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Exclusive Interview with

K.L. Barstow

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When did you start writing?

Years ago. I've written several books without any intention of ever publishing a single one. It was something I just did for fun and for myself. Until I realized that I hated the career path I was on and knew writing and publishing was my passion.

K.L. Barstow
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What makes writing your passion?

I love to read and I often found myself thinking of different ways I'd have written stories that I read. From there I started thinking of my own characters and my own stories. Writing and publishing these stories, making these characters come alive, was important to me.

K.L. Barstow
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How long have you been writing?

I published my first book 2018 under a different name. It didn't do well. It was a poor first attempt. I wrote a sequel that was a little better but not by much. I realized I wasn't invested in the characters. Then I started reading different genres and found that passion romantic suspense.

K.L. Barstow
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Disappointment is the only way to describe the publishing of my very first book. However, when I published Dante's Demons, I was excited and proud of the story. I liked the characters I created and couldn't wait to start writing the next book.

K.L. Barstow
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

I love the idea of motorcycle clubs. The brotherhood they form and their need to live their lives by their rules and not necessarily the rules of society fulfills my own dreams. I try to make every character their own person. I want to find their story and tell it.

K.L. Barstow
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Advertising.

K.L. Barstow
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

One thing I've found, at least for myself, is I'm facing writer's block it's because I've taken the wrong turn with my story. Usually the story flows easily, so if I'm struggling, it means I need to take a step back and figure out where I went wrong.

K.L. Barstow
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Read different genres and discover what stories spark your creativity. For years, I read mysteries and that was the genre I chose for my first book. It did not go well. In fact, I almost gave up on becoming an author. But then I started reading several different genres until I found romantic suspense and motorcycle clubs, those stories opened up my creativity and now I can't imagine not being a writer.

K.L. Barstow
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Don't waste time on a different career. For over twenty years, I worked as a software development manager because I never had the confidence that I could be a successful writer. I wrote for fun but never tried to publish anything until I realized how miserable I was. I decided to focus on writing and now I look forward to every day.

K.L. Barstow
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I do read my reviews, but not every day. I have to go into it with the mindset that my books aren't going to appeal to everyone and that's ok. When I read the negative reviews, I focus only on what I can use to improve my writing. Everything else, I ignore. One thing that helps me is to realize that ALL writers get bad reviews. It is important to not let them weigh you down.

K.L. Barstow
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Giddy. Satisfied. I enjoy writing my books and I love when others enjoy them as well. I try to write books that would grab my attention and keep it until the end. When I read that someone can't wait for my next book, I feel like I achieved that goal.

K.L. Barstow
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Not really. My life is fairly boring compared to lives my characters lead. But that's not to say that some of my own preferences as well as my personality seeps into my books.

K.L. Barstow
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

None of them are me but all of them are special to me. So far, I haven't put myself into any of the characters, but some of the characters reflect people I have met. Several years ago I lost a cousin to cancer. She was the nicest person I've ever met and she made her way into my books. I didn't even realize I was writing about her at first, but when I took a step back, I saw her.

K.L. Barstow
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

Absolutely. It is very important to take a look at the genre at create covers that fit with the genre as well as ones that reflect the story you're telling. My first set of covers were gorgeous, but they didn't fit the genre. My recommendation is to go with someone like 100Covers. They work with you to get the cover to fit the story and the genre.

K.L. Barstow
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I'm a dedicated introvert. I hate Facebook but I use it because my readers have requested it. I'm horrible about keeping it updated, so I put in the minimum effort. I have corresponded with my readers via email but I'm not a chatty person. So I prefer expressing myself in my writing. However, I will say that a few of my readers have given me feedback that I've used.

K.L. Barstow
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Panic? I'm not very good with being the center of attention, so when someone mentions my books, I tend to disassociate. I turn off the emotions and treat it like a job.

K.L. Barstow
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

I have quite a few authors that I follow. I enjoy their characters and the stories. Those in my genre include K.L. Savage, K.E. Osborne, L. Wilder. I also like the books from J.D. Robb. There is one author who wrote a series of books that captured my attention from beginning to end, Jennifer Fallon.

K.L. Barstow
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

My dream is to earn enough money to keep writing and publishing more books. I never want to go back to working for someone else, so my goal is to earn enough to support myself and my family.

K.L. Barstow
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

No. I tend not to look at the past but focus on the future. I think if I thought about changing my previous books, it would break the flow of my current books.

K.L. Barstow
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If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

I've never wanted to trade places with anyone. However, what I would like i