Hello Barbara. Thanks for dropping by for a second day of chat and probing questionsJ.
I’d like to start the day off with a question about reviews. Book reviewing is big business these days; do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Sometimes the input is very helpful. It’s good to see where you went right and it’s good to see if there’s anything more than one person is missing. I love hearing from readers and getting to know them a little and having them get to know me. Facebook is good for that.
Do you hear that readers? If you’d like to get in touch with Barbara over Facebook then CLICK HERE J
Can I ask what was the strangest event or thought which prompted you to write a story?
I suppose the murder of my friend. That led to the Bad Apple series.
Goodness that must have been very difficult for you.
Can I ask you a little about your free time? We know authors like to read, as well as write. Barbara, can you share with us what book you are currently reading?
I like things that have nothing to do with what I’m working on so I’m reading the biography of a photographer. Sometimes I read mysteries. I love cookbooks.
Ah, food. Great stuff J
When you’re in writing mode, can you tell us, which comes first; characters or plot?
I don’t plot. I think it’s more like I have something I want to say and then everything begins to fit. I’m not a planner.
Too much thinking spoils the experience of writing for me, the exhilaration and surprise evaporate.
Do you always know the final outcome of your story before you finish writing it?
In general, yes. I know where I’m going, but that doesn’t mean I know how I’m going to get there.
Barbara, do you think you may try and write in another genre and if so, what would it be?
I write in too many genres for traditional publishing already!
I’ve done juvenile literature, YA, adult fiction, cookbooks and a book on knitting. Now that I’m independent, I’ve done photographic essays, a mystery, novellas and short stories.
I very much like romantic comedies like Nothing Serious, Not Low Maintenance and Unspeakably Desirable so I suspect those or Mature YA where I deal with life issues will be my nest for quite a while.
Well Barbara,I enjoyed reading Nothing Serious and can certainly imagine that you had great fun writing it J Thank you so much for the interview. It’s been good fun.
See below for an excerpt from Nothing Serious.
By the end of the day, Paige was shivering. There was a thermostat on the wall of the store for the baseboard heat but it seemed to spin freely without turning anything on. As she stepped out onto the street and locked the door, the cold rain was pelting down. A crisp salad out of the refrigerator didn’t seem very appealing but eating at the café wasn’t either. All she could hope was that there was heat in the cottage.
“Calling it quits for the day?” Jonathan asked as he closed his door.
The hood to the rain slicker hung over her face. “You said that if I needed anything, I should ask.”
“Do you have a bath tub?”
“I haven’t had a bath since I’ve been here.”
“Is that the kind of announcement you want to make?”
“I will be forever indebted to you if I could have the use of that tub for about thirty minutes.”
He nodded. “I think you’re already running up quite a tab, Ms. Elliot.”
“I’ll scrub it afterwards.”
“That won’t be necessary.”
“So the answer’s yes?”
“Yes. Follow me back to my place.”
“I won’t get underfoot. You won’t even know I’m there.”
“Are you serious? There is no one less likely to be invisible than you.” He climbed into his pickup truck.
Paige hurried to her car, started the engine and pulled out onto the street behind him.
It was about a ten-minute drive in the opposite direction from her cottage and it seemed like a better neighborhood, older, larger houses set back from the road instead of small summer bungalows that surrounded the lake and dotted the woods to the east of town. Jonathan turned down a driveway running between two fieldstone pillars and soon a sizable white turn of the century house appeared in front of her. There was a wraparound porch and several towering maples providing shade now dripping rain. A circular driveway brought them to the front door where he parked and she stopped the car behind the pickup truck.
She got out. “Is this your house?”
“No, I just thought I’d bring you to the first empty place that looked like it had running water. Yes, it’s my house, why?”
“It doesn’t look like you.”
“No. I have a nose.”
“Jonathan. It’s a lot of house for one person. You are one person, aren’t you?” He said he didn’t have a girlfriend but maybe he had a boyfriend. Or a housemate.
“Last time I looked I was only one person without dissociative personality disorder.” He walked to the porch door.
She trailed after him, trying to see the yard through the rain and low light.
Opening the door, he waited for her and when she entered, Jonathan switched on the light. They were in a library or a den, some informal gathering room wood paneled with built in bookcases and a Stubbs-like painting over the fireplace.
“It was my great-grandfather’s house. You probably know Kanah Springs was a boomtown a hundred years ago. People vacationed here in the summer.”
“To drink the dreadful water.”
“No accounting for how tastes change.”
“How is your water here? I can hardly take a shower at my place it’s so wretched. Same?”
“My water comes from a spring. That swamp gas they talk about in town only plagues wells. I think there’s a pipe in the hill just past the lake, if get your drinking water there, it should be fine.”
“Is that what everyone is doing parked there? I couldn’t figure it out. Where I’m from water comes out of the tap not the hillside.”
He took her raincoat and hung it up. “Come on.” She followed him through the house, the kitchen and up the backstairs to the second floor and into a large white tiled bathroom with a huge claw foot bathtub.
Paige couldn’t take all the period details in. It was like stepping back in time everything was so perfectly old complete with a wooden water tank on the wall over the toilet. “The last time I saw anything like this was in Newport, Rhode Island. It’s like a museum.”
“I know they called those mansions cottages. This is just a camp.”
“It’s pretty grand for a camp.” Camps had tents and sleeping bags, and tarps over the holes in the walls of cabins where windows should be. Paige had been to a summer camp once for a month and it was too much like roughing it for her--lumpy mattresses, no place to get warm or dry and mosquitoes the size of buzzards.
“It’s had work over the years.” He pointed to a linen closet. “Towels. Soap. Faucets, twist the handle, water comes out. I’ll be downstairs if you need anything.”