Author Interview: Coral Russell
Hi, Coral. Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
Hi! My name is Coral Russell and I’m a scrawler. I just don’t take myself seriously enough to be a writer or an author.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing non-fiction for years. Fiction seemed daunting to me. When I wrote my first fiction story, I had my husband agree to help me because I was too chicken to try it by myself. Plus, discussing story ideas with him is a blast. He started working long hours, but we still talk about my stories and he gives me ideas.
Can you tell us a little more about your book, Amador Lockdown?
This is a ghost story that ties together the two short stories, Devil of a Ghost Tour and Key to a Haunting, and focuses mainly on one member of the Paranormal Posse, Hector. Hector gets custody of his estranged son and he tries to pull back from the ghost hunting to deal with family issues. A complex haunting at the Amador Hotel pulls him and his son in.
How did you come up with the idea for the story?
I became a ghost hunter and had such neat experiences that they inspired all three of the Paranormal Posse stories. I went to the Amador Hotel in Las Cruces during a lockdown and when I investigated that historic place I just had to write a story about it.
How was it that you came about in writing Paranormal/Horror?
I loved horror stories when I was younger and read everything I could get my hands on – Stephen King, Peter Straub, Frank Herbert, John Saul. While other teenage girls were reading romance, I had my nose stuck in the latest horror book. When it came time to write fiction, I picked the genre I was most familiar with, horror.
You were originally a writer of Non-Fiction. How was it that you decided to write Fiction instead and how difficult was the transition?
I’m still transitioning! My crit. partners are wonderful in that they know my background and don’t hesitate at pointing out my weak areas. It is very different and you can not just leap from one to the other, at least I couldn’t. Writing non-fiction does have the advantage of knowing how to do research. I am a crazy person that loves research and really appreciates a well-researched story. I still do this with my fiction writing only I have to step up the pace and provide characters and events and, oh yea, a plot for readers to enjoy. Non-fiction in many ways writes itself once the research is done. Fiction you are just beginning to write when the research is done, plus add everything else that a fiction story needs to have.
When writing Amador Lockdown, what type of research, if any, did you do for the book?
I signed up for the real Amador Lockdown and spent the night in a haunted hotel. That was all it took. The tour was just like the episodes that you see on TV and I learned all about ghost hunting and got to use the equipment. I thought, this will make a great story.
Besides writing Non-Fiction and Paranormal/Horror, have you experimented with writing for other genres such as Short Stories, Poetry, or even Romance?
Short stories, but I would say I’m not even close to getting that genre nailed down. Most writers don’t remember that it is a very well-done genre by many famous writers. My first fiction story was a pirate romance and I’m still toying with the idea of re-visiting that story line. I like anti-genre or genre bending so I want to explore different areas of writing and go where the ideas take me. I even have a murder mystery/erotica story in mind.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
Amador Lockdown is front and center at the moment. But I have two stories planned for next year. One is a detective chasing the dangerous gang click Tlaloc on the Texas/Mexico border. The other is a sequel to Amador Lockdown featuring Bev from the Paranormal Posse. Not sure if it will take place before or after Amador Lockdown time wise.
When I sit down to write, I always have music playing in the background, as well as a movie. The sounds sort of add to my inspiration in this way. Do you do the same thing? Or do you just sit down and write when inspiration comes to you?
My writer friend, Chryse, shared the theory that there are ‘auspicious times’ to do certain activities. I found that I was naturally writing in the afternoon and early evening, which just happened to be ‘auspicious’ for me. Otherwise, I’m a scrawler and write pretty much no matter what’s going on around me.
What inspires you when writing?
Petting my dog and sometimes I just have to get up and do the dishes or fold laundry to give me time to mull over some ideas. I read an article that said you should stop even when you think your writing is going really well because it’s good to leave a project with that feeling of anticipation. It keeps me excited about returning to the story.
What, or who, has influenced you the most?
I have been blown away by the support from the Indie community. I have run across so many talented, nice people who have generously helped me and continue to help me through the writing process. Amazing!
Do you have a favorite book or movie? How about your favorite band or singer?
Favorite books are War and Peace and The River Sutra. I love classic movies and Casablanca is up there with my all-time favorites. I love music and Iron and Wine is one of my favorite groups right now.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy?
Some really good Indie reads that I’ve had the pleasure to review – Horror, Verland the Transformation. Anti-genre, Discontents. Cozy mystery, For Every Action. Spiritual, Zor. Thriller, I’m looking forward to reading Chill Run. Too many more to count!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think I’m a plodder. I just plod along and if I see an opportunity to start a plot or do a good old-fashioned pants, I do it.
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers?
I can’t thank them enough for being readers and enjoying reading. I’ve spent almost forty years of my life with a book in my hand and don’t count one second wasted.
Thank you so much for the interview, Coral. I look forward to more of your work and wish you the best of success always.
Synopsis: Something has moved into the Amador Hotel. Hector, Marcos, Bev, and Tony of the Paranormal Posse are called in to either debunk the haunting or get rid of whatever is causing the problems. With the surprise arrival of Hector’s son, he tries to keep his professional and personal lives separate, but whatever is haunting the Amador Hotel has other plans.
About The Author:
Coral Russell won the 2003 McCaleb Peace Initiative which produced the non-fiction articles Peace on the Peninsula about South Korean’s view on reunification. You can also find various articles written by her on Technoratiand BlogCritics. After winning a fiction writing contest (a fluke), she caught the fiction bug. An encounter with something paranormal on a local ghost tour inspired her to start writing the ghost hunter series.
Her titles include Peace on the Peninsula, Twelve Worlds, Playing with Fire, The DIY Guide to Social Media Marketing and eBook Publishing, and Amador Lockdown.
Ms. Russell runs the blog alchemyofscrawl at alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.comStop by for the latest in Indie book reviews, news, and resources. You can stalk the author on Twitter , Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+.
Amador Lockdown Book Website
https://sites.google.com/site/amadorlockdown Find out about the real ghost hunters and the Amador Hotel.