Long time readers of Palm Beach Happening are no doubt familiar with our Storytime for Grownups series, where we highlight books, movies and more available through the Palm Beach County Library System. As a result of those columns, we were recently approached by Waldorf Publishing, and have partnered with them to profile some of the finest fiction and non-fiction authors out there today.
The first of these is Colleen Sullivan.
Colleen was born and raised in and around Montreal. Her love for the city has led her to write her first published novels, “Lil’s Way” and “Jaded.” She also has created “The Adam Garwood Detective Series.” “Yolk is the first book, followed by “Gritty” book 2.
She is best known for her strong characters and her vivid imagination. Her love for mystery and suspense has made for a very descriptive read. She will continue to focus her many characters and writing within Montreal, the area in which she grew up and loves.
How did you get your start in the literary world? It started when I was a young girl. I was very insecure and would spend many hours alone writing down my feelings. Feelings regarding life and all that surrounded me. I had bookshelves lined with journals of these most intimate thoughts. At that time writing was my sanity, my tool for surviving in a (what I felt) unfriendly-intimidating world.
Can you tell us a little more about what you do? I am happily retired. I live with my husband and my Bichon. I am the mother of five grown children and seven grandchildren. I live for my family. I go for long walks by the water and enjoy writing now as a career. The wonderful thing about being retired is that it affords you time to do just as you please.
What is your favorite part about being an author? Doing all the things that I have always wanted to do, but through my characters. I jump within the pages and start a whole new life. I can be whoever I so choose.
How do you get your inspiration? That is easy! Every author has a little bit of themselves in each novel they write. I have lived almost seventy years and have seen and gone through so much. So, to answer your question, most definitely, life experiences and a whole lot of imagination thrown into the mix.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen? That’s an easy one. “Lil” from the novel “Lil’s Way.” Not only me, but my readers have said this would be such a great movie. Taking place in Montreal, with the backdrop of Mont Royal, would provide a breathtaking view. Also, the storyline is a real page turner. One must read the book to see what I am talking about.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? I shouldn’t say this was funny, but now I look back and realize it made me the author I am today. I had 109 rejection letters and finally three publishing houses all wanted me at the same time. Now I laugh about it, but at the time it was very traumatic.
Can you tell us a bit about your book? “Lil” our main charter in “Lil’s Way” suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The good doctor feels that based on her history and the knowledge obtained through this case study there might be a glimmer of hope for her release. She is presently in a mental institution awaiting trial for murder. Lil brings us back through her early childhood and the abuse suffered at the hands of her parents. Her great love of the city takes us on a wonderful adventure, while seeing it for the first time through Lil’s eyes as she explores her Montreal. This novel goes back and forth, with the past and present intertwining bringing this story to the readers. What happened to get Lil imprisoned? There are so many stages where you think Lil will survive only to have it quickly reversed. And just when you think all is well, the most horrific event happens.
What is your next big project? I am still writing my detective series “The Adam Garwood Detective Series.” I am presently working on a novel called Lacuna. Although I have written four novels, this is the 3rd in my detective series. I will then have five novels under my belt.
Anything else you’d like to add? Nothing really, other than I consider myself one of the fortunate one. I get to live my dream and do what I love. I started writing professionally in my senior years, so what I would tell people is that you are never too old to fulfill your dreams. Age is just a number.
Several of the books published through Waldorf Press can be found at your local library. The Palm Beach County Library System has dozens of electronic books, printed books – both novels & non-fiction, audiobooks, and DVDs or Blu-ray discs to help you understand how powerful reading can be! Travel to your closest branch or find them on the web!