Last Word: Barbara Quinn
Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels including her latest, The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me, a novel about the healing power of the music of the Boss.
A longtime Springsteen fan, and native New Yorker with roots in the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester, Barbara lives with her husband in Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL. She has travelled to forty-seven states and six continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work.
Barbara’s many past jobs include lawyer, record shop owner, reporter, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. She enjoys spending time with her son and his family, planning her next adventure, and listening to the Boss.
With that background, I can’t wait to hear how Barbara approaches writing. ‘I’m sick of sitting right here trying to write this book’ (Dancing in the Dark) seems to be one line from the Boss that doesn’t apply!
LWOTW: Welcome, Barbara. Tell me about when you first realised that you are a writer.
Barbara: As a child I was drawn to books at an early age. I became lost in stories my parents read to me of far off lands and fairytales. I started writing stories and plays that my brother and I performed for family. I never stopped. My first produced play was for my Girl Scout troop. That was a fractured fairytale about a good wolf and an evil Red Riding Hood. Ah, I can still feel the joy caused by the audience clapping.
I love the sound of that version – the good wolf especially. Do you rely more on dreams, imagination, and planning?
I have a vivid imagination. I can’t control it but have learned to depend on it and to suddenly be taken someplace new and unexpected. Once there, other skills take over.
What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
Having my latest novel The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me published brought me so much pleasure. What a kick to see it out there. But the part that really made me happy was the incredible fan mail I received. There’s simply nothing like having complete strangers connect with my work to the extent that they are so moved they write and tell me about it. We are all human and that need to connect is real and is so rewarding when we accomplish it.
That sounds wonderful. What a great experience. What are you most looking forward to at the moment?
I’m looking forward to finishing another novel so stay tuned! And to traveling more now that my husband is retired.
If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Read widely. Write often. And find a place to share your work.
And finally: Who would you be if you were a fictional character?
Alice in Wonderland! I so would love to jump down that rabbit hole.
That does sound like a great place to travel Thank you so much for talking with me today, Barbara. I can’t wait for news of the new novel.