Author Interview – Barbara Barrett

30 Aug


I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to my friend Barbara. We both belonged to the same local RWA chapter several years ago. She now lives in Florida but happened to come back to Iowa to spend her summer. We had lunch and a chance to catch up and she told me about her first sale. I truly find the writing process interesting. I hope you enjoy this interview and maybe pick up something that will help with your writing process.

VirginiaWhere are you from?

Barbara – I was born in Burlington, Iowa, which just happens to be the setting of my debut novel, ‘The Sleepover Clause.’ After graduating from the University of Iowa, I moved to the Des Moines, Iowa area, where I’ve lived ever since. Three and a half years ago, I became a resident of Florida and now live there half the year (guess which half) just outside the Disney Parks in the shadow of the Mouse.

VirginiaHow long have you been writing?

Barbara – Much too long to admit, considering this is my debut novel. I guess I’m the new poster girl for “persistence pays off.”

VirginiaWhat do you write?

Barbara – I write contemporary romance fiction right now. My goal is to expand my writing efforts to include cozy mysteries and maybe even tackle a screenplay. I stay in touch with both through my membership in the RWA Kiss of Death and Scriptscene chapters. (I’m also a member of the Spacecoast Authors of Romance chapter.)

VirginiaTell us a little about your publisher and agent.

Barbara – Crimson Romance, an imprint of F+W Media, Adams Media, is a new epublisher focused on romance fiction. The first releases came out in early June, with several more added each Monday. They provide five categories: Contemporary Romance (my area), Historical Romance, Romantic Suspence, Paranormal Romance, and Spicy Romance. Their website can be found at

I don’t have an agent.

VirginiaI know that last time we talked you’d sold your first book. A little bird told me you might have some more news?

Barbara – I wish I could tell you, but since it’s not a done deal, I’ll have to get back to you on that.

VirginiaDo you outline?

Barbara – Sort of. Whoever invented the Table function on Word made writing so much easier for me to lay out my plot line and get a sense of sequencing. I start out with each entry being just the main purpose of the chapter and/or what I want to take place in that chapter. Although I still tend to overwrite the first draft, that method helps eliminate scenes that don’t progress the story. Later, I add columns for the POV character, scenes, time, time elapsed from the beginning. Eventually, I add page numbers.

VirginiaAbout how long does it take to finish a book?

Barbara – Much too long! Easily two years thus far. Now that I’m being published, I will need to step up the pace.

VirginiaWhat is your writing day like?

Barbara – I tend to write best from mid-morning to late afternoon and during the early evening. I try to write sequentially as much as possible for continuity’s sake, but that doesn’t preclude me from jumping around, especially when I’m doing revisions. I learned from this first publishing experience that in the future I have to do a much better job keeping notes as I go along for later reference. As I can work it in, I want to learn how to use either Scrivener or OneNote to do that.

VirginiaCan you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?

Barbara – I wish I could recall whose note I saw on which loop that spread the word about the new epub, Crimson Romance, that was seeking submissions so that I could give them credit, but that information escapes me now. I went to the Adams Media website and read the Call for Submissions there.

Virginia When will your book come out?

Barbara – Monday, September 3

VirginiaWhat are you working on next?

Barbara – I’m currently working on the second book of a trilogy about a residential development here in Iowa. The H/H in the first book are two architects who have been assigned to come up with the design plan. This second book is about the developer and the general contractor. The final will involve the marketing and interior design end.

VirginiaDo you have some words of wisdom for the rest of us?

Barbara – Nothing very original – be persistent and believe in yourself. Keep writing and improving your craft. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. Write about what appeals to you most; writing about what you know also helps, but you can always research that part.


Thanks Barbara, hope you have a great book launch. Now everyone let’s go check it out.



Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Author Interviews


Tags: , , , , ,

12 responses to “Author Interview – Barbara Barrett

  1. Brenda Sparks

    August 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Great interview, Barbara! I can’t wait to get my copy on Monday. Best of luck with your debut!! 🙂


    • Barbara Barrett

      August 31, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Brenda. You have been so supportive.


  2. Lark Howard

    August 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Good luck with your book, Barbara!


  3. Sarah Andre

    August 31, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Great Interview! Can hardly wait for Monday- what a fabulous launch date: “Labor” Day (since you’ve worked so hard for this) and a holiday where most ppl will have a chance to curl up and read it. Best of luck in sales! So excited for you, Barb.


    • Barbara Barrett

      August 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks, Sarah. I appreciate the comment. Since our kids have grown and have families of their own, Labor Day around here usually involves some kind of repair/renovation on the house. This year, we’ll be spending a little time in the garage cleaning it out. (Thank goodness the temps are going down.) But I hope everyone who downloads a copy of the book and has a little time Monday starts the book. It’s a great light read.


  4. Barbara

    August 31, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Thanks so much, Virginia, for sharing my story. I appreciate the support. It has been such an interesting ride for me this past summer, as I’ve experienced the publishing process firsthand.


    • virginiagruver

      August 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you for allowing me to help out. I am looking forward to reading your story. Do keep in touch, I really enjoyed seeing you again.


  5. Karla Darcy

    August 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I love reading about persistance getting the job done. So many of us have worked silently for years and then eventually the magic happens. May it continue for long years. 🙂


    • Barbara Barrett

      August 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      I’m glad you concur about the persistence thing, Karla. The “magic” is definitely happening, although the more I get into the publishing part, the more I also realize that the real magic for me is creating the story on my laptop. Thanks for the good wishes.


  6. Carol Jones

    August 31, 2012 at 8:19 am

    A very nice interview.
    Barb certainly has been persistant. I have known her since moving to Florida and all I ever heard was that Barb was a writer.
    Well Barb, you made it.
    Everyone is very proud of you.


    • Barbara Barrett

      August 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Carol, Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. That means so much to me to know my friends are there supporting me.



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