Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It's All About the Author with Barbara Valentin @spinninginburbs #giveaway

So thrilled to have Barbara Valentin with us today !!
It’s All About the Author…

      Please tell us 5 interesting facts about yourself that readers might not know about you …
a.    I make a mean coq au vin.
b.    If given a choice between watching reality TV and jumping over a moat filled with ravenous sharks, I’d take my chances with the moat.
c.    I love to eat (especially coq au vin).
d.   I almost died in a car accident when I was 28.
e.    I can still fit into my parochial high school uniform skirt (if you knew me in high school, you’d know how unimpressive this is). That I still have the skirt after all these years is interesting, though…right?

What do you like to do in your spare time?  Shower, sleep, eat, repeat

    How did you get started writing and have you always wanted to be an author? I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. People didn’t start reading what I wrote, though, until the Chicago Tribune picked up my parenting column and everything started falling into place after that.

    If you for some reason couldn’t be an author, what would your other choice be? I love to sing, but I can’t imagine anyone ever paying to hear me, so maybe a professional lip-syncher.

      Did you like school?  Were you a good student? Let me put it this way: in high school, my algebra teacher wrote in my yearbook, “What’s out the window?”

     When you write, is there a specific way you have to write, ie:  certain room, noise or quiet, computer or paper etc… I need it absolutely quiet, no distractions of any kind. Not even music. Just me and my laptop. I’ve tried hiding away in my bedroom (with the door locked), but my kids still managed to find me. So now, I’m a regular at the library or on the top-level single seat section of the “quiet” car on my train with ear plugs firmly in place. Just don’t ask my husband how many times he’s had to come pick me up in the next county over because I missed my stop.

      How do you come up with your story ideas? Not to sound too ethereal, but they just come to me and won’t let me go until I write them down - rather like when one of my boys wants dinner and refuses to acknowledge that there is an adult male in the house who is fully capable of kicking out the same meals I do.

           Do titles stump you or do they come easy?  When do you pick a title, before the story is written or when it’s done?    Titles are so important! They set the tone for the entire book. Once I have a vague idea for a story, I have to come up with the title before I start writing to make sure it clicks. I’m guessing Margaret Mitchell used the same process for her sweeping epic, Gone with the Wind. If she waited to come up with a title until she was finished with it, she might have used something like Scarlett Does Savannah.

      Do you keep a notebook near you for when new ideas pop into your head? Yes, and it’s stuffed with sticky notes I scribble on when I’m at my day job or in the car. Besides my kids, it’s my most valuable possession (but better ‘cause it doesn’t talk back).

     How does your family feel about your writing? My husband knew what he was getting himself into when he married me and therefore waived all rights to complain about having to take on the parenting and household stuff when I’m on deadline. My boys, (I hope) are proud of me. Next time we actually have a conversation that extends beyond, “Hi, Sweetie, how are you?” and “Fine,” I’ll be sure to ask.

Thanks for sharing “you as an author” with us !  We hope you’ll come back and visit again soon!

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The Plate Spinner

An Assignment:  Romance Nonfiction Collection
Barbara Valentin
108 pages/Non-fiction/Mom Humor

What working parent hasn't considered delivering a performance review to their child prior to granting a salary, er, allowance increase? 
The Plate Spinner Chronicles: A Working Mother's Epic Adventure is a hybrid memoir/how-to guide that is stuffed with multi-tasking advice and relevant, but nostalgic anecdotes, all written in the wry tone of a harried working mother who'd rather laugh than cry over the length of her to-do list. 

This book is a compilation of The Plate Spinner columns which originally ran in the Chicago Tribune.

Buy links:  
Nook   iBooks   Kobo   Smashwords   Amazon   Gemma Halliday Publishing 

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Author Bio:
Barb is a freelance writer, over-scheduled parent, and connoisseur of fine chocolate. A second-generation journalist, her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and its affiliates. The exploits of her five boys provided fodder for her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune, which snagged her a runner-up spot in an Erma Bombeck Humor Contest. A member of RWA's Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes "Send NY Times book critic thank you note" and "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester."

Contact links:
Twitter:  https://Twitter.com/spinninginburbs

Giveaway:   $25 Amazon Gift Card

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading your answers! You have an awesome sense of humor which comes through in your books as well. Congrats and best of luck on your release!!