Barb, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Barb: I just had an historical – Silver River Love – released by Whiskey Creek Press on October 1, and I’ll have another historical – Song of my Heart – out in December by Samhain. So, I am currently taking a short break to do some marketing and regroup. Right! Don’t
ever believe an author that tells you that! In the midst of all that, I am working on a short story for Valentines about a retirement home full of vivacious old biddies who think they are matchmakers!
Debra: Now that sounds like a lively retirement home.
Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Barb: Everything around me can spark an idea – a song on the radio, a conversation, or a road sign. The best way to keep creativity flowing, though, is to surround yourself with good writing friends. I have two different groups, one is a critique group and the other is a hometown group with interest in writing. Every time we meet, I always go home fired up to write!
Debra: Yes, songs do that for me too. And sometimes it's one line of an overheard conversation.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Barb: Many times I’ve re-read a section and honestly don’t remember writing it. The dialogue is strictly character driven! That’s why I ended up with a 4-book trilogy (that’s not a misprint.) I started writing books about the McVicker brothers, and by the third, which was suppose to be the last, I had so fallen in love with them I couldn’t let them go. Their mom lives in Boston, and of course they visit periodically. I swear I could get off the green line and walk right to her house! They become so much a part of my life.
Debra: Yes. They become the people in our books, not just characters. And isn't it great to be so in the flow you look back and think, did I write that? :-)
For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?
Barb: I have great dreams! When I’m just on the verge of waking, I think, “this would make a great novel”, but then I can’t remember it!! But that’s not to say there aren’t pieces of my life in all my books, especially my travels. I don’t travel to research setting, but often once I’ve been somewhere, it ends up being the setting because I like it so well.
Debra: Oh, that is when a dream journal might come in handy. This happens to me too, but sometimes I can catch them.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Barb: All the Black Stallion books! And Perry Mason!
Debra: Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?
Barb: Every writer creates from the heart, and I can’t imagine not writing. Yet all my stories are different – historical, time travel, contemporary. And the level of sensuality is also different. It’s not so much ME writing “sex” but it’s what happens in the characters’ relationship that determines how much love making there is. As long as there are readers that love a good happily-ever-after, I will keep writing romance.
I just started a group, in case any of your readers would like to join. It’s sometimes hard to keep up with all the technology, so at least you won’t be inundated with useless stuff. It’s just a place to muse, and talk writing. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MoodSwingsWithBarbaraBaldwin
I also have a website which shows the variety of books and genres I share with readers:
I hope you’ll all visit soon!
Debra: Barb, Thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.