1) Why young adult? Did you choose this genre or were your ‘chosen’ by it?
I began writing for very young children and have gradually ‘grown older’. I find the freedom with young adult literature very rewarding as I can explore many different themes.
Is there an author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
As a youngster I ploughed my way through the classics of Dickens, Elliott and Austen; loved Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway; Dodie Smith and E F Benson but Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was my great favourite until Jonathan Stroud came along and introduced me to a djinni called Bartimaeus.
2) Please tell us about your last book and future projects.
‘Time Breaking’ came out in November with amazing reviews and I am delighted to say it has an audience of both young adults and adults. A time-slip novel, and deceptively simple in its writing, Molly is an unhappy teenager, very much at odds with modern life. When visiting an old manor, she triggers a time-chute and finds herself in 1648 as the eldest daughter in a puritan family. Why is she there? And how can she return? In the space of a week she falls in love and decides she wants to remain. When everything goes wrong, she finds herself being hunted down by the very people with whom she wanted to live.
I loved creating this world of 1648 and I have to admit I am delighted with the response to this book.
I have just completed the sequel to Running – Turning Point – a young adult thriller, and I am trying to settle down and write something new . All I can tell you is that it’s set at the end of the Second World War, written in the first person, the main character is a sixteen- year-old girl Maidy and, at the moment, I am finding the project rather scary. I need to get stuck in then I’ll feel better.
3) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I had an agent five years ago and foolishly we parted company. I wish we hadn’t because agents are like gold dust. I’d give my eye-teeth for one now. It’s really hard to go it alone. Not the work so much – but the advice and information they can provide which saves on mistakes and sleepless nights.
I have been lucky in that all my early work went through a literary consultancy and most usually a copy editor before it went to the publisher. I work with Troubador publishing who I find very efficient and nice to work with. They have to be to put up with me.
4) What is your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would you consider the Indie route?
As long as children start off reading books, hopefully books will continue to exist. Most people I talk to love the feel and smell of a book – something tangible. It has detracted from book sales quite significantly but I always comfort myself with the thought – it’s an expensive item to lose! That is said by an experienced long-distance flyer who regularly leaves her books on the place. Among them, The Great Gatsby.
The worst bit of being an author is promotion. If only. In an ideal world, I’d have a cloned Barbara Spencer to take care of events and at least one secretary to take care of emails etc.
Info about the author:
In 1967, considering herself to be destined for a life of mediocrity, Barbara hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three continents, in which she was caught up in riots, wars, and choosing Miss World. A hands-on grandmother, and the author of six books including, A Fishy Tail (publication April 2012), Time Breaking and A Dangerous Game of Football, Barbara now lives and works in Somerset. In 2010, the publication of Running, a young-adult thriller, has taken Barbara countrywide and to date she has carried out 65 book-signing events for Waterstones. Passionate about the importance of books in today’s society, she is frequently invited into primary and secondary schools to talk about creative writing.
To know more, simply visit her social media:
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/BarbaraSpencerO
Website – www.barbaraspencer.co.uk
To buy her most recent book, simply click on the cover below: