Archive for January, 2014

I am proud to present an interview with Callie Taylor, main character from Waking Up Dead, a unique and interesting novel written by author Margo Bond Collins.

 Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Why do you think Margo Bond Collins chose  you to represent her/him?

Margo was driving to work one day and caught a glimpse of me as I drifted across the Civil War statue in the middle of downtown. Of course, I just looked like fog to her at the time. I had to expend some pretty serious energy to get her to hear me! But once she did, I was able to get my story out.

Tell us a little about yourself?

When I was alive, I was a technical writer in Dallas, Texas. But then I died—I was murdered, actually; I’ll spare you the gory details—and I ended up as a ghost haunting someplace I’d never even been. I’m now a ghost in Abramsville, Alabama. It’s the weirdest damn afterlife. . . and I’m apparently destined to spend it fighting crime.

What is your birth date?

None of your business.

Where do you live? What is it about that area that drew you?

I don’t live. I haunt. And I’m not sure what it is that drew me here. I just woke up dead in Alabama! But I do spend a lot of time with my friend Ashara and her grandmother, Maw-Maw. They’re two of the very few people who can see me!

 What’s your favorite music?

Right now? My favorite kind of music is whatever makes Ashara crazy. I like to change her music over when she’s driving. It’s easier to manipulate electronic objects than anything else, so it’s something I can do.

 Will we be seeing more of you or are you stepping out of the lime light?

Hardly anyone can see me. But my story isn’t done yet! I know I have things left to do; I just don’t know what, yet.

 What do you do to relax?

I drift. It’s kind of like sleeping, but it’s apparently what ghosts do. And when I’m not drifting, I watch a lot of television. Crime shows, mostly. Luckily I found Ashara and Maw-Maw and can interact with them. Until I found them, my afterlife was boring. BORING.

What’s your biggest turn on?

Now? Watching out for the people I care about. I’m no guardian angel—just the thought of all that responsibility gives me the creeps—but I do what I can to care for the people in my life . . . um. Afterlife. .

 What your favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

Oh. If only I could taste food again. I can kind of smell it, which is nice. But not as nice as eating it was.

 Do you believe in ghosts?

I kind of have to, now, though I’m the only one I’ve seen so far!

 Do you feel the cover accurately represents you?

Sure. It’s a shadowy woman who disappears into nothing. That’s me these days, though when I look at myself, I still see just me, wearing the clothes I wore the day I died. Black slacks, gray button-down shirt, black leather jacket, medium-heel black boots. Casual professional. When I manage to cast a reflection in the mirror, I still look like me. Medium-toned skin, green eyes, dark wavy hair to my shoulders. But some people see me as a shadowy figure.

Waking Up Dead

Callie Taylor expected Heaven or Hell. She got Alabama. . . .

 When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in Alabama?

 Here is an excerpt from Waking Up Dead

When I died, I expected to go to heaven.

Okay. Maybe hell. It’s not like I was perfect or anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven.

Instead, I went to Alabama.

Yeah. I know. It’s weird.

I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed, actually. Murdered. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife–and probably a Bad-Mommy complex. Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.

At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready for it–ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.

And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about pissed off.

You know, even reincarnation would have been fine with me–I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug. Whatever. But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right? Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on television tell us.

Let me tell you something. The living don’t know jack about the dead.

Not this dead chick, anyway.

 About the Author

 Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

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Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin


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Seventeen authors offer their books for only $.99 starting tomorrow!

For less than $20.00, the cost of a dinner at a nice restaurant, you can have these great reads added to your Kindle!

Here is the list:

 ‘Obstacles’ by Chris Reardon:
‘Lost Through Time’ (sequel) by Jessica Tornese:
‘Due Date’ by Nancy Wood:
‘Her Cracked Heart’ P.A. Estelle:
‘Yours, Mine, and Ours’ by Jackqueline Diamond :
‘September Wind’ by Kathleen Janz Anderson:
‘Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback’ by Michael L. Thal:
‘Invisible’ by Jeanne Bannon:
‘Nadia’s House’ by Mary H. Collins:
‘Waking Up Dead’ by Margo Bond Collins:
‘Hustle Henry and the Cue Ball Kid’ by Jack B. Strandburg:
‘Sinking Ships’ by Michelle Knowldon:
‘A Pride of Lions’ by Mark Iles:
‘The Four Kings’ by Scott Spotson:
‘Take Chances’ by K.C. Sprayberry:
‘Tidal Surge’: by Francene Stanley:
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Great Books for Writers

             Over the course of almost twenty-four years of reading, researching, and practicing writing, I have read no less than fifteen books on writing and lost count of the number of magazine articles and the Internet. I have at least ten more books sitting on the shelves of my bookcase, which I might never open.

Like many writers I suppose, we read and research tips and strategies from other writers, hoping to find the article or book magically transforming us into a best-selling author.

After a while, the information starts running together and certain themes and pieces of advice recur:

  • Show, don’t tell
  • Make your characters interesting and believable
  • Write powerful and realistic dialogue
  • Use the five senses
  • Don’t use unnecessary words.

Sound familiar?

We might try to apply these suggestions and approaches and if we are fortunate we’ll find something to improve our writing.

A few months ago I decided to organize my writing space and my bookcase was at the top of the list. I reviewed my library and discarded more than a few, some I never read. I realized I subconsciously used the books as an excuse not to write while trying to convince myself I needed to read the contents to hopefully find the gold nugget – the piece of advice turning my book project into a best-seller overnight.

Of the books I read and reviewed, two made the most impact and will stay on my book shelf for future reference.

From my perspective, any book or article providing examples to support the narrative explanation earns high marks, and The Fiction Writer’s Silent Partner by Martin Roth excels in this category.

Martin Roth does a masterful job to explain the three main aspects of story – Character, Place (Setting), and Event (Plot), but goes further. His attention to detail provides the writer with templates for character profiling, the parts of the plot including but not limited to subplots, crises, climaxes, and suspense with an ample number of examples to spark creativity.

The Fiction Writer’s Silent Partner covers crime scenes and multiple genres, including the uniqueness of the particular genre. For instance, in his section on The Old West, Roth gives a list of how people traveled, Old West lingo, typical places, names, and characters, helping the writer stay focused and add realism to the story.

Roth’s book makes it almost impossible to motivate oneself to write.

My second recommendation is The Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich.

Novakovich covers character, plot, and setting in much detail and provides writing samples to support his explanations.

To spark creativity, Novakovich includes very detailed exercises after each chapter.

In addition to character, plot, and setting, The Fiction Writer’s Workshop includes a chapter on point of view, dialogue and scene, how to write effective beginnings and endings, and revision.

The Fiction Writer’s Silent Partner and The Fiction Writer’s Workshop are worthwhile investments for any writer’s tool kit.

My Author website:

Order Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid here:

Order An Appointment With God: One Ordinary Man’s Journey to Faith Through Prayer here: