I am so pleased to have Barbara on my blog today. She has graciously agreed to pop in occasionally and answer any questions not already answered in her interview. Be sure to give her a warm welcome and leave a comment so you can be entered in the drawing to win her latest release, Deadly Homecoming. Welcome Barbara!
A little bit about Barbara:
After she retired early from the military, Barbara decided to turn her creativity toward writing. Romance was a natural choice for her, because she likes happy endings, but she was actually scared that inspirational romance would be too hard and confining. That changed when she put pen to paper. Everything came together easily, and wasn’t the least bit confining. She thanks God for that. Now she writes for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line of books, with Desperate Rescue out in September 07, and Keeping Her Safe in June 08 and Deadly Homecoming in December 08.Barbara spends some days volunteering at her children's school, some days writing, and every day feeding a muse that seems to be working all the time. She and her retired husband live in rural New Brunswick, Canada, and when they aren’t volunteering, they enjoy a little camping, and traveling and hanging out with family and friends.
Plug time! Please tell us a little about your latest release and why readers should run out and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves.
Deadly Homecoming is the story we all need to read. We’ve all done things we regret and in this story, my heroine must learn to face her past and accept it. Another interesting fact about this story is that the back cover blurb reflects the original story idea and not the story that was finally published. Everyone should read it to find out what the differences are!
How many full manuscripts did you write before you sold? Or if you’re pre-pubbed, how many have you written to date?
Too many really bad ones. Ones that had ‘cliched’ scrawled along the top when I got them back! Ahh, live and learn.
In your opinion, what’s the most fascinating thing about writing?
It’s exciting for me to just sit and let the (sometimes bad) words flow. It’s great when odd things that have popped into your work become important foreshadowing later on in the novel.
What’s something you can tell us about yourself that most people don’t know?
You mean a skeleton? Well, without disclosing those, I think that most people don’t know that I am really afraid of promotion and going to conferences. It’s a vicious circle, actually. I won’t go because I’m scared, and because I don’t go, I can’t conquer that fear.
When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out?
I started to write for publication shortly after I retired from the military, because I wanted to make a little money. (Little being the word here) But I knew absolutely nothing about writing, except how to string words into a sentence. People have always supported me. I can’t remember anyone criticizing my choice of genre.
What is your favorite food?
Shepherd’s Pie with either custard tart or cheesecake for dessert. It’s hard for me to resist those foods.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have two teens, a girl aged 18 and a boy aged 16. We live in a very rural area of New Brunswick, Canada, on land that was my husband’s grandfather’s. All my in laws live close by, so we see each other frequently.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tough choice! I enjoy Linda Hall’s books and Rick Warren’s, too. It’s not so much about favourite authors, but favourite settings, plots and suspense. Give me a good book set in South America, or a plot like ‘on the run’, with lots of suspense, and I know I’ll enjoy it.
What are you reading now and what’s in your “to be read” pile?
I’ve just finished off The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges. I hope to delve back inot my LIS books now, especially those with exotic settings.
Do you set out to write each story with a particular theme or does the theme develop as the story does?
I set out writing a story with a particular setting and conflict in mind, then very shortly after, I have a theme, mostly because I need to know my ending before I finish. That’s because editors want to know it too. That must really irk ‘pantser’ writers, but I’m not one of them.
Do you have a particular method for tracking the details in your story? Can you tell us a little about this?
I have a couple of methods. First up, I will, if possible, fill out the art facts sheets on my characters. But I’ve started using index cards because I need a detailed synopsis anyway for submitting proposals. Index cards are handy and can be stuck up on the walls of my office. They’re handy for lists and scene blurbs.
Who has had the most influence on your life in general? In your writing life?
The Lord. He has helped me tremendously. Next in line is my family. They put things in perspective and keep me writing. Probably as an escape!
Do you have an agent? If yes, did you have the agent before you sold your first book or after? If you are yet to be published, you can skip the second part of the question.
No. I always tell people that I couldn’t even buy an agent!
What advice do you have for a beginning author?
Keep writing. Keep submitting. Don’t be put off by rejection. Deepen your emotional conflict by reading things like the Bible and self help books. They show themes and character depth if you study them. You don’t have to just have ‘purple prose’ or lots of fancy words to be published. Just tell a gripping story.
Any parting comments?
To the unpublished authors – never give up! Write those bad stories and learn form them. Try not to be slighted by rejections. They hurt, but move on.
To the readers – take the time to read and savour the books you enjoy. Share them and promote reading. It’s a way to stimulate our aging brains and relax our tired bodies. Tell the author how you feel about her books, but more importantly, tell the editor! They need to feel the pulse of readers in order to keep giving you what you want in great reads.
Thank you so much for being here, Barbara! It was a pleasure getting to you a little bit better.
All righty everyone, leave those comments so you can be entered in the drawing to win Deadly Homecoming.
You can find Barbara at www.barbaraphinney.com