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Barbara McCauley – Candid Talk With A Rita Winner

September 2, 2006 by in category Blogs tagged as with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > Barbara McCauley – Candid Talk With A Rita Winner


To win a RITA, you have to have it all…timing, talent, tenacity…and a heart-wrenchingly good book no reader can resist.

Barbara McCauley has all that and the statuette to prove it. Her MISS PRUITT’S PRIVATE LIFE won her the RITA for Best Short Contemporary in 2005.

In September’s Orange Blossom she candidly talks about what it was like to pass the torch, the reality of the after glow and how her friends are the best part of writing.

Here in our extended interview on A Slice Of Orange she bravely talks about fear and how she gets past it.

Q – After over 30 books, do you ever learn something new about writing or yourself as a writer?

A – I’m always learning something new, about my writing and myself. My last book I let fear paralyze me and it was truly painful. I’m determined not to let that happen again.

Q – What paralyzed you? What were you afraid of?

A – Listening to the negativity, especially surrounding the “new guidelines” for the line I write for. There was a lot of “buzz” regarding the changes taking place and I began to question whether I was able to “fit” into the new parameters.

Once I let that fear in the door, it simply took over and consumed me. Doesn’t matter I’ve been doing this 15 years and I’ve published over 30 books, my confidence took a nosedive. For a writer and the creative process, this is a dangerous road.

Q – You said you are determined not to let that happen again. What are you doing to not let that happen again?

A – I do a lot of things to hold fear at bay. Just a few are: reminding myself to be my own best friend, picking up an older book and re-reading a passage or scene I enjoyed writing, taking a hard look at the book I’m writing and holding onto the initial spark that made me want to write that story, taking care of myself physically and emotionally (this would be a long list itself) re-reading “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.

Most important–it’s cliche, but true, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Q – How is it working?

A – Depends on which hour you ask me. (Smiling)

If you need a suspenseful beach read for this last gasp of summer, be sure to pick up Barbara’s latest, NIGHTFIRE. And for another surefire good read, her next in the SECRETS! series, BLACKHAWK’S BETRAYAL, comes out in October.

Dana Diamond is the OCC/RWA Secretary, a columnist for OCC’s award-winning newsletter Orange Blossom, a contributor to A Slice of Orange, and hard at work on her next book.

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