I am excited to welcome Colleen Halverson to the BookEnds team!
Colleen and I most recently connected through a client, although we’ve both been crossing paths in various ways over the past couple of years. Now I’m thrilled that we’re officially working together on her romances! I hope you enjoy learning more about Colleen!
I try to write about a thousand words each day. Because I have two kids and I teach full-time, it can be very difficult to sneak in writing. I find that having relatively short, daily writing sessions keeps me nimble and engaged with my projects. I usually write at my dining room table, which faces a big picture window. It’s really ridiculous how beautiful it is in the Driftless area of Wisconsin. Right now everything is covered in a soft blanket of snow.
What do you love about writing romance?
I write paranormal romance and historical romance as C. B. Halverson, but both genres I write in generally feature Irish folklore and Irish history. My PhD is in Irish literature, and while I was working on that, I collected so many different snippets of tales and myths in various folders and notebooks. It’s a rich history and culture, and I love sharing these stories with the world.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
I live in the country, so I love to take long walks to help me decompress and sort through complex story problems. I’m also into martial arts, and I’m currently working on my brown belt in karate. I joined so I could write better fight scenes, and I loved it so much, I decided to keep going. I also do weapons training, which is so much harder than the movies make it look. My favorite weapon is the bo staff, and each form is an intricate pattern of steps and movements. I never took dance or did anything like that growing up, so it’s a real challenge for me. It forces me to use a part of my brain I’ve never tapped into, but it feels great when I finally get it and it all comes together.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
Plotter or pantster?
I have always been a pantser, but the current book I’m writing is the first book I did anything remotely close to plotting. I never thought I would say this, but I’ve fallen in love with the process. This book is an urban fantasy sort of thriller that features a banshee, and I had to do a lot of research for it ahead of time. I was chugging away on the story pretty well, but then I slammed into a brick wall about 10,000 words through. A writer friend of mine suggested working through a plot map that she had been using, and we spent the entire afternoon plotting the novel in a google doc. The end result was, to me, amazing, and I’m thrilled with the way the story is turning out. My characters still surprise me, and there have been a few twists and turns I did not see coming. However, this process has shown me what’s possible when I take my time and really try to sort out some key character motivations and plot points. I’m going to do it for the next book I draft, and we’ll see where it takes me.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
There is a lot to be excited about with signing with BookEnds and the fabulous Rachel Brooks. Most of all, I’m excited to have someone steering the business side of things. This is a shameless humble brag, but like a lot of creative people, I have a lot of ideas. So many ideas. I can think of ten story ideas before noon. I see stories everywhere! I need someone with their hand on the pulse of the industry who can steer this crazy train and help me cultivate the stories that are really going to resonate with readers in this current climate.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Have faith in the journey. I know what it’s like to want the big book deal, the movie option, the bestseller tag. There’s no shame in that. Yet, sometimes it can feel like it is happening for every other writer except you. Remember that the most important thing you can do is to keep writing and improve your craft. I have trunked novels. I have four works published, and I’m still trunking books because I know they were just a prelude to better books, to the books I’m writing now. James Baldwin once said, “If a book has brought you from one place to another, so that you see something you didn’t see before, you’ve arrived at another point.” You don’t have control over what acceptances or rejections might come, so focus on that personal growth and the perspective and illumination that comes with it. The knowledge and awareness that emerges from writing novels is a powerful thing. Harness it. Write the next one. Keep going and don’t stop.