Monday, April 8, 2013

Interview With Larry K. collins

Today, just for fun, I interviewed my partner in life and in crime (novels, that is), Larry K. Collins. You might enjoy some of his answers.

What started you writing?

I’ve always created stories in my head. From four until age twelve, I stuttered badly. Talking to others was so difficult I stopped speaking and retreated from the outside world. When I was seven, TV’s Space Patrol and Commander Buzz Corry held my fascination. For Christmas, I got the official patrol space station model, complete with two-inch high plastic spacemen (Buzz, his crew, and several villains). My imagination provided many hours of adventures.

At ten, it was Disney’s movie Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I constructed a complete scale set of the Nautilus out of wood and cardboard. I always made up stories, plots and characters. I liked mine better than what I saw on TV. I just never put them down on paper.

In my sophomore year of high school, my English teacher was also the writing club sponsor. For his class, each Monday morning, every student had turn in a story with any subject, a minimum two pages, single-spaced. Most of my classmates hated the course. I loved it. I began to write down the imagined adventures from my youth. Two of my short stories were published in the yearly school literary magazine, The Silver Pen.

What are your writing goals?

Two years ago, Lorna’s anthology, Directions of Love, won the EPIC eBook Award for best romance anthology. Since then I have had to live with an “award winning author”. Someday I hope to even the score.

What is the hardest thing about the writing life?

I’m a plotter. But I live and write with a pantser.

I spend days in thought. I know the story arc, character progression, and have outlined the logical story path to the end, often before words go on paper. It makes me a slow writer. If I can get a chapter done in two weeks, I’m doing well.

Lorna always knows where the story will end, but her characters lead her on a merry chase through strange and unknown pathways to arrive there. She writes fast and trusts her voices to show the way.

We’ve totally different styles. Yet, somehow when we coauthor, the magic still works.

Do you enjoy blogging? Why or why not?
I have to admit, I’m not big on blogging. I guest occasionally on Lorna’s and others’ blogs, but that’s about it. As I said, I write slowly.

Are there any other genres you’d like to write?

I read and love science fiction and fantasy, but I’ve never written it. That genre tends to be on a grand scale, with all-encompassing stories, saving the universe, or protecting the shire from Sauron. I tend to write smaller stuff. One detective solves one case, or saves one person.

But someday, I just might try it.

What is your favorite of your own books, so far? Why?

The genres I’ve written in are so different, it’s hard to choose. My collection of short stories Lakeview Park is my latest. Each of the fifteen stories stands alone, but they are linked in that they all take place in and around a small urban park in a large city. Writing it gave me a chance put down my observations of people I noticed while walking in a real park, and to go back to my favorite, slice-of-life, short story style.

What are you working on now? Where did the idea come from?

The current book in progress is historical fiction, The Memory Keeper. It takes place at Mission San Juan Capistrano between 1812 and 1890, as told by a Juañeno Indian.

A lot happened during the period: earthquakes, a pirate attack, two-wars, statehood, bandits, epidemics, floods, and droughts. Lorna and I have spent more than a year in research and expect it will take another year to complete.

We have lived about three miles from the mission for the past twenty-five years and became fascinated with the period. We also obtained the help of the San Juan Capistrano historian and a Juañeno storyteller to help us get our facts straight.

Just like all our books, whatever I’m working on at the moment is my favorite.

Thanks, Larry. Even I learned a few things I didn’t know! You can read more about both of us on our website

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