where the writers are
Interview with Connie Wilson, author of 'The Color of Evil' and 'Hellfire and Damnation II'





Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (www.ConnieCWilson.com) graduated from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University, with additional study at Northern Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Chicago. She taught writing at 6 IA/IL colleges and has written for 5 newspapers and 7 blogs, including, currently, as a Featured Contributor to Yahoo. (2008 Content Producer of the Year). Her stories and interviews with writers such as David Morrell, Joe Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, Frederik Pohl, William F. Nolan, r. Barri Flowers, Eric Bogosian and Anne Perry have appeared online and in numerous journals. Her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction,” “Writer’s Digest” (Screenplay), as well as numerous E-Lit Gold medals, Silver Feather awards (from IWPA/NWPA, Illinois & National Women’s Press Association) and NABE Pinnacle awards. She was the film and book critic for the Quad City Times (Davenport, IA) for 15 years and was named David R. Collins Midwest Writing Center Writer of the Year (March 20, 2010) and IWPA Silver Feather winner (June 6, 2012), as well as winning an ALMA (American Literary Merit Award) for a short story within “Hellfire & Damnation.” She was recently a presenter at the Spellbinders’ Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii (Labor Day, 2012).

To find out more, please visit http://www.ConnieCWilson.com

To purchase The Color of Evil, click here.

To purchase Hellfire and Damnation II, click here.


Q: Thank you for this interview, Connie. Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

A: THE COLOR OF EVIL is a book about a youth with the paranormal ability to see auras around others that tell him whether they are “good” or “evil.” At night, he dreams, sometimes precognitively, about the crimes of the evil-doers.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?


A: Tad McGreevy is the character with the unique power (Super Tetrachromacy), and the blonde girl he has a crush on is Jenny SanGiovanni. His best friend since childhood is Stevie Scranton and there are a host of other high school-aged characters.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A: My characters come from teaching school for 33 years in a district where, one year, five of my students were  on Illinois’ Death Row. I have enough material from that district to keep me going until I die.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: My characters lead me through the plot, although, as John Irving has described his work style, I often know the first line and how it will end.

Q: Your book is set in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

A: I grew up 20 miles away and the juxtaposition of rural America and all the evil-doing just “works.”

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: Sometimes.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

A: Tad is writing a note to Jenny to ask her if she knows anything about Stevie Scranton’s whereabouts, as he seems to have vanished from the face of the Earth. (The notes were all from my daughter’s high school stash, inexplicably saved for years and discovered in her bedroom drawers. So, pretty accurate depiction of teenage slang in 2004.)

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: I could, but then I’d have to kill you.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Connie.  We wish you much success!

A: Well, that makes one person on the planet who does. I’ll pass the word around.


Tad McGreevy has a power that he has never revealed, not even to his life-long best friend, Stevie Scranton. When Tad looks at others, he sees colors. Thee auras tell Tad whether a person is good or evil. At night, Tad dreams about the evil-doers, reliving their crimes in horrifyingly vivid detail.

But Tad doesn’t know if the evil acts he witnesses in his nightmares are happening now, are already over, or are going to occur in the future. All Tad knows is that he wants to protect those he loves. And he wants the bad dreams to stop.

This is a terrifying, intense story of the dark people and places that lurk just beneath the surface of seemingly normal small-town life.


Hellfire & Damnation II is another tour of the 9 Circles of Hell described in Dante’s Inferno. It picks up where the first collection of short stories (2011) left off and gives us a remarkable collection of somber, nourish, flat-out scary and altogether satisfying stories that seek to find peace in a dark world that defies it. Her subtle irony and penchant for finding terror in the least expected places will generate comparisons to Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, with just a hint of Philip K. Dick thrown in. But don’t be fooled: Wilson has a wondrous voice in her own right and her tight, twisty tales establish her as a force to be reckoned with.