1. How long have you known you were an author?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author. The desire was always there. I began writing poetry when I was ten years old. When I was in middle school, I wrote a story that was published in the school newspaper. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an author. When my first book was published in 1998, I knew I had reached my goal.
2. What is your favorite place to write? What is going on around you? Music? Family? Pets? What do you see when you aren’t looking at the computer screen?
My favorite place to write is what I affectionately call my office. It’s a small bedroom that holds my desk, my computer, three bookshelves, two file cabinets, an office chair, a rocking chair, three small tables, a chest of drawers, and my printer. The closet is stuffed with paper, books, miscellaneous writing supplies, and other paraphernalia. When we moved into this house, I declared it off limits to anyone who didn’t have an invitation to visit. That was six years ago, before I realized nobody wanted to come in and listen to me say, “Don’t move any papers, don’t touch my computer, don’t shift my books around…”
I like the seclusion and solitude of my little hide-away. I like music, but not when I’m working. It distracts me. I’m oblivious to what is going on outside my closed door. When I glance from my computer screen, I look through a window at the brick wall of my neighbor’s house. I see, in my mind, visions and actions of what I will write next. When I ‘snap out of it’, I see a room that holds my little world of organized chaos.
I am a plotter. Before I begin to work on a novel, I make an outline for the book and character sketches for my hero and heroine. If the book is a historical, I do cursory research. Even with all that planning, I’ve been known to veer off course and take off in the opposite direction.
4. Who is your favorite character in the latest book and what will we like about him/her? Is there anything about this character that we might not like?
My favorite character in Forbidden is the villain. At the onset of the story he appears to be a grieving, kindly old southern gentleman. The man he appears to be solicits understanding, and invites friendship. By the end of the story, he is revealed as a ruthless, conniving, madman. By then, no doubt you will hate him. Maybe I like him because it was a challenge for me to create and develop such a devious, dastardly character.
5. Do you have any encouragement for writers-in-waiting, who are not yet published?
I can pass along the best advice I ever received about writing. It was from the teacher whose name I can’t recall. She was the instructor in an adult education class I took in 1999. She began her class by saying, “Be honest with yourself so you can be honest with your readers.” That was a strange opening statement for the teacher of a course titled: How to Write Fiction. She went on to explain that she wasn’t speaking of literal truths, but personal truths. “Writing fiction begins by discovering a unique way of seeing a personal truth. Your task then, is to use your skills as a writer to convey that personal view to your readers. Memorable, moving books are not written from a sense of anything but the writer’s deepest and most honest convictions.”
Barri Bryan is a retired teacher and educator. She is also a prolific author who has written and published several romance novels, a number of volumes of prize-winning poetry, numerous essays, articles, and short stories, and one how-to curriculum for creative writing. Besides pursuing a writing career, she raises house plants, is an avid reader, an enthusiastic knitter, crocheter and quilter, a devoted country music fan, and a passionate Texas history buff.
Barri’s free gift to you, above, is the sequel to Bridget’s Secret
William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his children and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurrences, he begins to wonder–are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?
Annie Paxton doesn’t believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn’t know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.
“It must have been hard after Sara died,” Annie said sympathetically. “Your life must have changed dramatically.”
“It was difficult. Sometimes it still is.” He hesitated a moment, unsure of continuing. He hadn’t spoken much about losing Sara to anyone, even after all these years. But Annie’s warm smile encouraged him to continue.
“You know, after she died, I was completely lost—literally. She did everything for our family, from the grocery shopping to the clothes shopping, paying the bills—everything. I didn’t know where to pick up the dry cleaning. I had no idea where she bought our prescription medicines. I didn’t even know the names of my kid’s teachers at school.” He sighed, his gaze far off in the distance. “In many ways, when I think of it, I used her. I just allowed her to take everything over so I’d have more time to do what interested me. I regret that now.”
Annie shook her head. “I never want to be anyone’s doormat,” she said without thinking, regretting the words as soon as they left her lips.
William looked up at her indignantly. “My wife was not a doormat,” he insisted, his eyes ablaze.
“I didn’t mean…” Annie tried to apologize for her thoughtless words, but the expression on his face changed abruptly to sadness, making her stop.
He looked at her with soulful eyes and sighed. “But we treated her like one,” he said softly.
Buy Sara’s Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes & Noble Nook
About Deanna Lynn Sletten:
Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990s writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women’s website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn’t looked back since.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.
Connect with Deanna:
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Deanna-Lynn-Sletten/e/B00683SQYK/
Giveaway! In celebration of Deanna’s new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara’s Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win!