Robin Barefield interview with David Alan Binder

posted Sep 9, 2016, 8:59 AM by David Alan Binder

Robin Barefield interview with David Alan Binder

 Bio from her website:    I live an incredible life in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.  I hope to share my life with you and talk about Kodiak wildlife and the beautiful, and sometimes challenging, environment in which I live.

 I have a master’s degree in fish and wildlife biology and have worked the last 30 years as a wildlife-viewing guide on Kodiak Island.  I am currently writing a book about the wildlife of Kodiak Island, so many of my blog posts will be dedicated to wildlife facts and news.

 My husband and I own and operate Munsey’s Bear Camp , a hunting, fishing, and wildlife-viewing lodge.  It is a small lodge, and we only accommodate six people at a time, but these small groups are perfect for viewing wildlife, especially when we hike up a stream and sit quietly on the bank watching Kodiak bears chase and catch salmon.

 Our lodge is our home, where we live year-round with our two cats.  We experience the breath-taking beauty of a sunset on a perfect July evening, and the raging 100 mph winds of a stormy January afternoon.

 Wildlife biology is my first passion, and my second is writing mysteries.  The first rule of living in the wilderness is to embrace solitude and solitary endeavors.  Writing is the most solitary of endeavors, so it is perfect for me.  Mysteries are what I like to read, so mysteries are what I write.  I currently have one mystery, Big Game, published in 2012 and available at Amazon Kindle.  My second novel, Murder Over Kodiak, was published in April, 2016.

 Website:      http://robinbarefield.com

 Blog:           http://robinbarefield.com/blog

 Amazon Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Barefield/e/B0087T5YN4/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527891.Robin_Barefield?from_search=true&search_version=service 

 Facebook Author Page:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009440233854  

 Twitter: @barefieldrobin1

 

1.     How do you pronounce your name? 

Barefield:  Bare field

 

2.     Where are you currently?

On Kodiak Island, Alaska

 

3.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far? 

Writing is easy, but promotion is hard, and it is a continual learning experience.

 

4.     What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

 I work as a wildlife viewing and fishing guide in the Alaskan wilderness, so I carry my computer or my notebook with me everywhere I go, and I write when I have a few spare minutes.  After dropping off our bear viewers and my husband, their guide, I sometimes write while sitting in the pouring rain in the bottom of the skiff with a tarp over my head and notebook.  Since my novels take place in the wilderness, I am inspired by the weather, the animals, and the environment of Kodiak Island.

 

5.     Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I self-published my first novel and used a publisher for my second.  Either option has its pros and cons.  When I self-published, I had complete control over the content, the cover, the price, and where I sold my novel.  The downside was that I didn’t know what I was doing.  I’ve learned a great deal from my publisher, and I feel as if I have a partner in this business, but unfortunately, I’ve lost the control I had when I self-published, and I miss that.  No matter which way you go, as an author today, you must promote yourself and your books, and that is the toughest part of this business.

 

a.     Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?

Publication Consultants in Anchorage, Alaska

 

6.     Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?   

I think it depends on the type of book.  I prefer cookbooks and reference books as print books, but I like to download e-books for recreational reading.  E-books are usually cheaper, and you can download one immediately if you have an Internet connection.  As an author, e-books are cheaper to produce and have a higher profit margin.

 

7.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?      

If you want to write and publish a book, there is nothing stopping you.  It takes time and effort, but you can do it, and you can do it for free if you do all the work yourself.  There are many resources out there to help you.

 

8.     How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one? 

I don’t have an agent.

 

9.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?

The only way you can be a successful writer is to write!  I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s the truth.  Most of us don’t have time to write.  You have to make time to write, and you have to make it a priority.  Before you publish a book, create a website and start an e-mail list.  I write mysteries set in Alaska, and I write a free newsletter about true crime in Alaska.  I try to attract readers to sign up for newsletter, and if they like my newsletter, I hope they will buy my books.  If you start attracting potential fans before you publish your first novel, you will be ahead of the game.

10.                        What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

I learned that I like editing better than writing, because editing is when I can fine-tune my writing and sculpt my story.

11.                        How many books have you written?

I have written two mystery novels and will soon finish the rough draft of my third novel.  I have also nearly finished a wildlife book on the animals of Kodiak Island.

12.                        Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?

Read, read, read. I don’t have much spare time, but when I do, I read books on grammar, story-telling, and marketing, but most importantly, I read mysteries, because that’s what I write.

 

13.                        Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story? Sometimes writing myself into a corner inspires the perfect twist in a story.  Other times, a twist will occur to me when I’m exercising, taking a shower, or when I wake up in the middle of the night.  I think it’s different for every author.

14.                        What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?   

It is very tough to stand out from the crowd today, because there are so many books out there.  Even if you write the greatest novel of the century, you have to find readers and create buzz, and that’s not easy. To be a successful author today, you must also be a good promoter or have access to a good promoter.

 

15.                        What are some ways in which you promote your work?  

I did a Facebook launch party, have a Facebook Author page, and have been involved in some multi-author Facebook giveaways and promotions.  I have also advertised on different websites.  I have a blog where I promote my book, and I promote my book with my newsletter.  I also mailed postcards to friends and acquaintances to tell them about my books.

 

16.                         What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why? 

I wish I would have gotten more serious about writing several years ago.  It is too easy to find excuses not to write, but it’s like exercising, you have to do it every day to see the benefits and to be successful.

 

17.                        What saying or mantra do you live by? 

My mantra is that I write for myself.  People love to tell you what you could or should write, but I think to be successful and happy you can only write what you want to write.

18.                        Anything else you would like to say? 

If you have a story to tell, write it!

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