Interview with Barb Avon, multi-genre Author
One thing that's inspired me as an author is how many other authors there are out there doing the author thing! To explore that idea and learn more about other authors, I've decided to do a series of posts interviewing various authors from self-published to traditionally published. In this first post, I interviewed Barbara Avon.
Barbara Avon, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Barb: Even as a child, I always liked to get lost in my imagination. I started writing poetry in my teenage years, but when a high school English teacher awarded me an A + on a short story, I knew then that I would one day write a novel.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Barb: It depends on the length of the story, of course, but on average it takes me three months from start to finish. This includes everything from cover design to editing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Barb: I don't think I have one! Does writing directly on a 6 x 9 document count? I format as I write. It's simply my process.
How do your books get published?
Barb: I am self-published and a proud Independent Author. I like to distribute wide (Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc.) using Draft 2 Digital but prefer to keep Kindle and paperback over at KDP (Amazon).
Where do you find inspiration?
Barb: Usually from a word. If I find a word interesting, the story revolves and grows from it. For example, my book "The Simpleton". I always choose the title first and it doesn't change from what I initially chose.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Barb: I wrote my first book in 2002. I was 30 years old. Life got in the way and I didn't publish it until 2015.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Barb: Cooking is my other passion. Not baking - it's too much of a science for me! The rest of the time I take care of family and spend time watching movies with my husband. I like to workout but have neglected to do so lately.
What does your family think of your writing? Who is your biggest supporter?
Barb: They're thrilled for me! My biggest supporter, however, is my husband. He calls himself my number one fan and is my self-appointed proofreader. When I'm writing something new, he can't wait to read it. I'm very lucky to have his support.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Barb: To date, I have published 21 books including two flash fiction collections and three unique children's books that allow the child to draw the illustrations. I could never pick a favorite. It always feels like I'm "cheating on my other books". However, I love my stories that have a dark theme. I'm drawn to the mysterious, dark side of life.
Do you have any suggestions to help future/aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
Barb: I always advise new writers to be three things: bold, brave, different. There is no formula in writing. Much like cooking versus baking, writing is not a science. If you have a grasp of grammar, and general style guidelines, what you create must then come from the heart. Write with your heart, first and foremost. Note that this advice is for Independent authors, like me. I am not knowledgeable when it comes to what agents and traditional publishers are looking for.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Barb: I am honored whenever I hear from a reader. They usually let me know that my words have touched them in some way. I once had someone reach out to tell me that they were debating with a friend about how to interpret the ending of one of my books. I was giddy. Two random people on this earth were debating over my words. It was the greatest gift.
What do you think makes a good story?
Barb: The technical answer is "show more, tell less". The answer that comes from my heart is, "fill it with passion". Not in the romantic sense (although that works, too!) but in the sense that you literally have to open your heart and let it bleed on the page.
How did you get the idea for your last book?
Barb: "Sacrilege" was based on something that happened to me as a young woman. I wish I could tell you more but there are major spoilers involved! I also wanted to explore that invisible line that rests between good and evil. It's my darkest book yet.
Thanks for taking the time for this interview! I wish you well in your future book writing!
Barb: Thank you so much, Meg! I really enjoyed taking part in this interview!
You can find all Barbara Avon's books on her website: https://www.barbaraavon.com/books
You can find her on social media here: https://twitter.com/barb_avon