Interview with Barbra E. Ross

When did you first start writing?
I started writing in school, and I fell in love with sharing stories. It was so cool to be able to think like someone else. pretend to be in another person's shoes and do what they would do. I had good reactions from friends and teachers from my stories. I decided I wanted to write screenplays and went to school in NYC. But, back in those days, it was more who you knew and not what you knew, so I became discouraged and headed back home to Michigan. But writing would not be ignored. And the story of Justin and Ambra became a way for me to escape life. I had a dream one night, about a woman who saved her lover from certain death. I woke and began writing that night. Then, it all fell into place and the story was born. I was at first very embarrassed to share the story. So many people have preconceived ideas about vampire stories. I let a few close friends read the story, printed form, on 400 sheets of paper even! I went through alot of paper and ink! But then, people would tell me that they could not stop reading. One lady told me that she sat in her chair and did not do one thing until she finished the book. That was the start. I had people calling, begging for more pages, texting me, yelling at me for more. I was stunned. I knew i liked it, but i had no idea how it would impact other people. And now here I am, self published.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Because i knew I had a great story. I put over 10 years into this story, writing and rewriting it. Making the choice to go public was difficult for me. But i believed I had an idea that was unlike any out there. Most vampire stories are about the poor girl and the bad vampire guy. Mine is the opposite. It is told from the man's point of view and he meets the vampire. Ambra is like a breath of fresh air to me. She is innocent, if you could call a vampire innocent, and has a set of standards that she holds dear. Then, the amount of people who truly loved the book and their encouragement. I could not have pulled it off without their advice.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is the sequel to A Mortal Indiscretion. A Mortal Indiscretion is a love story at it's heart. A fantastic love between a man and a vampire. I wanted to take a normal man and give him extraordinary situations, but yet make them down to earth, as if you were experiencing it with him. Marzio's Revenge is the sequel and it is the development of Justin's character. He faces a huge obstacle and it tests everything that he believed in. And it forces him to make a choice, an extremely difficult choice. It is darker than the first novel with a intelligent enemy.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It has enabled me to offer my work through many more channels. It is very hard to get your work out there, especially being an unknown author. Smashwords has helped me broaden my horizons and I just now landed a book signing at Barnes and Noble that i feel is in part to the reach Smashwords provided.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When someone writes me and tells me how much they loved the book. I recently had a lady tell me she wanted a love like Justin and Ambra had. It brought me to tears. That was all I ever wanted was to bring joy to others, give them an escape for a while. And that has come true...
What do your fans mean to you?
They warm my heart. Just knowing I sat in my room, writing this story and now people are reading it in England, Italy, Canada...it blows my mind. And now, with the social media advances, they can connect with me and they give me feedback right away. I love feedback as it helps me grow as an author.
What are you working on next?
The third book Zeus, is written in rough draft form. I plan on working on that and hopefully get it out in release soon.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life. Just being able to wake up and breathe everyday is a blessing. Then, there is my family and my dog, and 2 cats.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full time as a nurse. If I am not nursing, I am writing...
How do you approach cover design?
I really try to come up with an idea, and i give it to my cover designer. I knew I wanted a blood moon on the cover and I also did not want photos of people, suggesting what Justin or Ambra look like. I want the readers to make up their own ideal image of them in their mind. I think you have to respect your readers, let them decide what the story means to them. I just wanted to give you an idea that it was a vampire novel.
Published 2016-08-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.