Nimue: I see you're serialising fiction on your blog... can you tell us a bit more about that project?
Colleen: Yes, I decided that it was time to showcase some of my work and what better way to introduce readers to my characters, ideas and style than to give them a little glimpse into my world. I thought about the 'nicest' (I do use the term loosely there are some dark undertones) options and finally decided that the best possibility to achieve that goal was to take them on a journey. ASCENSION being an older work and a novella is about 20 chapters. I started writing it as a hypnophobia tool in short story format initially back in 1998, to keep my colleagues on the grave yard shift from falling asleep, little did I know it would take over and be one among many to demand it's rights to exist.
Nimue: Is there any particular relationship between this story and your book, Origin?
Colleen: I would say that each book I write is unique in its stand alone aspects. I am always thinking of new ideas and scenarios, the common thread in my writing is that they all are Dark Fantasy with some element of Horror, although I have noticed I seem to write stories with a history and a future, so they do have series potential, even if I did not plan this at the outset. ORIGIN is one such example.
Nimue: What attracts you to writing fantasy?
Collen: I have always been attracted to the unconventional, and fantasy is one area where there is no limit to the imagination. Writing under restriction like creative non-fiction would be far too limiting for me and even some elements of SciFi can only be pushed so far. I am a world builder, when I create a story, my aim is to take my readers and plant them on a primordial landmass, that is like a single continent of Pangaea, where they drift between shapes that are alien yet familiar.
Nimue: How would you say you've grown and changed as an author since Acension?
Colleen: I have written some 70 short stories and 7 novels since Ascension (yes it is somewhat obsessive!). My style of writing has grown and evolved, probably to the point where I now no longer try to control the stories I write but let them dictate to me. Its more relaxing, less forced and much more fun. For example I used to keep a scenery book (I hated writing background details as I always felt that detracted from the story that I wanted to tell) so I would try to actively ignore scenery when I write, which made things much harder. Over time the more I wrote, the better I became at incorporating scenery. There are still some habits which have useful application, like setting aside time for writing 300 words a day that is approx 110,000 a year (slow and steady wins the race, writing is a marathon not a sprint). I don't pick any specific time or place, I learned that inspiration comes on the fly at times, so I write on the tube, bus, coffee shop, even queueing in the supermarket! I think the biggest change in me as an Author since Ascension is probably technique, learning to hone my craft and a real love for the stories I write. The end result is one among them has ended up in Fantastic Stories published by Warren Lapine and of course Origin.
Nimue: Who does the splendid art on your website?
Colleen: The art on my website comes from various sources, some are from Artists who are local to the area where I live and have read some of my work, which clearly reflects me.
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