Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Barb Shuler author of The Cowboy Way Series, Rescue Novella Series, and Shattered Lives Series.
ME: Hi Barb, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Barb Shuler: I'm originally from Texas but I am currently living in SouthCarolina. I'm 37. Have a potty mouth, which i blame my best friends and mama for. LOL I've got a Texas sized temper that can get the nest of me at times. Generally, my redneck only shows a little. I'm a bookaholic introvert who is as content as can be to say in watch movies, read a book, work on my quilting, listen to music and/or write.
Barb Shuler: My first love when it comes to books was Stephen King. I alwayssaid I wanted to be like him. I never thought I'd actually take that leap, but after reading so many books, I got that itch to write and do it for real. I may never be Stephen King quality but I still admire his relationship with writing and aspire to be that kind of writer.
ME: What are you working on at the minute?
Barb Shuler: Ah, I am a multitasker, so I have many things going on at this moment:
Working on edits of my upcoming release (Sept 29) Primal Darkness.
Working on a new short story for the "Dirty Fairy Tales" Anthology which is to raise money for Autism. It's set to release in October.
I'm plotting and outlining four more books I plan to release in 2018.
And, last but not least I am working on "Finding Harmony" a cowboycontemporary standalone that is set to release November 29th.
ME: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
~ Dylan ~
As class rolled on I let my mind play back the first night I’d seen Ryker. He had been in the shadows, waiting for me to die, yet he saved my life, instead of letting nature work its magic on me.
The forest floor crunched under my feet, my body was on fire in multiple places and the blood covered my entire right side. The burn on my chest, the cross that deranged psycho put there. It fucking hurt. I tried to hold the cloth of what used to be my shirt over it as I stumbled along into the thicket of trees and brush.
The farmhouse was just ahead of me. I made it to the barn and fell into the hay. My breathing was ragged as I tried to get my mind to stop spinning. The torch light was not bright but it allowed me to see the burn mark on my chest. The cross was huge. I pried the cloth from the wound bringing with it flesh and blood. I cried out in pain. Breathing heavy, as if I had done a day’s work in the field. Tears leaked from me as the blood leaked from my chest. Death was waiting on me. I could feel it. I pulled the small knife from my boot and brought it to my wrists.
“Flesh to flesh. Heart to heart, until we meet again,” I murmured as my knife bit into the skin and into the flesh of my arm. I dug deep. The man’s words had beenringing in my head since he placed that cross on my skin.
“Sinners be damned souls, lad. Be one with the Lord, let the devil inside ye free. Come join the living once more. Be a creation free of sin.”
The dimness in my eyes started to fade as the blood seeped from me to the hay below me.
The attack in the woods had happened so fast. I had taken a torch and made my way along the path to gather water from the river. It would be needed when first light came. This would save mother from having to go and gather it herself. I could feel the pain of the attack all over again. I coughed softly, wincing as pain took me to a new level of hell. My body would fade, and I would leave myfamily alone.
There was a hiss from close by. My eyes fluttered open to see a woman was standing before me. She whispered something as a man knelt alongside me. His golden eyes bore into mine before he changed. His body went to all fours and then a wolf was before me. I tried to jerk away but the lack of blood and coordination stopped me.
With one fluid motion, he had my arm in his muzzle. The bite sent fire through me. A second bite caused a shuddered groan to leave me before my body convulsed. My head fell back further into the hay as my back arched. Pain radiated all over now. A howl rang out across the barn as my body slumped and my vision went black.
© This snippet is unedited and subject to change.
ME: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Talk about Heaven in a pair of jeans. (faints) He really brings Dylan to life in my head as Dylan is a Lacrosse playing, undercover cop who can turn into a 1400-pound grizzly bear.... So yeah.. muscles and dimples. That is what I see.
ME: When did you decide to become a writer?
Barb Shuler: I've always liked to write but a year ago in June I decided to stop talking about it and just do it. I needed something to relieve some stress, so it became a win win situation.
ME: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Barb Shuler: Right now, I switch between writing in my notebooks and writing on my laptop. I will use the notes app in my phone as well. If I am not able to be on my laptop I have the google doc apps on my phone so I just use that. It makes it so I can write anywhere.
ME: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
Barb Shuler: That depends on the story itself. I usually have an outline. I want this, this and this to happen... but the voices don't always go for that. I have only two outlines that went from a to z as planned. The rest were started, the voices did something unplanned and we just rolled with it. That can be more fun, and more of a frustration but if it works, it works.
Barb Shuler: I read all the time. I have many, many favorite authors. I don't think there are authors that I don't like. There are books I prefer over others. Some of my absolute favorites are Shari J Ryan, Annie Anderson, Jessie Lane, Jesse Lorenzo, Susan Stoker, Shannon Mayer, Kelly St Claire.. the list goes on and on. haha
ME: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Barb Shuler: I do. In moderation. I like to give books away, that is something good for fans, readers and the alike. It's a way to get your name out there and hopefully you get a new fan from it. It sometimes only takes one book forsomeone to read everything you have.
ME: How do you relax?
Barb Shuler: Reading, writing, sewing, and playing with my dog are my usual modes to chill. My dog is a great stress reliever. Watching her run back and forth to catch her ball is peaceful.
ME: What is your favorite book and why?
Barb Shuler: This is a really hard question, as I have a few favorites, but my all-time favorite book is Stephen King's Pet Semetary. Talk about a book that never gets old. I love it so much!
ME: What is your favorite quote?
Barb Shuler: "The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day." ~ Unknown
ME: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Barb Shuler: I will give the same advice given to me of over the last year. Be yourself. Write with the passion burning inside you, and don’t be afraid to write what you love. If you have confidence in your writing, it will show.
ME: What does your writing process look like?
Barb Shuler: Chaos. It's a lot of chaos. I have to have my Avengers cup full of something to drink. There has to be music, and then my desk/or the table where I sit has notebooks, pens, post its, markers everywhere. Again, I say, chaos.
ME: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Barb Shuler: The legal stuff on the publishing sites. I have a hard time comprehending exactly what it means. It should be a helluva lot simpler. So, I go to my friend, and fellow author Annie Anderson for help. Without her, I'd be lost.
ME: Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Barb Shuler: The only thing that gives me trouble is writing the naughty stuff. I mean, I can do it, but I always feel it sucks. It's like I want it to be perfect, yet it’s hard to write something in detail when you may have never done it before. (laughs)
ME: Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
Barb Shuler: That I really can do anything I set my mind to. The dream of a little girl long ago has come true because I made it happen.
ME: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Barb Shuler: There have been many but I would have to say my biggest fan is my bff, Emily. She has been by my side through this all. I have been writing things that have been published on social feeds since late 2009. She has always been there to hold my hand basically, and tell me "you've got this." This is a journey that I could not have started without her, and it's one I could not continue without her.
ME: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Barb Shuler: Some days I just have to many things going on at once that it is hard to concentrate. That stresses me out more. Writing is my therapy. Plain and simple. So when it's taken from me, I sort of have a meltdown.
ME: What book are you reading now?
Barb Shuler: I multitask as a reader as well. My ADHD makes it hard to do one thing for long sometimes so I rotate out my reading. Right now, I have:
Firestorm - Shannon Mayer
Acca - Christina Bauer (Audio ARC)
SEAL's Promise - Sharon Hamilton
Claiming Alexis - Susan Stoker
Barb Shuler: It's hard to choose here. I have always wanted to meet Stephen King and Reba McIntyre. Both of whom I simply adore. They are tied on my scale of 1-100. They are both 100's.
ME: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Barb Shuler: Suspense/Thrillers. they are the easiest and most fun to write. i can take someone and completely tear their lives apart but then I get to put them back together.
ME: What is your favorite theme/genre to read?
ME: What secret talents do you have?
Barb Shuler: Well, not sure it's a talent but I can sort and color code with the best of them. I blame my OCD. LOL
ME: Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Barb Shuler: I want to go to Australia. It has been on my bucket list for, forever! I will get there one day. even if I have to deal with spiders the size of my head...
ME: How can readers discover more about you and you work? i.e. Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Lnkedin: Pinterest: Amazon Author Page: Smashwords: Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.) Goodreads:
ME: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Barb Shuler: Not that I can think of. I would like to say thank you to you and all of the bloggers out there. This would be so much harder without the hard work you guys and gals put into sharing and putting our books out there. <3
ME: Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Barb Shuler: Thank you for having me. It was an honor. :)