Interview with H.M. Barone

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote, I didn't finish. It was a Christmas play for our youth group to perform. It was when I was thirteen-ish and the only part I can remember was that there were angels watching two little girls.
What is your writing process?
I take a new composition notebook and write down my idea. From there, I create the world, characters and events. If I think it's a worthwhile idea, I carry the notebook around with me and continue to work on it until it is book worthy. After that, I commit it to the computer and flesh it out.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I read, that had an impact on me, was "The Outsiders" when I was in seventh grade. I'll never forget the Robert Frost poem or the fact that the story taught me that everyone has a story to tell.
How do you approach cover design?
I actually have a very dear friend who is an amazingly talented illustrator. I tell her what my book is about and we bounce ideas back and forth until we come up with something we are both happy with. She then brings it to life and I love her for it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Asking me to pick favorite books it like asking me to pick a favorite child. After the Holy Bible which is God's divine instruction on how to live our life, how about the five most prominent books that effected my life:
1. The Outsiders, because everyone has a story and we all tell them in our own unique way.
2. The Hobbit, because dragons can be real and they can be defeated.
3. Tale of the Fourth Grade Nothing, because sometimes life's just not fair.
4. The High King, because what we think the ending should be, isn't always what it is.
5. Kushiel's Chosen, because strong women can be just as powerful as men.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm currently working on reading several different books: Heat Rises, by Richard Castle; Stone of Tears, by Terry Goodkind; and Red Rabbit, by Tom Clancy. I read many different genres of books. It simply depends on what frame of mind I'm in when I pick one up.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Sadly, I haven't gotten around to that particular medium. I've got books stacked all over my room, as do both of my daughters. Though I'm fairly certain they just graduated to using their iPods for reading.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is the first book I've ever published. However, I'm already promoting it on Facebook as well as my page on DeviantArt. I'm hoping that word of mouth will be a good start. I also am looking into the plethora of options provided by this site.
Describe your desk
My desk? It's chaotic, at best. I've got a pencil holder filled with highlighters, markers, pens and even a few pencils. I've got a Disney castle snow globe that plays "A Dream is a Wish". There is a box of tissues and my dragon in its egg incense burner. Somewhere amidst the stuff is my printer, with my dictionary, thesaurus and Captain Malcolm Reynolds Funko pop! Seated firmly near my right hand is a sizable mug that announces "Stay up late and write"! There are a few other little odds and ends that have found their way onto the desk as well, but are of little mention.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I never left the area where I grew up. In fact I'm currently living only seven minutes from my childhood home. It is a rural area bordering on a vast expanse of farmlands. It often felt very near the middle of nowhere, where nothing exciting would ever happen. As a result, the worlds I write are filled with adventure, intrigue and action. There is little time for just standing still.
When did you first start writing?
I first started seriously writing when I was in seventh grade. One of my friends "wrote a play" so I had to write one better. From there, I loved telling stories and I haven't stopped.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've always loved spy stories and books and movies with intrigue. Far too often, though, they are focused around a man with his "damsel in distress". I found it surprisingly infuriating and told myself I would write a book about a woman who could do just as well as a man, but more gracefully. She doesn't feel the need to act like a guy because she' compensating and she's not overly girlie. She's simply herself.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A year of rejection by every publishing company and agency I could find.
Published 2015-01-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Milan Courtship: The Zoey Jane Files
Series: The Zoey Jane Files. Price: $3.99 $2.00 USD. (50% off!) Words: 107,210. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
This is the third installment in the Zoey Jane Files. Follow Zoey and her team as she suffers the consequences of the choices she made to pursue Andre Karpov. Now she is forced to go into deep cover as an infamous cat burglar and saboteur to gain the confidence of a deadly terrorist and infiltrate his organization.
Free Falling: The Zoey Jane Files
Series: The Zoey Jane Files. Price: $3.99 $1.00 USD. (75% off!) Words: 80,500. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
The sequel to Into Darkness follows Zoey through the next part of her journey.
Into Darkness: The Zoey Jane Files
Series: The Zoey Jane Files. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 83,290. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Suspense
She was raised as a spy. Her father taught her the trade. After high school and the military, she went into the family business. Years later, she found herself frustrated with the system so she returned to the private sector. Zoey reconnects with her high school sweetheart and things start to get interesting. Follow her on her adventure of revenge, mayhem and excitement.