Monday, April 19, 2010

Author Interview with Barri Bryan

Visiting us today is romance author, Barri Bryan.

Barri’s Bio: Barri Bryan is a pen name for Billie Houston. I acquired the pseudonym at the behest of my adult children when they discovered a steamy excerpt from one of my romances at the web site of a publisher.

I am a former high school English teacher. I like George Strait's music, old movies, and Earl Grey tea. My hobbies are reading, quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, taking long walks, and growing house plants and herbs. I'm a four-time EPPIE winner and a published author with over twenty novels, four books of poetry, numerous essays, several short stories, and one non-fiction how-to-write to my credit. I have been seriously pursuing a writing career since 1990. My first romance was published in 1998. I write the kind of stories I enjoy reading --- romantic tales about relationships; stories that probe feelings and explore emotions. The plots revolve around ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances and faced with difficult decisions.

[Anne] I’m’ thrilled you could join us today, Barri. Congrats on the Eppies. Wow! That is awesome. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

[Barri] I have been writing poetry since I was a child. My desire to write and publish romances came after I'd retired from teaching. I had been reading romances since I was in junior high school. I decided it was time I tried writing one.

[Anne] Tell us about your latest book.

[Barri] My latest book is titled Search for Paradise. It's the story of a forty-six year old woman who has just suffered through the trauma of a nasty divorce and estrangement from her two adult children. Financial difficulties force her and her mother to return to Paradise Ranch, the homestead they left forty years ago. They have scarcely set foot in the depilated old ranch house when their next-door neighbor, Hank Sinclair, arrives to announce that he has prior claim on Paradise. Kate is forced to enter into a business arrangement with this handsome bachelor and soon finds herself falling in love with him despite the fact that he has made it plain that he wants no lasting relationship.

[Anne] What inspired you to write this story?

[Barri} My grandmother was the inspiration for Search for Paradise. Since I was I child I'd heard stories about how that, after her husband died in 1918, she moved with her four children from her comfortable home and her family in Central Texas to a wind-swept desolate stretch of land near the Texas New Mexico border where she didn't know a soul.

[Anne] How did you go about researching your book?

[Barri] Since the time of my story is now, I didn't have to do too much research. I did have to research some about ranching.

[Anne] Do you have anything new in the works?

[Barri] I'm beginning to outline a story set in the 1930's during the Great Depression,

[Anne] What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a panster?

[Barri] I'm definitely a plotter. I make an outline and do some research before I ever begin my actual story.

[Anne] If you could be anyone of your characters, which one would you chose to be and why?

[Barri] I think I'd choose to be Kate McClure in Search for Paradise. She's a mature woman (46). She has learned for experience the importance of family and the value of true love. She has a zest for living and the spirit to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

[Anne] Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go? (Okay so maybe this isn’t very likely to happen but since I’m asking the questions…)

[Barri] I don't even have to think about this one. I've always wanted to visit the Greek Islands, especially Crete, Lesbos, and Rhodes.

[Anne] Oooh nice choice! Okay, now you’ve just been informed that your latest release was a NY Times bestseller and Hollywood wants to turn it into a movie. What actors would you choose to play your main characters?

[Barri] After I came down to earth again, I'd choose Reece Witherspoon to play Kate McClure. She'd have to consent to having her blonde locks dyed red. Sam Elliot would be a perfect Hank Sinclair.

[Anne] Mumm Sam Elliot :-). Perfect choice! So, what type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?

[Barri] I like contemporary and historical romances. I read a lot of poetry. I enjoy mysteries and I have recently been exploring paranormal and time-travel romances. I also enjoy non-fiction books about how to improve writing skills.

[Anne] Name three things you can’t live without (excluding spouses and family because that’s a given).

[Barri] Three things I can't live without are my morning cup of tea, good books, and country music.

[Anne] What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?

[Barri] Decide where your book is begging to go and then take it there. Let it be true to your perception of reality and reflect your originality and creativity.

[Anne] Good advice, Barri! Where can we find you on the web?


[Anne] Where can we purchase your book(s)?

[Barri] You can purchase Search for Paradise at:  The Cupid Dairies at:

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Barri] I've had a lovely time visiting with you. Thank you for inviting me.

[Anne] I’m glad you were able to drop by. I’ve enjoyed having you, Barri!


Miss Mae said...

I like the idea that your grandmother was the inspiration for this story. It's very nice to meet you! :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Enjoyed the interview, ladies.

Love tea, books and country music, too. :)

It was nice to meet you.
Take Care.

Danielle Thorne said...

I loved this interview. I'm delighted to learn more about Barri--and so impressed--4 time Eppie winner!? What?! Funny that your kids asked you to use a pen name--mine haven't yet. Thanks for another great interview, Anne.

Shawna Williams said...

What a fun interview. Barri, I wanna hang out with you. The Mediteranean would be my pick too. I'd love to go on an archeological dig on Santorini. Ancient volcano and civilization, can't be that. After I'm done there I want to go to Pompeii, not as ancient, but still very old.

Your book sounds really good,and you're a very interesting person.

Gail Pallotta said...

Return to Paradise sounds like an interesting story having the heroine make a new start in a new place and meet a stranger who might be a love interest. I also like Reece Witherspoon.

StephB said...

Great interview Anne & Barri. I love Earl Grey tea, too. It's like a devilish little sin for me. I don't have it as often as I like. :( My favorite Greek restaurant in Germany was "Rhodes." hehehe.

The book sounds great, Barri and it's heartwarming to hear how your grandmother was the inspiration behind it.


Anne Patrick said...

Thank you ladies for dropping by in support of Barri. She is a very facinating lady and I'm thrilled she was able to come for a visit.

Anne Patrick said...

For some reason Barri hasn't been able to leave any comments, so I'm passing on this message from her.

I had such a good time visiting with Anne. Many thanks to everyone who dropped by and left a message.

Laurean Brooks said...

Barri, I'm intrigued by all the genres you write. You are an interesting, multi-talented author.

That you are planning a book set in the depression era, caught my attention since my debut novel, "Journey To Forgiveness" is set in 1938 and based on my mother's life. Embellished a LOT, LOL, but still her story.

Wonderful interview, Anne. Loved it! Barri, your latest release sounds awesome!

hotcha12 said...

forgot to give addie!

Jackie Wisherd said...

we have a lot in common Barri...I do all the same hobbies you do except my walks are short since my dog has gotten older he doesn't like to venture far. Jackie