Books In Sync Interviews Author Barbara Boyer
Barbara Resides In Carlsbad, CA USA
Tell us what makes you proud to be a writer from Carlsbad, CA? I don’t’ suppose I have ever thought of this. I am not sure if I actually picked this area to live or if it picked me. I just rode the wind and here I am. After my daughter made her way into law school I made my way to San Diego to pursue my screenwriting career. Financially San Diego is a difficult place to live if you are a starving artist, yet the energy and environment far exceed any financial struggle. There are many artists in my community. I can drive a short distance and be in a totally different place; whether that be the sands of the desert, the sage and grandfather cedars of the mountains, the salty wind of the ocean… it is all here for my inspiration. Money cannot buy that, nor can the lack thereof take it away from me.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I once wrote in an essay (which can be found on my website) that I was a born storyteller… which is a nice way to say I was born a big fat liar!... I had many things happen in my youth and writing always served as an outlet. It wasn’t until my ninth grade when Mrs. Robertson, my quest English teacher, advised me that I had a gift for storytelling. To me, especially at that time in my life when absolutely nothing made sense, it gave me promise of a destiny… a purpose… a positive thing to hang on to that made everything make sense. I never thought I would be published author or screenwriter. I just thought I would be centered in a world that was generally off balance. Yet never, in all the intervening years, have I ever forgot Mrs. Robertson or the day she asked me to stay after class just to tell me she believed in me and believed in my gift-- at a time in my life when there was absolutely nothing to believe in.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I had one of those things we hear about every now and again; you know the “teen pregnancy?” For so long in my life making money was just a necessity, a responsibility. There was no time to bring dreams to fruition. I still wrote in almost every spare moment. Yet I was not a fool. Writing is not just creating a story. It is so much more than that. One must work very, very hard and be dedicated with little financial return in the beginning… and A LOT of rejection. I planned my course, somewhat. I knew I would still be young when my daughter went off to college. I knew then would be my time. I could, if need be (and it had on a few occasions) be homeless or live in my tent to pursue a dream then. So when the time came I packed up my stories I composed over the years, the dog and cat, my music (CD’s), my screenplays all in the old red Mercury Cougar and headed out to California. That was over ten years ago. I never once thought of being a novelist. There was something very orgasmic about being a screenwriter. In my mind it was like being the mustard seed planter. I told a story in brief, then many other artist came together to add their part and “Wallah!” a story came together. Yet one thing had lead to another and here I am a novelist.
Writers may get this, non writers may not… one day I got this premise. I started to think of the protagonist. She (which is what always happens) took on this life of her own inside me. I knew everything there was to know about her, her life, her friends. When her story had finished unfolding inside me, when the time came for me to sit and write, it was no story in brief. . . it was a story in entirety. I just put one foot in front of the other and just did… And here I am, still doing the same.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? As I stated earlier my upbringing played a major role in my writing. I was a spoiled brat and a big fat liar for the first part of my existence, then live kept beating me over the head, from like age nine forward. My writing was always just an outlet a way to express myself in a world where that was just not acceptable. Writing was a way for me to center when things felt so out of whack. Through my writing I found clarity and indeed an outlet for my imagination. I know this sounds hokey, but I was born a writer. It makes everything fit.
Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? What a great question! That all depends, yet usually the title comes after the premise and sometime during the time I am getting to know my protagonist’s life and person… way before I begin to write the story.
Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? Genre has many parts; we have the genre of screenwriting, articles, short stories, novels, etc. Then we have the genre of fiction, or non fiction, then there is romance, mystery, chick lit, horror, inspiration etc. I write what I am told to write. Sometimes a thought will come to mind and I just have the need to share… those are generally articles. I usually just put those on my blog. Sometimes I get this thought (premise) and it just won’t go away. It takes on this life of its own inside of me. Those are usually either a screenplay or a novel… and by far the coolest. Whatever I write, it always starts with a premise. Courage of Fear started as a result from counseling folks –which was my day job for quite a bit. So many people would come to me at very difficult times in their lives trying to find solutions, or roadmaps out. It didn’t matter what the problems or areas of opportunities (I like to call them) were. The results or feelings were always the same… and also the solution was the same, or at least I found that to always ring true. Bad things or life events don’t just happen to a select group of people. Also it didn’t matter what the “thing” or “life event” was, the feelings were generally very similar. So many people, and so much of the time… I was compelled to write Angela’s (my protagonist in Courage of Fear) story.
I first began to ask myself, why do so many people feel alone in their life?.. not their life per say as much as in their selected life event?... When truly they are not. What is the best way I can share what it is I need to share to folks? How do I create a character who had absolutely everything and take away the one thing that means the most to make her believe she has nothing and then would have to get back to everything she already knew which was truth? How can I show how connected everything is in this world? How can I share with people that bad things don’t happen to good people, life happens to all people and life can be hard?... yet the solutions are just so simple we simply overlook them in the emotion. Oh, it was such a powerful story to watch unfold inside myself. And indeed readers report to me the same… and even identifying so much with the life events in Courage, making them their own.
God is funny is he not? He is the true Seed Planter. It is just merely my duty to report what is given to me… and god knows I rarely know what that is, even when it is done sometimes! I just ride the wind and write what is in my heart or report the story… like I have always done. The rest is minutia really. If someone likes it they buy it or publish it, if not then not. It is when someone reads it and takes something positive away from that, weather that is in my blog or in my longer works… well that is my genre albeit.
Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? Oh, there are so many wonderful experiences in the writing process for me. To get this idea and then have it create a life of itself inside of me. Where I walk around sometimes talking to myself, my characters… to be a part of this whole separate life inside myself… where they make it impossible for me not to listen to what they have to share or say or tell me… to be a part of that journey is something, really something. Then to sit at the computer to report the events as I have seen them take place; then to prove how important it is that those events get heard that I will spend hours on hours on hours of editing. It is a marvelous process. Once the story is out there… whether article, screenplay or novel, meeting all the wonderful new friends I make along the way is another added perk… whether it is someone who commented on my blog or someone who emailed me to share something they identified with, or a friend who told me I just had to meet one of their agent friends (although I did get a little freaked out by the guy who waited at my PO Box once… please do not do that.) … this part comes in many ways yet is always connected in some way to the story.. that is pretty cool.
Tell us your most negative experience while in the writing process? Oh, I do not like admitting this, I do not like marketing. I think this might be so because the many years when raising my daughter sales was what I HAD to do to earn a decent living and be responsible. My writing is something I do because it is who I am.
Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I believe the most rewarding experience is when folks begin reading or seeing my work and enjoying or being touched in some way by the experience of it as much as I had.
Tell us your most negative experience in your publishing journey? Again, the marketing.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep going. Keep writing. Keep EDITING. Keep reporting. Keep trudging. Don’t just write because you want to, write because you have to. If you know it is something you have to do you will be willing to make the sacrifices and pay the prices to one day be able to share it with the world. Writing is a lot of work, and many times, one that doesn’t pay well. Be open for the bumps along the way because there will be plenty. Become open to understand rejection in a different light… sometimes it means you need a new set of eyes on a project and sometimes it is just a matter of tastes not in sync—yet no matter which it is it is not about you personally so learn not to take it as such. One day, when you see the movie on the screen, or hold the book in your hand, only you—and those of us that have also been down this same rode, will know just how much you had to sacrifice to make it happen; and then you become the rarity because many don’t stick it out long enough for that to happen.
Who Is Your Favorite Author? If I were to have to name one it would be Virginia Wolfe.
What Format (s) are your books in: Print Only.....E-Book Only....or Both?
Current Book (s)?
Courage of Fear -released Jan of 2009.
What special projects are you working on now and what books do we have to look forward to in the future? I have so many stories that need to be told. I have a whole file of them. I must stay focused though on the one at hand or otherwise I may find myself locked up for MPD. I am currently working on anther novel; I am not sure if the title is Divided We Fall or Don’t Fall. We shall see once the story unfolds.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I think if there were anything it would be thank you. Thank you to you, for taking the time and energy to do this. Thank you to my readers who help my dreams come true, and spare me from being a starving artist, by sharing me and my story at the time with their friends. And thanks to all the folks who take the time to write me (I personally read each and every email and letter I receive.)… it is nice to hear from them and to know I am just not one hand clapping… writing can be an isolating life and it is nice folks reach out to say hey.
I can also be found on twitter, redroom, facebook, myspace, shelfarie, goodreads, and many more.
Interview done by Theodocia McLean – owner of ‘Books In Sync’: