Hi Lynda, thanks for having me. I write mostly contemporary romance and am published by Samhain Publishing. I also write a screwball fantasy series as AJ Tillock. When I’m not writing fiction or Dr. Seuss-like poetry for adults or song lyrics, I don a green apron and transform into a barista for a global coffee company. I’m still married to my first husband, have two fantastic children and reside in central Florida.
(Lynda As:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing?
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I took a drive in the area I live, what might I see?
(Barbara) You’d see palm trees and lakes. Florida Southern College and Southeastern University. The headquarters for Publix supermarkets. Lots and lots of small businesses.
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What do I think is the difference between insanity and creativity? As a writer, do I use just one or a little of both, and how?
(Barbara) Insanity is the deterioration or destruction of one’s psyche. Creativity is the expression of what’s in one’s psyche. I don’t think I’m insane but I’m pretty self-aware and self-analytical. I use a lot of what I’ve experienced or witnessed to create my characters’ internal lives and to give them motivation. I thought I was getting flaky as I got older until my husband informed me that I’d always been that way. I was surprised, but when I started looking back at some of my behavior, I see that he was right. Other friends have called me quirky. I haven’t determined if that is a compliment or a bit of an insult.
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I sincerely feel about editing, and editors?
(Barbara) If they are good at what they do I would love them. If they are not very skilled at editing, I would not like them so much. May I just say editing is necessary for quality fiction. Very few authors can edit their own work well, which is why so much self-published fiction that’s currently flooding the market is just not very good. It’s not that the authors can’t write. It’s that they can’t see the trees because of the forest. I’ve tried to read so many books that sound like good stories and maybe even start off strong but then they meander and the story gets lost. There’s a lot of repetition and the book stops going anywhere. That’s when I give up and think, “If she’d only had an editor…”
I’ve been lucky at Samhain Publishing. I’ve had some really good editors and some fantastic line editors. I might not always like their nitpicking and suggestions but I think a good editor is like your mother. You might not always like what she has to say, but she’s usually right.
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, In what ways do I consider myself different from most of my co-workers, family, or friends?
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?
(Barbara) A couple of years ago I started doing signings at arts and crafts fairs and they are a lot of fun. My neighborhood has one every fall and so do some of the other local communities. I like to talk to people and I’m always surprised what they share with me. I like meeting the other vendors, too, and see what form their creativity takes. I’ll talk about writing and my journey and my books anywhere, any time, any place. All you gotta do is ask. Then try and shut me up.
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What do I think of the publishing industry as a whole and my publisher/publishers in particular.
(Barbara) Briefly, I’m just going to say I feel very lucky to have had five books published by Samhain Publishing.
They’ve been very good to me.
(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I tell a beginning writer to never do/always do?
(Barbara) Always date everything and never throw away anything you start because you can always go back and fix it or finish it.
Never put bad/mediocre work into the marketplace. There’s enough of it out there already.
THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW, BARBARA. You can learn more about Barbara Meyers and her work at the following links.