Indie Support Sunday: Colette Rivera
I’m a sucker for paranormal romances, so the minute I heard about Colette’s debut Give A Witch A Chance, I was downloading it and devouring it. Queer characters, magic and mystery, lots of tension and drama, some angst and tons of fun make up the book and it also got me really excited for the next two in the series. If you follow Colette, you’ve already seen the gorgeous cover for the third book in her debut series and if you’ve read the first one, you’ve been waiting for this couple just like I have. And I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
Growing up, writing was all Colette wanted to do. And even though an undiagnosed learning disability stood in the way, she didn’t let that stop her. Like most of us authors, Colette was set on becoming a writer, no matter what. As a fellow queer author, she also writes about queer characters in complex and relatable stories.
The first two books in her debut series—Give A Witch A Chance and Keep Your Witches Close—are out now. While the third book, One Wicked Night releases October 10th and is up for preorder right now. All her books are available in Kindle Unlimited too!
BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve always wanted to write books. Yes, I’m pretty sure every author says this, but I don’t know that anything inspired me to write, I’ve just always wanted to. Since I was a little kid I’ve always created stories and worlds in my head, sometimes original, sometimes based on other books or movies. I still remember some of the first stories I created, even all these decades later. As a kid I craved the escapism of books, as a coping mechanism as well as something that made me happy, but reading and writing was a challenge, and at times I feared and hated it. I’m dyslexic but didn’t realize this until I was an adult, and when I was young I believed, and was told by certain people around me, that being a writer was outside the realm of possibility for me. It took me a long time to sort through all the things that held me back from giving writing a proper try, but in the end I’ve always known it was what I wanted to do, and it feels good to make the child in me happy.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part is being the one to make your dreams come true. You made this happen, and seeing your book out there is the most amazing feeling. But this also leads to the most challenging part: you have to do it all yourself, and there are so many different jobs to juggle as an indie author.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
For me it came down to time. Traditional publishing can take years, and when you add in querying and looking for an agent, I didn’t like the idea of not knowing when my books would finally be out in the world. I’m not the most patient person and I guess it came back to the fact that I could make my author dreams come true if I wanted. I didn’t have to wait. And the great thing about self publishing is getting to choose your team. There are so many talented editors and cover artists out there. I like being able to choose who I work with.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
I read a lot. I love getting immersed in other people’s stories. But as far as getting creative juices flowing; I find walking my dog is great. Letting my mind wander while half thinking about something else (like, what was that my dog just ate?) always helps me make new connections. If I’m stuck writing, walking and looking around at the world is a good way to get my brain to see a problem differently. I also find it good for coming up with new ideas.
What are your top 5 (4? lol) tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
1. You can do this - don’t let anyone tell you can’t.
2. Don’t be afraid to throw things away. Try out that idea and if it doesn’t work, see what you can learn from it. Your next project will be better for it!
3. Writing is problem solving, figuring out why something isn’t working in your story is important.
4. Follow authors you admire and see if they share writing tips, or have a writing advice blog. I’ve learned so much about writing craft from other author’s twitter threads or blogs.
ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
I chose romance because I like character driven stories. I like books about relationships, and watching those relationships grow as the characters change. There’s so much emotion to explore! I also chose romance for the happily ever after. I like reading, knowing that things will end well, and I like writing something that will end on a positive, hopeful note.
My favorite thing about the genre is the way romance showcases so many raw, relatable feelings. There’s nothing more heartwarming than feeling seen when you find a character that thinks and feels like you.
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
My favorite tropes would have to be: grumpy/sunshine, opposites attract, forced proximity, and fake dating. Least favorite is hard, I’ll give any trope a try if the story sounds compelling.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I’m working on a fake dating romance, and it’s been so much fun!
If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?
I think sex is such an interesting way to get to know a character. It’s a unique way of showing us who they are, and exploring the dynamic between the couple. How will they react to what their partner is doing? Will they accept their own more vulnerable emotions, or resist them? Is this experience raw and emotional, or full of giddy laughter, and why?
I’d say my sex scenes are inspired by how I’m trying to progress the story: what does this scene need to show? What’s changing for these two in this scene? I start with how I’m trying to move the plot along, and the emotions the characters are experiencing as a result, then work backward to the staging and action of the scene.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
I usually come up with the characters first, then let the plot grow around them. I can’t imagine writing a book without some sort of paranormal element. Magic is so much fun!
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
Love & Magic is a series of four interconnected stand alone queer paranormal romance novels. Each book features a different couple, but they all know each other, so you meet six out of the series’ eight main characters in book one, Give a Witch a Chance. Each book has a grumpy/sunshine couple dynamic. I told you it was my favorite trope!
So far I’ve released Give a Witch a Chance, a queer m/f romance where two bisexuals get a second chance at love when a Witch gets stuck living with her Mortal ex in his haunted building. Book two is Keep Your Witches Close, a sapphic frenemies to lovers romance between two Witch investigators stuck working on a case together.
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
It’s hard to pick a favorite! Of course I love them all for different reasons, but Juliet Herrera from Keep Your Witches Close is the character I created this whole series around, and if that isn’t favoritism, I don’t know what is.
I’ve loved having a core cast of characters for my series, and because of this, a clear favorite has emerged among some of my readers. Mr. Edwin Bickel, a powerful grumpy Witch whose book One Wicked Night hasn’t been released yet, seems to have captured everyone’s attention. I love how much people love him! To an extent, I think he is my favorite as well. So much work went into writing him, and I’m really happy with who he turned into. I also find I relate to Edwin a lot, and because of this I have a real soft spot for his partner Tristan Tomás. (Another favorite, see I’m bad at choosing!) I really enjoyed writing Tristan. He gave me significantly less headaches than Edwin.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
It varies, there’s probably a bit of me in all of them, but mainly: my characters are queer because I’m queer. 🌈
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
My next release is One Wicked Night, book three in my Love & Magic series. It’s a gay romance in which a Mortal and a misanthropic Witch have a one night stand, and then things get complicated. This is Edwin and Tristan’s book, and will be out on the 10th of October. What will you find in this book? A slow build of Witchiness that exposes a sinister magical plot, a very cryptic painting, and so much pining!
I’ve kept the details of the fourth book in this series to myself so far, but it will be released in February 2024. It’s the fake dating book I mentioned above. Witches need fake boyfriends too!
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks - though I love collecting paperbacks
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones, series or standalones in a series - all of the above!
Open door, ajar door or closed door romances
Music or silence when writing
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?
Cold or warm weather
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated or photo cover? Both!