Saturday, November 5, 2016

Interview with author Barbara Underwood - Giveaway

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: OK, I’ll try not to make this boring! I’m from Sydney, Australia, and have been writing just for the fun of it since 4th grade. When I began writing about my travels during my 20s, friends who read them kept saying “You should write a book!” so one day I took it seriously and did a correspondence course in professional writing. Besides writing, my other passions in life are art (I sketch, paint in oils and other mediums) and music: I listen to all kinds of music, and I used to play several stringed instruments, including the 5-string banjo when I went through my Bluegrass phase! Nowadays I’m doing mostly just writing and art, crosswords and Sudoku to unwind, and a bit of family genealogy research just because it’s interesting and fun.

Q ~ What’s something that you never leave home without?
A: I suppose you expect me to say that I always carry pen and paper with me in case I get a brilliant idea for my books. Actually, I do, along with my purse/handbag which I always take, but I’ve only used that pen & paper once so far. What I really can’t leave home without is...well, it’s a bit embarrassing... tissues. I hate the thought of not having anything to wipe or blow my nose, especially in hayfever season!!

Q ~ List two books you’ve read more than three times.
A: Uhm...I don’t think I’ve ever read any book more than twice! I think it’s because I’m always reading new stuff, both fiction and non-fiction.

Q~ Who is your favorite literary villain and why?
A: Can I include the villain of my own series?! In my series, the Dark Master is my favourite type of villain because he has believable motives for what he does, even if they cause misery or even death for others. That makes a villain intriguing because you can almost sort of understand him or relate to him a bit.

Q ~ What was the first romance novel that you ever read?
A: Oops – I don’t think I’ve ever read a straight-out Romance novel. I’ve always been more interested in ghost stories, mysteries and adventure, just like I always preferred cars and trains to dolls when growing up!

Q ~ What’s the best interaction you’ve ever had with a fan?
A: Just recently, actually, a reader contacted me on Facebook just to say that she thought my first book, which she had just finished reading, was “a Masterpiece” so that was definitely the best feedback/interaction so far!

Q ~ What does your family think of your writing?
A: Couldn’t be better! My husband is also a writer, so it’s an ideal situation because we understand each other’s ups and downs, problems and frustrations, but also the highs, and we can be happy for the other’s success and creative work.

Q ~ What is one thing that you absolutely need when writing?
A: My glasses! Apart from that, I need to be in a comfortable environment: comfortable chair, not too hot or cold...that sort of thing.

Q ~ How do you decide on the setting of your book?
A: As I started out basing my Urban Fantasy series on historical legend, myth and some fact, I’m continuing to use elements of real life and history for my settings. Rhuna lives in the time of Atlantis, when they were able to travel all over the world with their advanced technology, so I’m using places with ancient history as inspiration for the settings. Books 2 & 3 are set in Ancient Egypt, which readers will recognize. The next book, which I’m working on right now, is set in Ancient India, which might not be too obvious, but I’m also using bits of history and legend for this setting.

Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release and what inspired you to write it?
A: My latest book, “Rhuna, The Star Child” is the sequel to “Rhuna: Crossroads” and both are set in Ancient Egypt. The latest book follows on from the previous one, but also opens some new doors for Rhuna to go through and explore, as well as meeting her father whom she believed was dead. The climax at the end is the situation that forces Rhuna to leave Ancient Egypt and go to mysterious India. (The places all have different names, so you don’t need to know history or geography to appreciate Rhuna’s adventures!)

Q ~ Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? A: Even though it’s Fantasy, there is a lot of real life in each of my books, and many things are from my own life experience, just altered a bit here and there. The latest book draws on situations I’ve either experienced first hand, or was involved with, such as Rhuna’s teenage daughter falling in love with a much older man whose reputation is not exactly perfect.

Q ~ Do you prefer to write in a small town or big city setting? Why?
A: Probably a big city because there’s more going on, more people and events for my characters to interact with, but in the book I’m currently writing, Rhuna lives in a beautiful country house on a lake for a while. This setting contrasts with other things happening in the book, and while I enjoy writing about country life (I lived in a big city all my life until 5 years ago, and now live in a pretty country town in the mountains) it still depends on the plot and story a lot.

Q ~ If you were stranded on a desert island with one of your characters (from any novel you’ve written) who would you choose and why?
A: I’d choose Goram because he’s enough of a bad guy to get any messy business done properly, but enough of a good guy to feel safe with.

Q ~ What are you working on next?
A: The fourth book in the Rhuna series, while at the same time planning the 5th! If I have the energy, I might also write a short story featuring Rhuna, which is exclusive to my newsletter subscribers. I’ve already written one, so I’m planning another one in the next 6 months or so.

Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Just keep writing and don’t give up your dream, if you really believe in it!


About the author:

Barbara Underwood was born and raised in Sydney, Australia; the only child of German migrants who provided a rich and diverse childhood environment. Already in third grade she wrote a short children's book for a class project and realized that she was deeply satisfied with creating stories. In sixth grade, for another class project, her teacher was so impressed by the lengthy story she submitted, that he commented at the end "I see we are going to have another author".

Over the years Barbara kept writing one thing or another, but only as a hobby while she pursued other interests and goals. In the 1990s, she completed a correspondence course in professional writing, doing it in her spare time after work. This led to having a few short stories published, but what she really wanted to do was write a proper novel.

At this time, Barbara had travelled extensively and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in subjects that held special appeal for her, namely ancient history, myths and legends (such as Atlantis, the builders of megaliths around the world), folklore (the belief that a god-like race gave mankind its technology), human psychology and the culture of other countries. What better subject for her novels than to combine all these elements into one big adventure!

Find out more about Barbara on her website.   You can also sign up for her monthly newsletters with exclusive materials, contests and the usual news and updates on the books and series.


And now, be sure to enter the fantastic giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of author Barbara Underwood!
Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law. 
Entries close at 11:59pm Nov 5/16. 
Winners will be drawn Nov 6/16. 
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    Thank you so much for the chance to win ANYTHING! I am easy to please! :)

    While I do have a couple of your books Barbara I haven't had the chance to read them yet. I pretty much "book" all of my reading time with review books, so all the books I buy get to sit pretty on my eshelves, waiting for me to stop (GAK! The thought scares me!) reviewing and get to binge reading! I do promise to review your books as I read them though! :)

    Cheers! xoxoxo

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