A lifetime love of books and the written word convinced Barbara to choose writing as a second career. She began by writing non-fiction for magazines and achieved both regional and national publication. This success was all she needed to encourage her to complete a novel. Her first manuscript was a beneficial learning experience along with critiques, books, contests, and blogs. Barbara sees Thunderstone as only the beginning; she has two other novels in the works and has started a Thunderstone sequel. When not reading or writing, she likes to walk, garden, and sew. She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat—who often acts like a dog.
Visit her at her website.
1. What would be your dream vacation?
Sitting on a beach in the warm sun with a cooling ocean breeze, a good book, and a cold drink.
2. Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?
I queried Thunderstone for over a year with absolutely no interest from agents. Since the form rejections never gave a clue what the problem was, I rewrote the beginning at least a dozen times and the story summary more times than I care to count. I got to the point where I wasn’t sure the summary even made sense anymore. Finally I used the services of an editor recommended by my favorite writer’s blog. She pointed out the problems with the summary and read my first ten pages – which she liked. So I continued querying with new hope and also entered my book in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I made it to the quarterfinals in the contest and won a Publisher’s Weekly review of my novel. Then, a few months later, I received two requests for a full manuscript – one from an agent and one from a small publisher. The agent passed, but the publisher didn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I had to reread the line “I think this is a good fit for us”!
Scribe Publishing Company (November 12, 2013)
Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family. The guy, Ice, turns out to be the local medicine man’s apprentice, and when he tells Jeni she’s connected to the spirit world, her first instinct is to run. But after Ice’s stories of a mythical underwater monster—that Jeni allegedly released—prove true, she realizes it’s up to her to contain the beast. Jeni must first convince herself that she’s able, and then save the locals, Ice, and ultimately herself. (262pp, ISBN# 9781940368917)
Purchase at Amazon $2.99 Kindle, $11.69 Paperback (Prime Eligible) or Direct from the Publisher, Scribe $10.00 Print edition
ABOUT HEART OF ICE:
When sixteen-year-old Ice is visited by an evil spirit, his medicine man training warns him that things aren’t right in his quiet Northern Minnesota town. His suspicions prove true when he’s attacked by a Windigo—a human turned monster by a compulsive hunger for human flesh—and he soon discovers that a bad medicine charm is being used to spread the Windigo curse. The hunt is on to find the charm and the person using it before the town is overrun by cannibalistic monsters. Although the pieces of the puzzle come together to form an impossible conclusion, one which will challenge traditional belief and question numerous ritualistic items, Ice knows he must still reveal the truth. Because there are worse monsters than Windigos.
Download from the Publisher’s Website, Scribe $0.00 eBook formats only
3. What else have you written / are you currently writing (including unpublished works)?
The first novel I wrote was about Jeni, Thunderstone’s main character. I cringe now to think of the many writing rules I’m certain I violated in that manuscript, but I learned a lot. I wrote Thunderstone next which, as I mentioned, underwent many revisions during the query process. As I received rejection after rejection, I decided I should work on something besides a sequel. That’s when I wrote the novel that’s going to be published in the fall – at the time, I called it Escaping Fate. It’s about a boy who can cross to the underworld. (Check out the summary at Scribe Publishing.) Since I was still querying Thunderstone, I wrote another novel called What’s in a Name, about a society where a person’s status is dictated by their name. My most recent work is Heart of Ice (the Thunderstone prequel) and now I’m working on the sequel.
ABOUT BARBARA’S FALL RELEASE:
As a soulshifter, Jack volunteers to rescue a girl from the underworld so he can secure the future he’s always dreamed of. Although the hazards of his mission multiply and his assured fate loses its luster, he can’t back out—he must save the girl or die trying. But he soon discovers that nothing in the dark realm is black and white…and the Lord of Souls is always willing to bargain.
Note: There is currently a contest to title this book. Voting on the final options for titles ends Feb 28, and then a final title will be determined. Following this process, work on a cover will be the next step.
In the next few days (up to Feb 28, 2015) you can go here to vote on titles.
4. What five books would you take with you to a desert island?
The Stand – Stephen King
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
The Witching Hour – Anne Rice
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
5. What quote or saying is deeply meaningful to you in this season of your life? And how does it influence your writing and life?
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I was a shy kid, willing to stick my nose in a book until someone spoke to me first. At this point in my life, I want to face my fears and broaden my horizons. I know it makes me a better writer, and helps me develop the oh-so-important thick skin that every artist requires.
Gee the person with their nose in a book sounds familiar. Its what got me into reviewing lol. But that’s a whole other topic addressed elsewhere.
I look forward to the rest of this tour and be sure to check out the giveaway.