Author Spotlight

 

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 hear from

C.H. Admirand

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 ever since.

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>

Even 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 would exist?

The 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>

My 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>

My 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 writing becomes.

 

What is your perfect writing environment?
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 Brothers.

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 Nascar books.

I 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 out.

My 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 chauthor@optonline.net.

With the holidays fast approaching…do you have any family traditions that you are looking forward to?
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.

Oh, 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 Reviewed Rocks!

     

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