About Robin Barefield:
Robin Barefield grew up in a small town in Kansas. After attending Kansas State University, she transferred to the University of Hawaii, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. She continued her education at the University of Arizona and received a MS degree in Fish and Wildlife Biology.
Robin and her husband, Mike Munsey, own and operate Munsey’s Bear Camp, a remote lodge on Kodiak Island, Alaska, where she works as a naturalist and a fishing and wildlife-viewing guide.
Murder Over Kodiak is Robin’s second novel and is set on Kodiak Island. She writes a blog on wildlife and living in the Alaskan wilderness, and she also writes the newsletter and blog for Munsey’s Bear Camp.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by a setting. I like to think of a particular setting and imagine the most frightening situation I can in that environment. For this novel, I thought, what if a floatplane crashed not because of bad weather, pilot error, or a mechanical malfunction, but what if the cause was something much more sinister such as a bomb? How would the residents of Kodiak react when problems from the outside world invade our normally peaceful island?
Tell us about your writing process.
I am an outliner. My background is in science, and my mind likes to logically work through a problem. A mystery is a puzzle with clues that must be uncovered in a sequential order, so I write a tight outline before I begin to write the novel. Having said that, I do often add in details or make changes as I write, because the story and the characters take on a life of their own, and things are revealed to me as the story unfolds. While I think an outline is a good idea for this type of novel, I believe the author should be open-minded and flexible enough to change the outline when necessary. I create character sketches before I begin to write, but I add to the character sketches as I am writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to get into the minds of my characters and see what they are seeing, and yes, especially when two characters are having a conversation, I talk through the conversation, first as one character and then the other. That helps me fit the dialogue to a character’s personality.
What advice would you give other writers?
The best advice I heard when I was beginning to write, was, “Write something every day, even if only fifteen minutes a day.” At first I did only manage fifteen minutes a day, but then it was thirty minutes, and then an hour, and then I didn’t want to stop writing. Writing is a lonely pursuit and critics are everywhere. You need to believe in yourself and just keep writing!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I live in the middle of the wilderness in Alaska, so joining a writer’s group or going to a writer’s workshop is very difficult for me. I tried contacting agents and publishers by mail and e-mail, but it was a slow, frustrating process. Finally, I decided to take control of my own destiny, and I self-published. This is an exciting time for authors, because we can control how our books are published. The biggest problem with self-publishing is that you are also in charge of your own marketing, and that can be frustrating and time-consuming.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
That’s a tough question. I think at least for a few years, conventional publishers will still rule the industry. The biggest problem with self-published books is that there is no quality control, and until that is sorted out, the self-publishing world has an image problem.
What do you use?: Professional Editor
What genres do you write?: Mystery and Adventure
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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.