Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I was made in Japan, born in Guam and now live in Colorado where my full-time job is serving as staff to my rescue cat, Angel. When I’m not tending to Angel’s every need, I love to hike, cave, read, play piano and cook. Oh, and write novels.
1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?
I’m a terrible plotter. But with a dead body (or ten), I have a central problem around which to build my story.
2. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)?
Yes. 🙂 I’m a “plantser.” By this I mean I really want to be a plotter. I love the idea of being organized, of knowing where I’m going every day. But I’m just too impatient to throw words on paper. So I compromise by plotting a short way down the road, then writing like a madwoman until I get stuck again.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
Revision. For me, creating the first draft is like dynamiting a hole in a mountain then digging through bedrock with your hands for anything that looks interesting. Once I’ve hauled that ore into the light of day, I love to polish it and try to create something beautiful.
4. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?
I ‘d love to have fifty lifetimes. Archaeologist, college professor, librarian, astronomer … If I have to pick one thing, I would choose to work in human rights. There are corners of our world that have become too dark.
5. What’s your favorite meal of the day?
Dinner, because that is family time. Around five o’clock, I pour a glass of wine, turn on NPR and cook. Then I get to share whatever I’ve created with my family, who are wonderfully forgiving of my efforts!
6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why?
My protagonist is a woman, and my novel is told strictly in first-person POV. But I have an idea for a novel told from the viewpoint of a man. I’m really looking forward to that. Maybe I’ll figure out what makes the male of the species tick.
7. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?
When I was a poor college student hitchhiking through the British Isles, I kept losing things. On the train, at the bottom of my backpack, in the hostel. I wanted the gift of finding things. Now I want the same superpower. But not only would I use it to find my car keys, I’d broaden the concept to include helping others find things they’ve lost—from a stray pet to their heart’s desire.
8. Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?
Remember that scene in Jewel of the Nile when Kathleen Turner is sitting on the deck of the yacht in the south of France, working on her novel? That. Without the writer’s block.
9. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you?
Rejection is part of the process. When I was sending out short stories every month, I was thrilled when I went from getting standard rejections to getting personal ones. Writers actually get to brag about being personally rejected!
As for reviews that have been special to me—I’ve heard from veterans or families of veterans, thanking me for telling the world what it is like to go to war and then return home haunted. It is a tremendous honor to hear from these warriors and their families.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I’m hard at work on DEAD STOP, the next book in the Sydney Parnell series, which will come out next August with Thomas & Mercer.
Be sure to come back to read more about Barbara and BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, A Sydney Rose Parnell Series novel, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
Links to Barbara’s website, blog, books, etc.
I’d love to hear from readers! Please check out my blog and website at www.barbaranickless.com. Or connect with me on Twitter–@BarbaraNickless. You can find my book in your local bookstore or at https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Tracks-Sydney-Rose-Parnell-ebook/dp/B01B1OGQH4/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_16
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Barbara is giving away a Kindle copy of BLOOD ON THE TRACKS to one lucky reader who comments on her **Author Peek** Interview or Book Bench blogs. Thanks, Barbara, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!