Wednesday, March 9, 2016

REAWAKENED by Colleen Houck

I've been a fan of Colleen Houck ever since Tiger's Curse, and if you haven't read her books yet, they offer wonderful examples of effective world-building. I had the fortune of meeting her at the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) conference last fall, where I saw her newest book, REAWAKENED:

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

Colleen also answered some interview questions!

According to your website, you've lived in a wide variety of places and have varied interests. In what ways, if any, have these fueled your creative journey, and do you have strategies for when your creative well runs dry? 

I pretty much immerse myself in storytelling. Whether that's through books, plays, television, or movies, I'm always studying the art of the story. Because of this I never really get to sit back and just enjoy myself. I'm always analyzing, looking for cool ideas or phrases, or interesting ways to create havoc for my characters. If, for some reason, that isn't enough, I also use Pinterest a lot. I'm a very visual person and Pinterest just inspires me. It's also a great way to connect with fans who are interested in seeing just how the story develops. I use it in talking with artists and editors as well. It's a very helpful tool for an author.

That's what I've heard! What did you find most fascinating about writing REAWAKENED and what do you want readers to take away when they're finished reading it?

I love Egyptian mythology. The whole idea of pyramids and mummies is thrilling! At the heart of all my books though is a love story. While my characters see and do lots of amazing and sometimes frightening things, the take away I hope they remember is that love drives everything.

It certainly does. Speaking of your characters, I love Lily's voice. Did she come to you fully formed or did she develop as you wrote her?

She was a pretty solid character in my mind when she stepped out of the taxi in the opening scene. The mummies were a bit more difficult to flesh out, no pun intended. The way she does her hair, the kind of clothing she wears, and her home life really spoke to me. We aren't anything alike on the surface but she's really spunky and I like her a lot.

That's what I like about her too. The sequel, RECREATED, comes out this August. In what ways does this build on the world you created in REAWAKENED and what advice, if any, do you have for writers in the throes of creating sequels? 

Both Recreated and Reignited (the novella) come out this summer. For the novella, you'll get to see the origin story of the main bad guy in the series. I'm telling everyone that they really won't understand everything if they miss out on that one. In Recreated, Lily comes into her own. She steps into a new role and really becomes a hero. We'll meet some new characters as well that will be very important in the series. My advice for writing sequels is, always keep them guessing. I love throwing a monkey wrench into the works and turning things upside down. For me it's very important to visualize the end. If you write with the end in mind, sequels are easy, they're just continuations of the one big, epic story you're telling.

I can't wait to find the other monkey wrenches you've thrown in! Thanks, Colleen, for taking the time to answer questions.

To grab REAWAKENED for yourself, click the links below:

Buy: ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

Or click below to get a hold of her Tiger Saga series:


Buy: ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound


Buy: ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound


Buy: ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound


Buy: ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

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