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‘Tiger’s Quest’ Is Here! Our Interview With Colleen Houck

7 June 2011 No Comment

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Tiger’s Quest, the second book in Colleen Houck’s Tiger Saga series, is in stores today!  To celebrate the release of the book (one of my favorite reads of the year) we have a new interview with the author herself, who was kind enough to answer our questions.

What first inspired you to write? Have you always written?

I was inspired to write after I read the Twilight series. I fell in love with the series and was looking up info on the author, Stephenie Meyer, and when I found out that she was a mom that just got up one day and wrote, and knowing that the story of J. K. Rowling was similar, it gave me the courage to give writing a try.  I wrote a few short stories before starting Tiger’s Curse but nothing substantial.

Can you describe your writing environment for us? You’ve said that you light scented candles so that you always remember to include that sense in your writing. Do you keep photos or music around to inspire you?

I have stuffed tigers all around my room and I recently purchased a statue modeled after a print called “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt.  I can’t listen to music while I write but I listen to it when I walk and it helps me think through plotting problems.


What books or movies from your childhood influenced your writing?

The Black Stallion series, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Superman, Star Wars, Star Trek, Indiana Jones…I’m an action adventure junkie.

You originally self-published the first two books in the series. What was your reaction when you heard that the series was getting a publisher, and what was the first thing you did?

I think I called everyone in the family which took a while because I’m oldest of seven kids then my husband took me out to Olive Garden where we ordered an appetizer, an entree, AND dessert, which we never do.  I’m pretty sure I jumped up and down and screamed a bit too.

One of the things I appreciate most is how accessible you are to your fans. How has social networking helped/hindered you with this? Do you like that aspect of your work?

My fans are very important to me.  I want them to feel like they are a part of everything that’s happening and are able to celebrate along with me.  When someone writes me they are a fan but when I write back they are a friend.  Social networking can get overwhelming.  I could spend all day every day just moving from site to site answering questions, sharing news, and giving advice.  It’s hard to set that aside and get back to writing.  In some ways I separate the two.  I have social networking days and writing days.  So far I’ve saved every piece of fan mail that’s been sent to me.

There are five books in the Tiger Saga series. How far along are you in the writing process?

I am nearing the end of Tiger’s Destiny, book four in the series and I’ve mostly plotted out book five, Tiger’s Dream.

Does it get easier to write the books as the series goes on, or is it harder? Which in the series was the easiest/hardest to write?

Each book has been challenging in parts and easier in others.  The one on one dialogue scenes are very simple for me, my fingers fly over the keys, and the Oregon pieces were easy.  The hardest part was moving the setting to India.  Tiger’s Destiny is the most difficult simply because I am tying together many plot pieces and I don’t want to miss anything.


It takes a lot of self-discipline to sit down and write. Do you find it hard to get started, and how do you get around the distractions (and do you give in)?

When I was working full time as an interpreter, writing was my escape.  I loved it and wrote every afternoon after work.  Now that writing IS my work, I get distracted by the other pieces of the business like the social networking parts.  Once the document is open though, I sink like a rock back into the story.

I think Kishan has won a lot of people over in Tiger’s Quest. From the response you’ve gotten so far, how are the Tiger Teams split, as far as Team Ren/Team Kishan fans go? And are you surprised by any reactions that you’ve received?

I told fans that I was hoping to make a lot of Kishan converts in book two and I think that’s happening.  I originally intended for Kishan to be a bad boy but when I look at the story through his eyes I see nothing but a noble prince who fell in love with the wrong girl.  I feel for him and want happiness for both of my tigers.  I still think more people are on Team Ren but that may change as more people read Quest.  There was a girl that wore a self-made T-shirt at a conference I attended.  On the front was a picture of a white tiger and on the back it said, “Edward who?”  That shocked me.  I’m a huge Edward fan and to get that sort of reaction from people is overwhelming.

I’m curious about Nilima. She’s one of the quiet characters in the background, one who knows all of the tiger’s secrets, yet we don’t know much about her. Will this change in future books?

I’ve written some bonus material about Nilima that I hope to share soon.  I really like her and though she mostly remains in the background through the series there are some very important moments happening around her.  We will learn a bit more about her as the story progresses.

I really love the setting for the latest quest. What can you tell us about the quest in Tiger’s Voyage (or any other little tidbits you can share)?

Each of the five books has a theme and the theme for Tiger’s Voyage is water.  I also give a nod to a Shakespeare play in each book and this one is The Taming of the Shrew.  In Tiger’s Voyage our heroes will be seeking the City of the Seven Pagodas.  This is a real sunken city off the Eastern coast of India that was thought mythological until the Tsunami of 2004.  The water receded from the shore and the sunken city was rediscovered.

The Tiger’s Curse film is in the early pre-production phase. What can you tell us about the movie? What are your hopes and fears? And do you know how involved will you be in the production?

There really isn’t too much I can share at this point other than the movie is in the works.  For movie info you can keep an eye on www.ineffablepictures.com.  My producer, Raffi Kryszek, recently released an artist’s rendition of Kelsey and Ren overlooking the city of Hampi which you can see on his website’s homepage.  When I first saw it, it took my breath away.  Raffi and I have discussed the story and our vision for the film on many occasions and I have no doubt that my story is in the capable hands of someone who is absolutely dedicated to creating something magical and unique.


Just for fun:
Where is your favorite place to read?

My bed.  I read before I go to sleep every night.

What’s on your Summer reading list?

Supernaturally by Kiersten White, Infinity and Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon, City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Who is on your list of fictional husbands? (One of our fantasy games here, lol)

Everyone says Edward Cullen I bet.  He’d be mine but I also like Rhett Butler.  Of course Ren is my Mr. Perfect.

You mentioned in your latest blog that you’ve always had a thing for Superman. What are your thoughts on Henry Cavill as the new superhero? (Dibs! Hehe)

See I don’t even know anything about this.  Hold on while I check him out…ooooh he’s cute. I’ve always had a thing for the man with the S on his chest.  I thought the last movie was excellent and the actor did a great job of looking and sounding almost like Christopher Reeve even as nerdy Clark Kent.  I wasn’t too crazy about Lois though.   I think I need to go tweet about this now.

Fuel that you always keep on hand when writing?

Vitamin Water Zero, apple slices (can’t eat them whole, I’m weird that way), almonds, & Tillamook cheese.

And since we started as a Twilight fansite, I have to ask, which book in that series is your favorite and why?

Eaaasssy.  Eclipse.  I love the fighting between Edward and Jacob.  The jealous bantering at the tent was my all time favorite scene.  I also liked getting the back story on the other vampires.

 

Our thanks again to Colleen!  You are awesome!

If you haven’t read the books, I highly recommend going out and getting yourself a copy of Tiger’s Curse, the first in the series.  If you are a fan of Twilight, or just love a good action/adventure/romance series, this one’s for you.

For more information on the series, check out these important links:

Purchase at Amazon

Purchase at Barnes & Noble

Official Tiger Saga series site

Facebook

Colleen’s Twitter

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