What inspires your stories?
My husband is the one who thinks up the ideas for my books. I joke and say I'm only the ghost writer in the Barton Writing Team as we call it. What happens is he will have an idea for a book pop into that creative mind of his and if the voices in my head like it, we'll do a brain storming session and if all goes well a book is born. That's how Next Move, You're Dead was conceived. We were on our way to Ft. Irwin in southern California with a load of weapons (back in my truck driving days) when he turned to me and said, "I have a great idea for a book." He knew I had always dreamed of being a writer, so after 6 hours of creating the characters and building the plot while crossing the California desert, Next Move, You're Dead was born. It was the same for our second book Pure Justice...another great idea and some more brain storming. We have a list of books yet to be written, so I'll be busy for quite some time.
What genre do you gravitate toward and why?
So far it's been the thriller genre. I guess the reason is because we both have a dark-side of us screaming to get out. LOL
What are your work habits like?
I'm currently working part time at the local lumber yard, so I write on my days off. I like to work in a quiet room where I can clearly hear the characters tell me their story. I know that may sound crazy, but that's how it works for me. LOL
What do you consider your best work?
It's really too soon to tell, as I enjoyed writing both of our published books. I'm pleased with the response Next Move, You're Dead received from the readers. To know the story kept them guessing up until the very end was very gratifying. As to Pure Justice it has only been available a couple of weeks, but it's already received a few wonderful reviews.
Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?
As I stated earlier, my husband and I will work out the general plot for a story, then I will fill in the rest. Most of my writing is done as you say "on the fly", because when I write it's like I'm watching the story unfold before me. At times I will even catch myself typing with my eyes closed if I'm deep in a scene. I'm not sure if other writers do the same thing, but that's how I get my best results.
What experience do you want for your readers?
I hope they find themselves trapped in the world of the characters in our books until the very last page. I also hope the readers experience every emotion the characters in the story feel and I would like to know they felt the time invested in reading our books wasn't wasted.
Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?
Oh yes, quite a few. I have used many places I've lived or been to and I've created different characters with traits of people in my life. I think most writers do this as well because it helps to make a character more believable or a scene more credible.
What are your most significant challenges when you write?
Getting myself completely in the world of my story, but once there I'm as they say "off to the races." I used to panic whenever I had a case of writers block, but no longer. I just put the book aside for a while and let the back part of my brain work out the problem. I know that may sound silly, but it works because all of a sudden the solution to my block will pop into my mind and I can continue writing. LOL
What are you currently working on?
I've just started the second installment to Next Move, You're Dead. I've been told by the fans of the book that I'd better get going on it because they are getting impatient to see what happens next. LOL
Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?
Yes I do...never stop believing in yourself or your ability to tell a good story. Take your time and understand that a well told story will probably have SEVERAL re-writes to get it as perfect as possible. Never be afraid to follow your own path, but also never turn down constructive criticism. Then the most important advise I can give it to ALWAYS have a good copy editor go over your book. I can't tell you the problem areas editor pointed out to me on my first book and because of her, I believe I'm a much better writer. Lastly, don't be in to much of a rush to publish. I made that mistake and it caused me many headaches and extra work to fix the typos that snuck by in the final edit process. It's much better to take the extra time and make sure your book is clean of typos before you publish, than to have them all pointed out to you by the readers and have to go back and correct them. That's no fun and is quite embarrassing.
Next Move, You're Dead
Website address: www.LindaBartonbooks.com