This week, we turn the spotlight on author Colleen Nye!
Colleen Nye started writing at an early age. Between school writing assignments and her love of reading in early elementary school. In high school, she submitted some of her poems and short stories to various mediums including anthologies, newspapers, magazines and contests. Several of which were published and won her awards including a few editor’s choice awards, placements in contests and even The Sarah Endres Award for Young Writers. Colleen also started a poetry club in her high school where she held weekly meetings to share her writings with her fellow classmates and to be able to hear what others were writing. She wanted other young writers to be proud to share their writing.
As an adult, she branched out and worked as a freelance writer for corporations and non-profit organizations, writing press releases for newspapers, magazines and online blogs and web sites. She also worked with politicians to create campaign and promotional fliers, bios and web site blurbs. Other works she has done have been research and photography for a few Mid-Michigan sites highlighted in the book Paranormal Lansing by Nicole Bray and Robert DuShane. She’s also worked with several companies, creating their how-to articles and product descriptions.
In 2009, Colleen joined a writer’s group called Writing at the Ledges in her home town of Grand Ledge, MI. In 2010, they published their second anthology of the group’s poems, short stories, memoirs and essays entitled Seasons of Life. Colleen’s short story, “Full Circle” was a part of this book, being one of the longer pieces and receiving several great reviews. In 2012, the group published their third anthology, in which, Colleen had two short stories.
In 2008, Colleen collaborated with her friend, Carrie Peterson, about a dream Carrie had one night. This dream became part of the opening sequence for her novel, When In Maui. Carrie’s dream and her friendship help Colleen shape When In Maui into Colleen’s first full length novel, published in 2012.
In 2013-14, she wrote a tech thriller, Immersion. Signing it with Anchor Group Publishing and released 2015. A story she’s anxious to see reach a wider audience. Anchor Group also picked up When in Maui, an opportunity Colleen is very excited to see develop.
Colleen currently lives in Michigan with her two daughters – a budding chef and an aspiring free spirit that rivals her own inner gypsy. She is teaching writing classes locally. Her next novel? She’s working on a few projects and anxious to share them with you all.
Where are you from?
Tell us your latest news?
#1 The first book in my new anthology series, The Lunch Time Anthologies: Gable Heights, is signed with Anchor Group Publishing. These anthologies are full length novels where I write the over-arching storyline, and a group of authors write pieces that fit into the story to complete it. Book two is under way, and I’m gathering authors for book three currently.
#2 I am signed to be in Nashville, TN, St. Louis, MO and NYC next year, as well as several other expos and conventions, signing at their annual large conventions as well as the first Indie con in London England in 2017… so busy times are coming!
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was a kid. Having the childhood I did, I loved to escape, making my own alternate realities in my mind, imagining what life COULD be like. As I got older, I realized that people liked my stories. So, now I write them to share them as well as help others do the same.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? Always? LOL But probably when my first solo novel was published in 2012. I’d had short stories, poems, content, releases, etc all published, but there’s something different about seeing an entire book that you created on shelves.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first finished, solo novel was inspired by one of my best friend’s dreams that she “forced” me to listen to when I thought my life was falling apart… yes, like a dream she had while sleeping. It’s the opening scene to the book.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think so?
How did you come up with the title?
Titles are odd for me. I toil on them really hard… then BAM… something comes to me. I’ll keep thinking on it for a bit to be sure, but I always come back to that BAM moment one.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In When in Maui? Just that all things are possible. In Immersion? To stop letting corporations feed us things that are bad for us and politics to back them up in doing it. It’s GOOD to take a stand when it’s for the right thing.
How much of the book is realistic?
I think Immersion is actually more realistic than When in Maui, oddly enough.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
What books have most influenced your life most?
Greg Bear’s Blood Music. It changed my life as a teen and opened my eyes. Hands down.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Dean R Koontz. I love his work and how he’s evolved over the decades. But Cassandra Clare for her amazing world she’s created and has been able to write so many books in that world without getting dry or messing up the continuity.
What book are you reading now?
I am finishing up Amy Bartol’s Sea of Stars and starting my ARC of Stacey Rourke’s Steam. Amy’s next book in The Kricket Series is slated to come out in September, and Steam comes out in September as well. I’m due a review and a blog stop for Steam, so i need to make sure I’ve gotten it read… plus, that series is awesome!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Abigail Gibbs, she’s so young yet so well written. Amy Bartol has a great imagination. Clay Dugger… He wrote a piece for Gable Heights, and he paints characters like I rarely see… such depth that you actually feel like you can meet them.
What are your current projects?
I am working on more books for The Lunch Time Anthologies series as well as co-leading a 5 book anthology release called Debut Collective, slated to be out June 2016. I’m also working on When in Maui 2, tentatively names When in Doubt.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Just one? I really can’t. My support has not really come from within my family. The bulk of my support has been from friends of mine that have been there along my journey, and I love them all equally.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. One day, I will make it my full time career.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not at all.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The 1st chapter of When in Doubt is in the back of When in Maui. You can get your copies on Amazon and other retailers.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Keeping up with all of my ideas. LOL
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love so many, but I can repeat about Cassandra Clare… LOVE her world she’s created and the way she keeps the story together!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I do, and I have so much more traveling coming up.
Who designed the covers?
Depends on the book.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping up with my mind.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned so much about how I LOVE to write.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep working on it and do NOT complicate the process.
Three things Seren knew: #1 Her life felt odd being so tame. #2 She lost her parents when she was young and missed then dearly. #3 Her life was never going to be the same after the day Chase came back into it.
In a world, not unlike our own the economy has tanked allowing the inhabitants to seek solace in a world of virtual gaming. Now, money hungry corporations will stop at nothing to make a buck, even if that means releasing a product that will claim millions of lives.
What happens when the game turns to genocide?
When in Maui
Alice Tyler’s whirlwind vacation to Maui was supposed to be a great time with friends, an escape from all things stressful. Instead she found herself right in the middle of stress and without her best friend, Vivianne Cook. That stress? It went by the name Ryan Perry. He not only adds to Alice’s high pressure life but terrifies her by falling for her while on the island. Ryan then enlists Vivianne to help him convince her friend that fears can be overcome and happily ever afters can exist. But can Alice clear these emotional hurdles before losing Ryan forever?
And what happens when the tables are turned? Can Vivianne find her own Prince Charming and the fairy tale ending she dreams of?
Through hilarious situations and side-splitting adventures the two women lean on each other in a journey of self-discovery only to find their true selves are not at all who they thought themselves to be.
What if your celebrity crush was attainable?
The Lunch Time Anthologies: Gable Heights
Rachel and Cam met through a tragedy. Their lives were very different from each other’s. But their bond and the events that unfold will set them on a coarse that could lead to good finally prevailing over bad in the upper middle class, suburban town of Gable Heights, Louisiana… or get them killed. Through Rachel’s drive to tell the world how every city has an underbelly, she embarks on an entire list of interesting characters and their stories. But who’s watching and wondering what she’s going to do with all of that information?
Every city has an underbelly.
Author: Colleen Nye