For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of novels, short stories, essays and blogs.
Barbara learned storytelling and became fascinated with the “magic of language” from her grandfather, who “wove unforgettable tales of a former life in Germany to his family in America.”
During childhood, Barbara learned to speak the languages of her German family, and later, the signs of the deaf children with whom she works.
“Everywhere, there were stories,” Barbara says. “I’ve come to appreciate the way different languages impact the form of narratives, and the need to be heard and seen that we all share.”
Our 20 questions with Barbara start now:
1) What is your full name?
2) What is your professional job title?
author of Even in Darkness: A Novel
3) Describe your organization.
I am an author of novels, short stories, essays and blogs. I’m also a photographer and fiber artist.
4) Describe your surroundings right now.
It is a gray March afternoon in Michigan. My third floor office looks out into a Michigan white pine. Aconites and snowdrops are in bloom.
5) What was your first paid writing gig?
I won a flash fiction writing contest at Women on Writing in 2014. That was the most exciting check I’ve ever received!
6) What was the last thing you wrote?
The next chapter in my new novel. Think woman of a certain age, complicated family and hard apple cider!
7) What is the next thing you plan to write?
I’m hoping to finish my contemporary women’s fiction work-in-progress in the next months, while keeping up with touring for Even in Darkness.
8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …
with a great cup of coffee and two early hours of writing followed by a good run!
9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?
A Tiffany-style butterfly design lamp, INDIEFAB finalist stickers, too many sticky note lists, the photo of my 1998 Chicago marathon finish.
10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?
A trip to the dunes on Lake Michigan for a writer’s retreat. Once I cross the 45th parallel, my mind clears and creative juices flow.
11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …
about another instance of hate.
12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?
My computer, a 26″ auxiliary screen, my subscription to The Visual Thesaurus, Dropbox, Microsoft Word, and Mac Pages. Also FB and Twitter.
13) First book that comes to mind? Go!
14) What are your favorite Internet/mobile apps and why?
Dropbox—I work on so many different devices—it saves me. I-photo—I take a lot of photos—quick and easy. FaceTime—instant connection
15) What have you always wanted to write?
A novel, and I did it with Even in Darkness. It’s the story of my heart. Now I can’t stop!
16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?
From Field of Dreams—”If you build it, he will come.” Believe you can do the work, and then do the work! It’s a mindset.
17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!
18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …
being able to narrate my inner worlds, and then having readers “get it.”
19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?
My handwriting is so pathetic and slow, I’m very grateful for computers! I still do love pencils…
20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …
Can’t do this one….I’ve learned to never say never!
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