Cate: Please welcome Barbara Edwards. Barbara, will you please share a short bio with us?
I’m a native New Englander. I was a “Jill of All Trades” from crossing guard to sales manager before graduating from the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.
I lived in Florida for several years and is past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America.
When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.
I’m married to a retired police sergeant. We share an interest in target shooting and camping. An avid Civil War re-enactor, I travel the eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.
I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.
I’m fond of gardening and am growing antique roses with limited success.
Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd demands a walk.
Cate: I love to write poetry too. I’m glad your nightmares bring something positive! Ancient Awakening looks fantastic. Tell us about it and where it's available.
Barbara: In ANCIENT AWAKENING, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.
Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovers a bio-weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to a dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.
Another corpse is discovered. Mel is injured confronting the suspect. Mel’s friends band together to hunt the killer.
In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.
Cate: Manic Readers gave Shadow on the Moon a wonderful review! Congrats on that!
Is Ancient Awakening along the same vein as Shadow on the Moon?
Barbara: Ancient Awakening was released under the old title by a publisher that went under two weeks later. A crisis that resulted in a much better editor and release by The Wild Rose Press.
Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Barbara: I started writing in middle school with poems and essays that got thrown away after I finished. My first book was published when we were sharing our rejection stories on line. An editor dropped in and sent me an e mail asking for my manuscript. She said it sounded interesting. A week later, I got the call.
Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Barbara: My father always wanted to write short stories and my Uncle John wrote a genealogy of our family.
Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Barbara: Dark, mysterious, sensuous.
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Barbara: I really try to write daily. Mornings are my most prolific times since I dream about my stories and characters and they are fresh in my mind. I have learned that I can write anytime or place since my husband and I love to travel. I use an Alphasmart and the miles fly by.
Cate: How many hours a day do you write?
Barbara: Between three and five. Some days are better then others and I don’t notice how much time has passed.
Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Barbara: Now you caught me. I have a hard time finding the perfect name for my heroines, but my heros are usually named for one of my sons. Those are my favorite names in the world.
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Barbara: If I say everything, will you yell at me? Everyday I learn more about writing and try to incorporate what I know into my work. Characters, plot, dialogue, background are all areas I’ve struggled with. The easiest? When it is flowing, then I ride the tide as far as it goes.
Cate: *grins* No, I wouldn’t yell. I understand completely.
What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Barbara: When someone says they loved my story.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Barbara: The characters are alive to me. I would recognize them if I passed them on the street. They talk to me, surprise me and often take over the story.
Most of the time I dream the beginning and end of my story. When I wake, I write it down immediately. Then it goes in a file until what I’m working on is finished.
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Barbara: One reader said she recognized the place. It was one I made-up.
Cate: That’s wonderful - your writing must have convinced her she’d been there!
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Barbara: I love Jayne Anne Krentz, J.D. Robb, Barbara Michaels, Georgette Heyer to name a few. I don’t have time to read when I’m finishing a manuscript, but between works I drive my librarian crazy.
Cate: What's next for you?
Barbara: I’m working on the second book set in Rhodes End, the location of Ancient Awakening.
Cate: Very cool! Where can readers find you on the web?
Barbara: www.barbaraedwards.net and www.barbaraedwards.net/blog/blog.asp
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Barbara: Just to check out my website and leave a comment on the blog.
Readers, here’s an excerpt from Ancient Awakenings to tease your interest:
Steve’s fingers clawed through his rumpled hair as he absently adjusted the focus on his microscope. He needed another trim badly. His rapidly growing hair was more than an irritation. Along with his thickened nails, it was another symptom.
Frustrated when his vision remained blurred he closed his eyes. He had to take a break. He hadn’t slept since early yesterday morning. His ability to concentrate on the task at hand was keeping him sane, but his thoughts twisted with the implications of the discovery at the dump.
Swallowing a mouthful of the artificial protein drink he’d concocted when nothing else would settle in his stomach, he stared at the fresh slide sample.
What he’d seen of the bloodless corpse had poised him on the edge of panic. He couldn’t hesitate any longer. He pressed the heels of his hands against his eyelids to blot out the memory of Mel concentrating on the puzzle of the dead man, her changeable hazel eyes green with curiosity.
He didn’t want to think about Mel. The way she always moved like those too thin, sensuous women on the covers of glamour magazines, with slim hips, long legs and no breasts had his groin tightening. The longing to taste her lips added to his misery. He could smell her scent on the breeze.