BIO: Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog’s Life. Based in Texas, he continues to publish several new titles each year. He has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.


Please explain your book club experience with me. Did they ask you a bunch of questions or let you talk?

I have not had a lot of experience, but what I have had is fascinating. Because mine have been online experiences, during the chats I have just answered questions. In truth, that kept me on my toes too. In some cases they remembered things about Farraday Road that had almost forgotten.

Had you done an on-line book club before this one? What surprised you about the experience?

What really shocked me was the way readers took to the characters. In their minds they were real people. Thus they wanted back stories and even asked to preview what would be happening to them in the next book, Swope's Ridge. They even had suggestions as to who Lije should fall in love with.

What did you like most about the experience?

Direct interaction with readers. I also love the way fiction fans email me. Their input allows me to hone future books to their likes.

Did the book club members "get" your book? Did they have the reaction to your book that you expected them to have? If not, what surprised you about their reaction.

They got, and in ways more than I expected. I had one person who told me she was going to try to live her faith like one of my characters. She quoted a line I had written. When I wrote that line I had no idea it would be one that someone would draw inspiration from.

Did you learn something about your book that you hadn't expected to learn?

Yes, the depth of emotional attachment readers had to the characters. They were as attached as I was.

I was also surprised when they asked me who I thought she play the various characters if they made a movie from the book. They had specific actors in mind. Meanwhile the only actor I could match to a person from Farraday Road was Kristin Chenoweth as Janie.

Were book club members passionate about one of your characters and weren't happy about how you treated them?

They were passionate about more than one, but except for my killing off the wife, none of them complained about what happened to the principals.

Was anyone upset with you that your book ended the way it did? How long did they have to wait to read the sequel?

Maybe they could forgive you since it wasn't far off. Ha! Ha! I think everyone was unhappy that not all the mysteries were solved in Farraday Road. And I could identify with them. I actually wrote the book with a different ending that solved everything. The publisher was the one that decided to cut part of it and run it over to the next book. Nevertheless, the reviews were super and Zondervan was probably right that the open ending was the best way to begin the series. Be assured all mysteries are solved in Swope's Ridge.

One of the questions I get a lot is are any of the characters based on real people. Only one, Janie. Elements of Janie's personality were drawn from that of a friend, along with her affliction, blindness. Strangely, Janie was not in my original outline, but when I plunged my characters into a certain situation I discovered none of them had the skills need to escape. So I invented Janie, went back a couple of chapters, dropped into the plot, and she emerged as a fan favorite. Some times that best things in writing are things the author didn't even anticipate.

THANKS Ace for stopping by and letting us get to know of your books and book club encounters and your many books. Before I did this piece and started gathering your book cover. I had no idea how many books you'd written until I started gathering the book covers for this feature. Wow!! I'd love for you to sit down with my book club ladies and talk with us awhile. Oh, the stories you could tell. :D REMEMBER if you're every in Atlanta PLEASE stop by and visit my book clubs.


TOMORROW is my interview with ACE COLLINS. You' won't want to miss that and the TEN BOOKS THAT ZONDERVAN IS GIVING AWAY. TUNE IN TOMORROW to find out the details on your how you can get a chancd to win Ace Collins NEW FICTION SERIES FARRADAY ROAD AND SWOPE'S RIDGE.

BLESSINGS to you on your writing adventures.STOP BY TOMORROW for your chance to win Ace Collins NEW books.

Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

1 comment:

  1. I was looking forward to read "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas", not only to get into the holiday spirit but also because I love this type of books since my childhood. These short stories filled with charming facts and little unknown tidbits were always fascinating to me.