I’m pleased to feature author Ann Barnes in this edition of the 2019 Author Interview Series. Let’s take a look at the 10 questions she has selected to give us insight into what motivates and inspires her as an author.
- What do you think are the elements of a good story?
Personally, I think a good story has to have well rounded characters, a plot that moves it forward and the author must hook me in from the first paragraph. If the author throws in a scene that has nothing to do with the story, he or she can pull me out of it quickly.
- What is the first book that made you cry?
I can’t remember the very first book that made me cry, but Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury was one of the more recent books that touched me deeply. The most recent was Writers Block: A Novel by Hank Garner.
- What common traps do aspiring writers fall into?
One of the biggest traps that aspiring writers fall into is being their own worst critic. By this I mean the battle with self-doubt. Not knowing what to write about is another, although many people say that you should write about anything that comes to mind. However, I found that for me, that doesn’t always work. Another thing that I hear or read a lot is that people claim not to have enough time during the day to write. Although this can be a reality for some, it can also serve as an excuse not to put your butt in the chair and start writing.
- Do you view fellow authors as competitors, allies or are there some combination of the two? Why?
I believe that Indie authors are my allies, because I personally have gotten help and support from authors who are dear friends of mine, no matter whether we live in the same state or country, or not. Many traditionally published authors however, act as competitors. Although there is one Traditionally published author who has answered questions for me, I have commented on something that one of my favorite authors has written or asked her a question on Facebook and have gotten no response.
- Are there any authors whose work you disliked at first and then grew to like?
There is one author who’s work grew on me. Hope Callaghan writes Christian cozy mysteries. When I started reading Garden Girls and Cruise ship mysteries twelve book box set, the first book or two seemed to drag along, but the more I read, the more I liked her work.
- Are there any authors whose work you admired at first that you then grew to dislike?
I can think of three authors right off the bat. The first is James Patterson. I liked his thrillers at first, because he pulled me into the story and kept me engaged until the end. However, the more I read, the more I disliked his work, because you could tell when his work was ghost written. The book either didn’t pull me in or it was too predictable. Dean Koontz is another one. Although his books are more of a horrific nature, I liked the suspense element at first, but when I tried to read one of his novels in the past few years, the content began to turn my stomach and broke my heart for the protagonist. Thrillers that gross me out, are the ones that turn me off. Stephen King is the third one on my list. I read some of his books several years ago, but the more I read, the weirder they got, with a few exceptions. The Green Mile and On Writing are the two that stand out for me as his best work.
- What comes first in your writing, the plot or the characters?
That depends on the story idea I’m working on at the time. Sometimes it’s the Characters I see first, then at other times I can see the plot unfolding in my head like a movie. However, there are those times a character will show up in a dream to give me insight into the plot, so it can be six in one hand, half a dozen in the other
- Do you outline? Are you a ‘pantser’? What techniques do you use to get started on a story?
I’m not an outliner per se, except for the one nonfiction book I’m currently working on, but I will brainstorm plot ideas before I start a story. As for being a pantser, I do a bit of that initially, but I am also what’s called an onioner. What I mean is that I will go back into a story and add layers to each scene, before moving onto the next one. Although, I have done this after pantsing a few scenes into the story.
- Do you write in only a single genre? If so, what genre? If not, what genres?
I don’t like to stick to one genre. Mostly what I write is Christian fiction and suspense. However, I do like to throw a little sweet romance into the mix whenever possible
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like reading, listening to music and podcasts, and crocheting. I also love spending time with my family.
Ann Harrison-Barnes is the author of four books: A Journey of Faith, A Stepping Stones Mystery, Stories Outside the Box, Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure, an Electric Eclectic Book, and Inner Vision, an Electric Eclectic Book. She has also been published in several anthologies. Aside from her work as a Christian fiction author, Ann is a professional writer. She also crochets bookmarks and book covers to promote her books.
Find Ann’s Books:
Stories Outside the Box:
Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure: An Electric Eclectic Book
Inner Vision: An Electric Eclectic book
A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery
Connect with Ann:
People can reach me via my website at the following link:
You can also connect with me on twitter:
You can also email me directly at the following address