Interview with Colina Brennan + Writing Contest

To continue talking about New Adult, I've asked Colina Brennan to stop by for an interview. Her novel, Addicted to You, just came out on June 25th, and if you haven't read it yet, you should.

Hi Colina, tell us what your book is about in 140 characters or less.
Addicted to You is about Leah, who has no interest in love because she's convinced everyone eventually lets you down. Then she meets Will. Dun dun dun! :P

What was your favorite scene in Addicted to You to write?
Probably the scene where Leah and her brother run into Will at the party. A lot of things happen between the beginning of the night and the end of it, and it was fun writing about how their relationship subtly shifts.

This is your debut New Adult novel. Did you always want to be a writer? 
Yes. I’ve wanted to be many things growing up—artist, teacher, astronaut, archaeologist—but a writer has always been at the top of the list.

What was the first work you had published?
A short story for a science fiction e-zine. Yes, I love writing in multiple genres!

And for all the other writers out there, how did you get your agent?
The usual way—by querying her :)

This is true. I found her in the slush! How many (if any) rejection letters did you get?

I only know of two authors who never received a rejection letter. I’m not one of them. And there are too many to count.

Clearly I think anyone who sent you a rejection was delirious. But no matter, tell me, what was the first book that you wrote?
I wrote a lot of short horror stories as a child. Then I graduated to romance novels. From ghosts and murders to flowing raven locks. I’m not sure how that happened either.

I think that's sort of how my reading tastes evolved! Back to this book, why did you decide to self-publish Addicted to You?

I decided to go Indie with this book because I love having creative control of every part of the process. I can create my own cover, pick my own deadlines, organize my own promotion, and not have to worry about putting everything through the approval of a publisher first.

Since Addicted to You is New Adult, something we're both currently addicted to, I should ask some New Adult questions. Here goes: 

Are there any authors you’d love to see do a New Adult book?
John Green. I think he’d rock it.

What would you love to see next in New Adult?
The growth of other genres. I’d love to see it explode in the same way Young Adult has.

And finally, leave us with a quote from your book:

Will would show her that he was an addiction worth keeping.

To learn more about Colina and her work, here's where you can find her on the internet. 

Facebook: BrennanColina
Twitter: @BrennanColina

And now it's contest time! I haven't done one of these in forever, but let's do another 100 word writing contest.

Here are the details:

You need to write a short story (100 words or less!) using these five words:


Post your story in the comments of this post by 11:59 pm on June 30th

What do you win?

A paperback copy of Addicted to You by Colina Brennan


A query critique--good for you or I'll even let you give it to a friend if you're feeling generous

Good luck!

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Unknown said...

Hi Suzie! Hopefully you can tell from my daily comments that I'm addicted to you being addicted to new adult! It's what I'm writing these days, so the chance for a query critique AND another great NA read = jackpot for me. Thanks for running the contest!

So, in exactly 100 words (including your 5)here's what may end up being the start to my new NA idea.

It’s not a walk of shame if no one knows I’m doing it. The SCIENCE of the fake out is not looking like I stepped out of the bar at 7:00 a.m. A secret for the NEW folks? A backpack. Mine’s GREEN. I see enough into the future to plan for a night out and morning after. I know. That’s so RAVEN of me.

This morning is like any other…until the text.

"I found you an apartment."

My mom’s new ADDICTION? Securing me a permanent residence. I shake off one thought—if she could see her little girl now.

Megan said...

Her eyes raped the land. Nothing was green here. She caught a movement in the high branch of the lone and barren tree. The raven called. This new place reminded her of a science fiction story from Edgar Allan Poe. Surely this place was a vision of his. She eagerly ran her fingers through her long auburn hair. Her skin prickled and small beads of sweat began to form on her brow. It was a few of the many side-effects from cutting her addiction. She went cold turkey just two days ago when she woke up in this god-forsaken land.

Anonymous said...

My pulse was racing and sweat poured over every surface of my face, effectively ruining my new makeup that Caitlin had worked so hard on applying for me this morning. But the fluttery heart and outcry of my pores wasn’t because of the the three mile run, no, it was because of him. He was the reason I looked like something that had just stepped right out of a science fiction movie. I couldn’t stop thinking about his green eyes and raven hair. Cait was right, I had an addiction and his name was Nick Forester.

Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...

Are we permitted more than one entry?

Thank you!

Matthew Masucci said...

If John was any more green, he might chuck on the crime scene.

We stood by as the techs finished, their “science” in our way.

One tech shot a glance at my partner.

“Ever eat a Turducken sandwich? Bird stuffed in a bird stuffed in a bird?” The tech held up a raven. “Found this in his windpipe.”

John covered his mouth and ran out of the room, retching.

“Don’t mess with the new guy,” I said.

He shrugged, “What can I say, it's an addiction.”

He dropped the bird into a bag and zipped it up. "All yours, detective."

Ambiguous_A said...

Willa had never seen Kyle fold origami until now, though she knew from that one conversation in science class that it was his secret addiction. He’d said it helped him de-stress.

She pressed her lips tight, intrigued by his raven-eyed focus.

“Then I press these two folds together,” he said, his dexterous fingers flattening the small green paper into what would eventually be a maple leaf.

But Willa didn’t see the origami anymore. Just Kyle’s long fingers, and the way they caressed the paper.

This odd talent of his had lit a fire under her skin, new and white-hot.

Maalai said...

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Unknown said...

Pa was right. There’s a science to it…you give, you get…
“Jonny Raven? From New Addiction?”
Lauren is green about it.
I start to bash out a rhythm on my drum-kit. Cymbals, kick, bass, run through me. I’m soaring through a perfumed earthquake in my bedroom.
Eyes closed, I fly. Pa’s voice is there, under the beats:
“Keep bangin’ that drum, Emma-Jayne. Bang it and they’ll come.”
I only stop playing when my noise gets so loud his photo shudders on my desk. His smile is a big, half-pipe grin today. Yep. A science. He must be watching over me.

WNK said...

Lance pulled his new, green Mustang over on the lonely stretch of road. He needed a smoke. A terrible addiction, he knew, but road trips made him anxious. As he looked out over the field, his gaze came to rest on a large, metal box. Approaching it cautiously, he peered in the glass lid. A girl? He had never paid much attention in science classes, but could this be a cryo-chamber?
The lid hissed open. Lance leaned in for a better look. She was beautiful, with raven locks.
With the gentlest touch of his lips, her eyes popped open.

MFGoddard said...

“No, I don't know why they call it that, but you should try it. It’s new."

Those were the last words I remember. 

Now I'm lying naked on the floor shivering, shaking. It’s like a thousand soft kisses along my body. I wish I was gigantic so that there was more of me to feel this sensation.
What was the science behind this addiction? It defied chemistry and biology. My need was profound. Spiritual. It defied faith. 

I turned my head. There it was clutched in my hand. A bottle of Green Raven Hot Sauce.

Frankie Brown said...

Loving all these New Adult posts! Thought I'd try my hand writing New Adult flash fiction...

"My first class since rehab is in the new science annex. I don’t recognize most of the students walking through the breezeway with me, but their expressions are all the same. Dead.

I slip off my sandals and decide to take the scenic route to class. Even the grass is a trigger — green like his eyes were.

The sound of wings makes me stop walking. Stop breathing. A single raven lands in front of me, head cocked, black eyes staring. The old addiction yawns to life in my belly. Its job done, the bird crows once and flies away. "

Unknown said...

Raven had just received her Bachelor’s in Science. The new piece of paper could not compare to the experiment she had been dreaming up. Stepping into the dark basement, the cement walls reflected the green liquid bubbling against the cylinder. Her hands shook as she reached for the potion. This would surely change everything.
The taste burned her tongue as the liquid trickled down her throat. Her hair fell to the floor in pieces, a thin layer of skin flaked to the floor. Her nails pushed from her cuticles. This new addiction would kill her.

Rebecca Sky said...

“Kiss frogs,” they told her. “You’ll get your prince,” they said. Nobody foresaw it would become some sick addiction. She’d wait each new day until the sky turned raven then she’d sneak to the pond. It was simple science-- kiss every frog she could find. She’d kiss until her lips burned and tasted of swamp. One night she noticed a bounce in her step, her skin tightened, chunks of hair fell free. She looked at her rocking reflection. “I’m green!” she gasped. What they neglected to tell her was, she might kiss a frog who wished for a princess…

(99 words)

Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Delaney said...

“If that raven croaks ‘Nevermore’ one more time, I’ll bake him in a pie,” Lenore said.

“You’re jealous,” Ed replied.

“Of your new pet? Hardly.”

“The green-eyed monster has bitten you.”

“No, Ed, you’re the problem. Your addictions have taken over. First it was old science books full of forgotten lore. Now homeless animals. There’s no room for me--my bust of Athena got shoved above the door!”

“Come sit on the velvet chair with me.”

“It’s too late. I packed my bags this morning.”


“Goodbye, Ed.” The door slammed. The raven fluttered up to evacuate on Athena’s head.

Alexia Chantel said...

The door flew open, slamming against the wall. I jumped and dropped the cast iron lid.

“I knew I would locate you in chamber.” My addiction’s cold blue stare burned into my soul.

I sighed, simple science was new to this barbaric land. So much for my MIT degree, now I was called witch.

“What may I do for lord?” I propped a hand on my cocked hip.

Vorak’s glare traced my curves before he laid his sword across the table. “Where’s my raven?”

My gaze dropped to the pot, green ooze dripped from the edge.

justJoan said...

Wow! 100 words or less is HARD!! Here's my attempt:

My book addiction has doomed me. I thought the tome held new science—not old magic. But I can't unread the spell.

Oak bark scrapes my back as I slump against the tree and sink to the ground. The ravens close in—silent but for the eerie whisper of their wings.

They wait.

Fiery pain stabs my gut. Curling into a tight ball, I whimper.

A raven with green eyes hops closer. "It hurts less if you don't fight," says the voice of my best friend.

My scream drowns in an ocean of raven song until my cry becomes theirs.

Jennifer Walsh said...

Fun, yet challenging contest! Here we go:

His emerald-green eyes dim before closing. I curse myself for being too late. With one hand, I brush my hair from my face. With the other, I gently lay his head on the sterile floor of our lab.

He was my addiction. We were like ravens in more ways than one: devoted scavengers, mated to each other and our work. They took his life and fled, acting much like ravens themselves: opportunistic. Our secrets have been stolen; the future of science is in the hands of the unjust. Now I seek revenge for him, for us. It’s my new addiction.


Raven’s eyes had turned a luminous green—the infusions were killing her. But breaking the addiction would mean dumping the love of her life because Jackie was a junkie too. How could she end their virtual trips to the last living forest on Earth? Science let them live underground but it couldn’t recreate the sky.

“If we stop,” Jackie said, “we’ll want the real thing.”

Raven kissed him hard then removed her tube.

“What are you doing?”

“Something new,” she said, looking toward the forbidden stairs.

“You sure?”

“Let’s meet the truth.”

He disconnected too, and took her hand.

Arwen said...

I gave the new girl a chance when she started in our science class. Now? Not so much.

She kept staring at Thomas. It was a wild look, like she'd raven him if she could keep hold of him long enough.

I told her she'd best keep her paws to herself unless she has an addiction to pain, because I'd tear her apart if she lays even one of those green-lacquered fingernails on my boyfriend.

Thomas laughed at me for feeling threatened when he heard. But she didn't laugh. She knew I was serious.

Aaron and Tamara Books said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TamaraTaraCole said...

Clocking in at 98 words :)

Dahlia’s new engagement ring stares back at me, it serves as a reminder of when she disappeared with Max, her latest addiction.

“I missed you in Science, “she says. She smirks, as if she is trying to be friendly for once. For a while she sits in the room in silence waiting for me to respond. She runs her fingers through her Raven hair before speaking again. “We haven’t always seen eye to eye, but Megan you have to believe that I didn’t intend to steal him.” she says. Her green eyes start to leak like a faucet.

Unknown said...

Exactly 100 words, may the force be with me.

“Guys we have to stick together! “Kurt shouts. The others boys and I follow his order. Even though he is the oldest at fourteen it seems like he has an addiction to being in power.

The science hall of New Leaf Middle School reeks of vomit. Green splashes against the window confirm my suspicions, the sight makes me queasy. We all hate being at this place in the day. Why did I agree to sneak back to school at this time of night?
“Mr. Raven is a freak. “Kurt says, pulling a playboy out of our third period teacher’s desk.

Unknown said...

Dear Suzie,

My entry for the contest:

“So, if I kiss you, you should turn into a Prince, right?” I asked the green toad in front of me. His protuberant eyes looked reproachfully at me.

“Croak,” he replied noncommittally.

I shut my eyes, puckered my lips and inched forward waiting for the cold, wet squishy moment of my fairy tale addiction...

My lips met the soft contours of another!
Stunned, I jumped scalded from my chair. There he was: tall, dark and raven haired.
“Hi,” he grinned, perched on top of my new biology books.
“No, Hide,” I moaned. “My science teacher is coming back any minute now!”
********* (100 words)

I really hope I win this because my New Adult novel is almost done ( on the 4th and last stage of polishing now) and winning a query critic from you, Suzie, will be something of a fairy tale come true for me! :-)


Unknown said...

I never wanted to take science. I don’t want to become a doctor and make mistakes; I’m afraid of killing people. He thinks that’s funny, he laughs like the boys I saw when I went to London to visit my dad and my new stepmom in the summer. When he breathes, it’s cigarette smoke—greenish against the leaves. I keep telling him to stop. How can he become a surgeon and tell other people with charred lungs and ruined hearts to quit smoking?
“You have an addiction.”
His eyes are not a raven-black, but brown.
“Yeah,” he says. “To you.”

Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...

Trust me when I tell you he is not worth keeping.

I know because I have green eyes. Brown is craving. Blue is truth. Green is understanding.

He told me his name, but I don’t remember. Heart-black hair and a wicked smile. To me he is Raven.

He will destroy you, don’t you know it?

I know because I dream in color. Azure is danger, black addiction. Red is desperation.

Raven loves beautifully, all claws and dark caresses. Heartache is new to him, not an exact science.

Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to love him.

Anonymous said...

He took a gulp of the green tea and immediately knew it was a mistake.

Beside him, the Prince sent a lazy trail of smoke into the darkness. “The Raven constellation lines the sky. Not the best night to deliver bad news.”

Fever racked his body. Should have lied. Must have been a reason none before him had told the truth.

“Quite sad when the messenger intrigued by modern science overlooks the forewarning in the stars of old. But sadder would be the fellow whose covert addiction is my new wife.”

The Prince walked away, and he was alone.

HD Elliott said...

98 words:

Once a raven, young and keen,
Put on his coat of satin green
And went to play some Texas hold 'em,
Planning to fleece all who'd behold him.

For this poor raven's sad affliction
Was nothing less than an addiction
To games of chance of every sort.
With cards, not friends, would he cavort.

But that night's table held a tough
And clever fox. His ready bluff
Was science-like, with crafty skill
He cheated the raven claw to bill.

The raven found this something new.
He bet his coat and lost that too.
Naked, shamed, and frankly broke,
He mooned that foxy, crafty bloke,
Then took himself out of the door,
Swearing to gamble nevermore.