This post has been updated! The original was for a contest that is long gone, but I thought you might enjoy the questions and answers. Original post date was Independence Day of 2010!!!
Sharon B- Do you enjoy reading your books?
Is it full of myself to say yes? What I don’t enjoy is seeing what I should have rephrased, thinking of a funny line too late, and things like that.
Sharon B- Would you enjoy doing a book tour?
Let’s see… new places… new friends… hotel rooms… oh yeah! No wait, I actually have to talk to people I don’t know? Maybe not… (Turns out, I love it!!!)
Sharon B- Do you prefer a certain type of pen for autographs?
I like purple. It speaks to me. I really want a lovely fountain pen with dark green ink. I want it as dark green as I can get without it looking black. (I have the fountain pen… so now I need to find that ink. I need to go over and talk to April at the Picayune Pen. She’s my go-to expert on fountain pens and ink.)
Sharon B- What are some story ideas you have running around in your mind?
Well, there is the “Er” series. It’s a series of five to seven books about people in a world that doesn’t really exist. Each book centers on a person who makes a big impact in their world in whatever way. The first one is “The Keeper,” and he’s actually a bit of a historian/storyteller. There’ll be the Protector, the Dreamer, the Teacher, and similar ideas. I also have been thinking about the series I started with Prairie. Have lots of ideas for that one. Then, there’s the one about the woman stuck in a coma for weeks/months and learns all kinds of things about her family while they talk to her. (I SO want to write that coma one.)
Sharon B- What authors do you enjoy? Do they inspire you in your writing?
You know, the funny thing is, I don’t know how inspired I am by any particular author or not. I do enjoy Mindy Starns Clark, Miss Dee Henderson, LOVED the old Michael Phillips but he’s changed. I quit reading him in the second southern book. Sadness. I like Stephen Bly, and Gayle Roper. I also like John Flanagan and Gerald Morris. Being the odd gal I am, I like Ayn Rand (have to skip trashy parts) and quite a few classics.
Sharon B- What is one thing you could NEVER write about?
Smut. I can’t write about a kiss without wincing. Smut doesn’t work for me. I also couldn’t do horror. I can do suspense, but not horror.
Sharon B- What is one thing you would love to write about but don’t feel you could?
Historical fiction is not likely to be my forte. I’d love to try true sci-fi just because my kids like it, but I am not a sci fi gal myself.
Anita M- Which character is most like you?
Probably Dean. I just realized that I have a lot of Alexa’s inner personality in me though.
Anita M- Do you ever have characters that do not turn out like you thought they would when you first started writing about them? Do you change it to make them who you want them to be or just go with it?
Often. Very often. Usually, I go with the flow. If they wanna be twits, that’s their problem. I often feel like a ghost writer of memoirs… (This doesn’t happen as often anymore. I learned how to control my children!)
Anita M- Which character do you WISH you were most like?
Probably Libby… or maybe Lloyd. I love Lloyd. Wait. Hope. Yeah. Maybe Hope.
Anita M- Which character do you admire the most in your books?
Dani/Ella. What she went through and how she handled it was amazing. I often read that book and wonder how I ever wrote about someone so cool!
Anita M- Will you have more books with Grace and Nolan?
Anita M- What about Lane and Matt, what are they up to these days?
They’re getting a sequel. I’ve got the first chapter or so finished.
Anita M- Do the characters in your different books ever “collide” in your mind? Tell me what a meeting between Lane and Aggie would be like.
Well, they ARE at the same wedding in Past Forward… My books are so intertwined that it is scary sometimes.
Anita M- Have you met new friends either online or in real life due to them reading your books? Is it fun to have “fans” or is it more creepy?
Well, one of Kevin’s former secretaries was given two of my books for Christmas. She found me on Facebook and we became internet friends. I’m hoping to get to know her better since she’s here in town. I also became better friends with one of the WS gals after she read my books… as I feel I have with you! And, as a result of these questions, a family member of one of the actors I mentioned for Aggie in the “dream cast” question contacted me wanting to know how I knew of the actor’s work and expressing an interest in reading the book. I sent one with my appreciation. The woman took the time to write me, and I thought that was very cool! So, a book is zipping across the miles, and while I know Aggie would never be made into a movie, I thought the gesture was a very gracious and thoughtful one. I like my fans. They’re a small, select group of awesome women and how could that possibly be creepy! 😉 (And wow… now I’ve gone from a couple hundred fans to thousands in six short years! WHOA!)
Sharon B- What do you do to overcome writer’s block?
What’s that? Oh, as in what do I do to overcome the small block of time I have to write? I pay my kids to do my work so I can write more! No seriously, so far, writer’s block has not been a problem. I have the reverse problem. Maybe in 10 years… nah!
Barbara H (Jonah)- are there any new characters in Cloaked in Secrets?
Yes! Wait until you meet the Maete!
Barbara H (Jonah)- Is the dragon in this new one (Cloaked in Secrets)?
Yes… the papa dragon anyway.
Barbara H (Jonah)- Do you know what Jonah looks like?
Well, I know what Jonah H looks like. The Biblical one is probably dust by now…
Barbara H (Ben)- Will there be any monkeys in the story?
I”m afraid not. They don’t like the snow…
Barbara H- Don’t you hate all my naggy writing questions?
Not really, no.
Barbara H (Jonah)- Is the midwife still in the story (Coaked in Secrets)?
Yes. You get to see a little more of her this time.
Barbara H (Ben)- Is there going to be anything scary in Cloaked in Secrets?
I think that a few parts might be a little scary for some people.
Barbara H- That editing info just made me cry.
Barbara H (Jonah)- Are there any more assassins?
Sharon B (Rebekah B.)- How long does it take to write a book?
It depends on the book. I mean, some have been written in a month, others in several months, and like Aggie, she’s not complete and I started her back in 2002. I’d say the average is about 3-4 months.
Sharon B (Mary B)- What is your favorite part of writing?
New characters. I love meeting new characters.
Sharon B- If you were no longer able to use a computer, would you give up writing or grab the pad of paper?
I’d probably grab a mini recorder and talk to myself all day, send it to someone to be transcribed, and then finish from that. (I learned that I couldn’t do this. I can plot this way, but not write.)
Sharon B- Pen or pencil?
Pen, but if I was going to write entire books by hand, pencil.
Sharon B- Does having books published freak you out?
Sharon B- What color is you laptop?
Black, but the part around the keyboard is silver. I want to find one of those cool skins you can buy for them and get a purple one. (I’d love an aqua one now… I was heading toward purple, but in 2016, I’ve been about aqua for 2 years now!)
Barb H- what would you advise those who love writing as a hobby?
Write. Even if you think it stinks, even if you don’t know what you’re doing, and even if you aren’t ready to share it with anyone yet.
Barb H-would you consider adding the phrase “aluminum siding” in your next book?
Done. I’ll stick it in Aggie 2 today. (And I did. But I pulled out the aluminum part I think)
Barb H-when are you coming to Denver for a book signing and coffee with me?
Tomorrow good for you? (Hmmm… 6 years later, and I STILL haven’t done that!)
Barbara H- do you pray over your storylines?
I have when I wasn’t sure if what I wanted to do was a good choice. I pray a LOT over “Captured.” That is such a hard one to write, that I take a LONG time to write it. (And six years later, it STILL isn’t done!)
Barbara H- do they (your stories) just come naturally?
Actually, for the most part, they do.
Barbara H- what do you do when you get stuck?
Well, I don’t really get stuck, but if I am not enjoying a particular section, I usually work on another one for a bit to fortify me.
Wow! That was fun to read and see what has changed, what hasn’t, and so forth. I’m amazed at how many titles changed and what I didn’t write that I was so sure would be “next.” Some of the books referenced are still in that original format!