A couple of years ago when I was nearing the reality of being published, I had to make a decision about what name I would be published under. I knew it wasn’t a good idea to publish under my own name. I had a corporate identity and a family to think of. My real world and the fantasy world around my writing didn’t mesh. I borrowed from my maternal great grandmother Tereasa Clair (who I was named after) and her husband Guy Collins and I created Claire Collins.
As Claire Collins, I… she… we (?) wrote Images of Betrayal, and Fate and Destiny. We started Seeds of September and planned to finish it last summer but then that whole real world stepped back in and I took a hiatus from writing.
Somewhere along the way, I had stepped back from writing so far that I decided I would never finish my third novel, not to mention the six other novels jostling for position behind it. Along the way, my fantasy writing world became my real world when I gave up my corporate job and 9 to 5 employee life, packed up my house and family, and moved to North Carolina to manage Barnhill’s Bookstore. We hit our grand opening last weekend and now I’m settling into this whole new life. I think part of this new life includes Second Wind Publishing and Seeds of September, but if I do, I’m going to write under my own name instead of my alias.
I’ve been working 12 hour days and I get home after dark so I hadn’t noticed my yard lately. I came home in the middle of the day this week and saw my front yard for the first time in weeks.
My front yard in Arizona was dirt and my back yard was rock.
Now, I have this:
The front yard
What do I kill first? What’s supposed to be there? What am I supposed to mow? Anybody got a lawnmower I can borrow? And will you show me how to use it?
I’m back! I have a bit of a different look and a new address: http://onlyatbarnhills.wordpress.com/
And My name’s different since my professional and writing life are now one in the same. (Claire Collins is a pseudonym for Tracy) But it’s still me. I hope you guys will have a chance to come visit!
People often ask me where my stories come from.
Actually, anyone who knows me knows exactly what my life is like and where my stories come from.
Here’s an example and it will explain what’s been going on.
On January 11, 2010, I gave my resignation at my job so I could move from my home in Arizona to my new home in North Carolina. I don’t really have a new home there, but I would be staying with friends until I could find a new home. My family was going to join me in May once the kids were out of school for the summer.
I gave my notice and I was moving to North Carolina to open our bookstore, Barnhill’s.
Did you really click that link? I’m not there yet! Save it for later. I’ll tell you when. Now pay attention.
Within an hour of giving my notice, my husband arrived home to discover we had been robbed. My first concern was the saftey of my fifteen-year-old son, Joey. He hadn’t felt well that morning and stayed home from school. My husband leaves before me in the morning and didn’t know my son was home sick.
He was still in bed, sleeping.
However, earlier in the day, he woke to discover the kid who lives behind us coming in the back door. They scared each other with Joey yelling, “What the hell are you doing in my house,” and the kid taking off running and jumping back over the fence. Joey went through the house. The living room looked fine and my bedroom door was still closed so he went back to bed.
My husband came home, opened the bedroom door, saw the blinds askew, the window open, and my laptop gone. Apparently, when Joey surprised him, the kid was coming back in the house after taking his first load of stolen goods out.
Word quickly spread through the neighborhood and reports of seeing him carrying my laptop began to circulate. The police came and took a report. Word from the grapevine got back to us that the kid was trying to trade my laptop for a gun or enough money to buy a gun and he was coming back.
Everything that was gone was just stuff. Sure… my laptop had my latest book on it and some personal stuff like our Christmas pictures, but I have most of my book on backup and the pictures are just pictures and video.
The scary thought was that if this little punk had a gun when he broke into my house, he probably would have shot Joey. And if not at my house, he wouldn’t stop breaking into people’s houses and someone would die.
This was supposed to be a happy week for me. After a lot of planning, it was time for me to take the next big step in my life. I was packing and planning my trip.
On Tuesday, my husband remained home in case our visitor returned as promised. He was seen several times and the police were called but they didn’t come out.
On Wednesday, I was coming down the street from work when a neighbor tried to squeeze between me and parked cars. He hit the mirror on my truck and it folded. His broke. He called the police and said I hit him. Hours later, when the police came out, they stopped by just to let me know that he wasn’t pressing charges but he did have witnesses. The “witnesses” didn’t mention they spent every Friday drinking with the “victim” or that they weren’t actually outside or in view of the accident.
After that, we changed our plans. We’re all moving. I’ve been packing. This neighborhood has gone downhill and I don’t feel it’s safe for my children. Yesterday, they arrested the kid, but he will probably be released today. He had one of my rings in his possession and the police impounded it. It’s now being held as evidence. The kid confessed. They’re still going to let him out.
Welcome to my world. I’m leaving.
I know, I know, I know. You guys were wishing I would create a new blog.
Your wish has been granted.
Now you have to answer three questions for me since I updated my blog for you:
1) What do you want for Christmas?
2) Tell me the nicest thing you did this year so Santa knows if you deserve to get what you want.
3) Tell me the naughtiest thing you did this year so I know if you get what you deserve!
Most writers are avid readers. They have a love for the written word that pulls them to paper and pen or more precisely in this day and age, to the keyboard. The computer has become an extension of ourselves and we are as comfortable with it as we are with our remote controls and driving a car.
Other people may have a similar love for movies or theater and take up acting to be a part of the world they love. Would the writer and reader be more visually perceptive than the actors and theater people? Which group would likely have a deeper level of imagination?
I don’t believe there is any right or wrong answer. My husband is certainly a movie person and I swear there are dozens of characters living in his head. My best friend and sister are both the same way while also being creative and talented authors. My husband doesn’t read at all. I read my novels to him. Reading the books aloud also helped me to edit as I read.
Now, let’s talk about you. Are you a movie person? A book person? Is there a hidden actor or author within you? Maybe all of the above? If you’re a mixture of both, do you read the book and then go see the movie? If you see the movie, do you refuse to touch the book? Are you at the point where you watch movies or read books on your computer or on a handheld device such as Kindle, or game systems such as PSP. Would you read a book or watch a movie on your phone?
The line between pen and paper and the keyboard as well as the silver screen and the digital world are all blurring together faster than I can keep up!
Claire Collins is the author of the romantic suspense novels Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny, both available from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.
The other day, my daughter ran into my room wearing a long black cape and her brother’s skeleton halloween mask.
She said, “I’m a cat burglar!”
Then she grabbed the fluffy sleeping cat off of my bed, tucked him under her arm, and ran out of the room.