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Monday, August 17, 2015

Interview with Colleen Houck, author of Reawakened

YA author Colleen Houck joins me at The Hiding Spot today to discuss her new novel, Reawakened, how American Sign Language has impacted her writing, her favorite word, and more! 

Also, have you seen how gorgeous this cover is? Just wait until you see it in person!
Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration for your newest novel Reawakened, which includes Egyptian mythology, time travel, and romance? 

Yes! I would say it's a little bit like Twilight meets The Mummy. There's the romance of Twilight mixed with frightening creatures and exotic locations. This time though the mummy is the good guy. I wanted to do a twist and have the mummy be a character that might be intimidating and scary at first but who you could ultimately appreciate to the point where you might just fall in love with him.   

Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end?  
I loosely outline where I want a story to go and I know, in most cases, how many books there will be in a series. I'm a very linear writer so I have to start at the beginning. Though I know where it will end, I give myself the freedom to discover along the way. 
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration? 
I was an American Sign Language interpreter and was working as such when I wrote my first three books. Since ASL is a visual language, I think that's really translated into how I envision settings. In ASL you set up the context first and then place your characters and I notice that I do the same thing when I write. Every experience you have shapes your writing and lends inspiration, from break ups with a boy, to baking bread, to losing a parent. All of those things influence how you see and writing is essentially about looking out of a character's eyes and interpreting the world from their perspective.  
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?  
That's really difficult...I guess my favorite word would be AND. It's such a tiny word but it bridges so many things and connects one very important thing to something else in a way that equalizes them. Milk is so much better when its Milk AND Cookies, for example. 
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book that provided you with a hiding spot.  

I think one of the many books that shaped me as a young person was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. I literally felt like I was the girl surviving on that island. It was a very powerful image that stayed with me for a long, long time. 
What can readers look forward to next? 
Book two in the Reawakened series. It's called Recreated. I'm so excited to share this one with you because there are a lot of secrets that will be revealed.

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More about Reawakened

About the Author

New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. 


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