Please welcome Colette R Harrell to my blog.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I would love to share my journey. My crooked road being made straight, I am a dreamer. I am a believer in happily ever after. I work hard to be a person who holds on to faith in the face of what seems impossible. I also love to read. I read all the time, and it is my go to hobby.
I wanted to become the author that I would love to curl up in a comfy chair and read. As a result, I am my harshest critic. When I complete a book, I must be coerced to release it to the world. If you turn the pages, you should see my fingerprints on the paper, clutching them to my bosom.
I am fortunate to have a loving husband, children, and grandchildren who are cheerleaders in the stands of this race I run.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I chill with my husband. (Chuckle) I read. I play with my grandchildren in childlike abandon. And, I think about why I’m not writing.
Do you have a day job as well?
Yes! I’m a Director of Social Services. I would love to have the ability to spend my days in my author lane. However, I do love focusing on assisting people to make their lives better.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing in 2012 for submission to a contest to discover new writers. I was one of the winners. That contest produced several authors that are writing today. Honey, I was in high cotton! My first book, “The Devil Made Me Do It” followed in 2014.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
As a Christian, I wanted to write stories I wanted and could read. I am passionate about this craft, but sometimes the story is compelling, but the language and explicit content stops my enjoyment. I have spoken to others who felt the same way, my choice of genre gives voice to that audience.
Where do you get your ideas?
I listen to every conversation. I see all the stories unfolding around me. I live a sometimes-complicated life that spills into the most unbelievable tales If I dare to be transparent.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Oh, my goodness, this is the question of a decade for a writer. If it were a song, I would sing it. The Pandora’s box of my weaknesses and self-judgment. Yes, I’ve had a case of writer’s block accompanied by some physical ailments. The delay was too long, but I’m finally back.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I just write. I admire those who make outlines and stick to them. But, when the characters tap me on my shoulder and tell their own story; I can’t help but follow.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
As a child, I loved reading everything. As a teenager, if James Baldwin wrote it, I read it. As a young adult, I discovered Octavia Butler. She solidified it; I wanted to write.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
When you have a dream and share it, people can be very dismissive of different. Writing a book that would eventually get published seemed out of reach for them. Many times, they made me believe it was out of reach for me too. I had to fight through to believe! After I overcame the battlefield in my mind; I pushed through the doubt.
I was blessed to have supported an author when she was first starting out; she was my first editor. And, while she didn’t get my book published, she did introduce me to the right person. I later learned the person wasn’t looking to represent any more people but based on who my friend was she read my first five chapters. The result was I had an agent. Shout out to Victoria Christopher Murray and every person out there who made room at the table.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Yes, a laborer is worthy of his hire. In other words, authors put in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to write a great novel. When you have your novel traditionally published the monetary reward is small. I understand why people are moving to self-published works. They’re more in control of their destiny. You don’t do this for the money; it’s your passion. However, whatever is your passion is linked to your prosperity – your platform. Writing is creative, but its also a business. I wish I had learned that earlier.
How do you market your work?
What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? I am still learning what works. In the past, I’ve hired a publicist, social media, ministry connections, family, friends, co-workers, family reunions, neighbors and people in line at the store, What? I’m serious.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Not yet. Hopefully, that will never happen. Nobody wants to see their baby in the corner.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
As I indicated earlier in this blog, I had writer’s block. When I came out of the cloud, I started writing two books. (We all know going from zero to two is such a smart move.) One of the books is the last book in a stand-alone trilogy. It is titled, “The Devil Wears Two Faces.”
This book is the conclusion of the story of plus size Esther, Briggs, a pastor with passion, Roger, an ex-felon and Monica, the bad girl who can never decide which side of the sheets she’s creeping through. The Angels and Demons are back, and now teenage love and rescue are a big part of the story.
My other book is titled, “A Life Kissing Frogs.” It’s a fun romp about a single mother with three baby daddies; three Spirit-filled sprinkle dusting Godfathers all on the road to happily ever after.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
In each book, I borrow from real life which sparks my imagination.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In “The Devil Wears Two Faces” it’s the marital intimacy between two of the main characters. People have waited for these two characters to get together. In the last book of the trilogy, I make that love connection for them. The cherry on top was the opportunity to illustrate Christian couples have wonderful marital intimacy.
In “A Life Kissing Frogs” I smiled or laughed through the entire class reunion. It is hilarious!
How did you come up with the title?
They’re descriptive. In “The Devil Wears Two Faces,” the book is about deception and how we get caught up in the wrong things. Our perception is not always the reality of a situation.
In, “A Life Kissing Frogs,” I was thinking about my single friends and their man issues, my married friends and their husband issues and how sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.
What project are you working on now?
I’m knee deep in both stories. Its raining books and personal deadlines at my house.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I’m hoping both books will come out the beginning of 2019 or earlier.
My book links:
Here are my links to my books and social media.
The Devil Made Me Do It released 07/2014
Purchase Link: http://amzn.com/1601627823
Tell the Truth; The Devil Won’t release 10/2015
Purchase Link: http://amzn.com/1622868196
Reach me at my website: www.coletteharrell.com