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Welcome to my little corner of the interwebs, Margo… Tell us a little about yourself.
In my day job, I teach college English courses online, though writing fiction is my first love. After living all over the country (New Orleans, L.A., New York, Atlanta), I have settled down in my native Texas with my husband, our daughter, and a pile of ridiculous pets.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first fiction story when I was about ten.
What genre/genres do you write?
Paranormal mystery, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance.
Whatever became of your very first book?
It’s about to be published by World Weaver Press as Legally Undead.
What advice would you give to new authors?
The very best advice I ever got was just this: keep writing new things. Always have a work in progress. Finish writing a piece, do a quick edit, and submit it somewhere for publication. Then move on to the next project. Don’t wait to hear back—that way lies madness! If it’s rejected (and often it will be; that’s the nature of writing for publication), don’t let it get you down. Just send it out again and go back to your work in progress.
Do you have any other books? What do you have planned next?
Yes! My other published book is Waking Up Dead. I have a book contracted with Entangled Publishing, due out this year. I’m also working on sequels to Waking Up Dead, Legally Undead, and Fairy, Texas.
What inspired you to write Fairy, Texas?
Many (most, really) of my ideas come to me while I’m driving. In this case, I was driving through rural Texas near where I grew up and passed the sign for the cut-off to the town Fairy, Texas. I must have driven by the sign hundreds of times in my life, but this time I started wondering what it would be like if the town were actually occupied by fairy-like creatures—not exactly European fairies, but a race that could intermingle with the humans of our own world. The book developed from there!
Is Fairy, Texas part of a series? If so, tell us about it.
Yes! Fairy, Texas ends with all of the major points wrapped up, but there are some details left open—like how, exactly, Laney comes to be what she is. That’s where the second book, Flightless, picks up.
What is your favorite part? (If you’d like to share a little excerpt of that part, you may do so.)
I love the moment that Laney sees Roger Bartlef for the first time:
Fairy High could have fit into one wing of my old school. The three-story, red brick building looked like it had been around for at least a century—it actually had carvings over two of the doorways that read “Men’s Entrance” and “Women’s Entrance.” I was glad to see that none of the kids paid any attention to those instructions.
“Counselor’s office,” I muttered to myself. At least I wasn’t starting in the middle of a term—though given the fact that there were fewer than 500 students in the entire high school, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go unnoticed, even in the general bustle of the first day back from summer vacation.
I walked through the door marked “Men’s Entrance,” just be contrary, and faced a long hallway lined with heavy wooden doors. The spaces in between the doors were filled with lockers and marble staircases with ornate hand-rails flanked each end of the long hallway. Students poured in behind me, calling out greetings to each other and jostling me off to the side while I tried to get my bearings. None of the doors obviously led to a main office; I was going to have to walk the entire length of the hallway. And people were already starting to stare and whisper.
God. I hated being the new kid.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I made it halfway down the hall without seeing anything informative—all the doors had numbers over them and many of them had name plaques, but neither of those things did me any good since I didn’t know the name or office number for the counselor. I was almost getting desperate enough to ask Kayla, but of course she was nowhere to be seen.
I turned back from scanning the halls for her and caught sight of the first adult I’d seen—and almost screamed. As it was, I gasped loudly enough for a guy walking past me to do a double take. The man standing in the open doorway was tall, over six feet, and way skinny—so emaciated that it looked like you ought to be able to see his ribs through his shirt, if his shirt didn’t hang so loosely on him. He had white hair that stuck out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes that narrowed as he watched the kids walk past—and all the kids gave him a wide berth without even seeming to notice that they did so. He stood in an empty circle while students streamed around him in the crowded hallway.
But none of that was what made me almost scream.
For a moment, just as I’d turned toward him, I could have sworn that I’d seen the shadow of two huge, black, leathery wings stretched out behind him.
Now for some fun…
What’s your favorite TV show or movie of all time?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If you could chose a period in history to be born in, what would it be and why?
I’ve never been all that interested in living in the past—no deodorant, no good razors, no antibiotics? No thank you! But if I had to choose, it would probably be Regency England, as long as I got to be a member of the nobility . . .
What was the most embarrassing thing your husband/boyfriend/partner/friend ever did to you in public?
Many years of teaching beat the shame out of me long ago—nothing gets you past being easily embarrassed more thoroughly than getting up to speak in front of people every day! So although I’m sure my husband has done embarrassing things, I probably never noticed . . .
What is the one place you have never visited but would love to?
China. I would love to see the Great Wall in person.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could chose any famous person (living or dead), who would you chose to be stranded with you and why?
Are there any famous people with amazing survival skills? If so, I want that one! Robinson Crusoe, maybe? (Does a literary character count?)
A Quick Quiz…
Cake or Chips
Steak or Veggie Burger
Chocolates or Roses
Boxers or Briefs or Nothing at all
And since I write both, I have to know which you prefer… Vampires or Cowboys
I write both, too, so I’d be hard-pressed to pick!
Margo Bond Collins
Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.
Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.
She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.
“Okay, girls,” Coach Spencer yelled above the chatter around me. “We’re going to get warmed up for this year with a little run around the outer track.” She gestured toward a field off to the right of the building. I could see a dirt track wending its way along the edge, disappearing into a copse of stubby trees and scrub brush at the far end. “Four laps,” Spencer added. A general groan went up, and I was glad that the discussion at lunch had distracted me from eating too much. Late August in Texas is hot.
“Well?” the coach said. “Get going!”
We started off at a trot toward the field, many of the girls around me still complaining. For a moment, I considered hanging back with the crowd, but Andrew had told me that Spencer coached the girls’ track team. I wanted to impress her. So I stretched my legs out as I hit the track and settled in to a long stride, my breathing still easy.
The afternoon sun beat down on my head. I watched the small grove grow closer, anxious for some shade. By the time I hit the bend in the track that led into the thicket, I was yards ahead of the rest of the runners—so when I rounded the curve and tripped over the body, I was all alone.
It didn’t take long for everyone else to catch up, but it seemed like an eternity as I scrambled back, crab-like. It took a moment for my brain to translate the messages my eyes were sending it—the images coalesced slowly, like one of those magic pictures with the 3D images inside.
He had been stretched out spread-eagle across the trail, head and feet half-concealed in the brush on either side. Blood pooled around him, sticky and half-dried at the edges. His shirt had been ripped open and a slash opened him from his throat to his stomach.
As the other girls rounded the bend, I realized that the high, keening noise in the background was the sound of my own screaming. As soon as I realized it, I stopped, but several of my classmates picked up where I left off.
My hands and knees were coated with blood where I had landed; my skin was tacky with it. I crawled over to the nearest bush and vomited.
Coach Spencer shoved her way through the girls and stuttered to a stop, her hand to her mouth. “Oh, God,” she said. “It’s Cody Murphy.”
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Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.
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