Interview with Novelist G.G. Collins (Reluctant Medium)

Having walked several beats, G G Collins has racked up a lot of column inches, a few awards and a fellowship. An avid reader since childhood, she started her reading career with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. From there, Stephen King was a small leap. The day she discovered the Hopi ceremony to call back the dead, she just had to ask: “What would happen if the wrong spirit returned?” Read it for yourself.

Books:     Reluctant Medium    Lemurian Medium    Atomic Medium   Murder, USA: A Crime Fiction Tour of the Nation (anthology)


 ggcollinsInterview with G.G. Collins: 

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

G.G. Collins: Weird with a twist. That twist would be humor and horror together. Rachel Blackstone is a reporter in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in a world that is researched and fact-checked. When she tries something out of character—a Hopi ceremony to return the dead—things go horribly wrong. Instead of her dead father, another spirit appears and threatens people she loves. After that, her life changes, she becomes intuitive, and begins to see other spirits. Bad things happen. As the Reluctant Medium she is not alone. On her side is friend Chloe, a Hopi shaman and a spirit wolf.

In Lemurian Medium Rachel uses astral travel to rescue a friend in Lemuria, an island continent that sank beneath the Pacific thousands of years ago. She time travels once again (different transport) in Atomic Medium to 1945 during The Manhattan Project. My stories include a Mayan man-eating deity, ghosts and the occasional alien being. The next installment is underway and is titled Anasazi Medium. Rachel must stop the end of the fourth world of the Hopis. If she can’t, civilization won’t survive—and there won’t be a fifth book!

Recently released is an anthology I contributed to: Murder, USA: A Crime Fiction Tour of the Nation. It was compiled by Kristen Elise, PhD who is a cancer fighter by day and murder mistress by night. It’s perma-free on Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold.

A new series featuring a female PI who practices Voodoo (but only when there’s no hope) is in planning stages, as is a family saga involving a horse farm.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

GGC: They’re entertaining. While written with women in mind, I’ve had several male readers tell me how much they enjoyed them. There is always a bathroom scene—mainly because most writers seem to ignore the fact we all have to use them. They are either a bit spooky or funny. My books are full of special effects—only these come from my quirky mind instead of CGI.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

GGC: Fun adventure.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

GGC: Aliens starring Sigourney Weaver. It was the first movie I saw with a woman in the lead whipping arse! “Get away from her, you bitch!” Ripley shouted from the power loader. I’m also quite fond of The Thin Man series with William Powell and Myrna Loy. Way before my time, but timeless. Dashiell Hammett could write a story! “What’s that man doing in my drawers?” How’s that for contrast?

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

GGC: No, I wanted to be a three-day event rider (equestrian), but I came to it by way of being an introvert—and it was less expensive than horses. I’ve done all kinds of writing: journalism, publishing and promotions copy, blogging, reviews and fiction. Even as a child, I loved strange stories whether reading or watching TV and movies. I was one of those kids who were told, “You have an overactive imagination.” It wasn’t meant as a compliment then, but I take it that way now.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

GGC: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. I read it almost every year. Most people think of it as an end-of-the-world novel. It’s not. It actually has so much hope in it. Here’s this little community of Ft. Repose, Florida. And one by one, they witness the flash as each of the large cities are bombed. There are a few residents who can’t cope. Some have heart attacks, others kill themselves. Those who remain, discover ways to be of service. Randy learns he can lead. The town gossip becomes the go-to person at the library where messages are exchanged. One by one, they find ways to matter while learning to live in a post-apocalyptic world. And it has one of the finest last lines: …and Randy turned away to face the thousand-year night. Wow!

MT: What motivates you to write?

GGC: The pure joy of telling a story. It’s challenging work to be sure, but I get to take the trip too. I enjoy research so I choose something I’m interested in and make it the basis of my narrative. That way, I’m already motivated.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

GGC: It would likely be a dead one. Vincent van Gogh. I was an art major in college so I’m fascinated by artist’s personalities. I’d ask van Gogh why he painted his empty bedroom so many times. Of course, I know what he told his brother, but really, what was the real reason?

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

GGC: Travel. My idea of a great time is to land in a city I don’t know—preferably one that doesn’t speak English—and discover the people, culture and food. That first time in an unknown city or country is priceless.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

GGC: If you’re reporting, always use a medium ball point pen. It writes faster. And take notes. Your recorder may malfunction or be drowned out by air conditioning. Know the tools of your trade; from The Associated Press Stylebook to The Chicago Manual of Style. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And when you think you can’t write; you can!


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.