Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting to Know Emerald Barnes Q&A

One of my main characters, Rune, is visiting Emerald on her blog today. Drop by to leave a comment and win a free ebook.

* * * Here's Emerald * * *

(Q) Emerald, thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

They can find me on Facebook at or Twitter:

They can follow my blog at  and  join me on my website at

(Q) I hosted your book's blog tour (Read Me Dead) last month. Readers can get a more in depth description of this latest release. I'm glad you could come back and answer my nosy questions for Teen Read. Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

My first novella, Piercing Through the Darkness, is about a young girl who has lost a memory.  A memory that can get her killed.  It’s told in the point of view of Kandi, who has lost her memory; her best friend, Jimmy, who would do anything to protect her; and the man whose life has been destroyed by Kandi who can’t remember what she did.

My second, full length novel, is titled, Read Me Dead.  It’s about a young girl, who seven years ago, saw her parents murdered.  Now, her secret is out, and she’s afraid the man who murdered her parents will find himself another victim – her.  She wants nothing more than to be normal and to figure out which boy she wants to date, but living a normal life is out of the question for her.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

Piercing Through the Darkness came about from a short story I wrote in my first Creative Writing course in college.  I was sitting in my psychology class one day, and while we were studying hypnosis, I wondered if someone could use hypnosis to make someone repress a memory.  But, instead of doing that, I had my girl forget a memory and them trying to use hypnosis to bring it back.  So, I researched repressed memories, and Piercing Through the Darkness came about after I envisioned this girl running from a man who wanted to kill her for a reason she couldn’t remember.

Read Me Dead started out as a dream of this girl having revealed a huge secret to her friends at a football game.  I never knew what that secret was in my dream, but the longer I thought about it, the more I came to release that I could make this into a decent story.  It started probably ten different ways before I finally settled with my main character having seen her parents murdered and finally telling her friends what she saw.

(Q) Did you have to research a lot? If so, what are your favorite sources?

I didn’t do much research for either.  I just mostly googled repressed memories for Piercing Through the Darkness and read through some information on it, but I can’t even remember what sites I looked at for that one.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

Wow.  For Piercing Through the Darkness, just a couple of months.  For Read Me Dead, I guess I’ve technically been working on it for about ten years, but when I finally sat down and got serious about it, two years.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

I think Dean Koontz has been a huge influence.  He’s always been one of my favorite authors, and I’ve always wanted to write like him, the suspense aspect at least, so I drew some ideas from his writing.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I spend time with my nieces and nephews.  And when I’m not doing that I’m either reading, watching movies, or spending time with my family as a whole.

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I think my Muse visits me while I’m in the midst of my family in the living area in a recliner, but I do put on music and listen to it.  I make a soundtrack of sorts for each novel that sets the mood of the book for me.  I just pick and choose songs, so it’s nothing specific that I listen to.

(Q) In your ideal world, put in order those of most value to you: true love, family, success at writing, world peace, clean air and water, other.

God, true love, family

(Q) Plotter or pantser?


(Q) Coffee or tea?


(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they?

I do!  I’m working on a YA paranormal trilogy.  Something new for me, I must admit.  But it’s been fun to write about a main character who doesn’t believe in mythical creatures and then finds out they’re very real and she might be one herself!  Also, I’m writing another suspense/thriller novel.

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

Oh man.  Marketing is like my number one enemy!  I’ve never been good at it, but I use Twitter and Facebook a lot.  I made a Facebook fan page which helps a lot!  I do blog tours, giveaways, etc.  I didn’t really understand the importance of marketing, but I met a wonderful lady, Melissa Foster, who has helped me out with my marketing.  I also have a great backing with the World Literary Café and each author I work with is so very helpful!  

(Q) Do you have or used to have a day job? Did it inform your writing in any way?

I don’t really have a day job aside from working with the World Literary Café.  It’s helped my writing TREMENDOUSLY!  I get to meet amazing authors who are so very helpful!

(Q) How about an excerpt from Read Me Dead to tantalize the readers?

I sit up in bed alert.  I’m sweating, and my breathing comes in quick, short gasps.  My long, thick curls stick to my neck, and I can still feel his large hands covering my mouth preventing me from breathing.

The outside lamp casts an orange glow through the blinds into the dark room.  I stare at the shadows around me.  I put my head in my hands and wait for the fear to pass, and I’m afraid.  Afraid of what hides in the dark, what always hides in the dark.  Secrets.

Matt, my twin brother, snores in the next room.  The walls pop where the house settles in the night, and I jump.  An owl hoots amidst the night songs of the crickets, and a twig snaps under the foot of someone outside.  My heart rate accelerates, and its boom-boom-boom echoes loudly in my ears.

I want to listen closely to make sure that I’m not imagining the footsteps, but I can’t hear anything other than my heart and heavy breathing.  Matt’s snoring breaks through the symphony of my fear playing in my ears.  I take a deep breath and mentally count to ten.  It’s something Dr. Finnegan tells me will help when I’m upset.  My breathing calms and so does my racing heart.

I strain my ears to hear.  There are more footsteps.  He’s here.  He’s coming after me like he said he would.

Thanks for taking the time to read my interview!  
Leave me a comment telling me why you read books, 
and you could be eligible to win a copy of my new release, 
Read Me Dead! 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I loved the interview and I loved how Emerald Barnes described how she had a dream about her latest book! I also loved how she is so down to earth and shared about herself on here. Keep writing and can't wait for your newest project sounds so exciting. Keep it up! You keep aspiring writers like me believing in our dreams! thank you!

    syl stein

  3. Good interview and the excerpt left me wanting more!

    AND the reason I read and read is that I was born to be a writer--and how do I know that? Because I was avidly reading by the age of four. And I'd rather read than eat, and that's saying a lot for me! I'd love to read more of Read Me Dead!

  4. I Read Books Because I Didn't Have Many Friends Growing Up I Was Picked On And Put Down And Bullied So Books Became My Friend Quickly I Could Read A Book And Pretend I Was There And I Had Fun No One Picked On Me Or Bullied Me In Book Land As I Called It. I Love Reading It Makes Me Happy. I Read A Lot Of Books. Always Have My Daughter Is Into Reading As Well.

  5. Thank you so much for all of the kind responses! Sylvia, I'm so glad I help inspire you! That really makes me happy to read!

    April, I'm terribly sorry about you being bullied.

    Conda, I know the feeling! :)

    Thanks, Jan!

  6. I inadvertently removed Jan's comment when I was ATTEMPTING to delete a duplicate. Here's Jan's post:

    Great interview! Read Me Dead sounds like it has a really good story in there! I read to escape!!! Best wishes! Jan Fischer Wade

  7. Very nice interview. Thanks for sharing about your writing process.


  8. Syl, congrats! You've won a copy of my novel! :)