Today I have the privilege of interviewing my friend novelist Emerald Barnes. Emerald loves books about as much as I do. She even works in the book industry. I want you to get to know Emerald today and learn a little about her. Here we go.
PB: Emerald, welcome to "JELLY BEAN CENTRAL." I'm thrilled to have you as my guest today. Let's get right to the heart of the matter and let everyone know about you.
PB: What first triggered your interest in writing?
EB: If I’m honest, I don’t remember exactly what the trigger was. I firmly believe that it was the fact that my mind was always geared towards daydreaming. I’ve always been a daydreamer, and I’ve always loved reading. I wanted to create worlds for other people to enjoy, and with my overactive imagination, writing seemed like the logical step to take.
PB: How old were you at the time?
EB: I was young. I wrote my first story in fourth grade, so I was around nine or ten.
PB: In what genre do you write?
EB: I mostly write in the young adult genre. Some of it is Christian; some is more secular.
PB: What is the first thing that you wrote?
EB: Well, I wrote a story about a young girl trapped in a school Halloween night with ghosts and goblins walking around the school, but that was in fourth grade. My first official novel I wrote in high school though, but nothing ever came of it. It’s still sitting in a drawer collecting dust. I would love to rewrite it though. It was such a fun story, and now that I’m more experienced with writing novels, I believe that I could fix it up really nice.
PB: How many hours per week do you devote to your craft?
EB: There is no official amount, but I treat it as a job, writing as much and often as I can.
PB: What are your greatest aspirations as a writer?
EB: To touch the lives of young adults and make them realize that they aren’t alone in what they’re going through. My upcoming novel, Entertaining Angels, is really what will speak to the teenagers. It’s about learning to accept yourself and finding help when you need it the most?
PB: I know I want to read that book. There's just something about your title that draws me in to want to buy it.
PB: What person has influenced you the most with your writing?
EB: I have so many, but Melissa Foster and Natasha Brown are the ones who come to mind. They’re both self-published authors who have helped me grow with my writing. Their own stories are beautifully written. They taught me how to edit properly, and they’ve shown me the ropes. So anything and everything that I write is somehow inspired by them. Dean Koontz was the original influence though. I wanted to write like him. He’s truly a talented author.
PB: My son, author Jason Brannon, that you know well, has always been a big Dean Koontz fan. At one time I think Jason read every book Dean had out. At least he did in his younger years.
PB: What one person has been your biggest encouragement as you pursue your goals?
EB: My mom and dad. I know you asked for one, but they’re a unit, so I hope that counts. They encourage me, pray for me, and help me when I need it the most. My dad is usually the first person to read my novels, and I don’t know if I could have gotten as far as I have without them.
PB: There's just nothing like that family support. It means so much when we're stepping out into areas of our life that are uncertain.
PB: What motivates you to keep writing?
EB: Helping teenagers with their problems. I know that I needed the outlet of reading as a teen, but I didn’t have the books we do now. The Young Adult genre is probably more popular than ever right now, and if I can touch one young person’s life by my writing, it’s totally worth the heartache and pain that can be associated with writing. That is my motivation.
PB: Emerald, even though I don't specifically write for teens and young adults, that is one of the main reasons I write too.
PB: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
EB: I love to read, spend time with my nieces and nephews, watch TV, and movies. During the spring, summer, and fall, I love to watch my nieces and nephews play as well as go swimming and fishing with them. During fall, I’m all about college football on the weekends.
PB: Do you do public appearances?
EB: I love to do public appearances; however, those aren’t very frequent for me. I have visited a high school and talked to teens about my writing, but I haven’t had a chance to go anywhere else yet.
PB: If so, are you available to travel for events/engagements?
EB: I am. All my details are on my website.
PB: Do you have a website for my readers to check out?
EB: I do. You can visit me here: http://www.emeraldbarnes.us
PB: What is one thing that makes you totally unique?
EB: Gosh, I don’t know. Some people have told me that it’s my sweet personality, but I have no idea. I’m not really all that unique, I don’t believe, but we are all unique in some way.
PB: What can you share about yourself that might surprise my readers?
EB: I sing. I haven’t sung in churches in a long time, but I do sing. I’m supposed to keep singing, but now that I’ve joined a big church, it’s hard for me to get over my shyness and just do it.
PB: It's been a real joy having you as my guest today. I find that I always learn something, sometimes several things, about my guest that I didn't know before. Best wishes with your writing as you forge ahead to the next novel.
Friends, below you will find Emerald's bio, links to purchase her books and various social media sites where you can keep up with Emerald and her writing.
About Emerald Barnes
Emerald Barnes lives in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She tries her hardest to write novels that appeal not only to young adults but to those who are young at heart as well. When she isn't writing, she's spending all of her time with her nieces and nephews or has her nose in a book or Kindle. She has the great pleasure of being an Indie author with her first two books and doesn't know what her future holds except that there will be more writing of books along the way.
Piercing Through the Darkness
Read Me Dead
WLC Volunteer and Author
Amazon Author Page
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