Jennifer Walker: Tell us a little about your favorite book(s) you've already published.
Larriane Barnard: I think of all those that I have published, Thirteen Soulsand Looking Glass Portalare my favorites. Looking Glass, I'm sure, was inspired by science fiction pieces like Star Wars and Star Trek, though I honestly don't remember what in particular started me off on it. It's full of strange creatures, aliens, and other humans in a story of suspense. Thirteen Souls, can't remember what started me off on it either. I do remember that after I had the first draft done, I watched a documentary on HBO that gave me a lot to flesh out some of the story. The cover has a male slave in chains to give you an idea what that background is. They are opposites in genre, one without romance to speak of, current time, but thousands of light years away. Thirteen Souls is also current time, with history woven in and hot romance and suspense.
Jennifer Walker: Are you working on anything new?
Larriane Barnard: Of course, lol. Since I hand write the first drafts, I'm currently biting my tongue and typing a contemporary into my computer to polish it up. I have two polished, several that need some final polish, and I'm looking for publishers for all of them. Not to mention swinging back and forth about looking into finding an agent. Anyone want to comment on the pros and cons on the latter, information would be appreciated.
Jennifer Walker: Are any of the characters, situations or events in your stories based in reality?
Larriane Barnard: Historically, yes. As to my day to day life, only one has personal characterization. I have a hearing impairment and I gave one character one, filling in some of my own experiences for people to become more informed--while reading a mystery--on what that means, not only for the hard of hearing but for those around them. I've got to tell you, yelling at me does not help. It only distorts the sounds more, making them even more difficult for me to recognize.
Jennifer Walker: What is life like for you when you write a novel? Are you crazy, reclusive, like to write in cafes, etc.?
Larriane Barnard: Reclusive without a doubt. Don't talk to me, don't call me, just don't do anything to interrupt my train of thought. Mind you, that's how I'd like it, not how my husband and dogs understand it. Dogs must go out occasionally, and hubby does need his dinner.
Jennifer Walker: What is (are) your favorite genre to read?
Larriane Barnard: Romance with mystery and suspense, just about any time period.
Jennifer Walker: How did you become an author, and how did your publishing journey begin?
Larriane Barnard: My publishing history began with some false starts and nearly giving up. I send out a bunch of submissions, expecting rejects after what I'd read on how hard it was to be accepted. Form letters, btw, that tell you pretty much nothing. I followed guidelines I'd looked up, but still didn't have any way of knowing if they didn't like something about my presentation or what I'd written. One person took the time to edit a few pages before she sent it back. I took one look at all those red marks, threw my hands--and the pages--into the air and told my husband I would never be able to learn all of that. But it meant so much to me after letting it simmer for a few days, I gathered the pages up and began to study them. Most of those marks were for the same things, some bad writing habits that weren't really that hard to correct. Time was all it took. I went through several of my books, The Knowing
and Looking Glass among them, and hit the internet again. I happened upon an ad for a new company whose preferences fit The Knowing. The rest, as they say, is history, ten published books later. That tells you how I became an author, not that I was a 'closet writer' for years before I attempted to publish at all.
Jennifer Walker: Do you have a "day job", or do you support yourself with your writing?
Larriane Barnard: I'm a 'spoiled' at home wife, with a husband who does the worrying about supporting us. Good thing, too.
Jennifer Walker: What is your opinion of the publishing industry today?
Larriane Barnard: Competitive, oh yes, especially in the ebook market with how easy and inexpensive it is to establish a website and produce the product. Unfortunately there are those who abuse that, setting up, pulling in the authors, and keeping the money for themselves until it all catches up to them, then they just disappear. Some advice: look at well established companies with a good track record and ask around, friends in the business and people you've met on the loops (privately), what they've heard about them. I would also advise you look for those that have editing, which goes a long way to tell you what quality they produce. I am not saying that those who don't would be dishonest, but not having an editing staff is cheaper and tends to lessen the polish of the finished produce. After editing my own and doing editing for others, I know how important a good edit is to produce a quality product. No matter how many times I go through, there are mistakes I've missed and fresh eyes see what another is likely to overlook. Paying for editing is an added expense to any company, but I believe the results are worth it. Another way to judge a company is to examine what they're putting out. Excerpts can give you a good idea of their quality and purchasing at least one of their stock will show you how their product is presented. I've downloaded books that were priced as a full book but were barely a novelette and many with formatting all over the place.
Jennifer Walker: Do you have any interests or hobbies outside of writing?
Larriane Barnard: The normal stuff: family, pets, and I love to shop garage sales. At home, reading and TV. I have a DVR, which make it possible to record and watch at my convenience those things that I'm interested in.
Jennifer Walker: Do you like to travel? Where is your favorite place to go?
Larriane Barnard: I do like to travel, but we manage it so seldom, most vacations involve family visits. One thing nice about being a writer: Have laptop, will travel. I usually have the battery charged when we leave here, work on whatever until it fades out on me, then dig into the sack of books I brought along. He does the driving, can you tell?
Thank you to Larriane Barnard/Larion Wills for stopping by!