Tell me about you. What’s a day in your life like? I work for a small magazine catering to the independent artist, so I spend my days researching and reading, and sometimes doing interviews. On my off hours I write for my own enjoyment, no one will ever publish my personal musings. I love going to some little clubs I found where the music pounds so loud that it blocks out my thoughts.
If your best friend had to describe you in five words, what would they be? Intense, creative, sensitive, snarky and independent.
If your enemy had to describe you in five words, what would they be? Bitch, rude, stuck up, strange and loner.
Which song sums up your life and why? Why am I the One? By Fun. It's seems like I'm always the one who has to leave to start over.
What one book title sums up your love life and why? Let Love Find You by Johanna Lindsey – I won't go looking for love, I always get hurt, it will have to come to me.
What motivates you? Being able to do my own thing and think my own way.
Can you tell us a secret about you that few/no one else knows? Though I hate my past, I keep mementoes from a special time in my life. They are hidden away and even I don't look at them.
Describe an incident in your life that’s helped mold you into the person you are today. The first time I got to write my way without any rules and my publisher liked it. I knew then and there I could do something with my life.
What’s your favorite color and why? Black, I think the reason is obvious.
What are you passionate about? Being my own person and never letting society dictate what I should do.
What would I find in your couch cushions? Lipstick, an earring and a holder for my clove cigarette.
What’s your biggest fear? Being alone.
Describe your ideal mate? Someone who treats me like a girl and who can put me in my place. I want him to take over, but I still want him to let me be strong.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Also, what’s it filled with? Empty and absinthe
It’s 10:00 on a Friday night. Where are you? In my apartment getting ready to go to a club.
For the author:
If you’d like, provide an excerpt and/or back cover blurb:
There's always the one…
He's one person throughout life you think about every so often, the one who leaves his unique indelible mark on you, the person with whom you need closure.
For Margaret Collins that person was Mike Taylor. After he broke her heart seventeen years ago, she left everything she knew and reinvented herself. With a new home, a new look and a new name, Riley Williams is now an up and coming journalist given the assignment to interview a Mike Taylor. She never suspected he would be her Mike Taylor.
With Mike having no hint of Riley's true identity, she must decide if she will make him pay for sins he doesn't remember committing, or if she can wipe away the past and be with the one man who she has always wanted?
Can she finally have closure?
After fifteen minutes of discussing the world of digital publishing with Mike
Taylor, Riley realized this man had absolutely no twinge of recollection of her.
"The world has changed. Everything is interconnected. Feedback comes from all over and is instantaneous. No longer can writers live in a bubble, they need to interact.
You either need to get on the ride and hold on, or you will fall out of the car and be run over." Mike picked up the butter knife, twirling it between his fingers.
One thing was certain. The driven valedictorian of seventeen years ago turned into a driven business mogul. The way he spoke about his work reminded her of the speeches he gave in student counsel, and the lectures he gave her during their tutoring sessions.
She'd been part of him giving back to the school, but she became the fool who thought it was more. "Some would say the writer should write for themselves."
Years ago they had this exact conversation when she wanted to write a story about a town stuck in permanent summer and how they craved winter for her essay instead of what she did on her vacation. He told her to do the assignment as instructed. No, he demanded she follow the directions.
She shifted her focus from his grey-blue eyes and his one crooked tooth to the sprig of mint on the edge of the glass. The man should have been on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard touting the slogan 'people never change.' Back in school, people feared the way he stormed in and took control of any situation, said tough truths and made things happen without turning back to see who or what he left in his wake.
"What if the writer wants to actually sell something?" He tilted his head. "There is a way to do things."
At one point she'd thought herself immune to his destruction because she was attracted to it. They had a connection, an unspoken bond. Did they have that now?
She wrote the story her way, and failed. He insisted on sitting with her in an empty classroom while she rewrote the assignment, telling her he had to make sure she did it correctly. It was freeing having someone tell her what to do, insist she color within the lines.
While she forced out every word, he read the original. That night at home, she found the papers in her messenger bag. On the last page he wrote Awesome, but you didn't follow the rules. She saved that paper shoved in a box with the memory of the girl who pressed the pages to her chest and dreamt about the boy who wrote it as if he were some teen idol.
"Do you always follow the rules, Mr. Taylor?"
The corner of his mouth twitched, his eyes widened.
For a scant second she thought she noticed a flash of familiarity. Her heart stopped along with her breathing, pausing to find out what would happen next. Did the connection die, whither away with time, or was it always there?
"You follow them until you are allowed to make them." He tapped the point of the knife on his butter dish.
"When do you allow yourself to break them?" She focused on her iced tea, but reached across the table for the bread and brushed her hand against his.
"Excuse me." She swore her body tingled, or she wanted that reaction. Still, she squirmed in her seat.
He looked straight into her eyes. "You're different."
She forced herself to stare back. Again, his words took her back to those high school halls. He had asked her why she insisted on being different. She told him there weren't any rules. There also weren't many people in Peoria, Illinois with maroon hair, white makeup, a nose ring and all black clothes. Too many days she found ads for the local funeral parlor stuffed into her locker. She was by herself, wilting in a town that didn't understand, until Mike Taylor took her on.
"How so?" Her voice sounded as if someone else were speaking for her. What she really wanted to ask was if he felt it, too.
He put the knife down and rubbed his chin. "Are you going to write any of this down?"
She pursed her lips, holding back the words she wanted to let out. Right when the questions got tough, when he didn't have control, when he would be exposed, he went another direction. He veered a road where he knew the map. "That's what they pay me for."
"How are you going to remember what I said?" He crossed his arms.
"Are you worried I'm going to get something wrong?" Without him knowing, they slipped back into their old banter. She reached into her bag, found a pad and pen and held them up. "Do you feel better now?"
"Yes, different." He pressed his back against the chair. "A challenge." His smile let the tooth peek out, while seventeen years caused the little wrinkle at corner of his eye to appear. "You know, I have some meetings here the rest of this week."
"Should I be writing this down?" She clicked the pen twice, trying to stop herself from reading more into this.
"Not unless you're writing down your address so I know where to pick you up for dinner tomorrow night."
Everything stopped. Even if only in her mind, for that second the world froze. The constant clink of dishes ceased, the bustling wait staff stood motionless.
Back in the school hallway when he had invited her out, he used a similar assumptive close. He turned to her and asked what time he should get her Friday night.
Though the years had diminished the pain, to this day every now and again, she wondered what would have happened if took her out rather than succumbing to the pressure of his friends and parents. She'd been nothing but a project when she wanted to be a girl.
Here together, they repeated history, but not in his eyes. She couldn't blame him for not knowing her. She'd changed her name, changed her looks, but never managed to change her heart.
She always wondered.
Maybe she always wished.
Was she handed another chance to get her heart ripped to shreds, or had she just received the ultimate do-over?
"Excuse me for a moment." She pushed her chair back and walked away.
Would you like to say anything to your readers / fans? Thank you so much for supporting me. Writing is really putting your heart out there.
Where link-wise can your readers / fans stalk you?
As a writer, it can be difficult to find enough time in the day to get everything done. Would you like to share your favorite ‘quick and easy’ recipe?
No matter what you do, or what your day looks like, write at least one page of something.
We are doing a couple of fun things:
Giveaway – Why don’t we give away a print copy of Closure and a Closure bear.