Thursday, September 8, 2011

Authorsday: Barbara Meyers

1.      What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

Last year a multi-published author critiqued a draft of A Forever Kind of Guy for me.  She read a hundred pages and said there was no reason for her to read further because my characters had no goals.  She went into a lengthy explanation of what I needed to change.  As long as I’ve been writing, I should have understood this better, but I was slow to catch on.  I read Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, & Conflict and referred to it repeatedly while I was revising the manuscript.  This author gave me the slap in the face I needed to figure out what wasn’t working in my manuscripts.  I will be forever grateful to her.

2.      Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?

I had a not-so-great experience publishing two books with a small press early in my career after which I had a long dry spell of having nothing published.  Some agents gave me decent feedback, but none would take me on as a client.  It’s extremely difficult to get your foot in the door with traditional print publishers without an agent.  I read about Samhain Publishing in the Romance Writer’s Report (Romance Writers of America’s monthly magazine).  I sent the complete manuscript of A Month From Miami to them.  I heard back within a matter of weeks.  They wanted it!  My editor did nothing but make my book better.  I also had input on the cover.  It was a great experience.  Even though there have been a couple of bumps in the road since, I am thrilled to be working with a new editor and I’m excited Samhain is releasing A Forever Kind of Guy, which is the second in The Braddock Brotherhood series.

3.      If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

What do you want from an author?

4.      If you have a day job, what is it?

I’m a shift supervisor at a Starbucks a half mile from my house.  I’ve been working there for eight years and I love it.

5.      What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?

I like to think characterization is my strength.  I’ve also been told I write love scenes particularly well.

6.      What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?

In terms of writing, I think one of my biggest weaknesses is description.  I personally don’t like tons of detail when I read.  I think it slows the pace and I often skip it to get to the good stuff where something’s actually happening or there’s dialogue.  I’m never sure if the description I do incorporate is enough for the readers.  I try to overcome it by using scene-setting words as opposed to actual description:  “To the left lay a great room where logs burned in a huge stone fireplace.  She had no time to absorb more about the interior or furnishings than the impression of tweed, leather and wood.  Ian Rutherford’s home emanated warmth in a way the man himself did not.”  --Not Quite Heaven

7.      What’s your writing schedule?

If I am not working at Starbucks, I am home doing something writing-related.  I’ve become a workaholic.  Writing is my full-time job.  I don’t have a schedule per se, because my Starbucks schedule varies from week to week.  I prefer to write in the morning, and if I have a day off, I will start fairly early and I may spend an entire day “creating.”  There’s a lot more that goes into a writer’s life than simply writing books, and it can be extremely time-consuming.  While you’re working on one book, you might be editing another, promoting a recent release, sketching out ideas for another book, doing guest blogs, etc.  It’s a lot.

8.      What’s your favorite quote?

“Ask and you shall receive.  Seek and you shall find.  Knock and the door shall be opened to you."  –Matthew 7:7

9.      Who is your greatest cheerleader?

My husband is like my silent cheerleader, because he’s been unbelievably supportive the entire time I’ve been writing although he’s never read a word I’ve written.  But when you use the term “cheerleader” it’s my friend Sandy who is always encouraging me and telling me how impressed she is with my efforts and is always interested in my progress.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.

10.  Where do you write?

I used to write on a desktop computer in our home office or on my laptop at the kitchen table, but since my husband retired and he’s home all the time I’ve taken refuge in our bedroom.  Even though I have a desk I write sitting in bed with pillows propped behind me and my laptop on a flat shelf in front of me.  I spend a lot of time in bed.  Must be why I’m so good at writing love scenes. J


First on Hayley Christopher’s list to get her train-wreck life back on track: stay away from men. Especially the ones who cause a ripple effect of bad decisions.

Still reeling from a high-profile divorce, the college dropout and former pro cheerleader is stumbling through yet another challenge—temporary custody of her nephew, Fletcher. No one knows better than Hayley that she’s not mother material. When she opens the door to her new landlord and old flame, she wonders just how many more past mistakes she is destined to pay for.

After the death of his wife, Ray Braddock is still putting the pieces back together. Hayley—and the silent little boy at her side—both bristle with emotional barriers so high, it appears no one but him can see that together, three broken people just might make a whole family.

As she watches Fletcher respond to Ray’s patient care, Hayley’s determination to hold on to her heart begins to soften. But just when she begins to think that Ray is one opportunity she shouldn’t let slip by, Fletcher’s gang-connected father threatens to make her pay for the one good choice she ever made…

Author Bio: 
When not writing fiction, Dr. Seuss-like poetry or song lyrics, Barbara Meyers can be found at the local Starbucks culling story ideas from customers while masquerading as a shift supervisor.  A native of Southwest Missouri, Meyers has called Southwest Florida home for more than thirty years. Her hobbies include tormenting her long-suffering husband, interfering in the lives of her grown children, sneaking into gated communities to walk her almost perfect dog and long bicycle rides which function as both exercise and meditation time.

1 comment:

Barb Meyers said...

Chris, Thanks for posting my interview. All the best to you--Barb Meyers