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About Writing & Getting Published:

 

  1. I have a great idea for a novel but I don't know how to begin

  2. Where can I learn more about writing?

  3. Do I need an outline?

  4. Should I do all my research first before I start writing?

  5. How do I know when I'm finished doing the research?

  6. What advice can you give me on characters?

  7. What exactly is a plot?

  8. I really want to write a novel, but I can't come up with any good ideas

  9. How do I find a publisher?

  10. How do I find an agent?

 

About My Books:

 

  1. Which of your books is your favorite?

  2. How much time do you devote to writing?

  3. Why do you write under two names?

  4. Where did you get the idea for GREEN CITY IN THE SUN and is the character of Grace Terverton based on a real person?

  5. Christian themes occur in many of your books.  Are you a Christian?

  6. Do you particularly like the name "Jonathan" because it appears in several of your books (eg Perfect Harmony and Green city in the sun)?

  7. Where did you get the information to begin writing NIGHT TRAINS.  Also did you travel to Poland to do the research?

  8. How did you come up with the idea for BUTTERFLY?

  9. Have any of your books been made into movies?

  10. Did you base the heroine in DOMINA on a the first female doctor who graduated from an American University?

 

ANSWERS FOR WRITING & GETTING PUBLISHED

 

  1. Well, you don't have to start at the beginning. Follow your inspiration. When I came up with the idea for VIRGINS OF PARADISE, I wrote the very final paragraph first. That was the starting point of my inspiration. Eight months later, when the book was finished, the paragraph was still there, virtually unchanged.

  2. I would suggest that you take a look at the page where I list my favorite Writing Resources.  Here you will find a number of helpful books and other resources dealing with the craft of writing.

  3. Most writers use an outline (I do.) They come in useful if you are writing a complex story with a lot of threads to keep track of. But writing "blind" is okay, too (some authors like to be surprised, just like the reader). Remember: there are no rules in writing. You simply do what works best for you.

  4. Again, you don’t have to do anything. If doing all the research first works best for you, then fine. For me, it is in the researching process that the book starts to take shape. The facts that I find in my research often direct the plot, so that I begin writing while my research is still going on.

  5. Generally, when you find you are discovering the same facts over and over.

  6. Make them interesting, make them real, but above all, make the reader care what happens to them. It's the distasteful heroes and unbelievable villains that make a reader put the book down.

  7. The plot is simply what your hero or heroine have to go through to achieve the goal. Make sure that your main character wants something and then have someone keeping him/her from getting it (conflict). Give the main character obstacles to overcome while trying to achieve that goal. This makes for a good plot.

  8. This happens to all of us! An excellent remedy is to play the game of "What if?" Ask yourself questions about scenarios that begin with "What if -" Such as, "What if the President of the United States woke up one morning and discovered he was no longer President?" Here's another example: "What if a stranger knocked at the door and told you she was your mother - yet your mother is sitting in the living room!" The possibilities are endless, and fun.

  9. These days it's best to go through an agent.

  10. There are reference books at the library that list literary agents in America. You can also check the listings in Writer's Market. Make sure the agent you are targeting handles the kind of novel you have written (for example: not all agents handle sci-fi or romance). Another good way is to simply go to a bookstore and browse through books that are in your genre. Many authors have a thank-you for their agents at the beginning of the book. Once you have a name, write a one-page, concise query letter describing your book. Do not telephone, do not query by email. The more professional you appear, the more professional they will assume you are as a writer.

 

 

ANSWERS FOR ABOUT MY BOOKS

 

  1. Actually, they are all my favorite!  Typically the one I am writing is my favorite, but if I had to choose, then it would be SOUL FLAME.

  2. Ten hours a day at least and 6-7 days a week.

  3. Because Kathryn Harvey has explicit sex scenes and Barbara Wood does not.  My publisher thought it would shock Barbara Wood readers.

  4. I got the idea when I visited Kenya back in 1976. As soon as I saw the beautiful East African landscape I knew I had to write about it. And so I went back several times to gather information and research, and thus was GREEN CITY born.  No, Grace Trevertons is not a real person, but I did base her on historical women so that I like to think of her as "real."

  5. I was raised a Roman Catholic and I guess that is where my interest in Christianity comes from. I think most of my books contain either a religious or Christian thread, because it is a subject I love to explore.

  6. Jonathan is my most favorite man's name and if I had my way, every single one of my heroes would be named Jonathan.  Some of my favoritie TV shoes have inspired me too.  For example, Daniel in THE PROPHETESS iis named for Daniel in "Stargate," and Father Michael in Prophetess is named for Michael Garibaldi, a character in "Babylon 5."
    I like to have fun when I'm writing and sometimes I get a little playful.

  7. At the time my co-author and I researched and wrote our book, we could find no further information on the true story (yes, we based it on a very small item we found in an American Medical Association newspaper). No WorldWideWeb in those days!

    We did the research and wrote the book in 1977, and while neither of us were able to travel to Poland at the time, I had a wealth of resources available to me through mail and telephone contacts (I am Polish, my father was born there, and so I have a slew of relatives who are still "in the old country.")

  8. The idea came from an evening spent with girlfriends -- one of those letting-your-hair-down and airing-grievances evenings that are often so cathartic! One woman in our group, who was single and going through a bad streak in dating, wanted to know why it was so easy for men to obtain sex (she meant prostitutes and bordellos) when there was nothing like that available to us women?

  9. Well, the seed was planted. The idea started rolling around in my head about what if there were such a thing as a bordello for women? What would it be like? Who would the customers be? And best of all, what sort of fantasies would a woman pay for (I somehow doubt it would be straight sex, as I suspect it is for men). Thus the story of BUTTERFLY was born. 

  10. So far, four of my books have been made for German television.  Traumzeit (The Dreaming), Spiel des Schicksals (Hounds and Jackals), Herzflimmern (Vital Signs), and Das Haus der Harmonie (Perfect Harmony).  They are now available on DVD at amazon.de

  11. The historical figure is Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell who, although born in England, was the first woman doctor in America.  She lived and worked in New York, and it was she upon whom I  based my character, Samantha Hargrave in DOMINA.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007 by Barbara Wood. All rights reserved.