First off I would like to welcome Michaelbrent Collings here at Curse of the Bibliophile to talk about his new YA Romance novel "HOOKED: A TRUE FAERIE TALE". I would also like to give him a big thanks for agreeing to do an interview with me. A fun and sweet new romance "Hooked" is a great edition to any bookshelf. My review of the book can be found here.
What would you consider a perfect day for you as an author?
One where I win the lottery, write 20,000 words that are all pure gold, and make my wife and children happy to be in the same room with me.
Obviously that doesn't happen too often. Especially since I don't play the lottery. But I will settle for 10,000 words a day (which does happen fairly often - I type Superman-fast) and making my wife and kids happy.
What sort of research (if any) did you do for this novel?
The most important research I did was during my own dating life. One thing I noticed when reading Twilight and a lot of those kinds of similar YA romance books was that if I ever acted like the brooding male sex star of those books, I would have been slapped and/or sternly rebuked for acting like a chauvinist. I get that women like to feel taken care of - heck, I think everyone likes to feel that way sometimes - but when the heroine sits back and lets the man make basic decisions and does nothing to provide her own input....grrrr. If I had once said, "No, she needs to eat," on a date when a girl said she didn't want to - whether she needed to or not - I think she would have tried to punch me. Because the girls I dated were girls who knew what they liked, what they wanted, what they needed. And I wanted to write a YA romance with that kind of heroine. In short, with the kind of gal I ended up marrying as the lead.
What made you decide to write a YA Romance?
See above. I think there is a huge lack of good role models for girls today. Most of the role models they're presented with are vapid twits with the emotional depth of a toilet bowl and the mental acuity of a plunger. Not a good combo. So I wanted to write something that I could give my daughters some day and say, "Here. There are good guys out there. They're looking for you. But don't just sit out in your tower and wait for them to find you. Make your life happen."
Is there any character in particular that you enjoyed writing about the most?
Obviously I liked writing Eve, the heroine. I also enjoyed writing about Lilly. She was a conglomeration of some of the worst girls I've met in my life. The difference between men and women is that men will fight you, and you'll either get over it or you won't. When women fight, though, it can get mean. And I mean MEAN. So Lilly is kinda the epitome of that, and there's always a delicious thrill to writing mean characters.
Were any of your characters or events from the book based of real life people or experiences you have had?
Well, like I said, while my wife is not Eve, she definitely is cut of the same tough cloth. So there's a lot of her in there. And the book is set in Los Angeles, where I grew up and went to school, so a lot of the descriptions are from things I've seen firsthand or had happen to friends. It's not an autobiography, but there's a lot of truth to some of it. And there's a character in the book who suffers from Alzheimer's which I'm very intimately aware of: my wife and I took care of her grandmother for a while, and she suffered from that disease. It's a horrible thing, to see someone kind of die before their body realizes the mind has gone. Very sad, very tragic.
What a great question! I'd have to go with... uhhh... Unicorn. 'Cause it's like a horse with a sword on it's head. So it's tough, but also pretty. For the man who's also tough, but secure.
Are there any other projects you are working on that you would like to tell us about?
I've got a book coming out in January called Blood Relations that's a mystery and might be the start of a series. Then there's a book coming out a few months later about six strangers who get on a New York subway... and aren't able to get off. Not even when they start being killed off by a supernatural creature aboard the train with them. And, of course, if Hooked does well I'd love to get working on a sequel for it!
Did any of your characters give you a difficult time while writing this book?
Yes. Rocky and Jacob both did. I can't tell you why here without blowing some major secrets from the book, but they turn out to have some very complicated pasts, and I had to be aware of that in every word they said, with every move they made. It was a lot of fun writing with that backstory in mind, but it definitely presented some unique challenges. Especially since I also wanted to make sure that there were two men in Eve's life who were equally interesting, equally sexy, equally alluring... but for very different reasons.
What do you like to do in your down time?
Well, I'm a dad, a husband, a novelist, a screenwriter. So I'd have to say, "What's down time?" Theoretically, if I did have such a thing, I'd probably be at a martial arts studio working out and sparring (I've practiced martial arts all my life), or playing a video game. That's assuming my wife was busy because whenever she's around I tend to be with her. Not to sound cheesy, but she's still my best friend and my first choice to hang out with, so whenever possible she's where I'll generally be.