Please meet Barbara: I have written three historical romance novels titled The Prescott Series – Out of the Darkness, Forbidden Desire, and The Seduction of Janey. The fourth novel, When Love Triumphs, should be available this spring. Solstice Publishing released my first murder mystery, Murder Once Murder Twice, in late summer. Love Across Time, a time travel romance, published through Createspace, is my latest release and is doing well in the United Kingdom and the USA. I have published Phrases for the Expressive Writer for the author who is bogged down in facts and they need to spruce up their writing. All are available on amazon.com.
Linda Joyce: I know that you now write fulltime, however, before that, what type of work did you do?
Barbara: I worked for the county sheriff’s department before I retired and now work part-time for a casino. Both occupations have given me an insight into human nature, and I incorporate these varied personalities into my novels characters.
Linda Joyce: What motivates you to write?
Barbara: I am one of those with an adventurous imagination. I can go anywhere, do anything, and act anyway I want to on paper. It’s a grand adventure for a dull homebody like me.
Linda Joyce: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Barbara: “Write what you know.”
If you relate to non-fiction, write it. If you have an adventurous imagination, write about that. Whatever you write about, research, research, research. No one likes to read a book that is not factual.
Linda Joyce: What is your writing process?
Barbara: I write mostly in the morning when I’m fresh and the day hasn’t cluttered my mind with my life. I write at my desktop computer, but also have a laptop that travels with me. I also like to use a tape recorder when driving down the road to record my thoughts or laying in bed at night when ideas have the habit of popping into my mind. If I don’t put them in some form, writing, or recording, I have the habit of forgetting them and they’re some of my best work.
Linda Joyce: How long does it take you to write a novel?
Barbara: It’s all according to how much I am into the novel. I had the prologue to Murder Once Murder Twice for two years before I wrote the novel, and that took me another two years to write. Love Across Time took me about three months. I wrote, Out of the Darkness and Forbidden Desire, simultaneously in five months.
Linda Joyce: How many edits do you go through? How do you work them?
Barbara: I edit my novels several times. I write all my scenes first, then go back and put in phrases and tags and edit as I go, last I insert the emotion and edit some more. After these three steps, I edit, my daughter edits, my husband edits, and then the three of us start over again to make sure I corrected all my errors.
Linda Joyce: Do you think critique groups are helpful? If so, how?
Barbara: Critique groups are wonderful. Sometimes we become bogged down with our own thoughts and we repeat things and never notice them. A group can point out these discrepancies and we begin to watch for these little bad habits we form. Mine was that I sometimes put the reaction before the action.
Linda Joyce: What advice do you have for other writers?
Barbara: Put all that you are into your writing. Laugh, cry, get mad, be happy, be confident, be confused, be afraid, but most of all always make someone glad that they read your novel because they have experienced the gauntlet of emotions with you.
Linda Joyce: How do you come up with your characters’ names?
Barbara: The phone book. Sometimes I like a first or last name for my character but can’t think of a name to go with it. Perhaps I’ll have a first name and the first letter of the last name. I thumb through that letter in the phone book and usually a last name presents itself. I also reverse the process and come up with a first name.
Linda Joyce: What sorts of things influence your writing?
Barbara: My mood is my greatest influence. Sometimes I just put words on paper and at other times, I am right there with my character, doing what they do, feeling what they feel. Those are the times I am truly living my adventure.
Linda Joyce: What do you want readers to know about you?
Barbara: How greatly I appreciate their support. Each day I receive an email from someone telling me how much they have enjoyed reading one of my books and wonder when the next one will be out. These emails motivate me and encourage me to write each and every day.
I hope that you have enjoyed meeting the author from Oklahoma. She is passionate about her writing. I can also tell you, this woman is fun a party, and she can dance!