Aug 4, 2014

Interview with Patricia La Barbera

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
My mother told me that when I was a baby and just old enough to sit up, I used to flip through a cloth picture book and speak in baby talk. I think I was making up stories then. I certainly couldn't have been reading!

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? The best and worst thing about it?
I think I always wanted to write, but previously my efforts were sporadic. I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I finish any type of writing, whether it's a poem, a short story, or a novel. The worst thing about writing is that sometimes it's hard not to take criticism personally.

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
In third grade I wrote a story about a cat from outer space. The teacher said I must have had a brain tumor to think up a story like that. But years later, Disney released a movie about a cat from outer space. I wonder if she sold my idea! Fortunately, her comment didn't make me stop writing.

What made you create (your book)? How did it come to you?
I wanted to write a paranormal book, but I didn't want to write about vampires because so many of those books existed. I thought the concept of shape-shifting was intriguing, but I wanted my book to have a variation on the theme. In my series The Tala Chronicles, I have not only werewolves but also people who have the werewolf strain weakened from intermarriage. Having both adds an interesting slant to the werewolf subject and affords multiple plot possibilities.

Who is your literary hero?
I really don't have just one, but in the paranormal and horror categories, that person would have to be Stephen King.

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
Some of my characters do have my traits, and they probably have even more than I'm aware of. I try not to give my characters traits that people I know would recognize as theirs.

Describe your main character in six words.
Haunted, artistic, loyal, courageous, intelligent, and persevering.

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
Dangerous, exciting, mysterious, benevolent, strange, and memorable.

What scene was your favorite to write?
My favorite scene in the most recent book Wolf Slayer was the last one.

What scene was the hardest for you to write?
The scene I revised the most was the beginning of the book. Tala has to make a difficult choice, and I wanted it to be realistic and something that evokes empathy.

What are you working on now?
I recently finished Book 4 of the Tala Chronicles. I'm trying to decide on a title. I'll release Humorous Horror Poetry soon, and I'm revising a medieval werewolf novel.

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
I'm planning at least one more book for The Tala Chronicles. A mystery series sounds intriguing. I'm looking forward to taking more writing classes, and I'll probably teach a few. Conferences are always tempting.

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
There are so many books, but The Shining by Stephen King is the scariest book I ever read, and I think it will always be my favorite of his. The sequel, Doctor Sleep, is excellent, too. I also highly recommend The Circle by Dave Eggers. It's a prophetic roller-coaster ride about social media run amok.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
I'm a voracious reader. My husband and I live in Florida, and we enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling.