Barbara Wallace has been a life-long romantic and daydreamer so it’s not surprising she decided to become a writer at age eight. However, it wasn’t until a co-worker handed her a romance novel that she knew where her stories belonged. For years she limited her dreams to nights, weekends and commuter train trips while working as a communications specialist, PR freelancer and full-time mom. At the urging of her family, she finally chucked the day job and pursued writing full time and couldn’t be happier.
Barbara lives in Massachusetts along with her husband, their teenage son, one spoiled cat and one very spoiled dog.
September has me enjoying two releases! The first is the North American release of The Heart of a Hero. I’m also celebrating being included in the Mills & Boon Special Release “Mills & Boon Loves….” An anthology that’s out in conjunction with the publishers New Voices Competition. I’m in the book along with Maisey Yates, Aimee Carson and New Voices winner Leah Aston.
Can I take a moment to plug the New Voices 2011 competition? If you are interested in writing for Harlequin’s Medical, Presents, Romance, Modern Heat or Historical Lines, the contest is a great way to get feedback and visibility. Visit www.romanceisnotdead.com
Meanwhile, here’s the info for Heart of a Hero:
All advice columnist Zoe wants this summer is some time to heal her post-divorce wounds in peace. That is, until she crosses paths with her neighbor, ex Army captain Jake Meyers. With battle scars both inside and out, Jake just wants to disappear from the world. Zoe knows she should leave the man alone. But she just can’t help herself….
CAT: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
BARBARA: Romance. A good, angsty emotional romance. One where I really feel the characters belong together and am activity rooting for them. I also love a good mystery, even though I can’t write them. There’s something about having to solve a puzzle that appeals to me.
CAT: What’s the first book you remember reading?
BARBARA: Oh, I’m not sure. I remember reading the Five Little Peppers (and How They Grew) when I was little. I think that might have been my first non picture book.
CAT: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
BARBARA: Cinderella! I love a good rags to riches tale.
CAT: What turns you off like nothing else?
BARBARA: Bodily function jokes. I’m too girly girl to appreciate them. Sadly, I live with all men.
CAT: Where do you read and how often?
BARBARA: Now that I’m always on deadline, I don’t read as much as I want to. My favorite place to read is curled up on my living room sofa. The sun comes in through the picture window making the room warm and bright. On cold days I throw on a blanket and become really cozy.
CAT: What was the first story you remember writing?
BARBARA: Oh, that’s easy. It was The Adventures of Ginger. My best friend Kim was writing a story at the time about her cat, so I decided to write one about my cat too. I was eight years old. It was illustrated, and featured a wedding. Even then I loved romance.
CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
BARBARA: Hand’s down my favorite is All About Eve with Bette Davis and Anne Baxter. It’s the movie where Bette uttered her famous line, “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
CAT: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
BARBARA: Easier than what? I wish I could say writing was easy. Unfortunately I’m one of those writers who have to scratch and claw her way through every scene. What’s that quote – “To write, just open a vein?” That’s a perfect description of my writing process.
CAT: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
BARBARA: That I value their support more than they could possibly realize. Seriously. Writers spend so much time alone that it’s easy to start thinking we are the worst storytellers in the world. Every time I get a note saying someone liked my book, my spirit soars for days.
CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
BARBARA: Go to sleep. I have a bad tendency to stay up into the wee hours in the morning to get the job finished.
CAT: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
BARBARA: Yes, and yes. Not every review, but if a critic has valuable, constructive criticism, then I do my best to take the comments to heart and learn something. I am still learning my craft, and constructive advice is a good thing, IMO.
CAT: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
BARBARA: Coffee. Preferably as a Caramel Macchiato. Sadly, I have to limit those to one every couple days or my pants would never fit.
CAT: What does it mean to love someone?
BARBARA: It means being there for them, supporting their dreams, and holding their hand when things aren’t going right for them. It means taking care of the little things in their life. It means standing by their side during those times when they are cranky or distracted and understanding that a real relationship is about more than wine and roses and grand romantic gestures. It’s about being a companion and a friend as well as a lover and knowing that no one – I mean no one – can take that person’s place in your life.
CAT'S GOTTA ASK
If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?
BARBARA'S GOTTA ANSWER
OK, this is a shameless plug for my good friend Debbie Monk who just happened to start selling t-shirts on Labor Day. I would be a pink t-shirt with the phrase “Got to remember I’m Fabulous” on it. Because not only would it support her craft business, but because it’s something I think we all need to remind ourselves from time to time.
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
What is your favorite fairy tale? How do you like to see this fairy tale theme played out in a romance? Is there any kind of romance story you loathe and hope never shows up on your book shelf again?
One lucky winner will win a “Heart of a Hero” gift bag with a book and other goodies!