Interview: Colleen M. Story

How did you do research for your book?

For my first draft of The Beached Ones, I did a lot of research using Google maps. The characters take a journey from Iowa to California, making stops along the way. I used Google maps to find these locations and get images of them, then I also looked up each location individually.
After the first two drafts, I actually took the car trip that the characters take. That was a lot of fun and gave me new insights into the story. I snapped a lot of pictures and referred to those and my notes when writing subsequent drafts.

In your book, you refer to an in-between world where some ghosts live—a sort of separate
dimension. How did you come up with this idea?

Many ghost stories refer to ghosts living in our world, but not as part of it. They pretty much go about their own lives. The living cannot see or hear them, with the occasional exceptions being when the lights flicker or the room gets cold.

In my world, I needed Daniel to be able to interact with other living characters, but in a way that makes it clear he’s not really “normal.” Many science-fiction stories make use of other dimensions as a way todo this, and it worked well for this particular story. Daniel walks among us but has an energy only some can sense. Those who can are key characters who have a stake in what happens in the story.

There are many books out there about supernatural experiences and journeys. What makes yours different?

My publisher describes The Beached Ones as paranormal (or supernatural) with a literary bent. I like a little magic in my stories, but they are grounded in real experiences. I focus more on the characters and their interactions so that the reader doesn’t feel like they’re “out there” in some other world. Instead, I’m hoping they can imagine the events in my stories potentially taking place in the real world.

If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

If I could put myself as a character in the book, it would probably be Gus. He is a preacher at a cowboy church, and he just lives his life as he sees fit. He doesn’t worry about what anyone else thinks. He spends time in the beautiful mountains of Montana, and he likes to ride his four-wheeler around. Yet he’s kind and caring and offers a lot of support to Daniel (my main character) and his little brother Tony.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you?

It’s hard to choose only three books. But off the top of my head, I’d say:

  1. Steven Pressfield’s War of Art. It is consistently inspirational and a great way to kick yourself in the seat to get things done!
  2. Thomas B. Costain’s The Silver Chalice. This is a long book that captivated me when I was a
    teenager. I was completely absorbed in it, but it’s been a long time since I read it. I think it
    would help me keep my mind off of my dire situation on the island!
  3. Walter Farley’s The Island Stallion. I read most of Farley’s books as a youngster, but this was by far my favorite. It takes place on an island, where the main character finds a beautiful horse and if I remember right, a series of secret caves, pirates, and more. I would think a story like this would be inspirational when lost on a deserted island! It might inspire me to go looking for horses and caves…

Author Site:

New Homepage – Colleen M. Story (

Social Media Links:

Facebook: @acornsireadbooktours

Instagram: @iReadBookTours

BookBub: @colleen-m-story and  @laurenireadbooktours

Pinterest: @iReadBookTours

Twitter: @colleen_m_story and  @iReadBookTours


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s