Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Post with Colleen Houck

Colleen is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she has worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years. Tiger’s Curse is her first book, which has already received literary praise and digital success. Her self-published eBook claimed the #1 spot on Kindle’s children’s best-seller list for seven weeks. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a white stuffed tiger.
Colleen has been kind enough to take time from her busy life to write this post for me. Thank you a million times over Colleen. I grately apperciate it.  I hope enjoy this:
True Life

I often am asked if any pieces of my tiger series were inspired by true life events. Every author applies their experience to story and character development in some way, in my case there are a few interesting stories that I’ve incorporated into my books.


For those of you who have read book two, Tiger’s Quest, you will already know about this character. The inspiration for Artie comes from my early college years. I was tricked into going on a date like Kelsey. My “Artie” pulled out his day planner as if he was signing me up for an appointment and somehow I ended up with a date. Like Kelsey, I went on it and he took me on a long walk so he could mail a package to a former girlfriend and then took me up to the top of the college library to the media center and made me watch Brigadoon in black and white on a six inch television. I made Artie much more annoying and sanctimonious than the real guy so he wasn’t quite that bad. Fortunately for Kelsey, she didn’t suffer through a second date. I did.

Li’s Friends

Li has a group of gamer friends that he hangs out with in Tiger’s Quest. This group of guys is based on my youngest brother’s friends. When my brother got married, all his gamer buddies dressed up in dark suits and sunglasses and handcuffed a briefcase of money to his arm. My whole family thought that was funny and still talks about it. So when it came time for Kelsey’s date with Li, I decided the group we affectionately call The Chinese Mafia, needed to live again.

Permission to Kiss

The scene in Tiger’s Curse when Ren asks Kelsey for permission to kiss her for the first time is also from real life. My husband, Brad, asked for permission to kiss me and like Kelsey, I said no. I told him that asking permission is not spontaneous or romantic. I’ve since reevaluated that idea and find it to be very unique and romantic. Kelsey kicked herself afterward and so did I.


There are some other traits and interesting things I’ve woven into my story that come from my life. Kelsey’s grandmother is very similar to mine. She loved quilting, flowers, and biscuits and gravy. My grandmother made me a special quilt that is gone now but it was very precious to me too. All the secondary characters in my series are named after my nieces and nephews. Kelsey loves chocolate, tennis shoes, and has my coloring.

Who knows what bits and pieces of my life will be woven into my next books! A good friend of mine, fellow author Beth Revis, once said, “If you have to choose between sitting at your computer, writing, or going off to have a grand adventure, go on the adventure. Otherwise, you have nothing to write about.

If you have not checked out The Tiger Series here is a link to her website:

here are links for the first four books
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4(comes out this September)


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