Hello Readers and Writers!
Today we would like to introduce you to an author who wouldn't trade the self publishing, Indie author life for anything. An author of 21 books including paranormal romance, psychological thrillers, children's books, horror and much more, this author works hard and loves her craft. She also loves helping her peers in the Writers Community!
Introducing Barbara Avon!
When did you start writing as a career?
First of all, thank you so much for this opportunity! I began publishing in 2015 after my husband encouraged me to do so. I didn't know self-publishing existed back then so I lost a lot of money by having my books printed at a printing house, (no e-books) and selling them locally through my Facebook author page. Thankfully, by the time I was ready to publish my fourth book, someone told me about Createspace (now KDP.)
What's your current work in progress?
I'm going back in time with "The Unlikely Scribe". It's set starting in the 1930s with a time travel theme, and of course, love.
What led you to write in multiple genres?
I have too many ideas. I also find that there is something hauntingly beautiful about the dark, and mysterious side of life and wanted to unleash that part of me. Jack Finney (best known for Invasion of the Body Snatchers) inspired me to try my hand at time travel with his book "Time and Again". I quickly realized that as an Indie author, I have no constraints. That is the best feeling of all. The only genre I think I will never tackle is Science Fiction (although some consider time travel sci-fi). I'm in awe of those who can write it!
Which of your 16 books (correct me if I'm wrong on the number) is your favorite and why?
Thank you! Including my three children's books and two micro-fiction compilations, I have published 21 books. It's too hard to pick a favourite! My books are all so different from one another. If I was forced to choose, I'd say, "Postscript" my paranormal romance. I set it in the building I lived in for 10 years in downtown Ottawa, that is purportedly haunted. No, I've never seen a ghost while I lived there, but I have felt things I never have before! The book also includes flashbacks to 1918. Going back in time is the ultimate escape. As a reader, and a writer.
How do your books rebel against the status quo?
I don't follow any rules (other than grammar rules) or publish according to the latest trend. I see myself more as a storyteller - the kind who sits around a campfire and enthralls its listeners. The more unique, the better.
Your first Amazon release was available in 2016. How has your writing grown and changed since then?
I show more, and tell a lot less, and frankly, I love it that way! I've been accused of writing poetic (or purple prose), a crime I'm happy to admit to! Of course, I do have books that are more straight-forward and that's the beauty of being your own boss!
Tell me about Peter Travis and how his stories evolved.
Peter is my very first protagonist. Ever since a short story earned me an A + in grade nine English, I have wanted to write a novel. After a significant breakup, that's exactly what I did. I actually finished the book in 2002 but then "life happened", so it went in a drawer until 2015. Peter is an older man. In book one, he's in his 50s and through flashbacks, we go back to the 1980s when he meets his first love. There's a tree in Niagara Falls with my initials in them (along with those of my ex-fiance) and I put that tree in book one. It's a love story, along the lines of Nicholas Sparks. By book 4, his final chapter, Peter is 62 years old. He's a part of me. He is me.
Some of your books occur around Christmas time. Why is that?
It's a magical time of year. (Cliché, I know!). However, the stories I set around Christmas are not necessarily jolly. Speed Bump - A Christmas Tale, for example, is a horror. Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" inspired my darker Christmas stories.
On the flip side, your book Sacrilege has very dark themes. Tell us about this story.
Is it okay to state that I'm in love with it? "Sacrilege" was inspired by a word. That's how all my books start. I pick the title first and then create the cover. It's about wayward priest Cris Corelli and the woman he loves. I know nothing about the priesthood, nor anything about running a boarding house, but I married the two concepts and "Sacrilege" was born. Cris leaves town after ridding himself of the sacred collar and stops at an unassuming boarding house run by beautiful, yet tortured, Jules. There are four "confessions" in the book and it is my darkest story yet.
You also write non-fiction articles for WritersPayItForward.com. Why did you decide to write for them and release articles to advise authors?
There are a couple reasons starting with the fact that I love helping my peers. The other reason is that a few years ago, someone well established told me that they got to be that way by writing guest blog posts, whenever and wherever they could. Exposure, for an author, is everything.
Talk to me about the path you choose in publishing.
I wouldn't trade being a self-published, Indie Author, for anything! The creative freedom is exhilarating. Not to mention that I can publish on my own schedule, which to me, means the world. I often see tweets in the Writing Community on Twitter: "Which is better? Trad or Indie?" The answer is, neither is better. It's simply what suits the author - the creator. For me, going Indie was a perfect match for my personality. In the end, the result is the same: A book.
What are you reading currently?
I am reading Kevin Glenn's "The Stars of Everywhere". Everyone should follow Kev on Twitter! @KevinCGlenn1
What can readers expect from you in the future?
More of the same! I plan to write as long as I can. There are stories yet to tell, and as long as I have my senses, there's no stopping me! They also serve as my legacy. When my body has withered, and I'm gone, I'll still be here. Spooky to think of it that way, isn't it?