Today's interview is with Barbara Meyers.
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
Mostly I write contemporary romance and sometime in two romance sub-genres: romantic comedy and romantic suspense. I also write women’s fiction with a strong romantic element. I’ve experimented with young adult and fantasy.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Both, I think. My mother watched soap operas when I was growing up. I loved the drama and the relationships. When I got older, I cut my teeth on Rosemary Rogers, Bertrice Small and Kathleen Woodiwiss among others. Along the way I also read a few disappointing romance novels until one day I threw one of those across the room after I finished it and proclaimed, “I can write better than that!” I did. I do. I have.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
I wouldn’t rule anything out, but I probably wouldn’t venture into writing science or historical fiction.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
I love suspense of all kinds, although I find romantic suspense done well can be difficult to find. I read a lot of psychological suspense and women’s fiction. I don’t, as a general rule, search out or read romance novels.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
I’ve been writing for twenty-plus years, but my publishing career is just starting to take off. I live in Southwest Florida with my dog and my first husband. Both my children are grown. For the past eight years I’ve worked at the local Starbucks, currently as a shift supervisor. It’s a great job for a writer.
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That is a hard question. At the moment, I’d say Trey Christopher, who will be featured in the third Braddock Brotherhood book from Samhain Publishing. He’s a small North Carolina town’s golden boy who made it big in the NFL and then crashed and burned. My story finds him returning to his hometown to rebuild his life and make amends. His goal is to stop behaving like an a**hole! I’m having fun watching him fight his addictions and take more care in his relationships with women than he has in the past.
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Some of my stories have villains and some don’t. Often you don’t need a villain because the characters are their own worst enemy. In Not Quite Heaven, I created the villain rather late, during one of many revisions. He arrived naturally, born out bitter resentment and grief he believes is caused by the hero.
8. What are you working on now?
A couple of things. The third book in The Braddock Brotherhood series, which I’ve tentatively titled The FirstTtime Again. It features a thirty-year-old virgin as the heroine and the aforementioned Trey Christopher as the hero.
I’m also working on a women’s fiction story about a woman whose life begins to unravel when she becomes pregnant by another man while her husband is in a coma.
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
Not Quite Heaven came from one of the ultimate romantic premises: A man and a woman with a difficult past who are snowed in together. Initially, it’s set in the mountains of northern Maine and later moves back to New York City.
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
Not Quite Heaven explores how events and encounters from the past come back to haunt both the hero and the heroine and threaten the future they hope to build after they are forced to work together. The hero, Ian, is a best-selling author who may have lost his touch, so I created a story within the story. Ian unwittingly creates an alter ego in the character of police detective Ray Latimer. A slice of Ray’s story begins each chapter.
NOT QUITE HEAVEN
by Barbara Meyers
“Detective Latimer? You want to come have a look at this?”
Ray sauntered over to the rookie cop hunkered down on the wet pavement. He had little use for female trainees on the squad, especially if they were as eager to prove themselves as Officer Carrie Young. In Ray’s experience, women rarely knew as much as they thought they did, and someone always got hurt. Usually him.
The computer keyboard hummed as the scene flowed from Ian’s imagination through his fingers and onto the screen. For once the dialogue came easily, the plot moved according to plan.
Sham rushed to the window in a flash of black and white fur. Ian ignored the dog’s growl. Nothing and no one would break his concentration. Not now. Not when, for once, the writing was going well.
Sham let loose with a series of sharp barks. Ian tensed, his fingers still poised over the keyboard.
The perfect twist of dialogue, the expression Ian envisioned in Ray Latimer’s eyes evaporated. Like the smoky tendrils of a dream which couldn’t be recaptured once awake, the essence of the scene remained but the specifics vanished. Such was the life of a writer.
“Damn it, Sham.” Ian gripped the arms of his chair and shoved it backward to stare out the window of his second floor office. To his amazement a bright red mini SUV, complete with skis strapped on top, partially covered by snow, sat in the driveway. “How in the hell?”
Several raps on the front door punctuated Sham’s excited woofs as he bounded down the stairs ahead of his master.
Through the peephole Ian eyed the woman on the doorstep as she shifted from one foot to the other.
His brain refused to accept the possibility a lone female had negotiated the treacherous mountain lane in such inclement winter weather to find him.
He took note of a red beret perched at a jaunty angle on top of dark hair and a matching scarf wound above the collar of an asphalt gray coat. With red-leather-gloved hands she rubbed her upper arms against the winter chill and continued to squirm.
Something about the woman was hauntingly, frighteningly familiar. Even as he told himself it couldn’t be he knew it was her. Ian’s initial annoyance at the interruption to his work multiplied ten-fold. He silently forgave Sham and transferred the blame where it belonged.
Ian yanked the door open.