Interview with Lisa Barker

When did you first start writing?

When I was fifteen, I found one of my greatest loves in life: writing. Back then I wrote romances, but they always had very emotional characters, the kind that aren’t yet prepared for a long-lasting relationship. But it wasn’t until I went through years of revising INHERITANCE that I grew and matured enough to realize the kind of transformation people with “messy” lives have to go through to be prepared for a long-lasting commitment.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I am comfortable writing, editing and producing books myself. I like the control I have, though I have had a lot to learn in the process. So it’s taken me awhile to be on the brink of success, like with Smashwords, but the journey is worth it.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

The greatest joy of writing has been the response I have gotten for INHERITANCE. I’ve connected with an audience that is affected by the story in a deep way. Hearing from them about their emotional response and the request for more, has been both shockingly surprising and touchingly profound. It is the greatest thrill for an author to have readers really get what they intended when crafting the story. I still marvel at the response INHERITANCE gets. It has encouraged me to write again, after a ten year hiatus following my daughter’s death.

What is your writing process?

I listen to music, and when an emotion grips me, I write the characters and the story that I imagine that absolutely compels me to write. With TAKE A CHANCE (the working title of a new book) it’s been a bit of do-wop and Motown and SHE WILL BE LOVED by Maroon 5.

DELIVERANCE (the working title of a new book) is inspired by the music video TAKE ME TO CHURCH by Hozier.

With INHERITANCE I was heavily influenced by the Eagles and Dolby Gray’s DRIFT AWAY.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

2020 is kicking my can. Right now National Novel Writing Month, starting November 1, is my inspiration. I’m looking forward to getting to know my characters, Eloise and Jason, and seeing them through to their happy ending.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

It was about a rodeo clown and a girl that falls into the arena and in the direct path of a charging bull. Very lost and lonely people, which I can see now was inspired by clinical depression when I was a teen. It was a good story, but, alas, it is lost in the passage of time. No worries, I have new stories just waiting to see the light of day.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in a close family filled with love. But there was alcoholism. Addiction defined my parents’ lives and mine. It’s the personality we shared. I also suffered from undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder, but seeking help was considered taboo.

So with that start in life, it’s no wonder why I feel the characters that I create, the inner me that tries to connect with the the outer world and the inner world of others.

It is an understatement to say that writing has been very cathartic for me.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I visit with my grown children, I photograph my cats for Instagram, I read, and I play Redecor. These things rejuvenate me and utilize my creativity in different ways that nurture my writing.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

INHERITANCE deals with addiction, domestic abuse, poverty, and alcoholism. Joe and Wendy come from childhoods that created “messy” (unhealthy) adult lives. They recognize love in each other, but they naturally have obstacles to overcome to find their happily ever after. People have requested further stories regarding these characters, but again I find myself needing to mature a bit before I have clarity of vision.

TAKE A CHANCE, the working title of the latest book I am writing, deals with mental health, divorce, and grief – definitely obstacles to overcome in order to find that happily ever after. But Eloise and Jason will find that they are stronger than they think they are.

DELIVERANCE, the working title of another book I am writing, deals with alcoholism and healing from family dysfunction as well as the things that test a strong committed relationship. Daniel and Ryan know they have what it takes for a lifelong marriage, but it will take everything they have to face Daniel’s demons.

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?

Smashwords is allowing me to develop my own niche. One of my favorite prolific and successful Smashwords authors is Ruth Ann Nordin ( who writes romance as well. She is my inspiration!

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