Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Barbara Phinney reporting in!

I called my mother-in-law up one day and asked her, "Where’s a good place to hide a body?"
She didn’t hang up. She didn’t even hesitate in her answer. She simply said, "Well, the old mine shaft up at Copper Mine Hill would be a good place."
Take heart, niether of us are nefarious, evil people. My sweet, patient mother-in-law is simply used to having a suspense writer as a daughter-in-law.
Hi, I’m Barbara Phinney, and being a little bit of a rebel, I’ve decided to write this blog in a different format. I want you to be able to ‘see’ and ‘know’ me through my writing, my words, my style, and my quirkiness. Lenora Worth likes to think she’s the femme fatale of the Love Inspired Authors, and that’s cool, but I want to be something unique, too. And at my writer retreats, (with fellow Craftie Linda Hall), I’m told, (sometimes by Linda Hall) that I’m nothing if not unique.
As a Christian and a suspense writer, I have to say that I’m not having any trouble merging the two opposites. In fact, I relish it. I used to write for Intimate Moments, so suspense writing is something I’m used to. But the Christian part of me had some issues with my writing at that time, and I knew that I was preparing myself to write Christian suspense. I want to get down and dirty in my writing, but my editor often tugs back on the reins and cuts back on my feed, and I find myself settling in to writing good ol’ suspense again. No more hilarious, ‘ooh, found a skeleton in the pastor’s closet’ stories. (Yup, I wrote that once. It’s a good story, too, just no one will buy it.)
I love the weather, too, and wonder why more authors don’t use it. Of course, weather sometimes doesn’t change for them like it does for us in New Brunswick, Canada. It’s the same for food. I love food, and love describing it, but to others, it’s a plot point onto which they touch only enough to move their stories forward. Too bad. Food’s delicious.
The creative process is wonderful. Thinking of names, places, and is something I ponder for days. My own name came from Saint Barbara, (boy, my parents were really pushing it, weren’t they?) because Saint Barbara is the patron saint of Firepower and my uncle died in the war, as a gunner in the artillery. But do you ever notice that names tend to run in families, communities, etc, but who wants to read about the five Jimmy Smiths in town? Or that the beautiful woman next door has the name of Gertrude because her grandmother had that name? So, we must think of lovely, image appropriate names.
Personally, to that I say pah! Just like settings! I always ask my husband why Survivor isn’t set in the Arctic. He says because the women wouldn’t wear bikinis. I say pah to them, too. Let’s rally around the unusual, ask for the different, stand up for the unique!

Ahem, I better get off that soapbox. (I told you I was different). There are times when I’m as boring as watching paint dry, and times when I will split your sides. Hopefully the latter will be in this blog. And if you think it isn’t, let me know. Having had a career in the military, (Canadian Armed Forces) I can take a few criticisms. Just tell me what you want to read and in the meantime, enjoy this blog!


Norah Wilson said...

Barbara, that was a hoot! Way to start my morning.

EllenToo said...

Loved your introduction to self. And aren't you the lucky one to have mother-in-law who understands you and who can even help you.

Barbara Phinney said...

Norah, Ellen, I'm glad you dropped by! And I'm realy glad I made you smile!

Ramona Richards said...

Terrific, Barbara - you're going to be a tough act to follow!

Leann said...

I agree, Barbara, that murder can be funny. I like to put a lot of humor in my books. Hopefully those funny stories will sell. Also, we share a first name. Once at a signing a woman came up and said, "I know how old you are. That name was popular in..." I didn't appreciate her knowledge.

squiresj said...

I would have enjoyed your story about the preacher finding a skelton in the closet. Preachers are human like everyone else. I found your blog delightful. Do you need a reader's point of view in a review. I review on The Long and Short and The Celebrity Cafe.

Barbara Phinney said...

Thank you everyone for dropping by! This is wonderful.
Squiresj, pastors are very human. Mine is really cool, too. He wants to be in my stories, but I said only as a villian! LOL I'll have to check out your blog. Readers' reviews are the ultimate in writers' reviews, I would say.
Leann, you are too funny. Oh, yes, names can tell your age, can't they?
Ramona, thank you for your kind words. We're all great here.