Hi Collette, welcome and thank you for doing this interview.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I wish that I could say that I was born in some exotic location, but alas I was born in the small town of Corydon, Indiana and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. I currently reside in the glorious Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
How long have you been writing? And is writing your full time occupation?
I started writing at the very young age of eight-years-old. I had stories in my head and they just seemed to come naturally to me. It has always been in my blood, quite literally I might add. I heard from a cousin once that my maternal grandfather was a poet! I wrote off and on for years between jobs, school and children and finally decided to dedicate myself to doing it full-time for now. It would be a dream come true for me to keep at it full-time because the voices in my head never seem to go away!
Patti says: I can so relate to the voices!!!
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
The name of my most recent book is Forever Sunshine. I would say that it is chick lit at its finest! A tear-jerking love story for all ages featuring love, loss, hope and survival through very real life problems.
If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
I can tell you right now that Cherisse would speak her mind and tell me how angry she is with me for altering her life so dramatically. Brandon, in his charming and down to earth way, would tell me how proud I've made him and tell me to keep plugging at it! Gosh, I still love that man!
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I have my second book Hannah's Blessing due out around August 1, 2011. It's a fairytale love story that I absolutely adore, where my herione must overcome her trust issues and fear of betrayal before she gives her heart away. I have also completed the rough draft of a third and am writing away on a fourth. The third and fourth books will be relatives of Chuck Evans from Forever Sunshine, so while not a true series, they will be interwoven.
Would you like to giveaway a copy of your book on this blog?
Yes, I most certainly would be more than willing to take part in that. I think it would be great fun.
How did you come up with the title and cover design?
Oh my, that's a tough one. The title was changed several times in an effort to make it original. I would do a Google search of my title and see if anything came up. With the help of my daughter, Forever Sunshine was chosen. The cover design was much easier. The desert here is so beautiful at sunrise and sunset that I had no problems finding a spot to take a picture. Because Arizona is always so sunny, I had to base the cover somewhat on a sunrise, especially since that was Brandon's pet name for Cherisse.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
That is a common question that I hear. I'm sure there are authors out there that put a little bit of themselves in every character, but for me it's different. My people are individuals, with personalities and separate lives from anyone or anything I know. A friend of mine even asked me to turn him into one of my characters, and I have been struggling to do so. While I may see or hear something that inspires me, for instance, Forever Sunshine was born from watching a highly publicized funeral on the television, the stories that I write are completely different from my own life.
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I have always admired Stephen King's writing style. While at times he can be a little wordy, his word choice, imagination, setting and character development really blows my mind. He is an extremely talented and creative person that I have admired since childhood.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I am a hardcover lover at heart. I have a library of books from paperback to hardcovers and was a little slow to pick up the ebook. However, after seeing how easy and cost-effective it is to download a book, I've been doing more electronic reading than paper lately. Let's save a tree!
Where do you prefer to buy your books?
Once again, I've learned a lot in recent months. I always used Amazon for my books. Then I found Smashwords.com... Well, the rest is history. I've been using Smashwords and Dieselebookstore the most.
Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
Yes I am. I did have an agent and planned to go that route again until I started hearing about the struggles in the book publishing world and how so many writers, established and new, were taking matters into their own hands. It has been a lot of work, but I find pride in handling my own work from beginning to end. It is such an amazing feeling to see the end product!
Have you ever read a book more than once?
Oh yes, but not in a long time. I tend to save the books that I loved, hoping to return to them again... maybe once I retire I'll go through my dusty library and have that chance!
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Not one comes to mind - unfortunately.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I have just picked up Elin Hilderbrand's Barefoot in paperback again. I have been struggling to get through this story for a little while now. It just hasn't captured me yet. I've been reading a lot of ebooks from Smashwords' sale, and I just finished a great new book by KC Stone.
Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
I just mentioned a book that I finished in one day by KC Stone. She's a new Indie author as well. I loved her tale Replaced by a Stranger. It was a fresh and brutally honest story about infidelity. I attempted a story on the same subject back in '07 and couldn't seem to get it right. KC did a very good job at showing how tremendously families, friends and lovers are affected by secret relationships.
Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
I have to say that Forever Sunshine ended exactly as it needed to, though I was sad and shed a few tears as I wrote it. I don't want to give away the ending, so I'll leave it at that!
What are your thoughts on book trailers?
I do not have a book trailer, but I will look into maybe trying it one day. Personally, I think word of mouth is definitely the best way to promote a book, and reader reviews are better than any other form of advertisement, including paid reviews.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes - write! Never give up, never get discouraged, and read, read, read. I like to call myself an artist at heart because I have the gift of being able to weave characters and situations into a tale that will move someone's heart. Anyone who has that skill should use it.
What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
My best friend Jenny and her family were the first to read Forever Sunshine. They all ganged up on me and told me to publish it. I was a nervous wreck, but I finally took their advice and haven't looked back once!
Do you write under a pen name?
Yes. I use my birth name to publish.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Absolutely! Laptop, coffee, and pajamas first thing in the morning!
Patti says: Yeah, me too! :)
Cats or dogs? Both. I am an avid animal lover with everything from fish to horses in my household.
White wine or red? Red
Coffee or tea? Again, both. I have a cup of coffee first thing and then settle down with green tea, though I have to be honest and say I prefer tea.
Favorite food? Anything Italian
Vanilla or chocolate icecream? Chocolate all the way. I'm a total chocolate fiend!
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
It's funny because I don't really watch television regularly, but I was really enjoying Showtime's new series Shameless. I will most likely break down and watch the second series too.
Where can your readers follow you?
My blog: http://collettescott.blogspot.
My facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/
Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
My book is in both formats, paperback and ebook. I am also currently taking part in the Smashwords.com ebook sale for the month of July. It will be available for just $1.50 the entire month.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me and allowing us a glimpse into your writing word.
Growing up, Collette always knew that she would be a writer. She began composing stories in her head at the age of eight and was soon putting them down on paper for her closest friends to read. Since then she has obtained her bachelor's degree in English and her master's in education while squeezing in her writing whenever she can. FOREVER SUNSHINE is her first published novel, though she is still writing actively. The New England native now resides in Arizona with her husband, three children and multiple family pets.