Colleen Houck is the author of „Tiger Curse“, the first one in a series of five books. (Photo: Copyright Boone Rodriquez)

Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

You first published your book on your own. Why did you choose this particular course of action?

I self-published because none of the traditional publishers or agents I submitted my book to were interested. I gave it about two years and then I decided that it was okay with me to just write as a hobby. I was very surprised when an agent and a Hollywood producer contacted me about my self-published books because I’d kind of given up on the idea that anyone in the publishing world would want them.

An enchanted prince – that comes straight from a fairy tale. Did you love those stories as a child? Was it easy for you to write something like that?

Fairy tales have been important to me since I was a child. My parents gave me a copy of Aesop’s Fairy Tales and I read one every night for years. I knew that I wanted a handsome prince in my series and then I ended up with two.

Why did you choose YA-books and the genre? Marjorie M. Liu for example has chosen to write a paranormal romance for adults with her story about an enchanted tiger in „Tiger Eye“.

I actually had very little experience with YA books before I began writing. My goal was to write a clean romance for women. It wasn’t until my agent spoke to me about it that I realized the tiger series was YA. Though the series is marketed to young people the fans who attend my book signings are all different ages.

In English three of five books are already out. Here in Germany we’ll have book 2 in June and book 3 might come out in the fall. Could you tell us what awaits Ren and Kelsey?

In Tiger’s Quest, book two, Kishan comes more to the forefront and readers get to know him much better. Lokesh who we barely saw in book one also makes a stronger appearance and we realize there is much more going on that just a curse. Each of my books is themed after an element. Book one is earth, two is air, and then book three is water. Book three, Tiger’s Voyage, is my favorite of the series because I bring in frightening ocean monsters and dragons which have always fascinated me.

Is India a favorite place of yours for you to have set your story there?

I knew nothing about India when I got started and frankly, I was a bit intimidated. I had to research everything from food and climate, to culture and names. It was very important to me to be as accurate as possible and to be respectful of the culture and traditions of India so I hired an editor from Mumbai to read everything I wrote. She made wonderful suggestions and guided me through the series.

How did you research for the books?

Mostly I used the internet. I do have three or four world mythology books that I reference but the internet was absolutely necessary. Before computers it would have been next to if not totally impossible to write a book like this. There were so many things I needed to know that I didn’t even know I needed like, “What is the temperature in Mumbai in June? What types of restaurants are in Hampi? What do hotels look like in India?” The research necessary was much more than I thought it would be when I began the project.

What was your reaction to the cover image of „Tiger Curse“?

I love the background, the blues, purples, and the henna especially. I’m very fortunate to have an amazing artist, Cliff Neilson, who works on my covers. He also designed the covers for Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. His strength is fantasy art and I’m a huge fan of his work.

What are your next plans? What novels would you want to write and which settings set your imagination on fire?

I love fantasy and science fiction so I will probably always write in those genres and, of course, will always add in romance which is a requirement for me. Right now I’m all about my tigers but I have a huge notebook full of ideas for the future that I’m excited to start wrapping my mind around.

Which novels are currently on your nightstand or on your to-be-read list?

I want to read Legend by Marie Lu and Divergent by Veronica Roth. The stack of books in my house goes up to the ceiling. I meet lots of YA authors now and then I run out and get their books so that the next time we meet I can discuss their work.

Thank you for your time. I am looking forward to the next great novels in the series about Kelsey and Ren.

Thank you for thinking of me!