Interview with Barbra E. Ross. Author of A Mortal Indiscretion;Author’s Cut

  • What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?

I still love writing upon my computer, except those days that the program freezes up and you lose an entire section that you just wrote. I tried Dragon, the speak to type program and thought it was awesome, until I saw all of the typos. So, I will continue to tap away at my keyboard.

  • When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was in school. I was taking English, creative writing classes and my teacher always read my stories to the class. It was then I started noticing that my stories influenced people.

  • What inspires you to write?

Life inspires me. All of it, the fantastic to the gravest of situations. I am constantly think about how my characters will behave or react to a situation

  • Writers are often associated with loner tendencies;is there any truth to that?

I am not a loner, although I do relish the time I get to be alone. In those quiet moments, my best writing occurs.

  • Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

Absolutely! I am a nurse and work just like everyone else. But my love of writing keeps me busy on my days off.

  • Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I have a general course that the story will take. I write it all down and then I go back and embellish.

  • What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

Thinking that it just isn’t good enough. I must have rewritten my books at least a hundred times. It is very hard to look at that final copy and say, it is enough.

  • Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?

I have experienced it, and it usually occurs when something in my personal life overtakes my desire to write. The most recent one has lasted a few months, but I am back at it again.

  • Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Just ride out the storm and it will come back to you. There is no magic pill to stop writer’s block.

  • Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

I proof and edit. My books are quite long and it would cost thousands to pay for editing. I hope to find a reasonable editor one day, because editing is tedious work. And I believe it is good to have a fresh pair of eyes go through your work.

  • What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

The reaction it gets from the reader. Just to know someone was moved by my words, or was super excited about the characters that I created is amazing to me. I still get chills when someone writes me about my work.

  • Have you ever designed your own book cover?

Yes and it was horrible. I say leave that to the graphic designers!

  • Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

I do. I think if it is good, it will spark and interest to look further into the story.

  • Does a bad review affect your writing?

No, but it certainly knocks the wind out of my sails. I have learned that I will not please everyone and that is ok. There are great stories that I do not like. It doesn’t mean that the author was a bad writer. Everyone has their own opinion, and I agree to let them have theirs. Good or bad.

  • Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

Never give up and keep writing.

  • What did you want to become when you were a kid?

A film writer and director.

  • Who are your books mostly dedicated to?

My family of course and my friends who believed in my stories, even when I did not. They gave me the courage to release them.

  • From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?

I am far from being an alcoholic. I rarely even drink. I think they like to give that image to writers as a level of mystery. But I found I am goofy enough without the need for mind stimulants.

  • How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?

It is my passion. I live it, dream it every single day.

  • Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying indoors?

I love to travel and see other places in the world. My dream is to go to Italy and Greece to retire and sit by the ocean and write!

  • Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?

Yes. Facebook and twitter have opened new avenues for communication and I love it.