Thursday, December 13, 2012

Author Spotlight - Barbara Freethy

The Minxes are delighted to have #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy here today, to answer the minx questions!
She's much too modest to blow her own trumpet, so I'm doing it for her.

Barbara started in traditional publishing then moved on to self publish, and since then, she hasn't looked back. An interview on Kirkus Reviews in the summer stated : Barbara Freethy is the No. 1 New York Times Bestselling author of 30 novels ranging from contemporary romance to women’s fiction and romantic suspense. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and she is a five-time RITA finalist from Romance Writers of America for best contemporary romance. In 2011, she began self-publishing and has since sold over 2.6 million ebooks. For more information, visit Barbara’s website at barbarafreethy.com.
Since then, Barbara has become the first ever Indie author to sell over a million books on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and in October her ever-rising sales numbers has reached 2.7 million since January 2011. If that wasn't enough, I can also attest to the fact that she's a totally lovely person! So, over to her...here come the minxy questions....

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I'm married with two children and live in California. I love to read as much as I love to write, so I have the perfect job!
What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
I'm getting ready to release my 34th book, ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (The Callaways, #1) on Christmas day.
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
Writing is hard, so there are many days when I would rather go shopping. But writing books and publishing them is my career, so I can't afford to take time off work. Like all jobs, you have to work through bad days. I do find that re-reading what I've written the day before gets me in the mood to write. I also find that if I can end my day of writing with some notes on where I want to begin the next day, I don't have as much trouble getting started. But writing is like exercising. If you let too many days go by, it's like you're starting all over again. Writing a little every day keeps the story in my head and makes it a little easier to stay on track.
What is your top promo tip for other authors?
My top promo tip is don't spend all your time on promo – write another book. The best way to develop a long-term career and to sell more copies of each title is to have more titles to sell. You want to build on the success of each book and develop a fan base.
That said, I do think social media is important as well as a website. You need to be able to interact with your readers and to build a focused newsletter list and your website and social media presence will help you do that. But don't spend more than 25% of your time on promo. Keep writing!
How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I believe in having some balance in life. When I'm not on a hard deadline, I make time for friends and exercise. I like to walk in the mornings and also find that's a good time to think. When the book has to be done in a month, I'm writing all the time and not doing anything else.
Any craft books you recommend?
I really like some of the craft books written by literary agent Donald Maass, which include THE FIRE IN FICTION and WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL. I think he has some good ideas about story. But there are lots of wonderful books out there.
What was the most fun part of writing your new book?
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS is the first book in my new contemporary romance series, The Callaways, about a big, blended Irish family, born to serve and protect. The hero is a smokejumper, and the heroine was the girl next door. I love their romance, but it also wouldn't be a Barbara Freethy book if I didn't complicate it with legends and mystery and lots of emotion!
I also recently completely a series of three books, THE WISH SERIES, including A SECRET WISH, JUST A WISH AWAY and WHEN WISHES COLLIDE. The books stand alone, but are connected by the theme of wishes. I just released a boxed set version of the Wish Series, so you can get three books for the price of one!
Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
I'd like to run off with ALL my heroes. Don't tell my husband that! But seriously, I couldn't write about a hero I didn't love in some way. So they're all fun!
At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
Great question! I think the very first time I finished a novel, I felt like a writer, because it takes a lot of stamina and focus to write that many pages and put together characters and plot. There was a tremendous sense of accomplishment getting to the end and it's a feeling that's repeated with every book I write.
Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
When you get stuck in your story, there's something wrong. So I try to back up, see where I went off course, and then I look at the scene I'm in and ask myself a couple of questions: Is this scene being told from the right character's point of view? What else could happen in this scene that would change everything? What's at stake in the story at this particular moment? How can I surprise the reader? Just trying to answer those questions usually helps get me unstuck!
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (Callaways, #1) will be released on 12/25/12
In the meantime, you can check out my latest series, THE WISH SERIES, which includes a novella and two novels.
A SECRET WISH is about three women, three milestone birthdays, three wishes and one unforgettable night.
JUST A WISH AWAY reunites childhood sweethearts who once made a very special wish, then life and tragedy tore them apart. Years later, another mystery brings them back together.
WHEN WISHES COLLIDE brings together two people at a fountain. Both desperate and hoping for a miracle, they toss a coin and make a wish, but their coins collide in mid air, and they find their lives connecting in a way they never expected.  

The WISH Series, both Individual books and the special boxed set version, is available at:
Apple IBooks


ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (Callaways #1) will go on sale December 25, 2012.
Thanks for having me!

Find out more about Barbara and her books at her website here.
Thanks so much for visiting the Minxes today, Barbara, and for your answers to our questions!

7 comments:

Lorraine said...

Thanks for being here and sharing your advice :-)

Romy Sommer said...

Ooh, the Wish books sounds like a lot of fun and have just made it onto my Christmas Wishlist.

Thanks also for the tip that the best promo is to keep writing books. I think I'm going to print that out and stick it above my desk.

Jodie said...

Barbara, thank so much for joining us today, what an inspirational interview.
And WOW at your success, that's an amazing achievement. Lots of luck with your latest release.
xx

Kathleen Bosman said...

What great advice, Barbara. Thanks for sharing. Your wish books look so fascinating. It reminds me of the new book idea that's been brewing in my head about a woman making a wish that changes her life forever and leads her to the man she will love.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Barbara, I have some of our books on my Kindle and look forward to reading them soon. I enjoyed reading the interview.

Maya said...

It's so lovely to "meet" you Barbara! Thank you for going minx for a day :)

Barbara Freethy said...

It was fun to visit the Minxes today! I loved doing the interview and hope it was helpful information! Hope everyone has a happy holiday!