It is my pleasure to welcome Barbara Pronin to Escape With Dollycas today!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a proud grandma, Brooklyn-born but a Southern Californian since graduating from CSULA. I’ve been an actor, a probation officer, a newsroom editor, and a substitute teacher, which led to my first book, “Substitute Teaching: A Handbook for Hassle-free Subbing,” and subsequently to my seven novels.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
- Heavy winds scare me stupid.
- I wish I had a sister.
- In my next life, I want to be a pianist.
What books/authors have most inspired you?
Sophie’s Choice/William Styron
House on Endless Waters/Emuna Elon
Leaving Time/Jodi Picoult
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For my mysteries, unless they are grounded in science or industry (as Syndrome was) I tend to research as I am writing because I mostly need answers to specific questions. For my just completed historical novel, I researched for many weeks before beginning to write, then continued researching as new issues needed probing and because I wanted to be certain the historical aspects and timeline – and even the autos and uniforms – were correct. I would have loved to revisit Amsterdam and Haarlem, but as I was writing during the pandemic, I had to rely on my memories and my research.
Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?
Rarely – but when I do, it is usually a sign that I’m taking the story in a questionable direction or I’m not being true to my characters’ motivations. I go back, then, and read everything that’s come before, and that usually gets me back on track.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write what you love. Join a read and critique group to give and get valuable and unbiased feedback – and when you have a polished manuscript, persevere with your queries. Rejections come for all sorts of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with your writing, so keep submitting and submitting and submitting.
When you are not writing what do you like to do?
Read. I never seem to have enough time for it. I also enjoy cooking for friends and family. I find it relaxing. And I struggle at the piano for my ears only and only when no one else is around.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
To Africa. I adore elephants. They are such sentient beings. I would like to see them in their natural habitat – and I want to see Botswana, which Alexander McCall Smith made so real for me with his engaging First Ladies Detective Agency series!
What is next on the horizon for you?
I’m so glad you asked! I have just completed, Winter’s End, a World War II historical novel set in the Netherlands, researched and written with passion, and narrated by three young Dutch women who moved into my head and refused to leave until I told their story. It is under contract for publication in the fall of 2023.
Thank you Barbara for visiting today!
Keep reading to learn about Barbara’s latest mystery!
The Miner’s Canary
Setting – South Dakota
Touchpoint Press (October 25, 2022)
Paperback : 326 pages
ISBN-10 : 1956851410
ISBN-13 : 978-1956851410
Kindle ASIN : B0BBS7M1MD
“A smart heroine with a haunted past . . . a who-done-it full of twists and turns.”
Haunted by a death she might have prevented, single mom Julie Goldman returns to the brooding Black Hills of South Dakota to turn the old Victorian she inherits from her aunt into a bed-and-breakfast inn. But mysterious deaths are piling up, and a series of vaguely escalating threats convince her that someone wants her gone. When daughter Lu is run off the road while riding her bike, Julie knows she must find and stop whoever has them squarely in their sights.
More About Barbara Pronin
A former actress, probation officer, substitute teacher and news editor, Barbara Pronin has authored two non-fiction books in addition to six previous mysteries including three as Barbara Nickolae. A contributing editor to RISMedia with a passion for music, dark chocolate, and the L.A. Dodgers, she lives in Orange County, California, where she is currently completing a historical novel set in World War II the Netherlands.
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