Books, Mysteries and Basset Hounds

Today we have Barbara M. Hodges with us to answer some very interesting questions about her writing. Enjoy!

Author Barbara Hodges
  1. When did you first know you were going to be a writer?

I didn’t really know until we moved here to the central coast twenty-nine years ago.  It was always lurking in the back of my mind that someday I’d like to author a book, but when we moved here, I decided if not now, then when.  I’ve always been an avid reader. One day I was looking for a new book to read. I wanted an epic fantasy with a strong women character, a little romance, and a basset hound.  I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I wrote it, The Blue Flame. 

  1. What is the theme/message that threads through your work?

Good versus evil.  Good must go through all forms of torture but win in the end. 

  1. What is the one story you would like to write, but just can’t?

I don’r think there is a story that I, just can’t write.  If it starts bugging me and won’t leave me alone, then it will be written. 

  1. How do you choose the names for your characters?

I love names. I create my characters first, then pick a name the fits them.  There’s a big difference between a Daphne and a Susan. 

  1. How many drafts do you do before you are ready to publish?

Now that I’ve written 14 books, it’s two drafts, then to my first readers, then to the editor.  With my first book, The Blue Flame, it was more like nine drafts.  

  1. How many times do you redo the opening of your stories before you are satisfied with it?

Numerous times.  I can be changing the opening right up to the day I send the completed manuscript for publishing. 

  1. Have you ever started a story and been surprised by its genre, age-range, or subject matter?

Not by any of those, but I have started story, been halfway through the writing and decide it needed to be in first person, rather than the third person which I had written it in.  It was so funny how changing it to first person changed so much of the storyline and the characterization. 

Thank you, Barbara, for your very insightful answers to our questions. Here’s a link to Barbara’s latest book; if you love mysteries and dogs, especially Basset Hounds, you’ll love Barbara’s books!

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.