Posts Tagged With: book

MWN Spotlight ~ Nancy Barr

Nancy BarrWhere are you from?

I was born in Illinois, lived in Southern California for several years as a child, and have lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1981.
Tell us your latest news?

I switched careers from journalism to higher education about seven years ago and since then have earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and technical communication and started teaching communication to engineering students at Michigan Technological University.  I’m now working on a PhD, but I’ve started a new fiction project as well.  I have no idea when it will be ready for publication, but it’s great to be writing fiction again.
When and why did you begin writing?

I discovered I loved writing when I was still in elementary school.  I started keeping a journal of sorts to help me deal with life.  I never thought of being a professional writer until college and then an internship led me to a job at the local newspaper.  I began my first novel in 2000 because I felt I had a story to tell.  The characters had been developing for a few years and it just seemed time to put them on paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first felt like a “real” writer when my second book, “Page One: Vanished,” was released, even though I had been a “professional” for many years by then.  The first book felt like a fluke, a dream, but the second book made me feel like a legitimate author.
What inspired you to write your first book?

There was no single thing that inspired me.  The “Page One” trilogy’s protagonist, Robin Hamilton, was VERY loosely based on my experience as a small-town newspaper reporter.  She’s just prettier, smarter, and scrappier.  None of the other characters have any association with anything real and neither does the plot, except the opening scene in Ludington Park, where the first murder takes place.  I used to walk through the park quite regularly and that’s what started the creative process for that book.
Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, my journalism experience taught me the value of concise writing.  I love words, I just use them strategically.
How did you come up with the title?

The publisher, Susan Bays of Arbutus Press, wanted to develop a brand for the books, thus the “Page One” tag, indicating a news story worthy of page one.  Then each book has a teaser about the plot.  The first one revolves around a hit and a run death, the second book deals with the disappearance of several young women, and the third one deals with the drug trade (the U.P.’s notorious winter is also a character).
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Resilience.  Life deals my characters a lot of heartbreak but they come through it stronger.

 

 

How much of the book is realistic?

These situations certainly could happen, but they are pure fiction.  Unfortunately, “Page One: Whiteout” is the most true-to-life as U.P. communities struggle to deal with the influx of drugs like heroin and home-grown crystal meth.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Robin’s mother died when she was 10, while mine died when I was 9.  I wanted to explore a strong father-daughter relationship, like the one I had with my own father.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and Judy Blume’s books about adolescence got me hooked on reading as a child.  By the time I was 10, I was reading everything mystery or paranormal-related in the school library.  When I read my first Stephen King book, though, I remember thinking, “I could do this, I could see myself writing someday.”  Of course, it was another 15 years before my first book was published, but that’s where it started.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Stephen King.  I must have read his book “On Writing” at least a half dozen times now.  I use his advice about eliminating clutter from your writing when I teach my engineering students.  It’s true regardless of genre.
What book are you reading now?

I’m never reading just one book at a time.  I’m reading a history of the Vikings, a scholarly work by Nancy Hartsock called “Money, Sex, and Power”, and the fifth book in the Harry Potter series (I never had time to read them when they were released!). Next will be “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts:  A Memoir” by Neil White.  It’s Michigan Tech’s Summer Reading Program for our incoming first-year students.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m sure there are lots of great ones out there, but I’ve been so focused on my graduate work that I don’t get much time to explore new fiction authors.
What are your current projects?

I’m working on something very different from my first three books.  It’s a mystery of sorts that takes place in the Copper Country in the early 1970s (a period which has really captured my imagination), just after the last copper mine shut down.  It will be darker, edgier, and more along the lines of an early Stephen King work than the “Page One” trilogy.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Teachers!  I was lucky to have some great teachers along the way who pushed me to do my best and challenge myself, never allowing me to settle for “good enough.”
Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! I write novels for entertainment, academic articles for my day job, and I teach writing.  It’s the only thing I know how to do to pay the bills!

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not at all.  What finally made it into print is the third complete rewrite.  My writing has matured over the years so I’m not as enamored with the first one, but many reviewers thought it was a good first effort so I don’t beat myself up about it too much.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother was an avid reader and I caught the bug from her.  From there, it was just a natural progression to writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It has a strong female protagonist (naturally), a newcomer to the Keweenaw who is a product of the Sixties, unafraid to challenge the status quo.  I haven’t quite figured out the trajectory of the plot because it’s early in the creative process, but I’ve sketched out some unique characters.  I’m very big on strong characters in my novels!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Plotting is always the toughest for me.  There’s a balance between simplicity and complexity.  I want the story arc to be simple enough to connect with readers, but to have enough complexity to keep them engaged to the last word.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Other than Stephen King, I have favorite books of certain authors.  I’ve read Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” countless times (Mrs. Danvers is one of my favorite characters ever!). I love Anne Rice’s first two books in her vampire series.  William Kent Krueger’s mystery series set in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is beautifully written. And I could go on and on.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not so much now since it’s been a while since I’ve released a new book, but I still periodically give library talks, which I love!
Who designed the covers?

The publisher, Susan Bays, designed each cover.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Again, it’s always the plotting.  I have the most fun with characterizations.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

With each books I become a better writer and I have learned to appreciate a great editor!
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Focus on developing your craft any way you can.  Write blogs, be a columnist for the local newspaper.  Put together a family history.  Enter short story contests.   Just keep writing and putting your work out there.  Develop a thick skin.  No matter how great your writing, someone will always find fault with it so develop and nurture your own writing style.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I appreciate your loyalty.  I know many people would like to see another “Page One” book, but it’s time we all moved on. I like to think Robin is enjoying her new life.  I look forward to

meeting more of you when the next book is released!

  • Name of Author– Nancy Barr
  • Name of Book(s)– “Page One: Hit and Run” “Page One: Vanished” “Page One: Whiteout”

Excerpt: Page One Vanished excerpt

Page One VanishedPage One WhiteOutPage One Hit & Run

 

Categories: Author Insights, Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Support @Boys2Books, Metro #Detroit Afterschool Literacy Initiative #michlit #mwn #MotownLit

boystobooks

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources.  Boys2Books1

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

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Support @Boys2Books, Metro #Detroit Afterschool Literacy Initiative #michlit #mwn #MotownLit

boystobooks

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources.  Boys2Books1

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

 

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Support @Boys2Books, Metro #Detroit Afterschool Literacy Initiative #michlit #mwn #MotownLit

boystobooks

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources.  Boys2Books1

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

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Unusual Writing Tips

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Support @Boys2Books, Metro #Detroit Afterschool Literacy Initiative #michlit #mwn #MotownLit

 

boystobooks

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources.  Boys2Books1

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

@Boys2Books featured in National Spotlight!

Boys2Books1I’m honored to be a contributor to the Motown Writers Network and share about my program, Boys 2 Books.

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources. Read the feature on Boys 2 Books in C&G News, focusing on the work being done to inspire our youth! —-> http://bit.ly/HbbQlQ and check out our feature “It Takes a Village to Raise Detroit” on BET —> http://bit.ly/1czdF6W

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

 

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Awesome #Promo Tool for #Authors: #Smashwords Does Interviews! Ck mine out!

I’ve always been impressed with @MarkCoker’s success with Smashwords and I’ve wished him all the best.

His platform to make publishing to ebooks easy has been clearly groundbreaking and now he’s taking authors to a whole new level in helping them promote themselves and ultimately SELL MORE BOOKS!

SMASHWORD INTERVIEWS

The Author pages at Smashwords is nothing more than outstanding. Giving authors not only a way to sell their books as ebooks, but also helping them link their books to the paperback as well.

Plus you get to add your social media connections along with your website and blog. As an additional plus, there’s a link for Wattpad as well!

CHECK OUT MY SMASHWORDS AUTHOR’S PAGE

Now comes interviews; Giving authors a chance to tell their story behind the story and promote themselves; brand themselves; sell themselves.

CHECK OUT MY INTERVIEW ON SMASHWORDS NOW

If you haven’t done your author interview yet on Smashwords, now is the time!

Log into your Smashwords account now and complete your author profile interview now!

Click here (http://smashwords.com)

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Your invited to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 @pavershomes

Image

This is the invitation to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 in Detroit.

Pamela Osborne, President,Pavers Publishing, LLC
Pamela Osborne, President
Pavers Publishing, LLC
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Your invited to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 @pavershomes

Image

This is the invitation to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 in Detroit.

Pamela Osborne, President,Pavers Publishing, LLC
Pamela Osborne, President
Pavers Publishing, LLC
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Motown Writers Network Interview

phetteogburn:

MWN Interview by Phette Ogburn w/Kai Mann. Be sure to check out Kai’s new book Abandoned Property.

Originally posted on Kai Mann Official Website:

View original

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Your invited to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 @pavershomes

Image

This is the invitation to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 in Detroit.

Pamela Osborne, President,Pavers Publishing, LLC
Pamela Osborne, President
Pavers Publishing, LLC
Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Event: Bill Loomis: Author of “Detroit’s Delectable Past 6/19 6pm #Detroit Historical Museum via @freep

Bill Loomis: Author of “Detroit’s Delectable Past — Two Centuries of Frog Legs, Pigeon Pie and Drugstore Whiskey” will be featured as part of the Detroit Historical Society’s Scholar Series, 6 p.m. Wed. Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward, Detroit. 313-833-1805. www.detroithistorical.org. $10; free for Detroit Historical Society members.

Upcoming book and author events http://www.freep.com/article/20130617/ENT/306170019 via @freep

 

 

Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your invited to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 @pavershomes

Image

This is the invitation to Pavers Publishing, LLC’s Launch Party Invitation of July 16, 2013 in Detroit.

Pamela Osborne, President,Pavers Publishing, LLC
Pamela Osborne, President
Pavers Publishing, LLC
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk Radio~March 20, 2013

Erica Coleman Today at 5:30pm on the Michigan Literary Network blogtalk radio you’re in for a treat as Sylvia Hubbard talks about the book Dying to Be Loved by Erica Coleman.  Dying To Be Loved is a book written to encourage, inspire, entertain but also deliver those looking for love in all the wrong places. For more information about Erica check her out at http://www.ericacoleman.com/

Dying to be loved

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