Saturday, August 27, 2011

Interview with Lillian Duncan

I thought it might be nice to pair my book review of Lillian Duncan's romantic suspense Pursued on Inkwell Inspirations, with a more in-depth interview on my blog.

Often mystery is pitted against suspense? Which is your first love? Which do you find more challenging/rewarding to write?

BOTH-I love to read books that have both elements in them. Figuring out the killer's identity is great fun but I also like the action that keeps me worried about the main characters.Most of my books start out as a mystery but then BAM, I throw the reader right into the suspense part of the book.

While Christian fiction seems to be all about the romance, you've chosen to work in a different genre. What challenges have you encountered?

Most men don't seem to want to read suspense from women writers-they assume it's all about the romance not the suspense.

When did you first know you wanted to write?

I think I always knew it, but I didn't actually start writing until I was forty. You could call me a late bloomer.

Research for mystery/suspense writers can be a little different. While my historical romance writing friends are researching Victorian underwear, I'm poring over autopsy reports. Where do you get your ideas?

Anything can set me off on a story line. It could be the news, a movie, a person walking past me. I never know when an idea will come to me. It's part of the fun of being a writer. One minute, I'm sitting there enjoying a cup of coffee and the next minute my adrenaline is pumping and my mind is racing.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Has your writing ever taken any twists that surprised you?

I am definitely a pantser so I get surprised-a lot!. I think outlining would make the writing process easier but it doesn't work for me.

What advice would you give to other upcoming writers?

Number 1-Join a good writer's group, such as American Christian Fiction Writers. They offer so much in the way of learning the craft of writing along with encouragement and support, they are invaluable.

Number 2-After you finish your first manuscript, find a critique group. Notice, I say after you finish your first manuscript. If you join a critique group before it's finished, you might find it too discouraging, you'll quite writing. I don't want that to happen.

To become a writer takes time. To become a good writer takes even more time. To become a bestselling novelist...well that's where God come in.

Any upcoming books? Works in progress?

PURSUED was released in July and I have another book coming out in the fall-DECEPTION. Both are suspense with a dash of romance. You can learn more about my books at or at my blog,

Thanks so much for having me here and letting me talk about my writing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Barbara the news (sort of)

I have to admit, I think I agree with whoever first said that authors should set up a Google alert on their name. For those unfamiliar with the term, a Google alert is an automated feature where Google sends you new results to a search. In this case "Barbara Early."

Now I can't say I've found too many people talking about me online. But I have had the added fun, since my last name is an adverb, of having totally unrelated news items sent to me--especially things that take place in Santa Barbara.

So here's what's new, in the world of Barbara Early:

" Lobbying for a foul, Barbara lay prone on the pitch as play continued on its opposite end. Concerns over Barbara’s vital signs were allayed, however, when the Maltese striker popped up and began yelling vociferously at the referee, the linesman, and the fourth official, and possibly a couple of ball boys, concessionaries, and the RailHawks’ mascot Swoops. It was harsh words hurled in the direction of RailHawks’ manager Martin Rennie, however, that immediately preceded Barbara’s early exit in the 77th minute, demonstrating that a two-goal lead is always a great opportunity for the coach to enforce a “Don’t Cross the Boss” policy."
Although I think "the Maltese Striker" would be a cool nickname to have.

As to the Google alert to television station's website that tied me to a string of break-ins into Santa Barbara CVS stores? All I can say is, I have an alibi. Um. When was that again?

And I do seem to hang around some big names these days. Another story, this time from Newsday, and unfortunately no longer available, seems to tie me in with the Kardashian wedding. I wonder if they saved me any cake...