I have to say that my parents did, by buying me books at a very young age - Golden Books, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, etc. Remember that, in “those days,” there was nothing else but books, radio and movies. TV was in its infancy, and with only 3 networks and limited programs, reading was still my favorite pastime. From there I was hooked and devoured all kinds of books relative to my age at the time - poetry, novels, the Great American plays, psychology, biographies. And yes, I read my share of “trashy” magazines and romance novels. But grew out of that genre, thank heaven.What first caught your interest in the creative arts?
Shirley Temple movies had me singing and dancing in theatre aisles as a toddler. My dad was an amateur singer and taught me hundreds of songs as we listened to the radio. I learned hundreds more listening to iconic singers like Dinah Shore, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, etc. I loved the music from The Great American Songbook, and when I began singing professionally I specialized in singing jazz standards. When I began writing seriously, it was natural that music found its way into the plots and themes of my stories.How often do you practice singing? What’s the best time to practice?
After more than 60 years as a professional vocalist, I don’t do many concerts any more - maybe once a year - so I sing in my car going to and fro, and step it up when preparing for a show.How did you begin writing the Moon Singer series, an inspirational adventure trilogy for the YA market?
So many things inspire me. A title, a vision, a muse tapping me on the shoulder. The Moon Singer series (a trilogy and a prequel) was inspired by a very special crystal I found at a crystal party years ago. It is called a “singer” (how’s that for a fateful find!) and shaped like a miniature boat, ergo “The Crystal Clipper” (Book I) was born - about a mystical clipper ship that contains all the knowledge of the universe and traverses time and space. The added important element was making my main character a deaf teen because his “gift” is that he is able to hear in these fantasy worlds and bring this knowledge home with him to create miracles for everyone he loves.How much did you research about musical theories and metaphors while writing The Moon Singer trilogy?
I used my own knowledge of music, and many noted books and articles on the physical, spiritual, and therapeutic benefits of music. I listened to countless albums, especially of a New Age genre to experience the mystical and metaphysical effects of great music. I also did a good bit of research about crystal power, vibrational frequencies and so forth to develop the plot. My main character David’s deafness, and how he uses it to understand his karmic destiny, is symbolic of listening to that inner voice of guidance that we all have access to, if we learn to be still and hear the messages. A very telling plot theme is that the first sound David hears after years of being deaf is a beautiful song emanating from a celestial being, which entices him aboard the clipper ship Moon Singer to experience his otherworldly adventures.What inspired the story of the suspense fiction, “Whatever Became of Sin?”
This book is one I never thought I would write, considering my focus on metaphysical and paranormal subjects. It grew from just a little newspaper clipping about a “passenger in 7f” that started my wheels turning about a murder mystery: what if passengers switched seats and one is murdered, but by mistake! The “why” burgeoned into this complex thriller about a baby- switching scheme, political corruption, and racial bigotry. While I love writing metaphysical fantasies, I like having a suspense story in the works to create a balance, to ground me into the conflicts and travesties of real life - and of course, weave a morality tale as well. One genre seems to nurture the other for some reason that I can’t truly explain.Who inspired the character of an environmental lobbyist, Michael in "Whatever Became of Sin?"
I have to say, I don’t really know how his character blossomed. But as I wrote it I could envision Harrison Ford playing the part on the screen, the quiet, pensive hero. I love good books and films about the human psyche (not Psycho; that scares the Bedevil out of me), how the choices we make lead us down the path of goodness or to the path of wickedness. All my characters undergo a transformative experience that changes their lives in monumental ways.What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of a good suspense story?
“Whatever Became of Sin?” was my first suspense fiction. It’s a complex plot that kept even me guessing until the end. I had no idea how it would turn out. Giving readers as much story as you can to keep them turning the page, but keeping the best of it until the end - then tie it all up with a big surprise is what worked for me.How was your experience of writing the children's book, “Hubert in Heaven - a hi-tech angel gets his wings”?
“Hubert” is my most prescient creation, actually written years before there were hand-held computers, holograms or even video games. A hologram in a video game, Hubert is accidentally booted to Heaven where he must earn his angel wings by performing Heavenly tasks - without using his little computer - with delightfully disastrous results. I wrote it very quickly. At the time, I was involved with the philosophy of Science of Mind (Church of Religious Science) and this little character popped into my head. I self-published the book at first, along with a wonderful audio version produced by my talented friends. Both are now available on Amazon and Audible through my publisher.What would you do if you get accidentally transported to Heaven?
Wow. That’s an intriguing thought. Well, I would hope that Heaven would want to keep me and give me some important purpose up there.Star Factory 13 is a truly magical place. How did you come with the idea for it?
My children’s stories are purely divine creations, given to me by that mysterious force beyond our human comprehension. They just flowed easily and quickly. “Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13” blossomed from an essay I wrote years ago (now posted on my Goodreads page) called “Reaching for the White Light” where I compared people to Light Bulbs (dim bulb, flicker, flood, 3-way, twinkle) and how their personalities inspire or hinder us in our relationships. It is probably my favorite story, about friendship and the courage to realize your star potential through the magic of believing. In a way I never anticipated, it also speaks to the subject of recycling - making use of what some would consider disposable, but in a more spiritual context.What are some of the things you know now that you did not know when you first started writing?
How difficult it would be to navigate the new publishing sea change, to compete with the millions of book in the marketplace, thanks to self-publishing making it easy for anyone to get a book out there. How compelling a vocation it is, filled with more failure and rejection than success. Can’t live with it and can’t live without it. It is empowering, enlightening, depressing, inspiring and evokes every emotion you can think of. But it keeps tapping you on the shoulder and dragging you back to the page. That darn blank page!If you could describe your journey as an author in one word, what would it be?
Perseverance. (Or maybe “delusional”!)How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
I’m working on another suspense fiction with the wine industry as a backdrop to murder, scandal and lots of juicy surprises. This book is many months away as I have to squeeze writing time around my day job and personal life. No matter the genre I write in, my books always revolve around ethical issues, courage, compassion, selfless sacrifice, good versus evil. I also look for the higher inspiration that we can all tune into, to make our lives meaningful and give us hope and motivation. Writing, for me, is all about contributing something positive to this life - and to my readers - and always learning something about myself along the way.What has your AllAuthor experience been like so far? What are some highlights?
Working with the AllAuthor staff is a positive and supportive experience. I love all the services you offer - even on the free plan. Now I have the paid plan which is very affordable and well worth the money. I love the book mock-ups, the featured book perks; the tweet scheduler is awesome, and your notifications to remind me to reset the tweet schedule for a book saves me so much time and effort. Yours is a very generous and valuable service.
Author Barbara Roman has the unique ability to paint colorful mind pictures with her words. Since childhood, she has been torn between two worlds: writing and singing. Roman's ingenuity in building all the different characters is top-notch. Her books work on every level and appeal to young and old alike.