BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

TEN GIVE AWAY OPPORTUNITIES - NORA INTERVIEWS ACE COLLINS



How did you get the idea for your first book Farraday Road? What was your inspiration?


Farraday Road was actually born more than three decades ago when I was daydreaming in a college history class. Immediately after that class I went to the Student Union Building, sat down and outlined the book in a spiral notebook. I then wrote about five chapters out in pencil. At that time it was titled “To Find My Killer.” I knew it was a good idea then but didn’t have the experience or self-discipline to do the idea justice. So I kept all the notebooks in my files until I actually felt I had grown enough as a writer to do the story justice.

Did you come up with the title your book? If not, what was the working title? Did you have any say so on the cover this book? It’s very different and has great eye appeal.

The working title when I finally created the proposal was Innocence on Trial. The publisher changed the title in the final editing stages.

On cover art — I was sent the cover to approve of, but had no say in its creation. I left that to folks who know that medium. When I first saw the cover I knew they had created a winner.

You have written so many non-fiction books over the years. Stories Behind the Songs of Christmas, Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter, The Stories Behind the Traditions of Christmas, a NEW book out, Sticks and Stones and another New book 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make this Your Best Christmas Ever. You’ve written some really amazing books here. Why Christian Fiction? Why make the leap?

































It was my dream to write novels. I had more than two-dozen outlined and a couple written. When Zondervan approached me with the concept of creating a new kind of Christian fiction novel, I felt I was ready to take one of those ideas and finally write a book. The process was easier than I thought and much more rewarding. I now wish I had made the leap a decade before I did.














What was your favorite scene to write in Farraday Road? What was your most difficult to write? Why?












There was a scene in the cave that was my favorite to create. There was something about the setting and having a blind person be the eyes for those who were struggling in the dark that made those segments so much fun to write. By this point in the story I could also reveal a lot of the mystery that had driven the plot.

I think the most difficult part of any book is the opening chapter. Every word has to count. You have to draw readers in and get them interested in the characters and the plot. Hence, I spend more time working with the opening paragraphs and then the rest of the initial chapter than I do any other facet of the book.

Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you have had since you published your first book? What made it a “Wow” moment for you?

The initial wow for me came when I held Farraday Road for the first time. Imagine coming up with an idea and then waiting more than thirty years to see it realized. The emotions I experience when I first stay it just blew me away.


The second wow was when I discovered how readers respond to fiction as opposed to nonfiction. I’ve written scores of nonfiction books and have had a number of bestsellers in that genre and rarely do I get emails. Within days of Farraday Road’s release I was getting emails from readers who were asking all kinds of questions and making scores of interesting observations. I had no idea the characters would become so real to those who read the book. I am still getting used to the connection I have made with fans of the series. I like it too!

Is there a question you wish someone would have asked you but didn’t? If so, what was the question and what is your answer?



In truth, no one has asked me about the dedication in Swope’s Ridge. The young woman I spotlighted on that page is a remarkable person who is one of the best kids I have ever known. Shalee is constantly exceeding and expanding her potential. She is beautiful on the inside and out. Hence, I would love to be able to share more of her story with readers. She would inspire them as she has me.

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has been surprising to you?











It is much harder work that most people can imagine. Still, even with that in mind, I wish I could write even more books each year. I am so alive when I am creating fiction. I have energy that I can’t begin to explain when I am pushing out a novel. The most surprising thing to me is that my characters become so real to me. In fact, when I am writing the last few chapters of a novel I go into mourning knowing I am about to say goodbye to these fictional people who are so real to me. I like having them around and miss them when they are gone.

Is your spouse a hands-on or hands-off partner? Do the kids help you with ideas? How much does your family help you with your fiction writing?













No, I don’t really draw much from my wife or kids. I might run an idea by them from time to time, but they really don’t even read the book until it comes out. The main way they help is allowing me the space and time I need to do my work.

What was your favorite scene to write in Swope’s Ridge? What was the most difficult to write? Why?

My favorite segment was also the most difficult. When I write from Janie’s point of view it is a huge challenge. She’s blind, so I have to experience the world much differently when she is the lead character in a chapter. One of the ways I do this is to close my eyes and “see” with my other senses. Hence, my favorite scene in the book where she explains to Lije how see knows certain things and senses things he can’t see. I feel that segment has humor and insight.

I’m sure you must be working on a brand new book by now; can you tell us a little something about what this series will be about? Any sneak peeks for us about what we can look forward to?













I have written a book set in the near future that my agent has right now. It is called Past Imperfect and those who have previewed it tell me it is a real page-turner. Hope that finds a publisher soon. I am working on a novel for Zondervan called Words of the Father that is about a search for lost book in the Bible. The best way for me to describe the book is “Indiana Jones meets the Di Vinci Code.”

QUESTIONS I JUST KNOW YOU WANTED TO ASK ACE BUT WERE AFRAID TO SO I DID!! :D

If you had 24 hours to hang out with anyone TWO PEOPLE alive or dead in the history of the world (besides Jesus); what two people would you pick & Why? What would you do?


Wish I could pick more than just two. If I am limited to that few I am going to go with Mark Twain first. I would love to pick his brain and listen to him tell his stories.












The second might be a surprise. I love old movies and Jean Harlow’s career and tragically short life fascinate me. I would like to separate the legend from the facts and get to know more about this woman. I know she was beloved by all who worked with her and the studio portrayed her as something she wasn’t. Her family literally spent all she made and her mother seemed to suck the life out of her daughter at ever corner. Thus, in my mind, Jean would be an interesting story and I would like to spend a few weeks getting to know her.

Where did you live growing up? What did you like about growing up there?








I grew up in both the Arkansas Ozarks and the plains of Central Illinois. I loved the people in both places. I am still a product of Arkansas in the way I eat and with my love of trees, water and nature. My life in Illinois certainly contributed to my deep love of basketball and snow.

Name three jobs that you’ve had that might surprise people?








I was a high school basketball coach, drove a school bus at one time and have been paid to write a few musical production shows.



Who was your favorite school teacher? Anyone inspire you to get into writing?










Mrs. Curry at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in Illinois really got me into writing stories and I owe her a great deal. At Baylor University Ann Miller was an English professor who pushed me to be a creative writer. I owe her big time for her encouragement. She knew about Farraday Road three decades before it was written.

What movie greatly impacted you as a child? Why?











My fascination with storytelling and characters was impacted by watching It Happened One Night and Gone With The Wind.I saw both of those movies in elementary school and they turned me onto classic Hollywood. Yet, more than movies, the type of storytelling I discovered when I happened onto old radio dramas such as Richard Diamond and The Whistler really honed me into the power of a story well told. I tell all young writers then need to leap into old radio to fully grasp great storytelling.

Name four of your favorite books read as a child?














The first one I remember reading and rereading was a book about a mountain lion named “Yellow Eyes. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes made a big impression on me in 4th grade. I also read a book of Mark Twain’s short stories and distinctly remember one of the stories in that book called The Diary of Adam and Eve. My father had me read The Grapes of Wrath as a way of understanding the life that he had lived as a child of the Depression. That book brought poverty and despair into vivid contrast and showed me early on the power of writing as a medium for illumination and change. I still try to place that kind of social commentary very subtly into what I write.

You’ve been given the opportunity to us a time machine and visit any TWO events in the history of the world. Which TWO events would you pick and why?




The obvious is seeing and hearing Christ, but that is such a pat answer I will give you two others. I would like to observe December 7th, 1941 from Pearl Harbor. That day changed a lot of lives, including many in my family. I have talked to men who were there. I would like to see, taste and smell what that day was like.




I also think I would have liked to have had a chance to sit beside Branch Rickey the day Jackie Robinson integrated baseball. That moment really started the process of that was supposed to begin at the end of the Civil War and didn’t. I am not sure there would have a Dream speak from Martin Luther King without Jackie suiting up for the Dodgers. I would have loved to observe that day firsthand. I would have liked to have seen it through the eyes of the man suited up that day and broke the color line, the general manger who orchestrated it and those both black and white who watched it happen.

Name four places you’ve lived. Which one was your favorite? Why?



Salem, Arkansas, Royal, Illinois, Hillsboro, Texas and Arkadelphia, Arkansas. All of them really have played a part in developing me as a person, so none would really be a favorite. I needed each place. Yet, as I love fall and spring in the Ouachita Mountains, I would currently lean toward Arkadelphia.

What are three of your favorite songs of all time?




An obscure Elvis Presley song called Am I Ready. The great gospel classic Amazing Grace. A very old western song called When It’s Twilight On The Trail.







What are three every day things that you wouldn’t want to live without?











Coca-Cola, peanut butter and Turner Classic Movies.

FINAL COMMENTS YOU’D LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH??















As a writer I may work alone, but creating a book is not a solitary experience. Therefore I am a part of a team that includes my agent, editors, artists, marketing, public relations and booksellers. I hope that when the readers see my name on a book they remember the team behind it. Without that team I would not get to do what I love. And that is the way all of life is. We can display our best only when we are a part of a team.
Ace Collins

Thanks Ace for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books. Remember if you're ever in Atlanta you'll definately have to stop by and speak to my book clubs!! I would love to hear of your adventures in writing. You have written so many books and met so many interesting people. We'd have to extend our book club time I'm sure!! :D
You can find more about Ace Collins and his books at his website http://www.acecollins.com/

Blessings on your writing adventures.

Sincerely,

Nora :D


**** For your CHANCE TO WIN a copy of Ace's New Fiction book series Farraday Road and Swope's Ridge

LEAVE A COMMENT about this Interview and a way to contact you if you win a copy of Ace's books.


Thanks to ZONDERVAN is giving away FIVE copies of Farraday Road and FIVE copies of Swope's Ridge.

You don't want to miss out on these exciting adventure books.

DRAWING WILL BE TUESDAY NOVEMBER 10th


****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****

THANKS TO EVERYONE that READ THE INTERVIEW AND ENCOURAGED ACE COLLINS in his Fiction writing. The Publisher is sending books to the following winners.

FIVE WINNERS OF FARRADAY ROAD
1. Judy Bacigalupo
2. Sheryl Barnes
3. Gail Munday
4. Betsy Schaknowski
5. Wendy Mahaney

FIVE WINNERS OF SWOPE'S RIDGE
1. Charity Lynman
2. Ben Harris
3. Mrs. Cole Jarvis
4. Sheila Deeth
5. Jo Legat

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone. Thanks to Zondervan Publishing and Ace Collins for this great opporunity and this wonderful series.

Blessings

Nora :D

48 comments:

  1. Great interview Nora. I haven't read any of Ace's books, but would love to read one of these. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Ace - I too love that Elvis song.

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  2. Awesome article Nora. I have read the books and LOVE them.
    So don't put me down to win them, cause I already have them... :-)

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  3. Sounds like a great book. Please enter me in the contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

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  4. Count me in the contest. I joined Ace Collins Mysteries; already belong to your Finding Hope Through Fiction on FB. It's interesting writing about a blind character when you aren't blind. I haven't read any of your books to date. Please enter me for your books. Thank you.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  5. Count me in the contest! :) I am so proud to personally know Ace Collins as he is so very very wonderful and dear to my heart! He is incredibly talented, funny, supportive, and generous!! Great interview! Really great, insightful questions!! Thanks for your time! :)

    whi46870@obu.edu

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  6. I live in the Waco area, where Baylor is, and my family knows Ann Miller. How cool!

    I became a fan of his page on facebook and I already follow your blog and your facebook group.

    Blessings
    Michelle
    m.vasquez@grandecom.net

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  7. Fabulous Interview! Please enter me in the drawing. I'm all hooked up except for the facebook part. I'm blocked at the office and can't access it with dial-up at home. But all else is done and done! Hope I win!!

    Kim
    kimfurd at hotmail dot com

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  8. Ace, very interesting interview. I loved Faraday Road and recommend it to anyone who will listen. Would love to win a set as my copy is dog-eared and worn.
    Debbie at debmuller@xanadoo.com

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  9. Great interview. I read and loved Faraday Road, and would love to win Swope's Ridge
    marcus802001(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. Thanks for the chance to win! I loved Farraday Road and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

    contact: mudrash[at]gmail[dot]com

    Ben

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  11. Good interview Nora. I learned a lot about Ace thru this interview. I am reading Farraday Road now, and would love to win Swope's Ridge. Please sign me up!

    Glenda

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  12. Facebook Post- Can't connect to the blog. So, I posted for her.

    November 3 at 8:58pm

    Nora;

    I just read your interview with Ace Collins. Great interview- and liked his old car!!!!

    Please put my name to win these really interesting fiction books.

    Betsy Hoffman Schaknowski

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  13. Betsy,

    My old cars are a 1934 Auburn 652Y Sedan and a 1936 Cord 810 Westchester. They were both made in the state of Indiana. Great cars, drove both of them this week. You can see more of them on my website and I put both of these cars in the novels.

    Ace

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  14. Good interview, Nora. Would love to win a book. Tisha

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  15. Loved the interview Nora and Ace. Books sounds great...even the nonfiction ones! Sign me up!

    Gail Mundy

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  16. What a great interview, and it was fascinating to learn more about Ace after reading Sticks and Stones.

    I'm not on Facebook, so I guess I can't join in the giveaway, though when I do finally join I will certainly plan to be a fan. One day...

    Meanwhile, thanks for the introduction to what sound like really good books.

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  17. comment left on facebook.Yesterday at 10:05pm

    I have read Farrady Road and Swopes Ridge and they are fantastic books I would love to add them to my collection of Aces' other books I have.

    This was a very intersting interview with Ace.He is an amazing writer and an amazing man.He has such a love life and others.


    Valerie Malewicz

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. I find it very interesting that Ace Collin's professor knew about Farraday Road 30 years prior to it being writtten. I would be very excited to read it.

    Thanks so much!

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  20. Nice interview!! I have read the first book, Farraday Road, but still trying to get the second one. Please enter me. I loved the first book!
    Thanks!
    esterried @ yahoo.com

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  21. Please enter me.
    blessed6mom @ yahoo.com

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  22. I also loved the song "When It's Twilight on the Trail"! You just brought back lots of treasured memories, Ace.

    Thank you for a very interesting interview. I have one of the Christmas books, but hadn't heard of the mysteries. Now they're on my wish list and I appreciate the giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  23. Wow, great interview. I have read Farraday Road, and would love to read Swope's Ridge. Please enter me in the drawing!
    onepilgrim86(at)yahoo.com

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  24. Another great interview. Thank you! I think this would be a great book to share with my dad!

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  25. Wow, what a great interview. I really loved Ace's comment to the question was writing everything he thought it would be. He said that he felt alive when he wrote. This is a man who has found God's specific purpose for his life. Wish that on all of us.

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  26. what an interesting character to read about: a blind person. I don't remember reading a novel like this, although I sometimes hae senior moments.
    Thanks for the interview.
    Penny
    hulldotmargaretatoclsdotinfo

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  27. Great interview! I will have to read these books.

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  28. Great interview! I haven't read any of Ace Collins books, but I have one or two on my list of to read books. I would love to win a book.
    Thanks
    Ruth W in Ohio

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  29. I am in my 60's, so I enjoy the
    nostalgia.
    I am not familiar with the writer
    so I would love a chance to win
    a book.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

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  30. Great interview, I'm always interested in what the author is thinking as they are writing and what influences them. Thank God for Christian writers who give us avid readers something clean we can enjoy!
    Kim Fox
    ck_fox@yahoo.com

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  31. fabulous in depth non boring interview thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

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  32. I loved the interview. I can relate to Coka Cola, Evis and the people he'd like to talk to. How interesting, Now I feel like I not only want to read his books but I want to meet him. Is there a schedule of book events where he'll be signing his books?

    clenna at aol dot com

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  33. What a thorough interview. I would like to read a book by this author that is new to me.
    Deborah M.
    debbiejeanm[at]gmail[dot]com

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  34. What a terrific interview. I haven't read any of Ace's books yet but after reading your interview, I definitely want to read his books. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  35. What a wonderfully insightful interview.
    Well Done!


    Nycole
    Knycks1@aol.com

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  36. nice interview i would to win a book

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  37. Great interview! He loves my drink~COCA COLA!!! It rocks!

    I would love to win his books as I have heard great things about them! Please enter me!


    Mollydawn1981 at AOL dot com

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  38. Another great interview. I'm impressed. The books look good, too.

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  39. Sounds fascinating! Would love to win!

    crabapplefarm@centurylink.net

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  40. Facebook entry

    I've enjoyed Ace Collins non-fiction. Can't wait to see what he does with fiction. I would LOVE to win the book or book's to read !

    Thank -You for the chance to win them !

    Dana Spille

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  41. It was interesting reading the transition to fiction - and the differences... Thanks for sharing
    !

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    We posted about the giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/ace-collins-books.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  42. I love the interview, and always like the questions that have nothing at all to do with writing the book. In this interview I liked the question about what his favorite books were as a child.
    wmmahaney@att.net

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  43. Thanks for the wonderful interview Would love to read his book please enter me
    tanyainjville@yahoo.com

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  44. Excellent interview. Have a copy of Farraday Road and am hoping to find time to read it during the holiday blog tour lull. Have been overwhelmed lately just keeping up. Please enter me.

    pam [at] daysong [dot] com

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  45. What a great interview, and an even more intriguing author. I can't wait to read more from him.

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  46. Haven't read anything by this author. please enter me!

    lowurtz at gmail dot com

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  47. THANKS ACE For this really fun interview and the chance to get to know you and your books better.

    CONGRATS to the Winners of the TEN books Zondervan offered.

    1.Judy Bacigalupo
    2. Sheryl Barnes
    3. Gail Mundy
    4. Betsy Schaknowski
    5. Wendy Mahaney
    6. Charity Lyman
    7. Ben Harris
    8. Mrs. Carole Jarvis
    9. Sheila Deeth
    10. Jo Legat

    I appreciate you all stopping by and encouraging this authors in his fiction writing.

    Sincerely,

    Nora :D

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  48. Hello Ace,

    I heard you this morning on WCRF 103.3 FM, speaking about the story behind Christmas. Listening to you inspired me to visit your website to learn more about you and your writings. Your books will be on the top of my list for "must reads". Keep letting the Lord use you, and may you and your family have a blessed and joyous holiday season. Vickie C-K

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