I’d like to introduce you to Barbara Ann Derksen, a motorcycle riding, scuba diving grandmother of ten, mother of four, and married to HC, a singer/songwriter, for 46 years. While working for six years as a journalist in Iowa, Barbara became a published novelist in 2003 and will complete her nineteenth book this spring.
What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?
I have always enjoyed reading a great mystery. My favorite authors are Terri Blackstock, Brandilyn Collins, Colleen Coble, Robin Johns Grant, Nancy Rue, Joel Rosenberg, Sue Grafton, and James Patterson as well as many others.
What genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?
I wrote and published my first mystery in 2003 and suspected that this was my niche but then I wrote a short series of children,s stories for six of my grandchildren as birthday gifts. I work all summer as a missionary to bikers so I wrote a series of devotionals for them but my favorite genre is still mystery/suspense and will complete my 8th this spring.
Tell us a little about your most recent release. Where did you get your inspiration?
My recent work is the third in the Finders/Keepers Mystery Series. This collection surrounds a young woman who, as a five year old, watched her parents be killed. Now as an adult, she returns to the city of her birth to act as an investigator searching for missing children and the killer, who’s never been identified. Her investigation brings her into the world of pedophiles and human trafficking as she works with a service dog, Chief. This third book brings her closer to discovering why her parents were killed and who was behind it and now wants her dead.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you?
I write character lead fiction. I have, in my head, the beginning of the story, but my protagonists introduce me to new people and take me to new places. Writing, for me, is almost like reading a good mystery. I can’t wait to get to the end. As for the non-fiction, I plan those out a little more.
What does your work space look like? Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?
I share my life with a singer/songwriter who has taken over the office for his sound equipment, recording devices, etc. So I moved into the dining room where I commandeered a small corner space to call my own. Because my space is more visible, I need to keep it neater than his. We can always close the door and do so often. As far as quirk, I like quiet with soft music playing in the background but have learned to tune my music making husband out. When I close his door, he knows I am writing so respects my space.
What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?
I find self editing tedious but necessary. I find it amazing how many extraneous words I use when I craft the first draft, and how often I use the same phrase or word in a particular scene. Self-editing is the hard work after the fun of revealing the story.
What about the easiest? What parts of the writing process just feel natural for you?
My characters live and breathe in my head so it is natural to bring them out and watch them move through a particular scene. They’re amateurs and stumble while they bring closure to grieving parents. My male protagonist is a Christian, as am I, so his viewpoint is different than my female, who sees no need of a Saviour, yet. They argue about this religious thing, as she calls it, but his faith gives my male protagonist extra patience with her and a sense of discernment she doesn’t have. I find the give and take between my characters easy to write and the story they take me through becomes just as easy as I follow their lead.
Barbara Ann, thank you for visiting with us today.
Thank you for introducing me to your readers and followers. I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog. I would also love to hear how you enjoyed my work by writing a review about a book you’ve purchased at the site you purchased it from. Reviews are important and need to be your honest appraisal.
Her website, Adventures in Writing, is where she engages her readers with a devotional every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday hoping to inspire the lives of her followers and she introduces them to a variety of writers some Tuesday’s or Thursday’s.