Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Renee Collins Author Interview

Photo Content from Renee Collins

Renee Collins grew up in Hawaii, where she played Lady Capulet in her high school production of Romeo and Juliet. In college, she decided to abandon her dreams of being a famous actress to study history and become a writer, but she’ll always have a soft spot in her heart for drama kids. Renee currently lives in Colorado with her family.


What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
I would have to say Harry Potter, even though it’s not strictly YA. I read the first book when I was a senior in high school, and by the time the seventh book came out, I knew I wanted to write something that could capture a reader’s imagination as much as Harry Potter captured mine.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
A lot of writers will tell you never to give up. I agree, but it’s conditional. You have to be able to learn and grow and adapt, if possible. If making a living as an author is your goal, you have to work for it. Sometimes that means abandoning a book you love and writing something new. Sometimes that means listening criticism. It’s not easy! But if you stick with it and keep growing, you will get there.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing REMEMBER ME ALWAYS?
Great question! It would have to be writing the ending. Really, the several chapters that encompassed the climax. These were scenes that I had envisioned from the very beginning, ever since this idea came to me. After all the work of plotting and developing and then building the story up to that point, it was incredibly rewarding to finally live through those moments.

What part of Shelby did you enjoy writing the most?

Shelby is a lot like high school Renee. It was kind of fun to look back on the silly or dramatic sides of myself back then and put it into character form. And for the record, high school Renee definitely would have had a crush on Auden.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Shelby?
I had to do a lot of research on panic attacks. It was very eye opening. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers from these.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I think Shelby and Cass from Until We Meet Again would get along pretty well. They both have a little snark, but also a vulnerable, romantic side.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing REMEMBER ME ALWAYS?

I had fun writing and getting to know Cam Haler. Maybe because I was involved in Theater, and I knew several guys just like him. The character of Cam was a little nod to all of them.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Never feel like you need to make excuses for the kinds of books you love. No one genre is superior to any other. If a story touches your heart in any way, it was worth the time.

Who was your first boyfriend?
His name was David. He was the tall new kid in my Spanish class. Our relationship lasted a whole two weeks.

Tell me about your first kiss.
It was between the portable classrooms during the Homecoming football game. My friends were all there, hanging out with me and my new boyfriend, David. And then, all of the sudden, my friends ran off, leaving David and I alone. I was so nervous. Suddenly I didn’t want anything to do with him. But our fate was set. He moved in for the kill. I suppose it could have been worse, but let’s just say it wasn’t a kiss I’d recreate.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
1920’s. I’d love to be a flapper!

What do you think about the most?
It’s a toss up between my kids and my books.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Tough question! Maybe because I’m thinking about high school, I’ll say Ninth grade. I had a huge, unrequited crush on this guy, and I never told him because I didn’t feel like I was cool enough or pretty enough. I wish I could go back with the confidence I have now.

Have you ever danced in the rain?
Yes! Many times. I highly recommend it.

What book would you recommend for others to read?
Anything by Kasie West! She writes romance that makes you laugh out loud and sigh all at once.

1. Auden is pretty dreamy.
2. But he definitely has layers. I like a guy with a little danger to him.
3. Shelby is resilient, but realistic.
4. If you like stories about intense, electric love, this book is for you.
5. If you like stories that with mystery, this book is for you.
6. I also try to add some humor. Hopefully, some parts with at least make you smile.
7. It’s a book for film buffs. (Shelby and Auden both love movies.)
8. There are frequent mentions of delicious snack foods.
9. It’s also practically sponsored by Dr Pepper.
10. If you read it, I’ll be your best friend.

Shelby is nervous to start her senior year after spending the whole summer away from home. After all, it's hard to be carefree when you're trying to protect a secret.

Shelby was in a devastating car accident, and everyone in town thinks that she was undergoing more physical therapy in Denver. Instead, Shelby's mother enrolled her in a clinical program to stop the panic attacks that started after the crash. The treatment erased Shelby's memory of the accident, but she can't help feeling as if a piece of herself is missing, that the treatment took more than the doctors claimed.

So when Shelby starts hallucinating a boy with dark and mysterious eyes, she knows it must be a side-effect of the clinical program. Except you can't kiss hallucinations. And this boy insists that they know each other and are in love...


"...engaging and sympathetic...a pleasant read for those who like a little mystery in their love stories. " 
School Library Journal
You can purchase Remember Me Always at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you RENEE COLLINS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Remember Me Always by Renee Collins.

1 comment:

  1. The first time I fell in love was at a New Year's Eve dance on the beach.