At this time I have two editions out of my first book, Insight into Adoption. This is a non-fiction book discussing adoption issues which adoptive parents are usually not told about and adopted children struggle with because they don’t understand their cause. “Insight Into Adoption” demystifies adoption issues and explains why they are normal. Both adoptees and adoptive families have told me after reading the book that, “It’s good to know I’m normal!”
My second book is a novel, Randy’s Ride, which is about a teenager who leaves home too early thinking he doesn’t fit into his family. Life on the road teaches him about life and himself.
My third book, “Searching for Abby,” is also a novel with a release date set for late 2011. This is a story about a wife and mother of three who feels she will be complete once she finds her birth family. Through twists and turns in life she discovers her identity was right where she could find it all the time.
Tell us something about yourself.
My husband was transferred several times in his corporate career, so we moved a bit. Our children were born in Wisconsin where I grew up, but we’ve also lived in New York, Michigan, and Missouri.
Probably the most unusual thing about me is that I am a ‘late bloomer’, a really ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to writing books. I didn’t start until my sixties, but have been going strong since. My third book is being published late this year and my fourth is rattling around in my head already.
In all our different locations I’ve been involved in the adoption world; as an adoptive parent (as well as biological), as a support group coordinator, as a counselor for adoptive families, and also working in a residential Children’s Home for twelve years.
My novels involve an element of adoption, but they really are about a common element we all face in life – discovering just who we are.
What inspired you to write your books?
All my books have the underlying theme of exploring the challenge of resolving our own unique identity. My life has shown me this is a universal experience. I like to read positive books, so all my books address a serious subject in a positive way. I always hope the reader closes the book and says to him/her self, “I never thought of it that way.”
How did you choose the titles?
I really like choosing titles. It forces you to look through to the crux of your message. Actually my husband came up with the title for my first book. He chose the word ‘Insight’ because once the proverbial light bulb goes off in your mind, you have insight into your situation. My intent was the book would provide the light bulb!
“Randy’s Ride” is a play on words. Randy takes a ‘ride’ while he is hitchhiking around the country, but more importantly his brain is taking a dramatic ‘ride’ in learning what life is all about.
“Searching for Abby” is clear cut. This book is about a young mother who is searching for herself, but she goes through some agonizing times in the process.
What obstacles were there in getting your books published?
Other than the usual rejection letters, there really weren’t any serious obstacles. You do need patience, though. Two publishers accepted my manuscripts and they have been comfortable to work with. The first, who published “Insight Into Adoption,” is a textbook publisher, but they don’t publish novels, so I had to search for a different publisher to publish “Randy’s Ride,” and subsequently “Searching for Abby.”
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Well, as I explained earlier it took me a while to get going. I’ve always felt great satisfaction when I read something that I wrote that was actually good. Believe me, good writing isn’t always assured, but when you are satisfied with your words, it’s a great feeling. I love to go back and rewrite to make the message even more succinct. The problem with that is (as every writer knows), you can go back many times and each time ‘make it better’. There seems to be no end, but I love the process.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
This one I have trouble with because as soon as a potential character pops up in my head, a name immediately comes to mind. Sometimes I don’t like the name, but I have a hard time changing it. It’s almost like changing the name of one of your children. If I do change the name while writing, it nags at me to go back to the original name, and the feeling is so strong, that I usually do go back!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
That’s an easy one – I’d start earlier! However, I think my years of experience prior to my serious writing have a great effect on my present perspective on life. I think all my experiences provide a depth I didn’t have as a younger person. I’ve heard other authors express this saying their earlier books aren’t nearly as meaningful as their later books. We do grow as we go through life.
Are you working on your next book?
At the end of “Searching for Abby,” Abby discovers she has a twin sister she never knew about because they were separated at birth. They grew up in very different circumstances and in my next book they will be reunited. I think it will be interesting to write about how their divergent circumstances and attitudes affect their lives.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Whenever I speak to groups my main message is that writers must write for the pure love of writing. When you realize that only about 3% of manuscripts are accepted by publishers you can see there are great odds against you. Another depressing statistic is that only 5% of published books ever sell more than 500 copies. From this anyone can see that working long hard hours on a book in order to make money is a long shot. I think most writers write because they love the process. If you have a passion for a subject, it will show in your end result giving you an edge in the market. My advice would be to only write about something you are passionate about.
Who are the perfect readers for your books?
Adoptees and adoptive families are the main readers of “Insight Into Adoption.” They can see themselves on the pages. In fact, adults who were adopted as children have told me, “Barb, your book is eerie. It’s like you climbed inside my head and wrote a book about me!”
My novels would be enjoyed by readers who like to shed a tear or two (happy ones) when the protagonist comes out from under his or her burden. Even men have told me they’ve had to use a tissue or two. I like to write about life teaching us about life – if we only would listen!
Where can readers learn more about you and your books?
http://Adoptiveparent.wordpress.com is my blog site where I discuss adoption issues and people can email me with their comments or questions.
http://barbarablomquist.tatepublishing.net/ is my web site that tells about my motivation for writing “Randy’s Ride.” “Searching for Abby” will be on that web site as well later this year.
And, of course, readers can go to Amazon.com to find reviews of my books.