Our interviewer team particularly felt in love with Barbara's books and we suggest that you try them out (you'll find the links at the bottom of this interview). We also suggest that you to try the books of every authors that we have interviewed. All links will be posted at the bottom.
Barbara writes romantic suspense and inspirational romantic suspense under her real name Barbara Phinney. She also writes time travel and sci-fi romance under the name of Georgina Lee. She has had 8 books traditionally published, and another 5 novellas and one novel independently published. So she has seen both sides of the track.
INTERVIEW FOR BOOK 1
BOOK 1: Souvenirs by Barbara Phinney
1. In Souvenirs Anna seems to overcome the abuse: “All through the long, cold spring and all through his anger management counseling, she'd battled with herself until she realized she didn't need Serge and his abuse, contrary to what he was always telling her. She was strong enough to stand on her own.” This is a giant step for anyone to overcome and many do not. Why did you want Anna to grow in this way in the beginning of your book?
Excellent question! I wanted hope to shine through. Anna went to some of Serge's counseling sessions, and while it was all about him, she learned a lot about herself. Serge was required to go, and despite all he'd said to her, she ended up learning more than he did. The irony shows through the book, along with other ironic things, just as such happens in our own lives. Still, Anna's story is one of hope.
2. For characters to meet quickly it can make a plot of a book progress quickly, did you intend to use this technique in your book Souvenirs?
This is my genre training coming through, I think. Readers of today have so much less time to read than times gone by, so we can't afford to lose them. Plots must progress swiftly, and there has to be the hope of success and happy resolution to keep readers reading. That's not to say the books of the past, such as Jane Eyre, which has a great deal of backstory before Jane even meets Mr. Rochester, are no good anymore. Rather, they allow us to slow down and savour. You want action, read an up-to-date romantic suspense. You want or even need to take your time, read a classic. But both of them will be good in their own way.
Back to my book, I like the physical manipulation of a story to show speed. Shorter chapters, scenes, etc., all add to the feeling of tension that will eventually rise to an exciting climax.
3. Some authors use pseudonyms (a name other than their own when writing a book). How beneficial is this and how can it harm an author?
There are pros and cons to pen names. I have mostly used my real name, Barbara Phinney, when writing romantic suspense, inspirational suspense, and romance. People who buy my books can expect emotion, suspense, action, with sometimes faith elements because they permeate our lives regardless of our beliefs. They will also get very little sex. I'm not comfortable writing sizzling, sexy books. I'm not good at it, either. I'm not a prude, just want to focus on what I'm good at, and that is conflict in stories, danger and tension. Also, I wanted stories set in areas that were atypical. To me, the setting can be as integral and important to the story as the plot. I want to read stories set in unusual places. That's why most of my books are set in Eastern Canada. That's what I want to read.
I do write sci-fi/fantasy short stories under the name Georgina Lee, and this is to define what you can expect from that name. It's beneficial to the reader, but it's harder to spread yourself out between two names. It means more promo, more work and sometimes, with less results over all. But it's for my readers that I use two names.
4. When writing one book, or even in another genre, how difficult is it to move on to writing another? Do you ever find yourself thinking about the previous book and wanting to edit it even though you are writing another?
I think most writers can switch back and forth without too many problems. I can, but I also have to curtail that so as to ensure there aren't any accidental crossovers. I usually leave a full day between genres to help clear my mind. While many publishers don't want writers to do this, writers can switch effectively. Publishers don't like that because it's a harder sell and writers are often just seen as commodities to exploit. Think of it as this: you don't want your tomato vine to be producing eggplants when you've promised your local store tomatoes. It's got nothing to do with quality, the item itself.
But writers generally enjoy writing in other genres. We just have to be careful when we switch back and forth.
5. When did writing become a big thing for you in your life? Was it a gradual awakening or a moment of epiphany?
I've always enjoyed penning stories, especially silly ones for my children when they were young. When I retired from the Canadian Army, I needed an outlet for my creativity, and writing was what I turned to. I began to write a silly slice-of-life column for my local newspaper, but wanted to move to novel writing. So I asked myself, what is the hardest genre? To me, that was romance. Readers may not think so, but a good writer makes the work look like it was the smoothest, easiest story to tell. Don't be fooled by the sheer numbers of romances out there. It's a tough genre to write successfully. All that emotion, and tension, and making a story riveting when you expect the couple to live happily ever after.
However, I love mysteries, suspense, action, and can't see anything more exciting that a couple trying to sort out their feelings while on the run. To me back then when I was starting out, mysteries weren't as hard. You simply work backward from the resolution to ensure all the clues are carefully set in place. Naturally, I have learned that mysteries have their difficulties. Oh, the plot holes I've left after finishing the first draft! You could drive a truck through them! What an epiphany that was to my tender ego!
So, to answer your second question, it's been gradual. It's always been there, but the process has been gradual as I learned my trade. I didn't have a mentor, so I learned everything the hard way.
And as I progress through independently publishing some of my stories, I need all the more to keep in touch with why I write. I love the process, but need to keep working at it. That means getting stories professionally edited, polishing over and over, getting the right cover. My next book, Hard Target, needed a cover that I couldn't do on my own, so I hired someone for that, too.
6. Now, how and where can people learn more about you and your books?
My website is a static website in the process of getting updated. It's www.barbaraphinney.com
I have a blog for Barbara Phinney http://barbphinney.blogspot.com
and Georgina Lee's is http://thetwinplanets.blogspot.com
You can find my personal facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000497524066
and my twitter handle, (a place where I spend a lot of time) is @BarbaraPhinney.
In : Book Reviews Rubric
Tags: "book souvenirs" "barbara phinney" "barbara phinney interview" "author interview" "georgina lee"
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