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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Spotlight on Barbara Warren

It's that time again. :) This week, I'm talking with freelance editor and author, Barbara Warren, with her first book coming out in a few weeks. She's excited to be able to take it to the annual ACFW conference and have it available in the bookstore. Congratulations, Barbara. That's a fantastic achievement.

For those who comment on this spotlight interview, the winner of the free book will receive it as soon as possible. Barbara will mail it out once she receives her copies, so you might have to wait an extra week or two. However, don't let that stop you from commenting for a chance to win a FREE autographed book by Barbara.

And now, let's get on with the spotlight:

1. How much of your own experiences influenced the character of Stephanie? What aspects of Stephanie became traits that were hers and hers alone?

Well, I grew up in the area where The Gathering Storm is set, so I'm familiar with the locale. I don't know that my experiences influenced Stephanie, but I believe we put a little of ourselves into each of our characters, even the bad ones. because everything we write is drawn from who we are and what we've experienced.

Stephanie had to deal with difficult problems. Her father deserted her when she was small, then just when it seemed they might build a relationship he was killed and everyone thinks she is the murderer. She's surrounded by strangers, one of whom is her enemy. Stephanie is running from God and the man she's attracted to is an ex-con, disbarred lawyer, who is now a born again Christian. Nothing she wants in her life. Learning how to handle these difficulties on her own, brings out strengths she never realized she had. Also Stephanie grew up more or less protecting her mother and resenting her father, so she's a skeptic, finding it hard to trust, inclined to back off when relationships gets serious. Like all of us, Stephanie is the result of what she has lived through.

2. What themes exist in in The Gathering Storm that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I suppose the main theme is that even though friends and family members let us down, we have a heavenly Father who is always there. He never forsakes us. As the story developed, and as Stephanie began to fall in love with Brad, another theme evolved. That love doesn't always last, but it's worth taking a chance for. Sometimes you just have to trust.

3. What was your most difficult part to write? Your favorite?

After the body was found in the cistern, it was hard to get Loralee's grief right without giving away the story. As for my favorite part, I enjoyed the give and take between Stephanie and Brad.

4. Describe your writing space and schedule. How many words per day do you write? Do you have a minimum goal you hope to reach before you push away your keyboard?

My writing space? Are you sure you really want to know? I live on my husband's family farm. We bought it when his father died and his mother moved to town. I converted her chicken house into an office. It is covered with tin roofiing outside, sheet rocked and painted inside. One wall is filled with research books. papers to be filed are stacked on an old kitchen table, the kind with deep rounded bins for drawers. My computer sits on an old oak desk I bought years ago, and my chair is a comfortable Queen Anne reject from the house. My keyboard rests on my lap.
I have an office cat, Rosicat, who was dumped at the church when she was a kitten. What can I say? It's not pretty, but it's mine. And if I doze over my computer, at least I'm comfortable.

As for my writing schedule. I'm also a freelance editor, and I read books to be reviewed in my monthly on-line newsletter, so it all has to be worked in. Most days I'm at my computer at 8:00 a.m. and work for a couple of hours. then I'm back in the office from 1:30 until 7:00 and after dinner, I work at the kitchen table until 10:30, but that's not all spent in writing. I work the writing in around the editing. Because I'm a strong believer in using an outline, when I sit down to write, I know where I'm going and how to get there. On a good day I can write between 2,000 to 5,000 words. Then I get to rewrite, which is my favorite part. However, there are some days when I'm so busy with editing I don't get to write at all.

I guess it sounds boring, but I love writing, reading, and editing, so I like it.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I don't have one scheduled yet. I'm working on one now that I love. It's about five women in their sixties. They act like me, they talk like me, and they plan to start a new career solving murders, just as soon as they find one. They run their church, practically run the town, and squabble among themselves, but if you cross one of them, you have to take on all five. They're sarcastically known in as the Sanctified Sisters. Like me, their creator, the Sisters are a real class act. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

* * * * *
Sounds great, Barbara. Thanks for being in the spotlight.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great interview! The Gathering Storm sounds very intriguing. And wow! I wish I had the discipline to write 2000 - 5000 words a day. *sigh* Oh well, I read at least that a day. :-)

Blessings to you, Barbara!

Jennifer Y. said...

Once again, great interview!

Anonymous said...

thanks Shauna and Jennifer. And thanks to Tiff for interviewing me. Well, I write fast, Shauna, and with an outline I know where I'm going. I couldn't do nearly that much if i didn't have an idea what to write about. I used to write seat of the pants, but I'm one of those control freaks, so an outline works better for me.
So you read a lot. That's good. So do I. there's a book in the kitchen, one in the fireplace room, one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. And usually one in my purse in case i get stuck someplace and need something to read.
Life would be so boring without books. thanks to both of you for reading my interview, and if you get to ACFW, look me up and we'll have a chat.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Cheri, i'm glad you think The Gathering Storm sounds good. I think it is, but then I'm biased. :-)
I like reading about authors too. We all have so much in common. The bond of writing and reading seems to tie us together.
Thanks for reading my interview.
God bless