About Barbara Brooke:
Barbara Brooke writes from the comfort of her home in sunny Florida. Although she’s frequently distracted by her supportive husband, two adorable children, gorgeous greyhounds, scruffy mutt, and egg-dropping chickens, she’s still eager to create new worlds and interesting characters for her next book.
Awards won for Glimmers:
eLit Book Awards (Illuminating Digital Publishing Excellence)2012 ~ First place in Romance
Kindle Book Review Best Indie Author 2012 ~ Semifinalist in Romance
New York Book Festival 2012 ~ Runner-up in Romance
What inspires you to write?
As a child, I would dive into fantasy stories such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit and so many others. As an adult, I still feel the thrill and enchantment of such stories. C.S. Lewis once said, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” My love for adventure inspired me to create my own fairy tale where an average kid could encounter supernatural creatures, magical trinkets, and enchanted foods. I considered how to tie together multiple books and multiple adventures. That was when the idea came to me, and I needed to create a world where all of the great myths existed in one place — a place where my characters would be able to visit and have many breathtaking adventures.
Tell us about your writing process.
My stories continue through a span of multiple books, and I like having an overall idea of where the series will take my characters. I outline both the book series and each individual book. On the contrary, I also allow my characters to alter the story as we travel through each chapter. Many surprises pop up as I write, and that’s one of the most magical aspects to developing a story. It’s important to place my characters in a historically accurate environment, so I research everything from architecture, appropriate clothing, native food, and furniture to gods, goddesses, and magical creatures. I enjoy bringing mythological characters to life with as much historical accuracy as possible, and then offer a little twist. For example, I had learned that flibbertigibbets — from medieval legends — were known as tempters in the form of winged serpents who enjoyed whispering into one’s ear. I imagined that perhaps one would appear as an adorable, kittenlike creature that could lure Evan away from his friends, and then change into a hideous, evil creature.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
a) Go back to the basics and learn how to write: commas, redundancies, proper use of speech tags, active versus passive sentence structure, conflict, showing versus telling, character point of view, plotting, story arc, pace, and the list goes on. The most important aspect in a book’s creation is to write it well.
b) Start sharing your work with others, and get used to hearing the good folded in with the bad. Wattpad is a fun site to post writing excerpts and network with other writers as well as readers.
c) Read books in different genres. Sure, you’ll get lost in the story, but also pay attention to the smaller details such as word choices and cadence. When you start writing, you’ll most likely model your work after an author before developing your own style.
d) Read blogs by authors you respect, and learn about the business.
e) Believe in yourself, and don’t pay attention to anybody who doesn’t share in your enthusiasm.
f) And one of the most important pieces of advice I could offer is to not give up. It takes time to put together a good book, and it could take years before it’s published.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After spending countless hours reading about publishing options, I decided to become a hybrid author. This means that I published my books with the help of editors, cover-design artists, book formatters, and a blog-tour promotional guru. This option might not work for everyone, but it has worked for me. The trouble is staying on top of everything and remaining organized. That being said, I’m also open to the idea of publishing some of my books with a traditional publisher. The only fallback with that path is that I would lose much control over the development of my books, and I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to anything that’s important to me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I expect to see more authors take the hybrid author approach to publishing.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance and Middle-Grade Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print