Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the eighty-fourth, is of author, speaker and photographer Barbara Ann Derksen.
Barbara Ann Derksen is a Canadian with a flair for words. She began writing 20 plus years ago, surprised herself when readers responded to what she wrote, and has been writing in one form or another ever since. She has always been an avid reader and continues to enjoy many emerging writers as well as established ones.
Barbara describes herself first as a Christian. She has been married for 43 years to singer / songwriter HC Derksen, is the mother of four gifted children, and the grandmother of nine. Barbara and her husband travel with Christian Motorcyclists Association so wearing leather and biking across country is part of her current lifestyle. She is a certified scuba diver, and a lover of all things water related.
Her books are something that readers look for each year. They flock to her tables and to the websites when a new one appears. Her recent distribution into the UK, France and Germany has opened the door for Europeans to discover what North Americans already know.
She writes adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as children’s stories, is often invited to speak to women’s groups and has even been invited to speak in Africa at a pastor’s conference.
And now from the author herself:
I love watching the expressions on my reader’s faces when they tell me what they liked about one of my books or that they had a hard time putting it down so they could go to sleep. Answering questions about my characters is a bonus. This is what keeps me writing.
My favorite genre to read and write is murder mystery. In the Wilton / Strait Mystery Series, each book completes the puzzle in my character’s life but leads into the next.
Vanished introduces my readers to the beginning of the Wilton / Strait Mystery Series, with Presumed Dead, Fear Not, and then Silence adding to the collection. In ‘Vanished’, death, fire, and kidnapping send my characters, Andrea Wilton and Brian Strait, to the country of Haiti where voodoo, restavic children, and scuba diving lead them to discover a diabolical plot that sets nerves on edge.
Besides mystery, I write devotionals. Each year, collectors approach to purchase the latest one for their own personal time with God or for church Bible study groups and small group devotions. From Straight Pipes, my first, to Chaps, the latest, my devotions take people to the place where God can touch their heart and leave a lasting impression. 2012 will see the release of the fifth about the Sermon on the Mount. I also plan to add my devotionals to Amazon Kindle for wider distribution.
I was born in Canada, but lived in the US for 12 years. It was in that country where my writing found a voice. I worked as a journalist for six years with over 2500 articles published in newspapers and magazines during that time. In 2005, my first book was published and I have added 10 more since.
I am a member of The Word Guild, Manitoba Writer’s Guild, The Writer’s Collective, and Christian Motorcyclists Association. I have spoken across the US and in Manitoba, Canada for women’s groups and in church services on topics such as The Writing Experience, working in the ministry of Christian Motorcyclists Association, Love, Parenting, Time Management, and a host of others.
I believe in learning and honing my skills so with 11 books to my credit, I have attended several writers conference and a host of workshops. According to my readers, it’s working because they feel that each book is better than the last. This summer, with the release of Silence, the fourth in the Wilton / Strait mystery series, and Road Trip, my fifth devotional, I begin work on a new series. I plan to let some new characters tell their story in Finders Keepers, a series of books, each one solving the mystery of a missing child.
Developing a social media presence, getting published at Amazon.com and adding my books to Amazon.ca has kept me busy this year. I’ve also added my books to Amazon’s Kindle collection making them available in Canada, the US, Great Britain, France and Germany.
Wow, Barbara, you’re a busy lady. Thank you for taking time out today.
You can find more about Barbara and her writing via…
Her books can be found at Amazon (Vanished is also available at Amazon.co.uk) and her website is http://www.barbaraannderksen.com where she posts to her blog at least twice a week and has sample pages of all her books available. Past interviews are also posted on the media tab.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction author Charles Shingledecker – the three hundred and sixty-eighth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore, Kobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.