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Christopher M. Lawson

Barbara Watkins

An interview I conducted with Barbara Watkins, author of Thorns of an Innocent Soul, Behind the Red Door (both published by PublishAmerica), and Unexplainable Events of Terror, which was published by Lulu.com.

Thorns of an Innocent Soul
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Barbara Watkins

Behind the Red Door
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Barbara Watkins

1. Can you give us a basic summary of your books, Thorns of an Innocent Soul, Behind the Red Door, and Unexplainable Events of Terror?

In Thorns of an Innocent Soul, I tried to create a tragic account of a young woman's soul, poisoned by years of abuse at the hand of her mother. Opportunities for redemption present themselves, but the young woman's spirit is so broken by hatred, she cannot see the opportunities for what they are until it is too late. This tale searches the gray areas between right and wrong; the fine line between love and hate.

Behind The Red Door was my first novella, (my first baby so to speak.) I combined several supernatural elements in this tale. I introduce the reader to visitors not of this world. The reader follows a young mother and her son, as they are terrorized by nightmares and unearthly events. They will have to use their strong spiritual connection to each other, if they want to succeed in destroying the evil that preys upon them.

Unexplainable Events of Terror is a book containing three short stories of horror, each tale distinctive in its own storyline. Passage Way to Hell takes the reader on a journey back through time, and invites them into a world of darkness with little possibility of escaping an impending doom. Spirits of a Jester explores subjects such as voodoo, curses, and the possibility that they just might exist. Awaken Spirit tells a tale of a soul lost in between our world and a world we have yet to uncover. Do spirits of a past life live among us? The reader will embark on a journey in which they do indeed. 

2. How long did it take you to write each from start to finish

It took me about six month to write each of my novellas, and about two months for each story I wrote for my book of short stories, Unexplainable Events of Terror. I opted to make my book of short stories available through a self-publishing company called Lulu. I liked the fact I am able to keep complete control over my work, and I'm not obligated under any contract. Nevertheless, one needs to understand self-publishing can be expensive and quite time consuming, but it is another venue for a writer to take.    

3. Did you do any research while writing? If so, what kind?

Well Chris, you may think my answer to this is somewhat peculiar. As a young child, upon several occasions, I witnessed what I refer to as supernatural phenomenon. I in turn incorporated many of the events into my story lines. I used several vivid nightmares of my own to create my most frightening tales.

4. Are there any authors or books who inspired you as a writer?

Stephen King and Anne Rice has always been an inspiration to me. I love how their stories are character driven. With each turn of the page they make you feel as if you're there. They make the most unbelievable circumstances seem possible.

5. Do you keep a strict writing schedule?

I write something everyday, even if it is only a few lines. Sometimes I work on several different projects, although tedious at times, it helps keep my mind flowing with ideas. Most of the time I work late at night, less distractions. I take a pencil and pad everywhere I go in case an idea or thought arrives.  

6. Who is your target audience?

I would say young adult to adult, depending on which book. They do contain thought provoking subjects and frightening situations, but I also express the dire need to have and keep a strong spiritual connection with the ones we love. What I am trying to say is, they are not just all gore and blood.

7. What are some of your favorite books?

I have many Chris, but I would have to say Stephen King's The Shining and Anne Rice The Vampire Chronicles are at the top.

8. What would you like your readers to know about you?

Chris, I would like them to know first and foremost that I'm still learning my craft as I go. I in no way consider myself an experienced writer, but I hope one day to be. I love to entertain the reader, thrust them into a world of make believe. I get the utmost satisfaction in knowing I have created something fresh and new for my readers to enjoy.  

9. What are you working on now?

So glad you asked Chris! I have just finished my first full length novel, Hollowing Screams. It is a psychological thriller with a spoonful of supernatural phenomenon added in for flavor. It took about a year to finish, and I did research several elements of the story. Without giving to much away, it dives deep into the world of schizophrenic paranoia, and touches on the possibility of supernatural forces being  a reality, not a possibility. It is in the editing process and I hope to acquire an agent this time around.

10. Any tips for aspiring writers?

If I could stress one thing, it would be not to give up on their dream. I know that sounds cliche, but it is easy to lose perspective when met with obstacles, such as rejection. Write about what you know and love. Don't change your style of writing, just because someone says it will not sell. Research before submitting to agents or publishers. If you're writing to get rich, the odds are not favorable. You will find many struggling writers out there, and only a handful of established authors. Hire a professional to critique and edit your work. It takes only a few errors to get your work rejected by the major publishing world. Even with an editor Behind the Red Door and Thorns of an Innocent Soul ended up with a few minor errors, case in point, check the editor's credentials. You want your work to be polished before submitting. Above all, enjoy and take pride in your writing, it will show in your finished product.

For more information, please see Barbara's website at www.barbarawatkins.net.

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"A writer's job is to always entertain in the best sense of the word."
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The Armchair Detective
 
 
(C) 2007-2008 - Christopher M. Lawson