Friday, January 3, 2014

Chatting with fellow Author: Barbara Andrews

My good friend and multi-published author, Barbara Andrews has been tremendous help for me in my writing journey.

I would like to pick her brains about the writing and publishing process of her latest book:

Hetty’s Song: The Death Of The Skylark

Why did you write this particular book?  Any incident prompted the story?

In searching my ancestors, I found a young Mennonite girl in Singer’s Glen, Virginia, who historians reference as the greatest singer to come from Rockingham County, the home of an enclave of singers in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.  I had to tell her story.

Give us a short synopsis or a blurb about the book.

A gifted Brethren girl, Hetty wants only to sing.  She runs away from home and becomes the new Nightingale of Cincinnati only to battle an ancient family skylark with its curse of mental disorder, heartbreak, and failure.  Will she succumb to muteness, or will she sing again overcoming harsh obstacles presented by strict family traditions, an irresponsible husband, and the outside world she does not understand.

How would you describe your journey into the publishing world as an author?

An exciting adventure in meeting challenges and finding ultimate personal satisfaction.

What advice can you give a writer who wants to get his or he work published?

Look carefully into both self and traditional publishing venues. I’ve published in both. Learn how to present your story to agents and/or social media.

When did you start writing? Any specific reason why you took that step? 

When I retired, my extensive business writing turned to writing fiction about notable men and women in early America—poignant stories which would not otherwise be told. 

How do you handle negative criticism, feedback and peer critique?         

I wouldn’t consider my stories successful unless they generated critique and reader opinions.  Negative opinions have helpful nuggets, which make stories stronger.

Let’s get a little personal: 

Favorite Book -- How Green Was My Valley tied with True Women
Favorite Author -- Richard Llewellyn and Janice Woods Windle
Favorite Movie -- The War Horse
Favorite type of music or song-- Ballads, bluegrass, gospel, classical
Favorite time of the day -- Morning
Favorite downtime activity (when you are not writing)-- Counted cross-stitch embroidery
Favorite place or vacation destination-- Any place where nature is not compromised; i.e. mountains or Newfoundland

You can connect with Barbara Andrews on her social media links:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Barbara. And thank you for all the constructive feedback you have given me during our critique sessions.

Lilas Taha is a novelist, winner of the 2017 International Book Awards  and is the author of Shadows of Damascus and Bitter Almonds.

1 comment:

  1. The support and constructive suggestions have been mutual. You are a perceptive and positive influence in my writing life. I look forward to reading Shadows of Damascas very, very soon!


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