Monday, August 27, 2007

Interview with Brandilyn Collins

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.27.2007

Today I have an interview with Brandilyn Collins about her novel,
Coral Moon!

The figure remained still as stone. Leslie couldn’t even detect a breath.

Spider fingers teased the back of her neck.

Leslies feet rooted to the pavement. She dropped her gaze to the driveway, seeking what? Spatters of blood? Footprints? She saw nothing. Honed through her recent coverage of crime scene evidence, the testimony at last months trial, the reporter in Leslie spewed warnings: Notice everything, touch nothing …

Leslie Williams hurries out to her car on a typical workday morning and discovers a dead body inside. Why was the corpse left for her to find? And what is the meaning of the message pinned to its chest?

In Coral Moon, the senseless murder of a beloved Kanner Lake citizen spirals the small Idaho town into a terrifying glimpse of spiritual forces beyond our world. What appears true seems impossible.

Or is it?

And now, here’s me and Brandilyn!

You usually have a specific spiritual theme or thread for your books. What's the spiritual theme for Coral Moon?

Well, it’s certainly not what I thought it would be. Apparently God had His own plans. (He does that sometimes.) The story of Coral Moon is a suspenseful tale of murder in a small town—and who might be next. The spiritual theme is about the danger of dabbling in séances and all forms of “talking to the dead.” The protagonist is a young woman. There is a significant subplot involving a teenage girl and her new friends who get caught up in séances. I’d like all Coral Moon readers to come away from the book realizing the dangers of such practices. But I particularly hope teenagers pick up this book and read it. (Because of the young protagonist and the teenage supporting character, the story is very appealing to teenagers as well as adults.) Too many teenagers today look at séances, etc. as “something to do for fun on the weekend.” They have no idea what evil forces they’re opening themselves up to. If you know a teenager who loves suspense, this would be a great book to give him/her.

Your heroine, Leslie, seems like a pretty cool gal. What's Leslie's favorite summertime dessert/treat and why?

Buttery pound cake slathered with huckleberries and whip cream. Huckleberries are a northern Idaho berry, and therefore a local treat. And Leslie’s a born ‘n’ bred northern Idaho gal.

Can you give us a sneak peek at something from Crimson Eve? Something we wouldn't find in the blurb on

I’m excited for this book’s release. Crimson Eve is a bit different. First it takes the protagonist—realtor Carla Radling—outside of Kanner Lake. The other Kanner Lake characters do appear, but not as often.

Second, overall I wouldn’t label it as intense as Coral Moon. Perhaps some of the BHCC members can read this one.

(Camy here: BHCC = Big Honkin’ Chickens Club. Now back to Brandilyn.)

Well, I don’t know. The crisis/climax might scare ’em silly. But they’re wimps.

Third, Crimson Eve is not so much a who-dunnit as a why-dunnit.

As with the first two Kanner Lake books, Crimson Eve is a past/present story. The past story slowly unfolds to explain why in tarnation the events of the present story have been set in motion. It is a highly emotional tale that will appeal to adults and teenagers. And woven into the fast-paced story is a message about choices, and the past we create—and how our pasts become our future, and can affect the lives of many others we never intended to hurt.

I have used some literary techniques that not all readers will see, but the more insightful ones will. I will have discussion questions on the Kanner Lake Web site that will help point out these techniques. These questions should only be read after reading the book.

Finally—I’ve placed an “Easter Egg” in Crimson Eve. A pretty large one. See if you can find it.

You have been accused of taking every opportunity to kill off chick lit writers. Anything you want to say in your defense?

I need a defense for this??

What novel are you reading right now?

Lisa Bergren’s The Gifted. I just started it. Good writing!

You're off the hotseat! Any parting shots--er, words?

How come you’re still around, Camy? I’ve killed you off twice.

Camy here: I guess this shows how much Brandilyn loves me.