We are huge Barbie Bohrman fans here on the blog! We were so excited to be able to talk with her about her writing processes, and getting to know her better during our interview! Check out her responses below, and be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a SIGNED personalized copy of her debut novel, Promise Me! (And be sure to check out Playing It Safe, out October 1st!)
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?
The first line. It’s that first line and the following paragraph that should ensnare the reader. Even if it’s just a couple of words/sentences, it’s not at all easy to write something that will do that without being over the top, or just the opposite, not enough. It has to be able to convey the tone of the book and get the reader to want to invest their time and make it worth it for them in the end.
Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of you story? (Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?)
The content comes first. I usually have the beginning and the end game in my head ahead of time. It’s that big abyss in the middle that can get a little muddy. I tend to have the book title figured out fairly quickly. But, I currently have two WIP’s that I do not have a title for and am still trying to figure out.
Let’s talk character names. How do you go about selecting names for characters in your book? Do the names you pick have any significance to you, or do you ever feel inspired by a name?
I tend to pick names that hold a little bit of meaning to me. For example, in Promise Me, the MC’s name was chosen as Sabrina since I am a big fan of the Archie Comics, and Sabrina was a spin-off character…”the Good Witch.” As for Tyler in Promise Me, I chose his name from Tyler Durden in Fight Club, which is one of my all-time favorite characters. I’m currently writing something where the MC’s name is Veronica…again with the Archie obsession. (LOL)
How do you plot your books, do you write it down on paper/index cards/etc, or do you write on the fly? Do you ever find that your plot changes as you write, or does it stay pretty close to how you planned it?
Once I have the beginning and end game, I sit down and write an outline. It’s usually a very loose outline and I refer to it constantly as a guide and stay fairly close to it. But, there are times while writing that I will have to add a chapter here or there, or change things around. Also, I was given a piece of advice from my very first editor, Luisa Hansen, which has been invaluable to me: Character Bios. I write one for the main characters and if necessary, for supporting ones as well. The bio’s assist me to stay focused on how the character should react, speak, and stay in character throughout the entire book.
Do you have any authors who inspire you or your writing style? If so, who?
If I had to pick one, I would say Helen Fielding. Bridget Jones’ Diary had a huge impact on me. That style of writing; of just saying whatever comes to mind, unfiltered, in my opinion, was a huge inspiration for Playing It Safe. Not the same diary format, but the overall feel of that book definitely is what I was going for. Mind you, Julia in PiS is a bit more abrasive and a little harder to love, but nobody’s perfect. ;)
What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, Prozac?)
Journals, journals, and more journals. Obviously a pen would be useful if I have that many journals.
Do you have a favorite place to write? Tell us about it!
On the couch, by myself, in complete silence. I cannot have any music on or the television on in the background. And preferably nobody else is in the room with me. I get easily distracted.
If you could use 3 words to describe your books, what would they be?
Fun, sexy, and realistic.
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
San Diego Comic-Con, Twin Peaks Convention, and playing in the World Series of Poker.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizza (But it has to be Pete & Elda’s Pizza from South Jersey…anything else pales in comparison.)
What is your favorite movie?
It’s a tie – The Departed & Godfather Part 2
What are the last 3 books you enjoyed reading?
Well, if I’m being honest, I have to say all three books in the I Hunt Killers trilogy.
What are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself?
Loyal, funny, and passionate.
Do you have a favorite hobby/pastime?
I use to collect Archie comic books. I haven’t bought one in a while, but my collection is pretty extensive. While at New York Comic-Con last year, I usually go every year, I was able to purchase a large volume/special edition of the Archie catalogue that has now become one of my most prized possessions.
Do you have a hidden talent?
Like Audrey in Twin Peaks, I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. Does that count?
This or That?
Sunrise or Sunset?
I’m definitely NOT a morning person.
Coffee or Tea?
But it has to be a venti, decaf, skinny, Caramel latte with whip cream from Starbucks. (Say that three times fast.)
Hot or Cold?
Cold, preferably an ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper…the elixir of the Gods!
By Land, or by sea?
Land, if by sea I’d be booting my lungs up…I get seasick very easily.
Half-empty or Half-full?
Half-empty, a pessimist at heart.
Autumn or Spring?
Autumn, because I love wearing my boots.
Summer or Winter?
Winter, until I’m sick of the snow.
E-book or Print Book? (Preferred reading)
E-book, but every so often I do read print books since there is nothing quite like the smell of a freshly cracked book.
(Standalone Contemporary Romance)
Playing It Safe
(Standalone Contemporary Romance)
OUT OCTOBER 1ST!
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