Wednesday, December 23, 2015
An Interview with Constance Barker
MM: Tell us about your favorite place to write and yourwriting schedule?
I use one of the bedrooms in our house as an office and that’s where I write most of the time. It has a window where I can look out at our pond and front field. Sometimes I’ll see deer or even wild turkeys lumbering through. Most of the time I need quiet when writing, but when figuring out plots or developing characters, I like to head to a little diner in our small town. My schedule is sporadic. I have days where I can’t write a thing and other days I can’t stop.
MM: Let's talk about your latest and newest books?
I’m very excited about the newest book “A Sinister Slice of Murder” as it starts a brand new series. I co-author the book with A. J. DeBellis who is a dream to work with, an incredible story teller, and a fantastic editor as well.
The series is a departure from my other two series as it delves into more paranormal subjects. That’s not to say it’s scary or terrifying. My readers will still find the quirky characters and humorous situations that are the foundation of my other series. Only this time some of the comical antics might be from the ghosts themselves. The series is set in the mythical tourist town of Whispering Pines, Georgia. My heroine, Jessie, is greeted with ghosts from her past as she moves back to Whispering Pines after years of being away. It’s a lot of fun and Jessie, like my other heroines, is feisty, but loveable.
I also released the latest book in the Caesars Creek Mystery Series, “A Drizzle of Deception.” This is the tenth book in the series. These books and the Sweet Home Series have been a joy to write. I love my characters and enjoy bringing them to life.
MM: 2016 in your life and writing, what are you looking forward to doing, writing and what will be published?
I hope to travel more in 2016. Getting out of a normal routine, even for a week or a few days, can help with creativity. I’ve noticed that when I take a day or two and just get away from the keyboard, I come back refreshed and ready to write.
I have another series I hope to launch in 2016. This one will also surround the paranormal, but the setting is quite different from any of my other series. I don’t want to give too much away, but quirkiness and humor will remain in this series as well.
MM: Do you ever binge watch television shows? Which ones do you like to watch?
I love to binge watch television shows. My husband and I have binge watched “Lost” and “Breaking Bad.” I also binge watched the David Tennant years of “Dr. Who” as well.
MM: If you were going to sit down to a meal with five authors from the past (this means dead or alive), who would they be? What would you ask them? What meal would you have?
Wow. Well, definitely Stephen King. He has been my favorite author for over 20 years. I also like true crime authors, Ann Rule and Katherine Casey. I’d like to ask Stephen how he sleeps at night with all those strange and horrific thoughts running through his head.lol
However, his latest works aren’t as grim and violent as earlier books.
I would like to ask Ann and Katherine how different it is when writing true events instead of fiction. Many of my books are cozy murder mysteries, but they’re not real. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to write about some of the savagery of man.
As far as what would be served….I would like to offer a few appetizers or finger foods such as stuffed mushrooms or Asian lettuce wraps. For the main course I’d like to serve ribeye steaks, grilled asparagus, and a gourmet mac and cheese. Dessert would be red velvet cake.
MM: Do you ever re-read some of your favorite books?
I use to when I was younger, but now there are so many wonderful books to read I have a hard time getting to them all.
MM: What would your characters tell us about you?
Hmmm…Well I think Stormi, one of my favorite characters from the Caesars Creek Series, would say I worry too much and that I should be more like her. She’s a firecracker and lives life large with no regrets. She would definitely tell me to do the same.
Essie and Hildie from the Sweet Home series would likely say that I work too much and should take a ride in their golf cart once in a while to get out of the house.
MM: They say it takes a village to publish a book. Who is in your village?
My village consists of my husband who produces my cover art and my mother who beta reads my books, pointing out any errors. A. J. Debellis has also edited many of the books.
MM: What would you like to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for reading, providing positive reviews, and bolstering my confidence to keep writing. There were many times when I read a one or two star review that I thought about just hanging up my pen, so to speak. But then I’d read the comments on my FB page of how much people loved the characters and stories, and that has meant so much to me. My readers help me to keep trudging on.
MM: As a child growing up were you a reader? What authors and their books were your favorites?
Oh yes. My grandmother would give me the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books to read and I would devour them. I couldn’t wait to see who the culprit was. I could get lost in the stories and being an only child they were my companions.
MM: Here are some fun questions. What is your favorite place to vacation? Your favorite song, movies, meal. dessert, snack, and be our tour guide. Tell us why you like living where you live?
I love Las Vegas. It’s always changing and there’s so much to see, even outside the city. I love going to the shows, relaxing by the pool, and of course a little gambling too.
Favorite song: That’s difficult because there are so many. But “Love Shack” always makes me smile.
Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption
Meal: Ribeye steak
Dessert: Chocolate ice cream
The area around my home is very tranquil. I don’t have to go camping because I feel like I am right where I live. We have a woods behind our home that my husband has mowed down and removed the brush so it looks more like a park. We live almost 900 feet from the main road so in front of the house is an open field and a small pond that we fish in. I love my screened in porch as it allows me to sit outside without slapping bugs and mosquitoes. We have a line of pine trees that follows up the driveway.
MM: If your books were turned into a series or movies who can you see playing the lead characters?
I could envision a blond Melissa McCarthy playing Stormi.
MM: What comes first, the plot, setting, character or situation? How do you build your book?
For me it’s the characters and the plot flows from them. I want my characters to move the plot along and they tell me what kind of situations they’ll fall into and how to get them out of those predicaments.
MM: Let's plug some conventions, conferences, retreats and book signings for you?
I don't have any conventions, conferences or book signings. Maybe someday.; )
MM: In your life who makes you laugh the most and why?
My husband. He has a funny sense of humor and I'm often surprised at some of the things he says.
MM: Lastly leave us with some sage words of writing wisdom.
Don't let doubt keep you from your dream. I allowed doubt and low confidence rob me of many years of writing. I think you'll find it's easier when you go ahead and give yourself the green light to write. I started by envisioning my characters and from there it was easy to write about them.
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