Blog Interview with Kathleen G. Collins
Short bio: Born in September, 1962, Kathleen G. Collins struggled her entire adult life with Bipolar Disorder. After being properly diagnosed in 1994, she began the difficult journey to recovery. The long and uphill battle began shortly after her marriage and the birth of her beloved son. She spent the next 15 years in a haze of constant mood swings, hundreds of medication combinations, suicidal tendencies and even hospitalizations. With the loving support of her family and friends, she finally stumbled upon several medications and a series of therapy sessions that proved to be effective. She is now happily living with her husband and son in the quiet San Joaquin Valley of California.
In the past, Kathleen had never professionally written anything, let alone a novella. However during her ordeal, she came to realize that she might actually be “right brained” and she found a great deal of comfort in writing. She had many poems published and wrote of her experience with Bipolar Disorder in her short memoir published at www.Storyhouse.org/Kathleen.html as well as in the Mar/Apr 2005 edition of Today’s Health and Wellness magazine.
Then the time came for her to let out her anger and frustration with the many side effects that often come with taking so many different mind altering medications. The result of her efforts was the completion of the novella Suspended. It is the perfect medication science fiction story based on fact and personal experience.
Tell us about the story of "Suspended"
The novella Suspended is the story of two unwitting victims who become entangled in a conspiracy to test a new and powerful drug that in theory would allow it’s user to travel to different times and places. All that remains for completion of the formula for the drug is field research. This is where Beth and Bobby become involved. Without their knowledge they become the test subjects. The experiments eventually go terribly wrong ant the two desperately try to find answers after a series of mysterious deaths.
How did you come up with this story?
The story for Suspended actually came to me after years of medication therapy, hospitalizations and psychotherapy for my bipolar disorder. I was told to always journal my feelings. I had that journal in my face every chance I could, After a while I found I really enjoyed writing. After my memoir was published I thought, hey, why not go a little further and let my imagination run amok? You write what you know and I know medication. The side effects can be brutal. The story blossomed from there.
Do you have a favorite character?
I do have a favorite character. I know it sounds a little strange but my favorite is the evil Dr. Schott who is the man behind the entire experiment. When he goes on his murderous killing spree is my favorite part of the book, mainly because you get a real idea of what’s going on in his sick little head! I think it’s one of the more exciting parts of the book, except for the end. I like the ending.
How long did it take you to write the story?
The process of writing Suspended took almost 2 years. I know that sounds excessive for a novella but I’m constantly at the mercy of my moods. Obviously I can get more done when I’m at the beginning stages of mania but even that can get out of control and I can’t sit still long enough to write. Still, I got through it and finally completed it. All I had to really do was get mad enough at the all the medications! Now finding a reputable publisher took even longer. The book was either too short for a novel or too long for a short story. I could have gone the self publishing route, but I wanted to do this the right way. Contract and all. I believed in Suspended and knew it was a good story so I relentlessly e-mailed, called, mailed via US mail, you name it. I was almost a two year process in itself. I then received an e-mail from Shells Walter at Sonar4Publications, a safe/secure website on the Internet found at www.sonar4publications.com . She showed great interest in the story and saw potential and possibilities and she decided to take me on. It’s been nothing but a positive experience with Shells. This is my first attempt at writing a novella and she’s guided me the entire way.
So, the first book I write becomes a Sci-fi Mystery thriller with drugs, conspiracy and murder. Go figure. A little different from my personality but I’m having a blast! You write what you know, right? It is currently is in affordable and eco-friendly e-book format for only $3.50. A great price for a great book. So that makes it perfect for those who prefer their books on line and great for Kindle and the new IPad.
Do you have other projects in the works?
I currently have not started another book, though I do have some interesting ideas floating around in this bipolar head of mine. I like fiction and I enjoy telling a story that has some basis of truth to it. I absolutely love to research when writing. I like my readers to come away with a good story but with a little information too!
Do you have other works that are completed?
I have no other books out there that I have written. I do however have the memoir I mentioned above and many poems published. I like to write fun and playful poems. They always make me feel better and that’s the best part of writing. Making people go somewhere else for a while and have a good time! Here is an example of a poem I wrote when young my son was a tad restless that day
One of Kathleen's poems:
Home from School
My little boy Brent who won’t sit still.
What’s a mom to do?
I’ve already taken my tiny blue pill.
The pink and green ones too.
Why’d it have to rain today?
He hates being trapped inside.
None of his friends are able to play.
My every nerve is fried.
All the toys in his room
just aren’t good enough.
I too feel stuck in a cocoon.
Days like this are rough.
I’d better think of something quick
before I pull out my hair.
I think I know what will do the trick.
I’ll tie him to a chair.
Where can we find you on the web?
Readers can find out more about me and my book at http://www.sonar4publications.com/ , www.myspace.com/suspendedebook , Cold Coffee Books at http://www.ccbooks.ning.com// (under Sci-Fi) and an interview at conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com . I’m under the calendar Dec. 2009.
I have a Facebook page but it’s mostly friends and family and we really don't discuss the book much. My AIM is Kas38410 so if you’d like to pop in to see I’m here I’d love to discuss the book!
Remember: Mystery thriller novella Suspended is available in e-book format at http://www.sonar4publications.com/ only $3.50!