We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Barbara Avon, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of April/May 2018.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
It’s an honour. Being validated as an Author by my peers and readers, means everything. An Author seeks exposure above all else. “No one can read you, if no one can find you” and I want to thank you for this opportunity.
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
My friends and family are truly supportive of my craft and I am forever grateful. However, my stories are plucked from my imagination and there is really no reference in my novels to real life persons or events.
What inspires you to write?
The magic that unfolds. Writing, to me, is like a drug that causes feelings of euphoria. It’s an addiction, really, and the best kind. The goal, for me, has been to “share the love”. Regardless of which genre I write, love is a prominent theme in my novels. I want to touch people’s hearts in a way that will stay with them, and make them think about life and about love.
What was your writing catalyst?
A significant break-up more than a decade ago. I penned my first novel, “My Love is Deep” to fill my time and help heal the wound. I’ve always wanted to write a novel and at that time in my life, the conditions were ideal. However, I didn’t publish the book until thirteen years later. My husband encouraged me to publish it and 11 more books have followed in three years. There’s no stopping me now.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
It’s interesting because I choose the title first. Then I create the book cover. Then I write the story. It seems a little backwards, but creating the cover first, inspires what’s to come. I’ll also get inspired at all hours of the day. I’ve been known to wake at three in the morning and email ideas to myself. Once I start a book, I don’t stop. I don’t set it aside for weeks or even months. I also only ever write (and edit) one draft. I suppose that’s how I am able to publish so many books in so little time, but the process works for me. I’m confident in my writing and confidence is key. That’s what I like to tell aspiring Authors.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
Hearing from my readers. When I receive messages stating that they loved a book or were inspired by a character, it’s the greatest reward. I never went into this seeking a monetary reward. Getting feedback from my readers is always exciting. Without them, there’s no point to any of it. I could (or would) still write for myself but the joy comes in sharing.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
I don’t think so. I do create promo posts with images, and creating book trailers is great fun, but the rest is all in my head. I’ve been told by more than one reader that my novels have a sort of “movie-like” quality and they can clearly see the action take place in their minds. I love that.
What is your favorite reading genre?
My personal favourite is romantic suspense. Not in the sense of, “Will they end up together?” but more like, “What forces will keep them apart?” There’s often a villain in my books.
What human being has inspired you the most?
I can’t choose one because it is both of my parents. I learned my work ethic from my Dad and my Mom taught me to smile because “life is too short”. Writing makes me smile.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
Above all else, thank you! If you’re a writer who is just getting started, don’t give up. Be bold, be different, listen to your heart first. Your head can edit later. To all of my fellow Authors, I hope that we can continue to spill words, endlessly. Telling stories: that is the gift.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
My books are my legacy. When asked, “Who are you? What makes you click?”, I respond, “Read one of my books, you’ll know who I am.” Like every Author, I dream of immortality. Too big a dream? Never.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’d love to add that I recently published my first horror, “The Simpleton”. I love writing across many genres and a horror was the next logical choice. I chose the title, created the cover and went from there, and it was great fun. Writing a horror is vastly different than writing any other genre. Everything from character development to dialogue is different. I mixed a bit of psychological horror with a bit of gore and added a sprinkling of tragic love, and the result was somewhat surprising. Writing horror challenged me. Like writing Time Travel challenged me. You can run amok with horror, though. I quite like it. I think I’ll stick with it for a while.
APR/MAY 2018 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Barbara Avon is a multi-genre Author. She has written since she was young, pursuing her dreams and vowing to write for as long as she can. She has worked at several different media publications and will continue to publish novels until “her pen runs dry”. In 2018 she won FACES Magazine's "Best of Ottawa" award for female Author and Spillwords "Author of the Month". She believes in paying it forward and you can read about this belief as the theme is given voice in most of her books. Avon lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, Danny, their tarantula, Betsy, and their houseplant, Romeo.