Where do you write? Do you have a favorite place?
Barbara Bretton: I'm a nomadic writer. My laptop and I have been found in the basement, on the hall staircase, in the living room beneath the twinkle lights strung across the front window, in the guest bedroom, the big ugly green chair in the family room, and (to everyone's surprise) sometimes even in my office.
What kind of research did you have to do during the writing process?
Barbara Bretton: Writers and actors have a lot in common. We both have to immerse ourselves in an imaginary world. When I begin a book I imagine myself slipping into someone else's skin, learning how it feels to move inside their body, think their thoughts, feel their emotions. It may not qualify as standard issue research, but it's definitely an important part of the process. Maybe the most important part.
Of course, there's also the nuts-and-bolts aspect of research that requires lots of reading and, if I'm lucky, a road trip or two. Salem, Massachusetts plays an important role in both Casting Spells and the sequel Laced With Magic which meant 0a lot of reading about the infamous witch trials. I also had a great deal of fun reading scholarly tracts about faery kingdoms. There's always something new and wonderful to learn when you start a book.
Who is your publisher and how did you get accepted by them? Did you pitch your book yourself or go through an agent?
Barbara Bretton: I'm currently published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Group. Trust me when I say that if I had to pitch my book myself, I'd still be making fries beneath the Golden Arches. An editor I knew and admired left a small start-up publishing company in the early 1990s to join Berkley. She invited me to submit something to her and next thing I knew I had a two-book contract to write mainstream contemporary romance. I've been with them ever since.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Barbara: The Internet has opened a world of promotional opportunities for authors that didn't exist earlier in my career. I cut my promotional teeth during the Loving Hands at Home era of print 'em yourself bookmarks and mimeographed newsletters. We were all learning as we went along, figuring out what worked, what didn't, and what should be relegated to the trash bin forever. You could spend two weeks (and 200 hours) stuffing envelopes with promo material and maybe reach two thousand readers if you were lucky. Now, with the click of a mouse, the entire planet is within reach.