Author Interview

Sit down with Colleen Snyder! Small Town DANGER author extraordinaire.


If you’re looking to decompress and get real, please sit down with Colleen Snyder–an experienced, delightfully forthcoming talent who I have had the pleasure of interviewing.

Colleen and I are also part of the SMALL TOWN DANGER Collection, a 10 story, 10 best selling author amalgam of mystery, suspense, romantic suspense stories sure to keep you reading far into the night.

So moving forward, my questions and comments are in bold. Colleen’s answers are in italics. And your thoughts? Write whatever you’d like, however you’d like in the comments below.

1) What moves you to write and what do you write (fiction only? poetry? plays?)

Long answer: I write for the glory of God. I know we all do, but He and I have a pact that I will only write what: directly honors Him, has a clear Gospel message (an analogy that is easily understood,) and is His idea to begin with.

I write “Contemporary Suspense with a * touch of romance.” I have a series of six books that follow Collin Walker through life and trials. Lots of trials. My editor suggests I’ve put her through enough!

2) Are you a panster or a plotter? And why? (What does method bring to your stories?)

I am a pantser…but as I get older, I have become a “plantser” – I have to go back and write down what day it is, who’s done what when, and other details I’ve forgotten as I go along (“What did I do with XX? Killed him??? No!! I need him!”) (Planster….YES!! I’m with you!)

3) What’s your favorite movie/music? Do you find inspiration in film/music for your writing?

My favorite music is instrumental guitar/piano/horn or any combination. Soft. It’s the background of my life as well as my writing. Nothing with lyrics I’ll start humming to, though. When I’m not writing, I love contemporary Christian.

4) If you have a craft bag–what’s in it? And/or if you don’t do crafts, what leisure activity or hobby is sitting there waiting for you? (Or are you on top of it all?)

I love quilting. Okay, I love creating the tops. I don’t have the proper equipment, space, or skill to put them together. But I love creating patterns with colors.

5) Do you find family to be a support, a distraction, or an integral element of your writer’s life?

My sister, Sue, is my moral support in my writing. She provides me a space of my own to live and write. The rest of my family, not so much. I’ll leave it there. (You and me both, Colleen. Family is such a blessing when they’re helpful, and quite the opposite when…you know. You’re not alone in that boat! That’s one reason I love our growing community of supportive readers & writers!!!)

6) Do you prefer city or country living? Does this impact the settings of your stories?

I prefer the “big, dark sky” living in the country. But I’ve lived in the city most of my life, so my stories reflect that vibe. (The disparity between preference and reality must lend itself to incredible tension, an absolute plus in the world of mystery & suspense. Sounds like you’re writing exactly what you should be!! Kudos for that.)

7) What’s your favorite time of year and why?

Spring. The promise of rebirth, the explosion of color, the dogged determination of a crocus sticking out of four inches of snow… (Determination!!! I can so get into that. Crocus are lovely, too. Can’t help but love purple!)

8) What motivated you to write this latest novel? And what would you like readers to take away from the experience of your words?

I want to shed light on what makes my series character “tick.” Later books show her walking with the Lord after several years. This book is her early life, two years after salvation. And she’s still trying to make it make sense. I want readers to understand salvation is a process: “We give Him our lives all in a moment, then spend the rest of our lives giving it back to Him piece by piece.” (How true, and yet making sense of God’s mercy is wholly beyond my comprehension. And thank God for that. Humans are limited, but God is not! I appreciate you canvassing this reality in book form. Well done.)

9) What’s on the horizon for you? Books? Projects? Whatever?

Whatever the Lord directs me to do. I’m His servant (Abigail: let me be a servant to wash the feet of my Lord’s servants.) Anything He directs, I’ll do. (Can’t go wrong there :^)

10) What writer’s organizations if any have helped you achieve successes in your writing life?

“She Writes for Him” was the online conference that kickstarted me into writing after I’d put it away (permanently, so I told God. Riiiiiight.) I’m part of Word Weavers, a member of the ACFW, and a local writer’s critique group. The critique group has been most instrumental in crafting and honing me into a “real writer.”

Just for fun additions:

What’s your favorite animal—do you have one, Colleen???

Dogs. Big dogs. Shepherds and labs or any combination. Rescue, of course! (Of course ;^)

What would you do if you won the lotto?

After the obligatory “Pay off all my family’s debts”: I’d buy a small beach house on the West Coast, preferably Monterey/Morro Bay area. West Coast because we don’t get hurricanes. (Okay, for those of you who are afraid of earthquakes: we’ve had ONE major one since 1989. How many hurricanes have YOU had? How many tornadoes? Don’t talk to me about earthquakes!) (I love this, Collen. As a displaced California girl, I agree 100% Tornado warnings? Um, no thanks. Been there, done that enough since leaving my home state. Hollywood should put out more ‘Twister’ movies, and not the Wizard of Oz. If I had my druthers, I’d hop straight over to Carmel and stay there. I’d want to visit you in Monterey, too. Naturally!!)

What’s your biggest fantasy?

Flying on the back of a dragon. Without the fire-breathing part. (Sounds fab, but I’d welcome the fire breathing part so long as I controlled the when and where of a controlled burn. Might effect a ton of change that way.)

Think Miss Universe—would you strive for world peace—why or why not?

As a Christ-follower, we’re all called to “seek peace and pursue it.” Will it happen in this life? No. (Not as I understand it.) But should we bring it to our lives and relationships? “As much as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Yeah, we should. (You are so right. Another home run, Colleen.)

What does your desk look like, and what do you “think” it says about you?

My “desk” is a countertop that extends around two walls of my studio apartment. I have my laptop tucked in a corner (formed by the refrigerator and the end of the counter), looking out the wall of windows onto the backyard. The desk is a mess. I have papers with notes for research, notes from sermons, my Bible… (the giant print version.)(Oh, trust me, I have many OTHER versions…this one is for “quick reference” without my glasses—that I can never find.) There are also grocery lists, grocery receipts, and a box of Rocky Road candy bars that my ex-husband sent me for my birthday. What does it say about me? I’m not sure I want to try to interpret this mess into anything meaningful! (I so get what you’re saying. I’m ‘eclectic’ too. I’d say your office setup speaks to creativity, productivity, and an active imagination fueled by Rocky Road Candy. Knowing your ex sent you the candy says Colleen is kind and a good friend who takes her walk with the Lord seriously!)

Where do you find your heroes?

In everyday life. (Okay, I’m also partial to Iron Man, but you know…) (Iron Man? Hello. Pass the popcorn and be inspired. God’s nature is beautiful indeed!)

What’s your view on character flaws for heroes/heroines?

All my characters have flaws. If we’re going to write “real” people, people that readers can identify with, they BETTER have flaws. Real flaws. Flaws they come to recognize by the story’s end, and if they haven’t solved them, are at least working on them. (Can I get an AMEN???)

What’s your least favorite character type?

The “perfect princess” who never does anything wrong. Everything around her goes wrong, but never because SHE does anything out of the way. Life is against her. Some evil person is out to get her, but never, ever does she do something willfully amiss. (She sounds like every narcissist ever. Not my fault. Oh, no, insists the flawless one who’s always let down by others. LoL.)

Click the PIC to read more of Colleen’s work!!

There is a story trope I HATE as well: the two lovers/friends who, with a simple question, “Why did you do that?” could solve the whole story in five minutes. My characters have an upfront pact that they will ALWAYS talk to one another… and will never play the game of “don’t tell your partner I said this, but…” I realize it happens a lot in real life, but I HATE it! So mine won’t do it! (My goodness YES!!!!! Being so flawed that a character never shares critical details with a partner is a childish game. I think we can use far more fiction that portrays adults as being adult if only to alleviate this Peter Pan pandemic. Adulting? Please.)

What would you like to tell readers about yourself? Channel Jeopardy and give us the answer and the question.

Answer: (Paid:) Cereal line coupon dropper, Hospital Pharmacy Technician, USAF Nuclear Weapons System Analyst, Janitor, daycare worker, Adult Education instructor, college instructor, food service line worker, Accounting Clerk, Accounting Manager, Personal Assistant to the Company president, Accounting Clerk. (Unpaid:) Crisis Pregnancy Counselor, Church nursery worker, Sunday school teacher: all ages, K – Adult, (Public School) First Grade Class assistant, Women’s Bible Study leader, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, sister, friend… 

What are some of the positions Colleen has held in her life? (The shorter answer is, “whatever the Lord has required of me.”)

WOW! Thank you, Colleen, for giving us a window into your world. I’m loving your testament to a well-rounded, honest-to-goodness kind human being who’s ready to go to bat wherever she’s needed. The world needs more like you, so please keep writing!


2 thoughts on “Sit down with Colleen Snyder! Small Town DANGER author extraordinaire.”

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