When I started my own writing journey, I wanted to connect with other writers and bloggers. This led me to Twitter and the #writingcommunity. One of the first authors with whom I connected is the very talented multi-genre Canadian indie author, Barbara Avon, who over the past six years has written and self-published twenty-one books. I have read several of her books and wanted to introduce her to an audience that may not have, as yet, had the opportunity to know her or her writing, so I posed several questions and she graciously answered.
Barb was born in a quaint little town in Switzerland and now makes her home in Ottawa, Canada. She says that she’s always felt like an outsider, as her name literally translates to Mysterious Stranger.
“I think it suits me! You can unravel the
mystery by ‘reading me’ in my stories.”
She attended Brock University in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada, majoring in English Literature and, while she says she is happy for that experience, it has not been an influence on her writing.
Barb stated that the words have always been in her and that telling stories comes naturally. She says she started out writing “poetry, riddled with teenage angst”, and when she was in high school one of her English teachers gave her an A+ on a short fiction story. That was when she knew that one day she would write a novel. She finished her first novel in 2002, but didn’t publish it until 2015. She says that telling stories comes naturally to her, and that she feels writing is more of a calling.
“As my characters come to life, they become real to me.
They are a part of me. The dream was always to share
And self-publishing makes that possible. When I’m gone,
I’ll live on in my stories. They are my legacy.”
And what a legacy she has started. To date she has self-published twenty-one books in the genres of Romance (with suspense elements), Horror, Fantasy (time travel), Thrillers, Paranormal Romance and has also written three children’s books that allow the child to draw the illustrations. She says she still writes Poetry, although she’s drawn to dark stories. “There’s something hauntingly beautiful about them.” She self-publishes all of her books in e-book and paperback format, and will delve into the audiobook format sometime this year. All of her books are available online at Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other digital stores.
When asked if she has a favorite character that she’s written, she stated that’s the impossible question, saying that she feels as if she’s cheating on her other characters if she were to pick a favorite, adding that they are all a part of her. Her protagonists are always male and she loves them as if they were real-life love interests.
I also asked her which of her books was the hardest to write, in which she answered “none of them”, as she doesn’t find writing difficult for her. Again, going back to being a natural storyteller.
And her storytelling/writing has paid off for her over the past six years, having won a local award in Ottawa in 2018 for “Favorite Female Author” and SpillWords “Author of the Month”. Her latest novel, the psychological horror, “Sacrilege” has been nominated for “New Book of the Year”. “The greatest award, however, is the feedback I receive from my readers.”
“I’d like my readers to know how special they are to me.
Without them, none of this matters. I will always write,
But as I mentioned earlier, the joy comes from sharing
my stories. When I receive messages from readers telling
me that a book has touched them, and stayed with them –
that is how I define success.”
For more information on Barb and her books, and to follow her progress, she can be found on Twitter (@barb_avon), where she is an active member of the Writing Community, her Amazon author page or her website: Barbara Avon – Author.
Bonus Book Review of Sacrilege by Barbara Avon
As I stated at the beginning I have read several of her books and would be remiss if I didn’t add a bonus review of her latest psychological horror novel, Sacrilege. To start off I can tell you that the title definitely fits the book, and it will keep you reading to see what happens next. Ex-priest, Cris Corelli has turned his back on his faith and disappeared into the night, destined for nowhere. He finds himself at a boarding house at two in the morning, wanting a room. The house is managed by Jules, who possesses a seemingly tough-as-nails disposition and shows that she is not in the mood for foolishness at two a.m. Both of them are harboring deep secrets, which come to light as the story unfolds and brings the two together in a love-hate relationship. The boarding house holds a key that is realized in the end, when things come burning down around them. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of dark and twisted psychological horror. Barb even has a disclaimer that the book contains dark and sensitive themes throughout.