Thursday, November 5, 2015

Introducing: Barbara Lieberman

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing a new to me author. So here's a bit about Barbara Lieberman:

Can you remember the first book you read that made you love literature?

No. I have been reading books since I learned to read from cereal boxes. I can't remember far back enough to recall a time I didn't love books and everything about them. That love has only increased and deepened as I've gotten older.

It's been said that authors leave pieces of themselves in their works, do you believe this? If so, what is a piece of you that you left in Message on the Wind

There are always little pieces of me in my stories. In Message on the Wind, Ellen Price is most definitely inspired by my daughter, Ellie. And, the kind of relationship Ellie and Alex is inspired by my own parents. Ironically, I wrote the story 15 years ago and it was just 8 years ago that I got on a train to start a new life out West. So, there is that as well, after the fact. In To Miss the Stars, Emma encourages Eugenia to try her hand at making scented sugars, something I have made for years.

Do you set your books in locations you have visited, or base them off of locations you've visited? 

Not at all. In fact, so far my stories are based in places I've never been. The story comes to me and I write it as it comes, including where and when it takes place. I wrote Message on the Wind and only later researched Wyoming to get it right. I found that I had pretty much nailed it, without ever having been there. I still wonder how that's possible.

Do you prefer to write at a specific time of day or do you write whenever the mood strikes? 

The stories come when they come and the characters speak up when they feel like it. I have to have a notebook and pen, or voice recorder, with me at all times, because I never know when a story line or scene will appear. On the other hand, whenever there is uninterrupted time, I can sit down and write by just going to 'that place' where the stories come from and there they are.

What is the hardest part about being an author?

 The hardest part for me was the first time strangers read my book. They had no emotional investment in me, no reason to be kind and encouraging, so I felt as if I were walking down the street naked during a huge parade at a political convention. Terrifying! Fortunately, it has all turned out very well.

In your opinion, does the literary world need more of anything in particular?

We need more of us who are in it for everyone to succeed. More people willing to link arms and support all those who dream of publishing their writing. More editors willing to work with first-time authors. And better business models for self-publishing authors on sites like Amazon, so we can be seen and read.

How do you find "new to you" authors? 

From online author events, from the weekly Confessions on Indie Authors and Book Blogs, and from live author events, which is my favorite way. There is something very special about meeting an author at an event and then reading their book, or meeting someone whose book you loved.

Is there any genre you wish to write in just for fun? 

I actually am doing this now. I am working on a dragon story for an anthology that is due out in May, 2016. Not my usual kind of story so I'm enjoying breaking out into something new.

Do you base your characters off of people in your personal life? 

I have, mainly my daughter. And I have a children's book coming out that is based on my son. More often, it's things the characters do that are based on people I know. For example, Marie and Cameron McEwen drew sketches of their dream home, when they began to build their new life in the Wyoming Territory (part of To Reap a Whirlwind, coming out in January). This is based on my parents doing that same thing when they were just married and dreaming about their own dream home.

What is your number 1 tip to newbie authors? 

Get an editor. You want to put out the best possible book you can and an editor is essential. Really put the work in up front, so that it's the best version of your story. The book, and you, deserve that.

Do you have any suggestions for authors wishing to push themselves to be better at their craft? 

I am always trying to be a better writer. For me, each book should be better than the next. So, read articles on improving. Have beta-readers go through your manuscript and listen to what they have to say. Take in what works for you, discard what doesn't. But do listen to constructive criticism. It hurts at first but it will make you better.

What is something you wish you could "master" within the writing/publishing process? 

I want to start my own publishing company. I love supporting other authors by editing and formatting their books, as well as encouraging them when they get discouraged and believing in their dreams when no one else does. It is definitely the next big thing I want to master.

One last thing... sales of my books and book swag support Project Semicolon ( and my Treasure of Ravenwood: A Fairy Tale is a Reading is Fundamental book, supporting children in knowing the joy of owning a book when they might not otherwise know what that is like.

Thank so you much Barbara! Here's her post through #IABBAddict

Check out more information on #IABBAddicts here
Join us every Thursday for IABB #Confessions

Author: Barbara Lieberman

Title: Message on the Wind

Pages: 458

Genre: Historical Romance

Date published: April 9, 2015

Would you follow your heart, if it meant leaving behind everything and everyone you've ever known? Board a train with Ellen Price and travel to a new life. Even as she begins a new life, she'll change the lives of all she meets.

Ellie turned quickly to run back to the wagon. She abruptly ran into the front of a man and almost fell down, dropping her purchases all over the ground. Looking up, she realized that he must be the tallest man she had ever seen. Daniel Cooper was tall but this man was huge! He had very tanned skin and black eyes that were blazing at her. His very long, black hair was pulled back and tied in a way that was long out of fashion. His hands were on his hips and he was clearly incensed about something. "Excuse me," Ellie said, surprised by the obvious anger on his face and wondering why it was directed at her. "I didn't see you. I just need to get back to my friends..." As she tried to reach for her packages, the giant stepped in her way, his eyes narrowing. "What happened to Little Flower?" he demanded.
"Little Flower?" Ellie asked, confused for a moment by the unusual name. "Oh, you mean the woman? The clerk in the store gave her a difficult time about buying a blanket. First, he blatantly refused to wait on her and then he tried to charge her five dollars! She left without it so, I bought the blanket for her." She paused in her explanation, suddenly, tilted her head and stared up at him. This was quite difficult given the differences in their heights. "Why do you want to know, so rudely I might add?" The stranger looked Ellie up and down rather deliberately, his black eyes returning to stare into hers once more. Having found herself in similar situations before, Ellie simply endured his frank appraisal. He seemed surprised she challenged him, her hands now on her hips defiantly, but then bullies usually were surprised when anyone stood up to them. This one seemed no exception. His expression relaxed only a little. "I am usually the one protecting The People around here." "The People? I'm not familiar...with…?" Ellie asked, noticing he was still staring at her. She continued to stare right back at him and tried not to notice just how handsome he was. "Indians." The man's eyes narrowed further as he said this, as if expecting some reaction from her.
"Have we met?" "Oh, well," Ellie stammered, suddenly embarrassed at her own behavior. "I didn't realize that you meant... or that she was... well, it doesn't really matter that she is one of the People, does it? What a lovely way of putting that, much better than Indian. Anyway, he shouldn't have treated her that way. I only saw someone being taken advantage of. I do tend to stick my nose in when I see that. A terrible habit of mine but there you have it." Thinking the incident resolved, Ellie again moved to retrieve her things from the ground. "Now, if you will excuse me, sir, I really must find my friends..." The man moved to block her yet again, apparently not quite finished with her yet.


Message on the Wind Prize Pack includes:
MOTW tote bag, MOTW mug, MOTW pendant, MOTW ribbon bookmark, Arrowleaf Balsamroot seeds, and my Re-imaginng Happily Ever After pin.

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