
who will kick me in the backside and tell me to put on my big-girl
panties, stop whining and get back to work. She’s sooo cool. I can
bounce plot points off my husband and daughter, my boys just look
at me a little strangely when I get going on an idea, but my boys
do let me use them as props to act out fight scenes, etc. where
I’m not quite sure if a movement or situation will work. They
patiently stand there while I throw punches at them, or ask them
to throw one at me, that kind of thing. <g>
darling husband just LOVES it when I tell him I’ve got this aspect
in a love scene that I’m not sure will work, his eyes just light
up and turn a very, very lovely shade of green. He’s such a
wonderful research partner. <g>
daughter won’t reach for a romance novel, given the choice, but
she’ll read something of mine if I ask her to. But then, she’ll
honestly tell me what she thinks so I’d better not ask her if I’m
not ready to hear the answer. LOL! The men in my life have never
and probably won't ever read anything I write. But I'm definitely
ok with that. <g>
It sounds like you are
interested in genealogy. How far back can you trace your family?
I’m very interested in
genealogy, especially my Celtic roots. On my father’s side they
traced one branch of ancestors back to 1639 and discovered that
although they traveled to America, they were later asked to leave
and were sent back to England, but they did eventually come back
about 10 years later. My mom still has the family tree done in
1880, it's on thick paper and rolls up like those maps they used
to have on the walls in grammar school, but I think it needs to be
restored. On my mother’s side (paternal) they’ve traced our Irish
roots back to just after the Norman’s invaded Ireland. On her
maternal side, no one has done a thorough search yet. I’m hoping,
when I have time, to see just when the Garahans and Flahertys
actually arrived in America.
Do you have any advice
for aspiring writers?
Do not ever give up or
stop writing. You’ll never know just how close you are to being
published if you do. Write from your heart and your gut. Don’t be
too quick to follow trends, by the time you've finished a project
the trend could be gone. The more you write, the better your
What is your perfect
A door on my
office…someday…but other than that, I really love my office. I’m
surrounded by my eclectic collection of research books (some
dating back to the 1840s), faery pictures, porcelain faeries
dancing in front of my windows, the fountain and wind chimes.
Tell us some of your
favorites…hobbies, foods, movies, music, authors, books, holidays,
color, or any others you would like to share.
I love to read almost as
much as I love to write. I used to crochet and sew, but haven’t
had time lately. When I have the time, I like to tend to the
slightly overgrown and definitely wild gardens that we’ve planted
around our lake-style cottage. I prefer home cooking to going out
to eat and am a carb-a-holic who loves to bake. I have this great
recipe for butter cake from a cookbook passed down through my
mother’s side of the family, the Flahertys, you can check it out
on my website. I rarely go to the movies or have time to watch
videos, but absolutely love old movies. My faves are Errol Flynn’s
Robin Hood, John Wayne in the Quiet Man and Stagecoach, Gregory
Peck in Roman Holiday and Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven
Hmmm…music, well, I like a wide variety of classic rock, punk
rock, country, cello music and my favorite opera is la Traviata.
Favorite authors? Hands down, Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood and
Sherrilyn Kenyon top my list. Favorite Books? Anything by the
aforementioned authors, although I’m really enjoying Harlequin’s
love Christmas because of the baking I do…it’s the cookies...and
St. Patrick's Day, I just love raising a pint and singing my heart
favorite color is green…the color of my darling husband’s
eyes…they turn the deepest shade of green when he’s happy.
Do you enjoy hearing
from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I LOVE hearing from
my readers. The best way to contact me is either via my website
www.chadmirand.com , myspace
www.myspace.com/ch_admirand or writing
to me at
With the holidays fast
approaching…do you have any family traditions that you are looking
Don’t laugh, but the
holiday baking is my favorite part, although I have a few
treasured decorations that I enjoy setting out every year.
What do you consider
one the most interesting things about yourself?
That’s a tough question,
and one of the major hurdles I have in this business. It’s hard to
promote yourself when you don’t really like to talk about
yourself. <sigh> Ok…let me think, one of the most interesting
things about myself, aside from my hunky hubby and our amazing
“adult” children, hmmm…I have four generations of family photos on
either side of a beautiful faery house my sister designed and
built on the mantelpiece in our living room. I can’t resist buying
anything green…pocketbooks, shoes, glassware, nail polish….
Is there anything else
you would like to share with us?
I copied and printed out
the Joyfully Reviewed Recommended Read Rabbit! JR made my day when
they gave PATIENCE, my Regency-era Historical, a RR. <vbg> I’ve
had an amazing year, after six years of struggling to sell a
second book, I sold six. So far for 2008, I have 2 books coming
out. In March, BRIDGET’S RAINBOW, a St. Patrick’s Day novella from
The Wild Rose Press and in June, the third book in my historical
Irish Western Series, PEARL’S REDEMPTION.
and cross your fingers for me, I have a project that I’m working
on, a HOT contemporary western, that I’m hoping I’ll have good
news about soon.
Thanks for providing me with such great questions. Joyfully