When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in Alabama?
As Molly straightened up, the man slipped the wire over her head and twisted it around her neck. She struggled, but he pulled the garrote tighter and tighter.
I was screaming at the top of my ghostly voice, for all the good it did me. I moved up behind the man and beat at his back with closed fists--fists that slipped in and out of his back without ever making real contact. He shuddered a little--clearly he was one of the very slightly sensitive ones--but he didn’t loosen his hands.
I reached up and tried to grab the wire, tried to pull against the pressure he was exerting on the wire and it did loosen for an instant. But only for an instant. The living have more control over solid objects than the dead do. I never resented that fact more than at that moment.
But I kept trying. I kept trying as Molly’s face turned purple, then blue, then black, kept trying even as she drooped in the man’s grip.
Then he loosened the wire and it was too late. I watched that wispy, light-on-fog life force slip out of Molly and move on to wherever it is that other people go when they die. I was glad she didn’t show up next to me as a full-blown ghost. At that moment, I wouldn’t have wished my impotent half-existence on anyone.
I couldn’t help thinking that if I’d been alive, I might have been able to save her.
If I could have cried real tears, I would have. As it was, I was sobbing hoarsely and calling the man every dirty name I could think of.
I was still cursing as I followed him around the kitchen. First he opened the pantry and pulled out a box of Hefty garbage bags. Then he grabbed a knife out of the block on the counter. And finally, he picked up Molly’s body and carried it to the bathroom.
About the Author
Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.
Please tell us about yourself.
In my other life, I’m a college professor; I teach English courses online. I live in Texas with my husband and our daughter and a number of thoroughly silly animals. Waking Up Dead is my first published novel. My second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press. I got the offers to publish the two novels in the same month. That was officially the best month of my life!
Tell us about your book.
In Waking Up Dead, when Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?
What inspired you to write Waking up Dead?
I wrote Waking Up Dead when I lived in Alabama for a few years. I remember driving to work one morning and seeing just a wisp of fog move across the statue in the middle of the town square. The statue was of some Civil War figure, and thought that it looked oddly ghostly. In between teaching classes that day, I started writing Callie’s story.
How many hours per week do you spend writing?
These days I do my very best to spend at least an hour a day writing fiction. But I do a lot of non-fiction writing, too, so I spend much more time than that writing overall!
If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
I’m worried I would go all star-struck and not be able to say anything coherent! But assuming I could keep my wits about me, I would like to meet (in no particular order): Neil Gaiman, because he’s so bloody brilliant; Charles Stross, whose sense of the absurd always delights me; and Anne Aguirre, because she’s so beautifully outspoken about what it means to be a woman who writes science fiction.
What are you working on at the moment?
Piles of projects! I’m currently doing a round of edits to Legally Undead, the first of the Vampirarchy urban fantasy series coming out from World Weaver Press in 2014. I’m working on the sequels to Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead. I’m working on a contemporary romance novel. I’m editing a number of academic projects, too—mostly collections of essays about science fiction and fantasy televisions series like Farscape, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural.
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always known, for as long as I can remember. The first story I remember actually writing down was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since.
How long did it take you to write Waking up Dead from start to finish?
Six weeks. I tend to write very quickly and steadily anyway, and Waking Up Dead flowed fairly easily.
What is your editing process like?
I edit on the sentence level as I go, changing things around as necessary. But I also tend to write in scenes, and if a scene isn’t working, I will simply put a reminder in brackets—something like this: [FIX THIS SCENE]. Then I move on. So the first editing step is always to do a search for those brackets and do my best to address the issues. Once I’ve done that, I do a read-through for plot coherence. Then I do a final read-through for any other issues. And then I quit for a while so I can get some distance before I come back to it for a final proofreading session.
What was the most challenging part about writing Waking up Dead?
Making sure the mystery made sense! About halfway through I figured out that I was going to need to solve the mystery before the characters did! So at that point I decided where I was headed, generally—but the characters took me where I needed to go.
What are your writing goals for 2014?
Always keep writing! I have three works in progress that I plan to complete. And I also have two others that I want to get to. So I guess that means my goal is to finish five novels. (I’m suddenly realizing that I might be insane . . . )
Buy Waking Up Dead on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Dead-ebook/dp/B00FOXWLM8/
Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575
Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead