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Interview with Colleen Tews

She is the author of the Vampire Vixen Series and the Dream Prophet Trilogy. She loves all things that go bump in the night and, most importantly, love to write about them. She is married with four daughters and has two dogs and one finicky cat. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s most likely at a convention living it up.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I collect Funko Pops. I have every Avatar: The Last Airbender Funko, some of them are even signed by the voice actors. There are tons more in my collection, but those are my favorites.

Q.2 What inspired you to write the Dream Prophet trilogy?
Oddly enough, a dream I had led me down a dark path about a man and woman who were possessed by their past lives. That part makes more sense in book two, Oath Breaker. Which is set to release in September 2023.

Q. 3 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
Yes, I have a witchy paranormal thriller set to launch on March 21, 2023, titled Onyx. It is about a young witch, Raven Sinclair, and her sister Onyx. Onyx is, unfortunately, murdered. 

When Raven returns to her hometown, Briar Ridge, Ohio, she learns that her sister’s heart was stolen. Now Onyx cannot rest. In order to help her sister’s spirit, Raven has to track down the culprit responsible for her sister’s demise.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I think the hardest part about writing the opposite sex is getting in the correct headspace. Once I put myself in their shoes and remember that they are not only a character but a person just like you and me, the writing falls into place.

Q.5 Do you plan out your books before you start writing, or do you just write and see where it takes you?
I plot like crazy, but once the story takes off the outline, I create changes constantly because of a character’s action or reaction.

Q.6 How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
The shortest amount of time it’s taken me to write a book was two weeks. The longest was a year. I try to write a chapter a day. So, on average, I can write a book in about two months.

Q.7 What’s your writing schedule while working?
I wake up at 8:30 a.m. and exercise. It clears the cobwebs accumulated from sleep. Then I write. I’ll sit in my office all day if I have to in order to complete a chapter.

Q.8 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d probably go a little crazy. No, seriously, I would probably go back to dispatching ambulances. I did that for about seven years and loved the work.

Q.9 Do you try to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I never write with readers in mind. I try to be true to the characters. If I can deliver well-rounded characters with an interesting plot, then the readers will be happy or feel whatever it is I’m trying to convey. I hope.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing? Tell us about your marketing campaign?
When it comes to marketing, it is essential to get in front of the right readers. Who that is, I don’t really know. When it comes to marketing my work, I try to be as authentic and inspiring as I can be, which tends to weed out those who will like what I write from those who won’t be interested.

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
That’s easy. I would want to be a vampire. Sure, there is the whole blood issue, but to live forever, to travel the world without fear, only to circle the globe again in another ten to twenty years with a new perspective would be a great way to spend eternity.

Q.12 If you could invite one character to dinner from your books, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with Veronica from the Vampire Vixen Series. She is kind and funny with a dry wit, and I think we would have a lot to talk about.

Q.13 What three things can a reader expect from your books?
A touch of horror. There are some things I write that terrify me.

Then there is a sense of humor because too much darkness is never good. We need balance, and some levity to lighten the mood and makes for good symmetry.

And last but not least, is a well-rounded female lead. I don’t write female leads because I am a woman, and therefore it’s easier. I write them because I feel there aren’t enough of them to go around.

Q.14 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dear to you and why?
My dearest supporting characters, because I cannot pick just one, would have to be a ghoul named Albert in Vampire Vixen and Oscar, a witch/werewolf hunter in the Dream Prophet Trilogy. They are the main character's best friends. They don’t shy away from telling the main character what’s what. Albert is sensitive and old-fashioned. Whereas Oscar is quick with a hug and faster with a gun.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How do you select them?
I design them myself. I go with whatever screams at me the loudest.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
Usually, the character will tell me. For instance, the main character in the Vampire Vixen Series was originally named Angela Vista. It was her human name. But during her first feeding, she tells a young man her name is Veronica because she doesn’t want him to know the real her, only to realize that her human side died the night of her embrace. At that moment, she picked the name, Veronica.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I do read them. Oddly enough, I haven’t had a bad review yet. Sounds egotistical, but it’s true. If I did receive a bad review, then I would remind myself that I am not going to please every reader. That’s not my job. My job is telling the story.

Q.18 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have published two books and have three coming out this year. So far, my favorite book is the first manuscript I ever wrote, Birth of a Vixen. It is the first book in the Vampire Vixen Series.

Q.19 Are there any new books or authors in science fiction or fantasy (or both!) you are excited about? What are you reading right now?
I love Tracy Kincaid. She writes an elemental bender series that is super romantic. I also look forward to catching up with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake novels.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
My writing experience has been arduous at best due to my health. I published Birth of a Vixen in December 2014 and never looked back. It was the greatest achievement of my life. Unfortunately, my health has slowed me down. In 2022, I battled breast cancer and won. 

Now I have three books coming out in 2023. Though it was necessary, I wish I hadn’t taken time off from writing. But in the end, I have a zest for life and work like I never had before the scare. The writing community is a godsend. Their support through my darkest hours helped to keep me strong. For as crazy as it gets at times, I am grateful for all the love and support.

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