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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nickie's Ten Questions to Barbara Pierce

This time, I'm asking romance writer Barbara Pierce some questions... Curious what she'll answer? Then read my online interview.

1) Was it your dream to become a writer, or did you want to do something different as a child?
Actually, when I was four years old, I decided that I wanted to be an artist. At age six, I took my first art class with a local artist and I was hooked. Unless it was school-related, my writing was something I considered private. I didn’t even consider writing a book until I was in my late twenties.

2) Did you take any courses to help you become a better writer?
I took creative writing and literature classes in high school and college, but the classes were strictly for fun. At the time, I was focused more on drawing and painting.

3) Do you think it can be helpful to join writers/critique groups when you are an aspiring author?
Absolutely. This is how I started. I met several aspiring authors through America Online, and we eventually formed a private critique group. Over the years, their support and insight was invaluable. Out of our group of five, three of us went on to become published.

4) Did it take you long to find an agent?
My search took two years. It was a long process, because an agent’s response time varied from six weeks to six months.

5) Finally, your first book got published. How did you feel about that?
I was elated! I believed in my work, but selling that first story confirmed that I had taken my writing beyond a hobby.

6) How was the reception of this novel?
I thought for the most part, the book was very well received. Unfortunately, before A Desperate Game was release, Kensington discontinued the Zebra Splendor line so I didn’t get a chance to write the follow-up book, which would have been Kim Farrell’s story.

7) I can believe that not everyone likes what you write. How do you deal with criticism?

You’re right, you can’t please everyone. One reader’s favorite book of the year is another reader’s wall banger. That alone has taught me not to be reactive. Sure, criticism can sting, but I do my best to shake it off.

8) You have chosen the Regency period as your favorite. Any reason why you don't write about other periods in history?
It just worked out this way. I’m certainly open to exploring other time periods and subgenres. However, when I sold my first book in 2000, the historical market was shrinking. Many established historical authors had switched to other subgenres, and there were rumors that the market was dead. Publishers were still buying Regency historicals so it made sense to continue writing them. Since the English Regency is one of my favorite time periods, I was thrilled to have the chance to write both the Bedegrayne and Carlisle series.

9) What do you need in order to write well?
Organization. Once I’ve done my research for a book, I would be lost if I didn’t have my synopsis and character profiles within reach. Since most of my books are connected, I have a cheat sheet of facts so I know at a glance what I’ve revealed in earlier books.

10) Last question: what do you read yourself? Any favorites?
My reading ranges from non-fiction books for research to romance. I enjoy all the subgenres. Some of my personal favorites are: When Angels Fall by Meagan McKinney, Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart, Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey, The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning, and anything by Lorraine Heath.


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