One of my supporters and friend over the last years has been Barbara Villemez who tells us a little about herself
My greatest support would be my husband, Clare. He takes on most of the responsibility around here for the stuff I used to do. My daughter, Candy is another supporter and buys everything I write. So does a friend in El Paso, David. When I finish one book, he bugs me about when I’ll write the next one. He says he’s read everything except Fifty, Female and Fabulous.
I write in a home office. I recently had the room remodeled and it’s a pleasant corner room with lots of light. Lime walls, bamboo flooring, bookcases painted yellow and one in a darker lime green and two baby blue chests with narrow drawers and to round it all off, glass and steel desk and glass and steel computer desks. I have a new Dell computer and also have my treadmill in here to use when I think about it.
I write in spurts. I may write for several days in a row all day then take off for a few days and do stuff like grocery shopping, pay bills, etc. Sometimes if I have an inspiration, I may write in the wee hours of the morning then I sleep until 10 or 11 in the morning.
My motivation is the stories that are swirling around in my mind. Sometimes something I see or hear on the Internet may trigger a story. But mostly my vivid imagination does the trick.
My biggest distractions are people. But only if I let them. Having spent part of my life as a psychotherapist, friends with problems want to talk about them.
I live in the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, USA. Las Cruces is the second largest city in the state. We finally reached 100,000 population recently. New Mexico is a sparsely populated state with 40% Hispanic and several Native American reservations.
Fourteen years ago this month, I married my husband. I went from Dallas, TX to a small town in Wyoming. He retired from the University of Wyoming three years later and we moved to Las Cruces. I was originally from Charleston, South Carolina, the oldest daughter in a military family. We lived all over the world and when I was a senior in high school in Yokohama, Japan, a new kid arrived, Bubba Villemez. We were friends, but never dated, even though he had a crush on me at the time. He went on to Harvard, I went to California with my family. 46 years later we met, both widowed, had a short courtship and since this was my third and my husband’s third, we had a different kind of ceremony. A Shaman married us in a diverse ceremony in Galesteo, NM
So far, I’ve never had writer’s block. I think I waited so long to finally have the free time to write that I have too much to say to be blocked.
I think if I ever had the problem, I would go and do something else creative, like paint.
I went to three or four weekend writer’s conferences over the years when I was first starting to get serious about writing, about ten years ago. Most of the classes were stuff I already knew, but they were informative.
Four years ago I belonged to a writer’s group facilitated by a western writer, John Duncklee. It was helpful for the critiques and his wife edited our work. He will be 86 this year and two years ago, his health deterriated, so we continued at my house. I have seven people who meet once a month. We email our work to one another and when we meet, we discuss the work. It has been helpful and we’re able to give encouragement to new writers in the group.
I would love to have an agent. It would be so much easier, but I have folders filled with rejections slips from both agents and publishers. That’s when I decided to learn how to do this myself. Now I have it down pat. I write, my writer’s group and my husband edit and critique. I send my mss to a woman I found on a list from Smashwords, Laura Shinn, then she formats and helps me decide on a cover. She does it all for a nominal fee. It makes my life easier. I would do it all myself if I knew how, but in the meantime she takes the stress off me.
An agent would have the resources to find a publisher with one of the bigger houses. All sorts of things can happen from that.
I don’t know if I could make a full time career from writing. I know that others have made money from ebooks, so I feel that I can try and maybe something I write will be a hit, at least my husband thinks so.
I started writing poetry in my thirties, stories (that weren’t very good) in my forties, but it wasn’t until I married my husband that I started getting serious about writing. I was also teaching at a University during this time, so did not have a lot of time to spend.
A friend looked at some of my stuff back when I was between husbands and thought I had potential, but it wasn’t until I won some awards for short stories that I had the confidence to write a novel.
Dead Sugar Daddies Don’t Lie started out to be about the perils of internet dating. My sister is single and on dating sites and listening to some of her stories gave me the trigger to write the story. It wrote itself once I got started and turned into a crime and transformation kind of story with a love story thrown in. I’ve had great feedback on it. Several people have told me that they couldn’t put it down.
It kind of developed itself. I did my research as it takes place in the Miami area and I hadn’t been there in years. I also talked with the information officer of the Miami-Dade police and a Sargent at the Bal Harbor police department where the murders take place. They gave me the details of what they do when it’s a homicide. I always research my subjects, and most of the places I write about, I’ve been there.
I’m just finishing a novel that is a little strange. I guess one could call it a Sci-fi fantasy. I wrote it to vent some of my feelings about what was going on here in the US in politics, government, science, education and actually all aspects of life here in the good old US of A. Basically it’s about how the 1% is screwing over the 99% and I get quite literal. My husband likes it, but I don’t know if anyone else will. Which is the great thing about writing. You write what you want to write, and if no one buys it, your family will. 🙂 🙂 🙂
I have a folder full of research for the next book, but I don’t plan to start it until late September.
Thank you Barbara for taking time to answer all these questions so fully for our readers.
To visit Barbara books click on any of Barbara’s book covers on this page to take you direct to Amazon