Hi peeps. I’ve decided to start a segment in this blog by introducing other indie authors I know and enjoy.
I’m opening it with a dear friend and author, Tyler Colins. We met a few years back here in the blogosphere, and have been friends ever since.
So, without any further ado, let’s start.
A brief bio:
Tyler Colins is primarily a writer of fiction and blog posts, and a sometimes editor and proofreader of books, manuals, and film/television scripts. She’ll also create business plans, synopses, film promotion and sales documents.
Fact-checking and researching, organizing and coordinating are skills and joys (she likes playing detective and developing structure).
Her fiction audience: lovers of female-sleuth mysteries. Her genres of preference: mysteries (needless to say), women’s fiction, informative and helpful “affirmative” non-fiction.
She aims to provide readers with smiles and chuckles like the ever-talented Janet Evanovich and the sadly passed and missed Lawrence Sanders, the “coziness” of Jessica Fletcher, and a few diversions and distractions as only long-time pros Jonathan Kellerman and Kathy Reichs can craft.
And now, the interview (read to the end for an excerpt of Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie)
Q: What inspired you to become an author? And why Hawaii?
A: As an only child with a mother and father who didn’t really have time or support for me as parents tend to, I had to find my own source of “play”. I started drawing and writing. My grade 7 teacher, Mr. Kennedy, loved a short story I had written and read it to the class. I had no idea I had any talent. That afternoon made me look at myself as something more than a friendless, lonely kid. Little ’ me was actually good at something. I started writing . . . and writing . . . and writing. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. 😊
I fell in love with Hawaii the first time I stepped foot on Oahu. It wasn’t that I saw “Paradise” there (because, off the tourist track, it has its issues as most places do), but that I felt a connection to the history and spirituality. I felt like I belonged. There wasn’t anywhere I wouldn’t go; I felt no fear or anxiety. And when I began the sequel to The Connecticut Corpse Caper, which was initially intended to be a stand-alone, Hawaii seemed the perfect place to have my three private eyes move to. Even if I can’t live there—given laws and finances and all that—Hawaii is my home . . . in heart and soul.
Q: What do you think is the most difficult part about writing, and how do you motivate yourself to continue?
A: For me, the most difficult thing about being a writer is finding the time to write. Mom-care still takes up a few hours, most days, and the full-time job isn’t your usual eight-hour day. Freelance editing also detracts (but I’d not give up editing for anything because I do so love it). One day, hopefully, I’ll find a way to juggle time more constructively.
I can’t say I “motivate” myself. 😉 I simply do.
Q: It’s a strange and tough world out there. Do you find that it hinders or improves your writing?
A: It is indeed. The state of affairs around the world can be daunting and/or depressing. Some days, it can weigh heavily; you wonder (worry) that those state of affairs will never improve but, then, bursts of hope and faith—like a double Hawaiian rainbow—take over. And you think, believe, hey, maybe things will turn out all right after all. I wouldn’t say exterior forces hinder my writing, nor improve it. But they may provide ideas for scenes or twists in plots.
Q: What is your favorite way to relax?
A: LOL – I haven’t found one yet. Well, I shouldn’t say that. When I get to Hawaii, that’s where I find ways to relax . . . strolling along a beach, splashing in the ocean, finding a fun farmer’s market, or enjoying shave ice while sitting on a rock by the water’s edge.
Q: Do you read your own books after they’re published? If not, why not?
A: I haven’t read my books after they’ve been published per se. But when I require an excerpt for a post, then I will scan one or two of them to find the perfect one. I think the reason I’m not inclined to read them from front to end is that I might discover typos or something that didn’t gel. Then I’d spend the week or month kicking myself repeatedly. 😉
I believe one of my favorite excerpts is from Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? when JJ and Cash’s budding “relationship” starts to take off . . . or not . . .
Q: If you were to become the mc of the last book you read, who would you be and where?
A: I edit a lot of books, but I don’t read a lot of books . . . save for, believe it or not, the odd Nancy Drew book. I pick one from the pile in the closet if I’m going to ride the stationary bike in the fitness room. It’s an easy read and it takes me back to simpler times—when I was kid living in (escaping to) my little world. I always wanted to be Bess or George, never Nancy. She always seemed so perfect and privileged, and for a little kid being caught up in a not so perfect or privileged world, I couldn’t relate to it. But I’d love to be involved in one of their mysteries. My favorites were The Haunted Showboat and The Secret of the Wooden Lady, so the setting of either one would be very “Keene”. LOL
Excerpt for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie
“No stitches required, fortunately.”
Linda propped Cash’s head on a fit thigh and continued to dab a tiny sponge on an open cut above the right eyebrow. “But he’s going to have one big headache, a knob on his temple, and probably a scar. Perfect timing, me stopping by. If Makjo hadn’t taken the afternoon off, you’d be the one administering medical aid.”
He stirred twice, but was having difficulty opening his eyes.
“Fortunately, you’re here,” I smiled wryly, “and you have first aid certification.”
“So will you and Rey after next month.”
Linda had taken first aid and CPR training last summer while still in California. Rey and I had discussed doing something similar upon arrival on Oahu. As professional private investigators, first aid was at the top of the list, but other courses like investigative techniques and interviewing methods were also on the agenda.
“Who is this guy? I don’t think you’ve mentioned knowing someone this hunky.” Digging through a kit, she located antiseptic cream and a large bandage.
“He has different names. Cash. Richie J. Richard. He’s a drug dealer.”
Linda stopped and searched his face. “Really?”
“He doesn’t look like one?” I asked drolly.
“I’ve never met one before.”
“Damn.” He winced, and brought a hand to his forehead. “What happened?”
“You got beaned by our favorite beaner,” Linda explained merrily, gently applying cream to the wound before applying the bandage. “She can pack a mighty wallop.”
He squinted upward. “Who are you?”
“Linda Royale.” She peered so closely, they were nearly nose to nose. “I hear you’re a drug dealer.”
A flummoxed gaze shifted from her face to mine. I was standing behind Linda, looking down, hoping the damage was minor enough not to do any serious or permanent damage, but major enough to make him think twice about entering the condo uninvited again. “Did I deserve that? Bitch.”
If looks could kill. “Watch the name calling,” I trilled, getting a glass of water and passing it to Doctor Linda.
She supported his head and got him to drink a third of the glass. “Do you deal locally or on the Mainland, as well? Do you hobnob with guys who have the status of the once-super-rich-and successful ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross and Amado ‘Lord of the Skies’ Fuentes?”
He eyed her as if she were as demented as Norman Bates’ mother.
“Oh, sorry. You probably don’t want to share your criminal life with us. That’s okay.” Linda smiled and he closed his eyes in a give-me-strength cast. “Let’s get you upright.” She assisted him into a more vertical position.
He noticed her dressing. “Did she bean you, too?”
Linda instinctively touched the binding on her head. “This is courtesy of a creep I had the displeasure of not meeting last night.”
“She got dinged by a psycho,” I said simply.
His expression suggested he wasn’t buying it.
Connect with Tyler Colins here: