Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Feature: Margo Bond Collins, author of Bound By Blood

Bound by Blood
A Night Shift Novella
by Margo Bond Collins
Urban Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: November 10, 2014


Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real...

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....


Sitting straight up in bed, I gasped and threw myself back against the headboard, the thud dying away along with the remaining shreds of my dream.

But the word still ricocheted through my mind.


Until yesterday, I hadn't thought of the term in years—not since I'd left Houston for med school in Maine, determined to get as far away from home as I could.

But this resurgence of the same, odd illness that had swept my city years before was apparently also dredging up the old stories from deep in my subconscious: the aswang, a vampiric woman who lived a quiet life by day and fed on children in the night, flying back home on bat-wings just before dawn.

My unconscious mind had clearly also expanded on the idea, casting me in the role of aswang and adding schizoid conversations with a chorus of internal voices.

Great. I'm insane in my dreams.

And I'm a monster.

Shuddering, I wiped my hand across my gritty, raw eyelids.


Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?
One of the main characters from Sanguinary—Detective Iverson—is in this book, too.
How did you choose your title?
I took a poll of the members of my street team! The Vampirarchy is my Facebook group of readers and fans, and when I was getting Sanguinary written, I asked for title suggestions. "Bound by Blood" was one of them—I liked it so much, I decided to keep it for this book! (If you're interested in joining The Vampirarchy, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vampirarchy/
Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.
At the Indie Book Fest in Orlando last summer, I met Naj from Najla Qamber Designs (www.najlaqamberdesigns.com). She had created several pre-made covers for the conference, and I fell in love with this one, so I snapped it up right there. I'm a bit of a cover hoarder. Sometimes I have covers designed for books, but other times, I find covers I love and save them for books I want to write.
Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?
Both! I'm a hybrid author. I've published with several publishers, and I self-publish, as well.
What is your writing process?
In terms of my daily process, I do my best to write at least 1000 new words a day, five days a week—not much for a full-time writer, but because I also teach a number of online college courses, have a young child, and am involved in editing and marketing other works, it tends to be about the most I can reliably manage. I write on a laptop in a home office set aside for work, and when I get stuck, I go for a walk or take a bath. When I’m horribly stuck, I switch over from typing to writing longhand for a while.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing for as long as I can remember. The first story I remember actually writing down was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since.
How did you get started writing professionally?
About ten years ago, a friend suggested I join in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). Until then, I had always written short stories. That year, I finished the first draft of what would eventually become Legally Undead—it was my second published novel, but it’s the first one I wrote.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I used to be a complete pantser—someone who wrote by the seat of my pants without much idea of where I was going next. That was an important stage of my development as a writer—it enabled me to actually finish several novels! But my amazing editor at Entangled asked me to provide her with complete, detailed synopses before I ever started really writing the novels. So now, I write specific synopses that detail all the major points of the story. Then, I work on writing scenes that lead up to and follow from those major points. Sometimes the points change—I don’t always know exactly what my characters are going to do!—but having the map makes it easier to fill in the blanks.
What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?
Finding enough time to write as much as I want to!
What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?
I usually don't listen to music when I write—I prefer silence. But now that I have a child, I sometimes get out the earbuds when my husband's on kid-watching duty! At those times, I tend to listen to compilation albums or soundtracks. Right now, I've got soundtracks to The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, and the Veronica Mars movie repeating over and over. 
Who is your favorite author?
There are too many to list all of them! But here are a few: Neil Gaiman, Charles Stross, China Mieville, Holly Black, Mark Danielewski, Ann Aguirre, Carrie Vaughn, Rachel Vincent, Richelle Mead, Melanie Karsak, Katie Hayoz, Blaire Edens.
Read anything good lately?
Tons! Most recently: Midway by Melanie Karsak, Untethered by Katie Hayoz, Perdition and Havoc by Ann Aguirre, Darker Days by Jus Accardo, Wild About Rachel by Blaire Edens. And I've got an ARC of Carrie Vaughn's next book to read next weekend!
What advice would you give an author just starting out?
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. 
And remember that this business is changing rapidly! You can always self-publish—but if you do, be prepared for a steep learning curve!
Have you had anything else published?
What's your next project?
I'm currently working on Opposing the Cowboy, the second book in my Hometown Heroes series for Entangled Publishing. I'm also working on sequels to Waking Up Dead, Fairy Texas, and Legally Undead. It's the year of the sequel for me!


Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

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