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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Interview with Colleen Gleason

I read The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason and just had to ask her a few questions. Here are her responses.

1. When did you begin writing with the goal to get published?

I’ve been writing since I was very young, all through school and college, but it wasn’t until I finished college—and finished my first novel—that I decided to try and get it published. And, well, it took eight more books and many more years later before I actually got the call that I’d sold a book.

Of course, during that time between college and that first sale, I was going to grad school, getting married, having a career in business, and having three children, so I had periods of time where I wasn’t writing at all (lots of them! Can you say morning sickness?)

2. Is The Rest Falls Away your first novel (completed - not published)?

No, The Rest Falls Away was my ninth finished novel.

3. What is your greatest motivation to write?

The stories that I want—need!—to tell, mainly because I don’t think anyone else could tell them the way I want to. I have so many stories and what if’s swirling around at any time that it’s hard to think that they’d never come to fruition if I didn’t write them.

4. Where did the term "venator" come from?

Venator is from the Latin for “hunter.” Many of the words in my Gardella Vampire Chronicles series come from Latin roots because Rome is where the Venators began.

5. Ok, so you've told us that we'll see more of Max and Sebastian in Rises The Night (thank goodness! I MUST know more about them!) - what about Verbena? I find myself attached to her and I wonder what will become of her?

I like Verbena too, and so do many other readers—much to my delight. She is such a fun character and she just took over when she appeared on the page, with all of her quirks and surprising knowledge.

Yes, Verbena makes several appearances in Rises the Night, and also in The Bleeding Dusk, which is the third in the series and the one I’ve just finished writing.

6. The training Victoria experiences is relatively minor in the first book, will we see some more detail of her training and how her skills will advance?

I don’t spend a lot of time on the details of her training, although she started to bug Kritanu about why she can’t learn qingongg (the Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon-like form or martial arts fighting) like Max, but he tells her she needs to take things in steps.

She does have a sword fight with Sebastian, however.
Ok, that sounds like it'll be fun!

7. With that said, the fight scenes are done quite well and fit in seamlessly with style and tone - how did you research for them?

Thanks for saying so. I did do quite a bit of research about martial arts—much more than what shows in the books. I wanted to use specific, real, traditional Eastern fighting skills that logically fit with who the Venators are and how they are trained. Most of my research was done online, and as for writing the specific fight scenes…well, I think those are some of the hardest scenes to write—sort of like sex scenes.

You don’t want either one to sound mechanical, nor to give a step by step description of every movement and every blink of an eye…yet you have to give the reader a sense of the flow, so to speak. I’m glad you felt they were well-written, because I think fight scenes, again, like sex scenes, can begin to get redundant if not handled carefully.

8. Can you tell us - is Victoria currently the last of the Gardella line or is there another family member out there?

There are many other Venators out there—from far-flung branches of the family, some of whom you’ll meet in Rises the Night and The Bleeding Dusk, but right now, she’s the last of the direct descendants from Gardella the Venator. She’s not the only slayer, but she’s the most powerful because of her direct descent.

9. Max and Eustacia are particularly concerned with Victoria becoming pregnant, understandable (it just wouldn't have been right in the first book), but as the last in the line, don't they want her to carry on the bloodline? Does this get touched on in the next novel?

It doesn’t get touched on in Rises the Night, although it will be hinted at in The Bleeding Dusk.

As I mentioned earlier, there are other Venators—they pop up in the widespread Gardella family tree, which has grown the world over—purposely, because of their duty—randomly, almost like a genetic mutation. LOL. So there are other Venators who are born Venators, and are of Gardella blood…but Victoria is the last in the direct line from Gardella, and that has to mean something, doesn’t it?
- Yes, it does!

10. The teaser for Rises the Night introduces a new threat, is Lilith still the main foe? Or, has someone darker entered the picture?

Lilith is still the most powerful of all vampires living, and thus is the biggest threat—although in Rises the Night her role is an off-stage one. There are other vampires, and even other creatures, that either work with her or against her. Ooo, I can't wait!

11. Can you give us any little goodies of what we can expect in Rises the Night?

Well, I mentioned about Victoria and Sebastian’s sword fight above. Let’s see….There will be a discussion about Max possibly taking up gardening. And Victoria will travel to Venice and Rome after attending a house-party in the countryside of England. Oh, and she’ll meet Lord Byron and will annoy his current lover.

How’s that?

12. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Keep writing. You have to finish a book and send it out, and while you’re waiting to hear on that book, you have to write something else. And then something else. And then something else. Always write the best you can, always have something to send out, and keep doing this until you either give up—or get published.

13. Do you think having an internet presence has made an impact on your writing career?

I hope it has. A lot more people knew about my book and about me before it hit the shelves than if I didn’t have a blog or a Web site. However, the number of people who do know about my book via the Web is such a small percentage of readers out there…it’s still an inefficient form of marketing. But I love my blog and really enjoy the people I’ve “met” by writing it, and visiting their blogs.

14. Who are your favorite authors?

Nora Roberts/J D Robb, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Roberta Gellis, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Colette Gale, Liz Carlyle, Georgette Heyer, J K Rowling, and there are others, but that’s a good start!

15. What can we expect to see from Colleen Gleason in the future?

Well, there are a total of four Gardella books contracted and in the works: Rises the Night (June 2007), The Bleeding Dusk (Feb 08) and the fourth as-yet untitled one in late 2008. I hope to write a total of five books about Victoria, and then to move on and write about another Gardella woman after that!

Thank you so much for having me here! I appreciate your time and questions…and I’ll be happy to answer any questions people leave in the comments section today.

Thank you, Colleen, for sharing your wonderful world with us and taking the time to answer a few questions! :)

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Blogger Raggedy said...

Thursday Thirteen has come to an end.
I have enjoyed my visits here and consider us friends.
Thank you for sharing your thirteens with me.
The comments you left me filled me with glee.
It is hard to believe it is really true.
I am trying very hard to not be blue.
Happy TT'ing!
(")_ (")Š

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Ma said...

Thay was such a great interview. very interesting.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Angela/SciFiChick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Angela/SciFiChick said...

Great interview! I loved the book, so it's interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Sparky Duck said...

Thanks for doing this, I cant wait to get my hands on her book

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Great interview! I read Colleen's book and fell in love, the story was great and kept me glued to the book! And I was skeptical at first, cause I rather LIKE vampires and don't want them to be killed :-)

4:46 PM  

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