Ask the Author: Barbara Freethy

“Ask me a question.” Barbara Freethy

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Barbara Freethy Hi Sandra - I'm honored to be your All Time Favorite Writer! That is so cool. I am thrilled that my settings and characters come alive for you. Most of what I do is done in research online and in talking to people who live where my story is set. Occasionally, I get to visit the actual location, but not as often as I would like unfortunately. Hope you find many more books of mine to enjoy!
Barbara Freethy So happy you're enjoying my books, Tena! Unfortunately, I have no plans for book signings in Texas any time soon but if I do I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks so much for dropping me a line!

Best,

Barbara
Barbara Freethy Hi Carol - The digital edition of the book will be available for preorder first week of March. The print just gets put up there faster, but the other is coming soon. Thanks for asking! Hope you're loving the Callaways!
Barbara Freethy NOBODY BUT YOU is a Callaway wedding novella best read after Book #4 - it features the wedding event of Max and Emma. Book #8 Somewhere Only We Knows comes out on February 12th! Preorders are now up at all the retailers! Thanks for asking. Hope your mom enjoys!
Barbara Freethy Hi Laura - I'll be moving on to the Callaway Cousins after Somewhere Only We Know so there will be many more Callaway books to come. Hope you enjoy Burke's story - it will be out in two days!
Barbara Freethy Hi there- I'm so happy you love the covers of my new upcoming series Bachelors & Bridesmaids! I love them too. The books are pure contemporary romance. They're a little shorter and sweeter in tone with no graphic sex scenes but lots of romance, fun and emotion!
Barbara Freethy Getting to share my overactive imagination with others :-) I love to make up stories. I have done it since I was a kid. And books are the ultimate escape, both for the reader and the writer. When life got boring, I made up my own adventure, and I still do. It's a great job. It's hard though. It's not easy to get from page one to the end. It takes a lot of stamina. Many people have ideas and can write a chapter or two, but putting a cohesive story together over several hundred pages is a huge challenge and anyone who gets to the end of a book should enjoy at least one moment of pride and satisfaction!
Barbara Freethy I think when a writer encounters a block, it's because something has gone wrong in the story. There's a hitch in the plot that prevents the writer from moving past it. So sometimes I'll back up, take a look at my most recent scenes and then back up even more, see if I took a wrong turn somewhere. Sometimes, I'll try writing the scene from another viewpoint to see if that makes a difference.

Another reason for writer's block is fear - emotional paralysis. Writers become afraid to write because they're afraid their story won't be good enough or they won't be good enough. Even after a writer sells a book, this kind of paralysis can attack as the writers wonders if they can do it again and again or if it was all just a fluke. The only way to get past fear is to face it and to write through it. Write anything and don't let yourself edit until you have at least several pages. Break through the internal critic and you'll find the story will usually start to flow again!
Barbara Freethy Hi Pattie Jane - Sorry for the delay in answering your question. I was getting my next book ready to release this Thursday.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Daniel's Gift. That was one of my most personal stories and one that still brings a tear when I re-read it.

As for finding time to write, sometimes you do need to give yourself a break when you've had a lot of life changes. But the best way to really get anything done is just to start off with small goals. Try writing one page a day, that's it. Something you can do in less than an hour. Then if it turns into two, keep going. Like exercising, it's easier to write if you do it all the time. It's much harder to get back into a story after you let a week or two or even a month go by. So I try to keep the story in my head but working on it a little bit every day, sometimes weekends, too. But try to focus on feeling good about what you get done versus feeling bad about what you didn't get done. Keep the positive energy going!

Good luck!
Barbara Freethy Hi Carola - Love to meet a new fan from Argentina! I'm so happy you enjoyed ALL SHE EVER WANTED. That was a really fun story to write. I was inspired by some of my experiences at college and while the story was pure fiction, some of the characters were based on friends from college days. And I'm very glad I kept you guessing on the suspense plot!

I hope you enjoy many more of my books to come!

Thanks for your note!

Barbara
Barbara Freethy Hi Christine - That's a lot of favorites. I'm not really big on favorites because I usually go blank when someone asks the question. For seasons, I love summer. I grew up in Southern California where it it sunny and warm all year long and I miss those hot nights now that I'm in Northern California.

I love Christmas as my favorite holiday.

I don't have a favorite movie but I generally like romance or comedy like Father of the Bride, While She Was Sleeping, Love Actually.

And for TV shows, I really like The Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, and Project Runway, because I love when Tim Gunn says make it work to the designers as they're looking at a mess of a design. Sometimes I wish I had a Tim Gunn to come in when I'm lost in a meandering plot that needs focus!

Thanks for the question!

Barbara
Barbara Freethy My inspiration for my stories comes from everywhere, people I see in a line at the supermarket, people in my family, a phrase in a song, a newspaper article … I can't even begin to say where the initial seed of an idea first begins. As I write the seed blooms and takes shape, sometimes a far different shape than I first imagined. So I try not to control my ideas. I let them go and see where they take me.

And, yes, I do have a BIG imagination :-)

Barbara
Barbara Freethy Hi Tara - No pivotal moments but a definite focus and persistence and determination to keep putting books out on a regular basis, keep building my social media audience and my newsletter list that provide the basis for my marketing campaign. I've found it is much easier to sell books the more books you have so I always encourage writers to keep writing and putting up books because nothing sells a book better than the previous book!

Good luck with your writing!

Barbara
Barbara Freethy My marketing background has helped me to understand the need for promotion and social media participation which all writers need to know. But in terms of actually writing the books, I don't think it has made a difference. When I first began writing, I did take a lot of writing classes, both in college and after and I read a lot of books on craft. I was and still am an avid reader which I do thinks helps in the writing process.

Success in writing is very difficult if not impossible to predict. An author never knows what a reader is going to respond to. You can only put out the best possible work and hope for the best!

Thanks for the question!

Barbara
Barbara Freethy That's a good question but not an easy answer. Ideas are plentiful but not all of them deserve a full-length book so some story ideas I have I have never written because I haven't figured out a complete story to tell.

The stories that do become books often change in varying degrees over the course of the writing. Sometimes they morph into something unexpected, but for me that is part of the fun of the writing process. I love it when the story surprises me.

I think there is a point in every story where the writer questions whether the story is a good one to tell, but you usually have to push through those doubtful moments. I think they probably just make the author work harder! Some books seem more difficult to write and others fly by, and I never why that happens!

Thanks for the question!

Barbara
Barbara Freethy Hi Esther - Writing is a tough business. You're always being reviewed whether it's by agents, publishers or the readers. I think you have to write what you love first, so that the experience of the writing is of value to you. And you have to keep the faith in your story. The business of publishing, the 5 big publishers, and numerous small publishers, often reject a story based on a lot of other factors besides the actual story, like they already have a similar plot line, or they don't think that genre is trending up in sales, or they think the manuscript needs some work but they don't want to spend time on it.

So I would keep writing, keep looking at comments that you get back to see if you can make improvements and keep putting your work out there. And you can always now self publish so if you have a polished professional product, you can put it on all the retail sites yourself. There are lots of options now for writers!

Good luck!

Barbara
Barbara Freethy It sounds to me like you would need a ghost writer if you are not a writer. How else will you get the story done? Sorry, not sure I understand your question. Most writers aren't interested in writing someone else's plot unless they are a ghostwriter.

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