Hope you enjoy the interview!
Q. I finished reading Coulson’s Wife and I wonder why certain secrets were kept and not revealed. Don’t you think you missed an opportunity for added conflict, tension, and drama?
A. What some readers may not realize, Coulson’s Lessons (which is book 3 in the series and originally titled Lessons) was actually the first book written. When readers wanted to know more about the characters in Lessons (when they were younger), I decided to write what would become Coulson’s Crucible. But before I started that book, I was compelled to write Coulson’s Wife. Had certain secrets (I don’t want to give a spoiler) been revealed in book 1, it would not have worked. Yet, all the secrets are revealed in Coulson’s Reckoning.
Q. I was enjoying Coulson’s Wife but there was one part where William’s comments are attributed to Randall. I found that confusing. Don’t you use an editor?
A. I confess to sometimes typing the wrong character’s name. (I do it when talking too.) The book has gone through several editors and numerous beta readers—and unfortunately that error slipped through. I am very sorry. We have since corrected the file.
Q. I really enjoyed Coulson’s Wife, yet didn’t feel Coulson’s Crucible resembled the first book. I missed the historical references.
A. As a family saga, spanning four generations, each book tends to be unique to that generation, yet as they move along, they intertwine. The historical references were handled differently in Coulson’s Crucible, as it took place in the 1960-70s, and I didn’t feel it required the same background summary required in Coulson’s Wife.
Q. Why didn’t you have Vera reconcile what happened to her when she was a teenager? She never seems to realize that is why she makes certain decisions.
A. Exactly. When writing The Coulson Series, its characters became real to me. Real people are complex and flawed, a mixture of good and bad. And sometimes they never understand why they behave in certain ways. That was actually the point of the story—and this being a family saga, those unresolved issues and family secrets can resonate for generations to come.
Q. The series was great but all the stuff about how the Mormon religion is the way to go could have been left out.
A. Ummm…I think you are thinking of another book. The Mormon religion is never mentioned in the story.
Q. I know you call the series a Family Saga, do you see it fitting into another genre?
A. A marketing problem with The Coulson Series, in my opinion, the books in the series tend to genre hop. Coulson’s Wife is more historical fiction. It might also fall into woman’s fiction because it focuses on the changes for women in the 20th century.
Coulson’s Crucible is more drama. Coulson’s Lessons is contemporary romance. Coulson’s Secret and Coulson’s Reckoning are mystery romance.
Q. There are a lot of people in the series and their families seem to interconnect. How can I keep them all straight?
A. You will find a Coulson Family Tree on this website, and in the last book in the series, Coulson’s Reckoning.
Q, Will there be another book in the series—perhaps about Garret and Alexandra’s daughter?
A. Readers have asked me before, and I have seriously considered it. Yet for now, my focus is on my current series, Haunting Danielle.
Q. Now that you bring up Haunting Danielle, why did you publish that series under your real name (Bobbi Holmes) and The Coulson Series under your pen name (Anna J. McIntyre)?
A. I didn’t want to confuse readers, because the tone of Haunting Danielle is radically different from The Coulson Series. It isn’t just that Haunting Danielle is a different genre—paranormal cozy mystery—it is G-rated, with no graphic sex, no significant swearing—basically something you wouldn’t mind sharing with your teenager or grandmother.
The Coulson Series does contain graphic sex, language some might find offensive—it’s intended to be realistic and gritty. I don’t feel the sex scenes or language is gratuitous; they are necessary for the story. But, it will offend some people.