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Colleen Collins

answers the Usual Questions

Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman, courtesy the authors; 220x183

Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman

Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman co-write the blog Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes, which has been recognized by Ellery Queen magazine as being one of the top three true-crime blogs. Guns, Gams and Gumshoes has also twice been tapped by the American Library Association's Booklist site as being a "Web Crush of the Week" during its annual Mystery Month (2012 and 2014).

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

More that our interaction with clients for Shaun's law practice, or clients for our former private investigations agency, have affected this book. In A Lawyer's Primer For Writers, we include some case studies with these clients, although we have changed their names.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Many, actually! In the book, we have a chapter on private investigators, and there's a section where I discuss why I no longer serve legal papers after 1 - a person sic'd a pit bull on my husband and 2 - a woman tried to hit me with a frying pan. Those are a few of the true stories in the book.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

A Lawyer's Primer For Writers is, of course, a nonfiction book, so I'll switch hats and mention several fiction writers who have influenced my fiction writing (I've published over two dozen novels since 1997). Some favorite crime fiction authors: Robert Crais, Walter Mosley, Ken Bruen, Ann Holt, George Pelecanos, Michael Wiley. And a shout-out to Australian romance writer Sarah Mayberry.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

My husband. He's funny, smart and not bad on the eyes :)

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

My former agent.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

book cover, Lawyer's Primer for Writers, by Kaufman and Collins; 220x333

My iPad that's filled with dozens of ebooks.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

A sense of accomplishment. Oh, and money.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

For A Lawyer's Primer For Writers, it was compiling decades of experience into a research book for writers.

submitted by Colleen Collins

1 October 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Kentucky.
Resides: Denver, Colorado.
They have written several nonfiction books about private investigations (How to Write a Dick: A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths. How Do Private Eyes Do That?, and Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye. Our most recent nonfiction book is A Lawyer's Primer for Writers: From Crimes to Courtrooms.

Web site:
Colleen Collins Books
Colleen Collins' Facebook page
Colleen Collins's Goodreads page
Guns, Gams and Gumshoes (Colleen & Shaun's PI blog)
Shaun Kaufman Law


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