Monday, May 29, 2023


I want to thank Virginia Barlow for taking the time for this interview!


I have always loved reading romance novels. I used to sneak them from my mom’s room as a young girl and read them while she was gone. As I grew older, my reading and tastes expanded to sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy.

 I considered becoming an author in my late twenties but as a busy mother with toddlers, I didn’t have the time. Later, in my fifties, I decided to give it a try and have enjoyed every word of it since. I recently signed my thirteenth contract and am doing my happy dance as I type this. 

My husband of forty-one years is my greatest support as are all my kids. Most of them are grown and carving out lives for themselves. They are the beat of my heart and with every grandchild, the rhythm gets stronger. I enjoy every moment of my life.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always been an avid reader and I think the idea to write began in my twenties. I didn’t follow my dream until well into my fifties.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up? 

There are no authors in my family, but we have wonderfully talented artists, cooks, bakers, painters, and singers.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life? 

The female antagonists resemble several females I’ve met over the years. So, she’s a mix.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from? 

Sometimes ideas pop into my head. Sometimes, I see memes or listen to conversations and sometimes I write about situations with people I am familiar with.

Do you have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I start with a basic outline. I have to know where I’m going and what ground I want to cover. As long as I do that, the characters can do what they please. Otherwise, I write myself into a corner.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration? 

I don’t use cheater photos unless I get the character mixed up somehow. More often than not, I discover I use similar names in the same book and have to back and change them. I use structure photos, and landscape photos for reference.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation. What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I love, love, love sitting on the beach and watching waves. Preferably with a tropical drink in my hand.

Who are your favorite current authors to read? 

I love Lorraine Heath, Julie Garwood, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare and Sarah MacLean.

What are your favorite books by others? 

The Bride by Julie Garwood, 

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux 

I also enjoyed the Twilight books, and Fifty Shades of Gray

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you? 

I love Ireland. So Igniting Ireland is a yes for that question. I’ve always loved historical romances. So, yes to them too.

Wyoming isn’t on my favorite list, and I’ve written two books that take place there.

Do you write in single or multiple POV? 

I write multiple POV. It’s more powerful and can add intrigue.

What do you find to be your best research tool? 

Any and every search engine can be your best friend. Also, I talk to people and learn how they do things. My husband is invaluable for ideas when I get stuck.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name? 

I do not write under a different name or use a pen name. I love my stories and am proud to own them.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference? 

I write romance. Historical and paranormal. I write romance because I love to read romance.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing. Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky traits...what led to you being you? 

I am the third of ten children. We had so much fun growing up and a lot of experience. I married young and had children of my own quite young. Kids have a way of teaching you about life, you can’t find in any book.

I am an EMT, I am licensed to sell life insurance, and I know how to wallpaper. I do it very well.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Keep writing, keep reading, keep going!

How do you deal with and process negative book reviews? 

I analyze them to see if they have merit. If they do, I take it under advisement. 

Otherwise, I ignore them. Often people who want to write but never finished or were never accepted for publishing give horrid reviews for whatever reason. 

It’s not worth ruining my day for someone to take their frustrations out on me, or other authors I am friends with.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process? 

The most difficult part of writing is putting your darling character in danger. Or breaking their heart. It’s tough, along with all the research to get the timeline and historical facts accurate.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused? 

Quiet. I have hard time when there are visitors or family trying to talk to me.

I keep licorice, and positive sayings close when I write.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing? 

I eat chocolate-covered gummy bears, licorice, popcorn, and vodka.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why? 

Julie Garwood. She’s got an epic sense of humor and I truly enjoy her books.

or Lisa Kleypas. I love how she writes and it would be wonderful to talk to her.

What is your schedule like when you are writing? Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink? 

I write when I have free time from my other job. I get all my errands done, collect everything my family needs for the day and go sit at my computer.

I do snack and drink. See confessions above. LOL

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite? 

I like quiet when I write so I can pay attention to the movie. 

In other news, my favorite music is country, a little pop, and I go to rock concerts to watch my kids jump up and down.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing? 

My dogs like to keep guard when I write. Other than howling when they hear sirens, or barking when someone knocks on the door, they’re well-behaved.

What is your kryptonite as a writer? What totally puts you off your game? 

I have a hard time with people interrupting me, asking questions, and demanding my attention when I’m into a scene. My movie needs to play, and I can’t when there are too many distractions.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved? 

I have never killed off a character my readers loved, but I’ve shot them and put them on death’s doorstep.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END? 

I go get a drink, go for a walk, or go find my husband and watch a movie.

I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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