Thursday, May 20, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Colleen Hall

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Colleen Hall

Linda: Welcome to my blog! I look forward to getting acquainted. Let’s chat about your story Wounded Heart. Where did you get the inspiration for the story? 
Colleen: When I finished writing Her Traitor’s Heart, I knew I wasn’t ready to let Clint and Coral go. In one scene, Clint had mentioned to Coral that he wanted to go West, so I decided to continue their story there. I set Wounded Heart five years later when the western army’s Indian war was just heating up. The cavalry would need horses for the war, which Clint Logan could supply if he moved West. Of course, I needed a new romance, so I used Clint’s orphaned niece as the heroine in my next story. Wounded Heart became Della and Shane’s love story, and I could still continue Clint and Coral’s story, as well. 

LM: The age-old question for writers: are you a plotter or a pantster? 

Colleen: I’m definitely a plotter, but I’m not wedded to my outline. I lay out a rough sketch of my plot and create a loose outline, so I know the basic shape of the story and how it will end. I even begin to envision scenes in my head that I can use to flesh out the plot. Once I create my characters, they start driving the story, so the finer points of my outline sometimes get changed. My characters become real people to me, and they live, love, feel and suffer. I’ve had to add, change, or delete scenes according to what my characters do. I feel as though I’m just a scribe recording what my characters are doing and saying as I get into their world. 

LM: Research is an important part of writing a book. How did you go about researching Wounded Heart, and did you unearth a particular intriguing fact you knew you had to include in the story? 

Colleen: I knew I wanted Wounded Heart to take place around 1870 and that I wanted to locate Clint
Logan’s ranch in the northeastern part of Colorado, so I began by researching everything I could about that area of Colorado in the year 1870. My husband and I took a research trip across Kansas to Colorado, following the route that Clint Logan’s wagon train would have taken when he trailed the horses to the ranch. Because of that drive across Kansas, I was better able to describe the Plains my characters traveled across in their trek West. One topic that kept recurring in my research was that of the white women who were captured by the western Indians and how white society viewed those women when they were rescued. I knew I had to tell their stories. Shane’s mother is a composite of all those women. 

LM: How do you come up with your characters? Are any based on people you know or yourself? How do you determine their names? 

Colleen: None of my characters are based on real people. I create characters who are products of their world and the society in which they live, yet who will fit into my plot. They behave according to their particular society’s mores. Regarding names, I research what the favorite names were during the time that they lived and choose from that, so my characters’ names are authentic to that period. 
LM: What is your favorite part of the writing process? 

Colleen: Wow, that’s a hard one. I don’t think I have a favorite part. I enjoy each step in the writing process. I love the research, I really enjoy creating my characters and watching them come to life, and I love developing the plot. I especially enjoy polishing my manuscripts after I’m done and making them the best that they can be. Each book has an underlying theme--my heroine struggles with some area in her life where she needs to grow spiritually, and I also enjoy developing that. 

LM: What do you do to prepare for writing (e.g. listen to music, set up in a certain location, etc.)? 

Colleen: I have a writing nook at the back of the house. I write at an antique desk--I jokingly told my husband that if I was going to write historical novels, I needed an antique desk to set the atmosphere. He obligingly accompanied me to several antique stores until I found the perfect desk. When I sit down to write, I light a scented candle. “Warm Apple Pie” is my favorite. That gets my creative juices going, and I’m ready to meet my writing goal for the day. 

LM: What is your next project? 
Colleen: The third novel in my Frontier Hearts Saga, Warrior’s Heart, will be released on December 7. I recently sent the fourth book in the series, Wild Heart, off to my editor. Now ideas for the fifth and final book in the series are swirling around in my head. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Twitter: @ColleenGHall 
FB: @ColleenHallRomance 

About Wounded Heart:

Della Hughes longs for adventure and for freedom from the strictness and austerity of 1870s Boston society. When her uncle and guardian, General Clint Logan, uses his fortune to purchase property in Colorado and set up a horse ranch selling remounts to the western army, Della decides she must accompany him and his family to the West. Along the journey, Della encounters more adventure than she bargained for. 

Rustlers, Indians, and rattlesnakes add danger to the trek. A persistent cavalry captain who believes Della would make him the perfect wife and a Cheyenne chieftain’s son who tells her she’s brought sunshine to his heart complicate her life. And the handsome army scout who ramrods their wagon train guards a secret from his past that makes him believe he’s not worthy of loving Della. She must meet the challenges of the West and convince the man of her heart that love is worth risking everything to gain.

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