Interview with Barbara Romines

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the 50's in south Texas. Moving to Missouri while I high school I've lived here since 1967. I moved around a lot as a child and I think that's where my love for reading came from. When you're the new kid books and music are really good friends. That love has never left me and guided me into a teaching career. I taught students from pre-school to college and have a Master's Degree in Reading Education.
When did you first start writing?
I can't remember not enjoying writing. English was my favorite subject in school and I always had a vivid imagination. I used to make up stories and tell my friends even in high school. I finished my first book in 1996 but didn't get anywhere with it. It sat collecting dust until about five years ago. Seems I'm a late bloomer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm So Glad It Was You - is my third eBook. It's the journey of a popular actor with a hidden past. Griffin Carter goes home to do a career day event he's talked into and meets a former high school flame. Sparks fly and the tortured soul of Griffin sees light for the first time. Things are going well for the young couple until his father, a convicted murder, is released early from prison turning their lives up-side-down.
It's a modern day contemporary romance.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I spent a lot time studying, reading, preparing queries to book companies and agents, and sending them out over the past ten years. I used Writer's Market and Writer's Digest and any tool I could find to try to get my work out there. I understand it's a tough market, but I was continually turned down which I can live with but being turned down without even the consideration of asking to read some of my work became increasingly frustrating. How does an agent know he/she doesn't want to be my agent if he isn't even willing to read a page?
I started checking out eBooks and believe they are the coming thing in this digital age. No one likes to hold a book in their hands more than me, however, digital books are usually what I purchase now. They are economical, don't waste paper, and are an alternative to people that have stories to tell and no way to get them out to the public.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything. If you can't get a fan base that enjoys your work - how will you make enough money to keep on writing. I believe there are many talented writers out there that just don't know how to connect with a fan base. I'm just one of them.
What are you working on next?
Wait For Me is with my editing partner right now and hopefully will be available in a few weeks. There is information about all four of my books on barbararomines.com
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, that's easy, Emily Bronte for certain. I've read her works dozens of times. I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan but like to discover unfamiliar authors as well. I like John Grisham because I really like his really easy read format. I always know what to expect without a lot of fluff and am never disappointed reading him.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I go to bed thinking about what I'm working on and get up thinking about it. It's a matter of can I get down everything I was thinking about during those times on paper. I keep paper and pen by my bed so I can write in the dark so not to wake my husband. Sometimes its difficult to decipher what you wrote in a sleepy stupor.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have been married for over forty years to the same understanding man, and we have been fortunate to travel a lot. I keep thinking I should write about that but my writing heart lies with romance. I love to read solid stories about handsome men, pretty women, romance and how they prevail over conflict. An old concept but still a good one in my view.
I like to draw, garden, and since I've retired from teaching I am enjoying having time to read, listen to music, and watch movies.
I have an eight year old beagle that literally rules the roost that I like to walk.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I surf the sites for them, mainly Amazon and IBook's but I've bought off of Barnes and Noble and Kobe as well. My work is available on all sites.
Savannah's Gift is a historical romance novel set in the 1800's
Falling In Love With Isabel Starr is a contemporary romance set in California
I'm So Glad It Was You is a contemporary romance also set in California
What is your writing process?
I used to write in spiral notebooks enjoying the process of writing things by hand. Of course, it was time consuming transcribing them to the computer. These days I write three to eight hours a day depending on what I'm doing. When I'm in the middle of something it's hard for me to quit and if I'm not typing a story as it comes to me, I'm thinking about working on it. I have never had writer's block. My problem is not enough time to get on the page what I want to.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm sure it was a Bronte story. Wuthering Heights has always been my favorite story.

Pride and Prejudice would be a close second.
How do you approach cover design?
I do them myself. I like to photograph flowers and outdoor scenes and have used a couple on covers. I bought the photo on line for the last book. Then I go to fotoflexer.com and make the cover. It's easy and free.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle and an ASUS tablet. I have books downloaded on both.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am a member of the Ozark's Romance Writer's Group in Springfield, Missouri and an in a couple writing groups on Linked-in, Facebook and my web site: barbararomines.com
I don't spend as much time working on marketing as I should. I spend my time writing but have learned if you want to get your work out there you have to do both.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's a joy to finish a story. Writer's have these character's in their heads that just have to get out. I think if you truly have to get them out - then you are destined to be a writer. Would it be nice to have some fame doing what you love - sure. Some notoriety - sure. Enough money to live on - sure. But if you'd write anyway, because you have to get the stories out - that's the real reward. That may sound cheesy, but that's how it is.
Published 2013-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.