Monday, 11 February 2013

Interview! Barbara Morgenroth, author of Flash.

At the Other End:
She’s been pretending to be 18 for so long, it feels like the truth.
When the only way for 15 year old photographer, Kip Chanin, to earn a living is as paparazzi, she can’t say no. Kip’s first photo is of Alex Milne, the handsome and volatile young actor. That one photo changes both their lives. Kip finds herself challenged to be a better photographer, a better daughter and to be a better friend. For someone used to getting by on her own, this could be Kip’s biggest lesson. The second biggest--You do what you have to in Hollywood to survive

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Author Bio:

Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else. Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, she wound up in television writing soap operas for some years. Barbara then wrote a couple cookbooks and a nonfiction book on knitting. She returned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies.

When digital publishing became a possibility, Barbara leaped at the opportunity and has never looked back. In addition to the 15 traditionally published books she wrote, in digital format Barbara has something to appeal to almost every reader from Mature YAs like the Bad Apple series and the Flash series, to contemporary romances like Love in the Air published by Amazon/Montlake, and Unspeakably Desirable, Nothing Serious and Almost Breathing.

Handy Hinty Links:
Blog/Website                             Twitter                           Facebook

Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
My YA series, Bad Apple has gotten quite a bit of attention. That’s Bad Apple, Burning Daylight and Rise. It begins with a murder and follows Neal Marchal through the next months during which she joins a band and begins performing, is taken in by a family who grows to love her and who she comes to love and she discovers talents that were hidden. Neal also lives with the threat of being killed for revealing a secret.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
“Are people going to find this book? Are they going to enjoy it? Is the cover the best representation of the book? Does the description work?” Those questions remain. If you want to please readers, you must be concerned with giving them the best possible experience.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
I was on my way to becoming a photojournalist with a major in photography at college. After school, I did some news photography but couldn’t get a job doing that so began writing. I’m still a photographer but writing comes first. One day I was emailing my friend and said “What if a young woman had just arrived in Los Angeles and she had to become a paparazzi to support her family? Where would she find celebrities to pap-snap? How many lies would she tell to work alongside men with big telephoto lenses? What kind of trouble could she get in?” I closed the email program and began to write Flash.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
The first thing I say is “What have they gotten right?” There are basically two kinds of bad reviews. 1) the book didn’t appeal to the reader for some reason or 2) they’re being grumpy and my book is the nearest target. If someone says “I read this and it has a lot of spelling errors”, that’s going to be incorrect because I run spellcheck and then Amazon does. It’s very hard to get that kind of error through the system. If they say “I don’t think the content is appropriate” that’s their opinion. I made an artistic choice to tell the story the way I wanted to and they didn’t like it. I can’t please everyone. If the reviewer has given thoughtful consideration and a careful read to the book, then proceeds to explain what they consider the issues in the story to be, then I definitely pay attention to that response. That can be a learning experience.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
Writing is fast. Thinking is hard. My goal is to create a carefully crafted book in which the characters make sense to themselves and to the audience. I want there to be a balance between the exterior world and the interior world of the characters. I don’t want the story to be all action, nor do I want it to be all reflection.
This takes time. Six months per book at the length I write is about what it takes. If I’m doing a series like Flash and Flash of Light, that’s a little easier because I’m not starting at zero with book 2. I like writing a series, probably because I wrote for television for some years. The story never stops and you end on a cliff-hanger.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I loved the cover art! Because I created it. The first Flash cover I built entirely in Photoshop using 3-D, then I continued with that method and created Flash of Light. Some months ago I thought “I love it but I’m not sure people understand this is about a girl photographer,” so I found an image of a photographer and created a new cover. I want the cover to represent the book and not confuse potential readers. I still love the original
Flash cover but Flash of Light hasn’t been changed.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I am halfway through Bittersweet Farm Book 2—Joyful Spirit. It’s a series about a seventeen year old rider who’s falling in love with her trainer and all the complications and losses of her life. Then I will be doing Bad Apple Book 4—Parked. After that there’s something else so this year is booked and I couldn’t be happier.

8. Top 5 books
1) Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
 2)Zany Afternoons by Bruce McCall
3)In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepard
4)The Lone Pilgrim by Laurie Colwin
5)Anything by Jane Austen (sorry but she is really good)

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
Dance With Me by Victoria Clayton. She’s such an accomplished and skillful writer that I aspire to be as precise a craftsperson as she is.

10. Why read your novel?
 Flash is both fun and serious. It can be read for the story or it can be read for meaning. Some of the situations Kip Chanin finds herself in could and do happen to celebrity photographers all the time. What sets Kip apart from the crazy world of Hollywood is her maturity and sensibility. When she takes the first photo of Alex Milne, the actor, that starts a journey for them. Their connection goes much deeper than the photo or the movie making, the publicity or the personal issues of those around them. But Alex is 21 and even if Kip’s been saying she’s 18 for so long it seems like the truth, she’s 15 when they meet. Is this relationship possible? Can Kip and Alex overcome naked starlets, a brother going ‘round the bend, a retro-glam mother and a father whose death was so spectacular people remember it still?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Gina, for the fun interview and the opportunity to introduce Flash to your visitors.


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