About Barbara St. Raine:
Barbara St Raine is a long time reader of all romantic fiction. Her love of reading has led to making her own stories come to life. Meeting these characters has taken her places she never dreamed she would go. She and her husband, Lorenzo, both love to travel and that spirit also finds its way into her fiction. One of her favorite things is all the wonderful ideas her grumpy, fourteen-year-old beagle, Spencer, shares with her while she writes but she won’t say which ideas are actually hers. She is a native of California who loves stormy, windy weather as long as there’s a roaring fire in the hearth, her husband and pup by her side, and a great old movie on the tube.
What inspires you to write?
Short answer- the mortgage payment. No, just kidding (well, kind of kidding.)
To be honest, I don’t know how anyone could be a writer without loving to read. Frankly I think it would be a nightmare. Seriously- writing is hard work.
My love of reading inspires me. When I finish a book that touches me (for me this happens often) or see a movie and fall in love with the story characters or story world it always gives me this rush of passion that seems to have no other way to be fulfilled other than to try my hand at writing a character arch, story plot or building a story world for my characters to come to life in.
Tell us about your writing process.
I go to the 99 cent store and get a large pad used for paining (finger painting) they inexpensive and offer ample room( 12 inches by 20 inches more or less). I draw a line down the middle of the page from top to bottom center and then another line from bottom left to top right. I’ve seen many writers who write their scene ideas right on this page. That would never work for me. I need the fluidity and flexibility to change and rearrange my scenes, characters and other ideas as I go along so I like to use 3×5 sticky notes for mapping out my ideas and will go through the whole book scene by scene. Then I put them on the page so I cAN See them as I write.
I am a very visual person and find pictures of my characters as I write the story arch for each of them.
I’ve been writing for years but it has been on /off due to personal issues that could not be ignored. It makes finding a process that is fast, efficient and still great for allowing creativity difficult at best. I Just recently started working on a process that divides writing into blocks of 25 minutes. And I believe this will work quite well for me in the future.
Of course the premise or story idea always comes first.
Next for me is a detailed plot and I just started incorporating character ach and plot at the same time.
I do not know how anyone could even think about writing without a detailed plot- if not written down at least in your heads.
How would you know what to write or when to write it.
After that it’s time to research.
Then comes building the story world; what does the universe these story characters live in consist of/ what are the rules in the universe and how will these rules affect your story or character?
Go back and make adjustments to your plot or characters as needed.
Now, hopefully, you’re ready to start writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Characters can prove illusive at the beginning of a story but if you listen to the story premise and plot it will inform you about the people who populate the story world. One very important way to handle getting to know characters is to ask questions. In a way it is much like a first date. Some characters tell you all there is to know about themselves right up front. Other characters are quite shy and it takes time to get to know who they are. I find it important to write down everything that comes to mind about the character even though many things will never make there way into the actual story as an author you must know the character well and to know them that well you’ll need to write down everything the character tells you about themselves. Don’t be impatient. Take it slowly and if all else fails ask yourself what would this character do if …
By asking yourself what a certain character would do in a particular situation you give that character a chance to give you more answers about who s/he is and how they feel about the world. It’s a lot of work, yes. But all this work pays dividends when you start writing.
What advice would you give other writers?
Sometimes as a writer I get so mired in all the work and especially as a self published author- if something needs to be done you are the only one there to do it- I tend to forget one very important, no crucial rule. do not stop reading. Not only does reading the books of authors you love give you pleasure but it also gives much needed inspiration. something writers seem to need daily doses of. It’s almost like following a blueprint to success. So, if you’re a writer take the time to do the one thing that lead you into this profession- Read, Read, Read. And when you’re done with that Read some more.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I choose to self publish. I feel that writers learn and grow more as they write new and different books. I didn’t want to face the challenge of multiple rejection that is part of a large publishing house contract. So, for me at least, Self publishing gave me the path to get over the scariest part first; facing the reader reviews and getting my work out there. It’s not easy putting your work out into the world but it is worth over-coming all the fear in order to grow as a writer.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe that people will always love to read stories. The format we choose to do so may change but readers will always want more and different stories. Which is why I love to write. There is nothing more exciting than opening a new book to the first page and sinking into the new world and the people within that world to see how they handle the challenges set before them.
What do you use?: Dictated and got transcribed, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Hstorical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Western Romance, Short Reads, Witches and Wizards, Ghosts , psychics
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.