Collins, Paul 1954-

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COLLINS, Paul 1954-

(Marilyn Fate; Roger Wilcox, a joint pseudonym)

PERSONAL: Born May 21, 1954, in England; immigrated to New Zealand, then to Australia; son of Ernest William and Jean Collins. Hobbies and other interests: Gym, kickboxing, ju jitsu, tae kwon do, tennis.

ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 1339, Collingwood, Victoria 3066, Australia. Agent—Cherry Weiner Literary Agency, 28 Kipling Way, Manalapan, NJ 07726. E-mail[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER: Author and editor. Void (magazine, and later publishing imprint), founder, 1975–81; Cory & Collins (publishing company), cofounder, 1980–85.

AWARDS, HONORS: William Atheling Award, 1999, and Aurealis Convenor's Award shortlist, both for The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy; Children's Book Council notable book and Clayton's Award shortlist, both 2000, both for The Dog King; Aurealis Convenor's Award (with Meredith Costain), 2001, for the series "Spinouts Bronze"; Peter McNamara Award, 2002, for lifetime achievement in science fiction; Children's Book Council notable book, 2004, for Home Run; recipient of numerous Ditmars (Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards) nominations and shortlists.

WRITINGS:

FOR ADULTS

Hot Lead—Cold Sweat, Void (St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia), 1975.

The Government in Exile and Other Stories, Sumeria Press (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1994.

Selling Your Fiction & Poetry Made Easy, TPT Technical Publications of TAFE (Perth, Western Australia, Australia), 1996.

The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melbourne University Press (Carlton South, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

Cyberskin, Hybrid Publishers (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000, published as an e-book, www.clocktowerfiction.com.

Stalking Midnight, Cosmos Books (NJ), 2001, published as an e-book, www.wildsidepress.com.

EDITOR; FOR ADULTS

Void: Science Fiction and Fantasy, Void (Fortitude Valley, Australia), 1977.

Envisaged Worlds: From the Editor of Void, Australia's First Original Science-Fiction Anthology, Void (St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia), 1978.

(With Ron Graham) Ron Graham Presents Other Worlds, Void (St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia), 1978.

Alien Worlds, Void (St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia), 1979.

Distant Worlds, Cory & Collins (St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia), 1981.

Metaworlds: Best Australian Science Fiction, Penguin (Ringwood, Australia), 1994.

Strange Fruit: Tales of the Unexpected, Penguin (Ringwood, Australia), 1995.

Tales from the Wasteland: Stories from the 13th Floor, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 2000.

FOR CHILDREN

The Wizard's Torment, HarperCollins (Pymble, New South Wales, Australia), 1995, published as e-book, New Concepts Publishing.

The Hyper Kid, Addison Wesley Longman Australia (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

The Shadow Factory, Macmillan Education Australia (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

(Editor) Fantastic Worlds, HarperCollins (Pymble, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

Double Trouble, Addison Wesley Longman Australia (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Out of This World, illustrated by Steven Woolman, Koala Books (Mascot, New South Wales, Australia), 1999.

The Dog King, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Cyberboy, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Nasty Bump ("Just Kids" series), Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Little Mark ("Just Kids" series), illustrated by Gaston Vanzet, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Movie World, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

The Ultimate Skates, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

The Great Ferret Race, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Adventures of the Dragon Family, Barrie Publishing (Kew, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

How I Saved the Earth, Barrie Publishing (Kew, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Samurai, Macmillan Education (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

The Big KO ("Awesome!" series), Pearson Education (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

(Editor, with Meredith Costain) Quests and Tests ("Spinouts Sapphire" series), Pearson Education (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

Ninja Nightmare ("Awesome!" series), Pearson Education (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

(With Connah Brecon) Home Run, illustrated by Connah Brecon, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Sneila, illustrated by Julie Knoblock, Puffin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Zac's Back ("Tadpoles" series), illustrated by Deborah Brown and John Yawyeh, Koala Books (Mascot, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

(With Craig Smith) The Wish Bug ("Startups" series), Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

The Earthborn (science fiction), Tor (New York, NY), 2004.

The Skyborn (science fiction; sequel to The Earthborn), Tor (New York, NY), 2005.

Also author of (with Meredith Costain) Old Bones, Spaced Out!, Rude Cars, Replicas, (with Howard Goldsmith) The Tooth Fairy Mystery, The Gold Diggers, 2 Real 2000, (with Sean McMullen) Moko's Earrings, and Pitstop. Author of e-book Street Kid.

"SUPA DOOPERS" SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

Tricking, illustrated by Kevin Burgemeestre, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1998, published as Tricksters, Sundance (Littleton, MA), 1999.

Castle Rock, illustrated by Kevin Burgemeestre, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Flying High, illustrated by Gus Gordon, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

"SUPA DAZZLERS" SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

The Knockout, illustrated by Peter Foster, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

The Great Escape, illustrated by Peter Foster, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

The Final Countdown, illustrated by Peter Foster, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

The "Supa Dazzlers" series has also been published as Triple 3 Play, by Sundance.

"LITTLE RIPPER READS" SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

My Sister, Kyra, illustrated by Paul Konye, Five Mile Press (Rowville, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Master Blaster, illustrated by Kelvin Hucker, Five Mile Press (Rowville, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

The Big Squeeze, illustrated by Craig Smith, Five Mile Press (Rowville, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

"JELINDEL CHRONICLES"; FANTASY FICTION; FOR CHILDREN

Dragonlinks Penguin Books (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

Dragonfang, Penguin Books (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

Dragonsight, Penguin Books (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

"QUENTARIS CHRONICLES"; SCIENCE FICTION; FOR CHILDREN

Slaves of Quentaris, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Swords of Quentaris, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Dragonlords of Quentaris, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

Princess of Shadows, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

"MARTIAL ARTS" SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

Judo, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Karate, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Kung Fu, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Taekwondo, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Kendo, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Ninjutsu, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Muay Thai, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Samurai, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

WITH MEREDITH COSTAIN; "MACMILLAN COUNTRIES" SERIES (AUSTRALIA); "COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD" SERIES (UNITED STATES); FOR CHILDREN

Welcome to Brazil, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to China, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to France, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Greece, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Indonesia, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Italy, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Japan, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Russia, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to South Africa, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to the United Kingdom, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to the United States of America, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Germany, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2000, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Welcome to India, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Canada, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Mexico, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Spain, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Welcome to Egypt, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

EDITOR, WITH MEREDITH COSTAIN; "SPINOUTS" SHORT STORY SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

Dragon Tales, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Heroic Feats, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Techno Terror, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Alien Invasions, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

It Came from the Lab, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Time Zones, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Last Gasps, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Freaks of Nature, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Tales from Beyond, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Ghosts and Ghoulies, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Spooky Tales, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Tales from the Deep, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Altered States, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Lost in Space, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Parts of the "Spinouts" series have been republished as Thrillogy by Sundance. Parts of the series have also been published by Harcourt Education (Oxford, England).

EDITOR, WITH MEREDITH COSTAIN; "SPINOUTS BRONZE" SHORT STORY SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

Other Times, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Alien Encounters, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Winners Are Grinners, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

On the Edge, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Creepy Crawlies, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Distant Shores, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Eerie Tales, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

School Daze, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Noises in the Dark, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Beyond the Grave, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Warps and Wormholes, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

The Bold and the Brave, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Spacebound, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Into the Future, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

Space Mates, Pearson Educational (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

EDITOR, WITH MEREDITH COSTAIN; "THRILLOGY" SHORT STORY SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

Cliffhangers, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Ribticklers, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Playing to Win, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Beast Feast, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Spider Mania, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Wild Things, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Double Agents, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Whodunit, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

On the Case, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Do or Dare, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Treasure Seekers, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Seafarers, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Thrills and Spills, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Crimestoppers, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Riding High, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

OTHER

(With Meredith Costain) Spinouts Teacher's Book, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

(With Meredith Costain) Spinouts Bronze Teacher's Idea Book, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

(With Meredith Costain) Thrillogy Teacher's Ideas Book, Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Book People: Meet Australia's Children's Authors and Illustrators, seven volumes, Macmillan Library (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

(With Meredith Costain) Spinout Sapphire's Teacher's Ideas Book, Longman (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

Author of several e-books, including Dead Easy Money, published by dnovel.com. Also editor of The Second Void Science-Fiction and Fantasy and Void Science-Fiction and Fantasy: The Fourth Dimension, both published by Void; SF aus Australien, Goldmann Verlag (Germany); Frontier Worlds; Dream Weavers; and the "Shivers" series. Author of over 140 short stories published in anthologies, including Gothic Ghosts, Urban Fantasies, Alien Shores, and Dreaming Down-Under, and magazines throughout the world, including Weirdbook, Eidolon, Aurealis, PC User, Orbit, Challenge, Pursuit, and Cicada. Some of Collins's work appears under the name Marilyn Fate. Some of Collins's work also appears under the name Roger Wilcox, which is a joint pseudonym with Sean McMullen.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Hiveborn, a sequel to The Earthborn; a fourth book in the "Jelindel Chronicles," tentatively titled Wardragon; Maximus Mole and Jazmin Darke, young adult thrillers; A Wizard in Trouble, a fantasy novel; and Evil Intent, an adult horror novel.

SIDELIGHTS: Science-fiction writer and editor Paul Collins once commented that he began his writing career "when I was seventeen because I wanted to be someone, perhaps leave my mark upon the world. I wasn't anything special at sports, and knew that racing cars and motorbikes would probably get me killed. A typewriter saved the day."

Born in England and raised in New Zealand, Collins decided to make his mark in Australia at age eighteen. A few years after his arrival, his first published book, a Western titled Hot Lead—Cold Sweat, appeared, followed by his own venture into magazine publishing, the science fiction and fantasy periodical Void. In 1978, Collins turned Void magazine into a publisher of science-fiction books; he hired Rowena Cory and changed the company name to Cory & Collins. The company provided an outlet for several Australian science-fiction authors, including Wynne Whiteford, Jack Wodhams, A. Bertram Chandler, Russell Blackford, and David Lake. However, Collins eventually closed Cory & Collins in 1985 to concentrate on his own works for children and adults.

When asked about the inspiration for his 1999 award-winning book The Dog King, Collins replied, "Basically Australia's national newspapers were bewailing the fact that kids don't read this country's classics. I realized that Henry Lawson had written several stories featuring dogs—perhaps his best-known short fiction was called 'The Loaded Dog.' So I worked a plot around the fact that Henry Lawson comes back from the dead and tells his stories to kids who really, really want a dog. You don't find out for sure that the ghost was actually Henry Lawson. I figured that this was a good way to get kids reading the classics again—naturally I had to modernize the stories a little."

Reviewers responded favorably to Collins's efforts starring a young boy named Keiren who wishes for a dog of his own. Teased and bullied at school, Keiren strikes up a friendship with Jack Ellis, a drifter staying at his mother's boarding house. Still mourning the loss of his father, the young boy comes to love the stories that Jack tells about all kinds of dogs, tales that the reader, but not Keiren, realizes came from the pen of Henry Lawson years ago. Eventually Keiren does find a canine friend and Jack moves on to another town. With his new companion, the young boy enters his school's annual dog show with a newfound confidence and hope for the future. Reviewing The Dog King in Magpies, Russ Merrin described the book as "a warm, moving tale of the acceptance of change and loss—and the importance of family and friends." "Collins draws his characters with a deft pen," wrote a Reading Time critic, who went on call The Dog King "a good read for younger readers."

As with most of his fantasy and horror tales, Collins's science fiction has largely been geared to younger readers. One of his efforts in the genre is The Earthborn. Set in the distant future after humanity has suffered from a horrible holocaust that has destroyed civilization, the novel begins after a ship carrying a group of colonists returns to Earth. Their mission to Tau Ceti III has been a failure, but during their trip the colonists have formed a unique society that they consider far superior to the miserable remains of humanity they discover on their home world. The "Skyborn," as they now call themselves, are determined to eliminate the remaining humans and recivilize the planet. In preparation for their plans, they send young ensign Welkin Quinn to discover if the air is breathable and the land survivable. During his ventures, he discovers that the humans on Earth have many important secrets that help them survive. Quinn tries to bring this knowledge back to the unimpressed Skyborn, and in the process his perceptions of his own people are radically changed. Although Booklist critic Roland Green felt that the author attempts to "accomplish too much" in this novel, he concluded that "the enjoyment quotient remains high." A Publishers Weekly reviewer found the story somewhat conventional, but felt that "the pace moves quickly enough to keep readers focused on the action-packed plot."

Collins is also well known for the anthologies of science fiction he edits for both children and adults. Among his collections are Strange Fruit: Tales of the Unexpected, a book of horror stories, Dream Weavers, a grouping of heroic fantasy tales, and Fantastic Worlds, a gathering of science fiction and fantasy writings. Reviewing Fantastic Worlds in Magpies, Michael Gregg remarked that "the consistency of the writing makes it useful and entertaining for those who have already had a first taste of the genre." Collins has also edited several series of books with Meredith Costain. Ranging from short story collections to nonfiction works on world countries, some of the series have been published in both Australia and the United States. One prolific collection of science fiction stories, the "Spinouts Bronze" series, received the Aurealis Convenor's Award in 2001.

Adding to his work in the field of science fiction, Collins edited The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy in 1998, a reference book covering the works of Australian authors. Including both writers for children and adults, The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy focuses on work in the genre produced after 1950 and includes biographies on well-known authors. Claiming that "the coverage is extensive, the research exhaustive, and the thematic essays are fascinating," Magpies reviewer Helen Purdie described the book as "a very handy tool for readers and book buyers." Though noticing a few errors, Locus contributor Jonathan Strahan felt the work contained "an impressive and significant amount of useful information on Australian science fiction and fantasy, and the editors deserve applause for their achievement."

Discussing his working habits, Collins once said "It's always a slow start. Get up about nine, make coffee, have breakfast, read the major newspaper, collect the mail from my post office box. About eleven I collect e-mails and respond to them—about lunchtime and it's time to eat. If I'm working on a book, I try to start by about one in the afternoon, and sometimes go through until dinner, then even until late at night, depending on how the writing is going. I work seven days a week if the work is there."

Asked about what he hopes to achieve through the books he writes, Collins once said, "I'd like to think that my work encourages kids to read. I try to make them action-based, more plot driven than character driven." Of influences on his work, the author said "Meredith Costain has influenced the way I write. She's always made herself available to read my material and offer suggestions. I think any aspiring writer, and even established writers, need a sort of mentor to guide them sometimes. I read heaps of different authors and don't have a particular favorite."

Collins's advice to aspiring writers is: "Get a mentor! You'd be surprised how some established authors can be flattered to be asked. It only takes a letter in care of the publisher."

Collins once told CA: "I wasn't a reader when I was a kid. I mostly read Marvel comics, like The Hulk and Captain America. This probably explains why I write action-packed, visual books, rather than character-driven books."

"There are many things I like about writing. I have no schedule to abide to, I can work from home, I reap the benefits of my labours, there is no outlay for income (as there are in most businesses), apart from hours. My favourite book would be The Earthborn. Every major, and some not so major, publisher in Australia rejected it. The first U.S. publisher it was sent to, Tor, accepted it. I received four times the remuneration than I would have had it been published in Australia, and received a wider audience, because Tor published four times more copies than a local publisher would have. Sometimes bad news can turn into good news.

"I don't get huge amounts of fan mail, but the kids who do write to me say glowing things. One fan on a Web site said she hoped the "Jelindel Chronicles" would never end. I guess if my work encourages kids to read, then that's enough for me."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Australian SF News, May, 1999, Sue Bursztynski, review of The Dog King, p. 9.

Booklist, March 15, 2003, Roland Green, review of The Earthborn, p. 1285.

Locus, April, 1999, Jonathan Strahan, review of The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, p. 31.

Magpies, May, 1998, Michael Gregg, review of Fantastic Worlds, p. 37; September, 1998, Helen Purdie, "Of Professional Interest," review of The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, p. 20; November, 1999, Russ Merrin, review of The Dog King, p. 33.

Meanjin, April, 1995, Kerry Greenwood, "Peel Me a Grape," pp. 672-676.

Publishers Weekly, March 3, 2003, review of The Earthborn, p. 76.

Reading Time, Volume 43, number 4, review of The Dog King, p. 32.

School Library Journal, October, 2001, Ann W. Woore, review of Welcome to France, p. 137; November, 2001, Elizabeth Talbot, review of Welcome to Russia, p. 144; December, 2001, Judith Constantinides, review of Welcome to Greece, p. 120; February, 2002, Alida F. Given, review of Welcome to China, p. 118, DeAnn Tabuchi, review of Welcome to Japan, p. 118, and Augusta R. Malvagno, review of Welcome to the United States of America, p. 118.

ONLINE

Paul Collins Home Page, http://www.metropolisink.com/pcollins (July 27, 2001).

Sell Writing Online, http://www.sellwritingonline.com/ (August 26, 2005), interview with Paul Collins.

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Collins, Paul 1954-

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