An Interview with Catherine Anne Collins, by Tina Burns for The Road to
Hi Catherine and
welcome to The Road to Romance!
Tina Burns -- First
off, tell us a little bit about Catherine Anne Collins the person. How
did you get into writing?
Collins -- I’ve always loved reading, but never had the nerve to think I
could write a book. About six years ago, with no real intentions or
understanding of what I was doing, I sat down and wrote the prologue for
my first novel. I don’t know where the idea came from, it was just
there in my mind. I remember saying to my husband, “I’m going to write a
book.” He looked at me like I was a little off my rocker, then he
shrugged and said, “Go for it.” Sometimes, I think he may regret the
day I started writing, but he’s always supportive when my mind drifts
off into a mythical place beyond the real world.
TB -- Do you have
your own love story and if so, does it inspire your writing in anyway?
CAC -- Yes, I'm
lucky enough to have my own love story. I know first hand that love at
first sight does exist and my own personal experience definitely adds to
my ability to write about love and romance.
TB -- For your
personal reading, what type of genres do you enjoy?
CAC -- I love any
kind of mythical fantasy, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne Bishop are my
inspirations. Romance, but it has to be imbued with paranormal
elements; magic, ghosts, or otherworldly characters. Other authors I
enjoy reading are Barbara Erskine, Susanna Kearsley, James Rollins.
TB -- Tell us a bit
about your writing process.
CAC -- I'd like to
say I write every day. I'd love to have the time to write every day.
The truth is that my husband and I run our own business and that is time
consuming. I also don't plan or outline, so I usually have no idea
what's going to happen next, and that can sometimes bring my writing to
a standstill until inspiration strikes.
TB -- Let’s talk
about your book, SWORD ACROSS TIME... SWORD ACROSS TIME is steeped in
Arthurian lore, what was it about that legend that inspired your book?
CAC -- I love myths
and legends and find myself drawn to different ones during my life. My
first book dealt with Greek mythology and my fourth book is focusing
more on Celtic lore. It goes back to the inspiration thing; I write
what is handed to me by my muse.
TB -- How much time
did you invest in researching for this book and how did you wade through
all the information?
CAC -- I've read
stories of King Arthur over the years, so I had some knowledge of the
legends of the era. But when I started to research for my book, I
quickly realized that there is a lot of conflicting information
involving King Arthur, Merlin, Morganna, Sword Excalibur, the Lady of
the Lake, so I gave up trying to go with facts and just let the
characters take over and write the story.
TB -- Was it
daunting to take on such legends as Merlin and give them your voice,
when they’ve been immortalized in many books, and movies?
CAC -- This thought
didn't even occur to me until about halfway through the book, then I
panicked. I started wondering who the heck I thought I was writing a
story that's been immortalized by authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley,
Jack Whyte, Mary Stewart, and so many others. But I also realized I
wasn't in their league and not trying to compete with a retelling of
history. I was merely writing what felt good for me, and hoping that
readers would enjoy the story. It always goes back to writing what I
feel. If people enjoy reading it, that's great, but it won't appeal to
all people and I can live with that.
TB -- Your heroine,
Tamara, is verging on Vulcan logic and it takes much of the story to
sway her to see the truth in magic, how fun was it to continually throw
“coincidences” her way and did she give you any rebuttal?
CAC -- Another
interviewer asked if there was a little of myself in Tamara and I
answered no, she was too logical for me, but I was wrong when I answered
that question. Although I'm not logical, I am a Capricorn, and as such
can be slightly stubborn, so I relate to Tamara on that level. I have
to admit that it was enjoyable playing with her and breaking down her
stubborn, one-dimensional logical attitude.
TB -- Tell us a
little about the hero, Gavin, he seems like a hunky handful too...
CAC -- Gavin is
handsome, strong, open-minded, chivalrous, sexy as sin...sigh, I just
love creating my own heroes.
TB -- I love stories
based on King Arthur, and I thoroughly enjoyed SAT, do you have any
plans to write more stories based on this legend?
CAC -- Yes, I do.
I'm going to focus on the love affair between Guinevere and Lancelot,
but with a very unusual twist. And, no, I can't tell you any more than
that. You'll have to buy the book when it comes out.
TB -- If you were to
pick celebrities to be Tamara and Gavin in a movie based on your book,
who would they be?
CAC -- Oh, Lord,
Tina, you're questions are so difficult. I guess I would pick Angelina
Jolie for Tamara, she’s an amazingly gorgeous, sexy woman, but choosing
Gavin would be more difficult. There are so many to choose from. Hmmm,
let me see, Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Sam Elliot, Pierce Brosnan, or
even Gene Hackman…oh, sorry, we’re not choosing a man for me. Okay, I
would say Gavin should be played by Colin Farell or Brad Pitt.
TB -- Can you give
us a little excerpt from SWORD ACROSS TIME?
CAC -- Sure.
"Merlin, it is your destiny. It is why you were born with the powers you
have. We cannot allow the same mistakes as our ancestors who developed
avaricious, destructive ways. They paid dearly for their arrogant
mistakes, and I would like to think we have learned from the course of
history. If our way of life is to be preserved, you must make yourself
as mortal man and forge into their world. Never fear, your ability to
return to Avalon will always be part of you. I have prepared your way,
many people already talk of you and your many abilities. You will fit in
and be respected, except by some of the more narrow-minded."
not if they accept me, but I will do what I can to help preserve Avalon
and all we hold dear." At the time I meant all the words I spoke, though
I dreaded the thought of leaving Nimue.
vigilant as always, read my emotions. "Do not worry my Merlin, you and
Nimue have a destiny to fulfill as well. You will be together, as you
words of prophecy caused Nimue to blush. How beautiful she looked with
the faint tinge of pink creeping up to color her cheeks. I should have
remembered that Nimue was as adept at reading minds and emotions as the
am tired, and I need rest before I begin the next part of my journey.
Merlin, you will leave tomorrow with Uther. Remember, you need to guard
the boy child when he is born. He will be your responsibility until he
is old enough to come here. Nimue, you and I need to work some spells to
ensure our plans come to fruition. Come back to me as the sun tops the
hilltops. For now, I need rest."
I was able to say good-bye to the woman I considered a mentor, I found
myself on the outside of her chamber door. Nimue and I stood looking at
each other. The dim hallway sparked with tension as well as shock at the
speed of all that had taken place within the chamber of the High
"Merlin." Nimue's rested her soft hand lightly upon my arm. Her touch
burned through the light cotton of my mantle. Like a whisper, her breath
touched upon my face and caused my heart to beat. I remember how I had
to brush my palms against my pants to discard the sweat.
"Merlin, we have only tonight, time that I think Niobe has given us on
first, the truth of her words failed to register. When they did, my face
burned. I know it must have turned scarlet but Nimue said naught, she
simply waited for my move. I took hold of Nimue's hand and bade her to
leaves crackling under our slippers was the only sound heard in the
stillness of the dusk's cover; even the birds were silent. Through the
darkening forest, our stealthy steps carried us to a place I knew of
that was private and holy. Nimue never questioned. She must have sensed
our journey would take us where we needed to go.
with darkness approaching, I remember how the clearing glowed. Upon the
ground lay a newly fallen blanket of fresh leaves, and the stream where
I usually bathed was an orchestra of nature's music.
was enthralled by the beauty and peace of the place. "Merlin, I have
lived here my whole life and never seen this place. How is it you have
been so blessed?"
not. Some days I look and cannot find my way, other days, I feel as if I
am called here. My magic increases, and I feel more in tune with all
around me when I am here. I think it is not really part of Avalon, so it
does not surprise me that you have not found it on your wanderings. It
is a special place, the perfect place for this eve."
the munificence of the Rose Moon, with the blessing of the earth and
sky, Nimue and I became as one. Intermingling in a passion beyond this
world, our spirits filled with wonder and soared above any earthly
bounds. We ceased to be ourselves as our joining caused a rift between
worlds. A part of our minds understood our past as distant memories of
the ancient world and its destruction burst forth in a flurry of senses.
Exhausted, yet revived, we lay in each other's arms with spongy moss for
our bed. The positive emotion from our joining faded as we both accepted
this would be our last time together for a long time.
TB -- What’s next
for you Catherine?
CAC -- I'm working
very hard on getting an agent and hoping for a larger publisher. So
far, my third book, Sweet Dreams in a Small Town, has received
interest from NY and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something will
happen. My fourth book, Beyond the Faerie Realm, has developed into a
two book series (I’ve only just finished the first book), and is
becoming my personal favourite.
TB -- Do you have
any advice for aspiring authors?
Perseverance. It's a tough business and there's so much more to learn
than beginners realize. Unless you are born under a lucky star, it's
going to take hard work, a thick skin, an open mind, and a continuous
positive attitude. Nothing less will get you where you want to be.
TB -- If fans want
to contact you, how do they go about doing that?
CAC -- I can be
contacted through my website
TB -- Now we come to
the end of our interview but before we say goodbye, let’s go…
“Inside the Author’s
TB -- What is your
CAC -- It may sound
silly, but I love the word Lothlorien. Lord of the Rings fans will know
that word. To me it flows off the tongue. It's such a soft, gentle
TB -- What is your
least favorite word?
CAC -- That is
easy. I hate the 'f' word. If anyone hears me use that word in a
sentence and really mean it, then I've been pushed to an extreme and
they better run far and fast.
TB -- What turns you
CAC -- The wind in
the trees, a full moon, the smell of fall, all the peace, beauty, and
energy that Mother Nature gifts us with.
TB -- What turns you
Noise—traffic, lawn mowers, loud music booming out of cars passing by,
electric saws, drills etc., trucks passing by my house at 3:00 am. Oh
boy, my small town attitude is showing through.
TB -- What genre
would you most like to write?
CAC -- Mythical
TB -- What genre
would you least like to write?
CAC -- I don't
TB -- If you could
have lunch with anyone, real or fiction, past or present, who would it
be, why, and where would you eat?
CAC -- This is a
toss up and I can't decide, so I'm giving you two people. J.R.R.
Tolkien, because I'd love to talk to him about the process of writing
the Lord of the Rings. Also Henry the Eighth, because I would love to
find out how his mind really worked and if he ever felt remorse after
having two of his wives executed for treason.
TB -- Thanks for
joining us today, Catherine. We look forward to more from you in the
CAC -- Thanks for
having me, Tina. You made me work over the weekend, trying to answer
these questions, but I'll look forward to talking with you when my next
book is out.