Writing, promotion, tips, and opinion. Pour a cuppa your favorite poison and join in.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Today we welcome Crystal Collier to Unicorn Bell. Her follow up to Moonless is out now. She was game to answer my questions, and there's also a giveaway...

Where did the initial idea for Soulless come from?

This is the second book in the Maiden of Time series (Moonless, Soulless, Timeless), a series that started as a sweet little stand alone (romance) book in 2002. It was the tail end of a dream and a whirlwind writing experience spurred on by the first two words: Blue eyes. Suddenly there were tragic creatures under the moonless sky who ached to consume their counterparts, the Passionate, and whose only hope of escape from their eternal hunger was being vanquished by a mysterious, blue-eyed man.

Which part of the publishing process was the most surprising?

How little cheese publishers are throwing at me. Kidding. Sort of. You always believe once you’ve been published, you’ve made it. The truth is, it’s a zen process that takes decades even after that first, world-stopping moment of “Oh my gosh! I’m published!” You have to stock your own cheese. For a long time.

If you could give yourself any piece of advice before you started writing, what would it be?

If I could speak to that 3 year old girl who was telling stories through her pictures, I’d say, “Keep the creativity alive. Read. Write. Study. Practice.”

Plotter or panster?

Every time someone asks this question I get a mental image of a large floral planter. (Merge the words and you’ll get my meaning.) I’m an in-betweener. I plot the story arc, character arc and major turning points. I know the characters before I start the novel, then I set them free…but only within the fences I’ve established. (Characters can be so willful.)

Quiet room or noisy room when you're writing? How quiet do you need it? What sort of noise?

I'll take whatever I can get. I write well to silence. I write well to noise. I write well to music…unless it’s rap or heavy metal.

Your writing area/desk: a place for everything and everything in its place or if anyone ever straightened it, you'd never find a thing?

I wish you could see the dozens of notes scattered out in front of me, scrawled across napkins, receipts, wrappers… They're in my periphery, reminding me of the hundreds of creative thoughts that still need to be documented.

What is your current pop culture obsession (book, TV show, movie, webcomic…)? What are the rest of us missing?

Doctor Who, but only when he’s played by Matt Smith. Oh my goodness! Best. Doctor. Ever! He makes me laugh, and smile, and revel in my own geekdom.


Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.


krystal jane said...

I love metal, but I can't write to it or rap music either. But oh my gosh! I can't imagine the desk! I just cleaned mine off. It was already clean, but I somehow managed to find a small mountain of old notes that needed to be thrown out and a stack of napkins for my coffee table. :)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I especially agree with what Crystal said about practice; that's what first (and second and third) drafts are for. I think a lot of beginner writers give up sooner rather than later because they don't want to practice writing or they think they don't need to.

Crystal Collier said...

Krystal--true creativity works in a crazy environment. ;)

Neurotic Workaholic, it's so true. People are so anxious to be done before they're truly done.

Huntress said...

Music works sometimes. And other times, meh.

Your books look rather marvelous.

Chrys Fey said...

I sure love it when dreams inspire story ideas. And I love knowing how you got the idea for the wonderful trilogy.

You should take a picture of your desk sometime, Crystal, and post it on your blog. I want to see were the genius happens. :D

Christine Rains said...

Great interview! Love your Doctor Who comment. Geeks rule! :)

Crystal Collier said...

Huntress, thank you much. I rather think they're spiffy.

Chrys, See the problem with taking a picture of my desk is that then I'd feel like I have to clean it, which would put all my tid-bits out of sight, which would set me back on writing. ;)

Christine, seconded!

J. Lenni Dorner said...

Great writing advice to the younger self. Good post.