M/M Month: Barbara Elsborg Author Interview

Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted
to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture,
she decided it was not for her. Her books feature quirky characters, and she hopes
they are as much fun to read as they are to write.

More about Barbara can be found on her website/blog .

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A spy. I really wanted to join the foreign office and be an undercover operative. But I
told so many people, it sort of ruined my chances. Apart from which, I couldn’t cope
with being tortured. I used to think I could but husband pointed out, they’d only have
to threaten my kids and I’d say anything. Or tickle my feet.

2. Why do you write?

I write because the world in my head is far more interesting than the one I live in. I
write because without it, I’d go crazy with boredom. I write because it’s what I love
doing. I write because I hate shopping and cooking and cleaning.

3. Who (if anyone) has been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

More of a what. My first real memories of writing were in my teens – when I filled
notebooks with fan fiction. I was a TV addict and a movie expert. I still have the 200
or so stories I wrote. My first serious writing started when I’d left university. I wrote
about a girl who was abused by her step-father and ran away to New York only to be
snagged by a mafia boss and then seduced by his son. It’s a rip-roaring tale of sex,
drugs and violence and lies at the bottom of the closet for when I need a good laugh.

Apart from an obsession with television in my teens, which sparked off the fan fiction,
books in general have been my inspiration. Every book I’ve ever read has inspired
me in some way, though some authors are so good they make me think I can’t write
at all. (Compared to them I can’t) I can never say who’s my favorite author because
there are so many and I don’t always like everything they’ve written. I have maybe
20 or 30 that are automatic buys for me.

4. Do you ever read reviews of your books?

I’d love to say no, I never read reviews but I’d be lying. It’s lovely of course to hear
nice things being said. If I ever get down, I might browse GR or Amazon to read
something nice about one of my stories but of course, my eye inevitably gets drawn
to the comments that aren’t so kind. How I can be so gutted by one ‘didn’t like it’
or ‘you’d have to be mentally ill to like this trash’ comment when I can see ‘loved it’
or ‘best book I ever read’ above, I do not know!

I don’t let reviews influence my writing. If I saw comments that continually said the
same thing – such as – why does she always make her heroes so stupid – THEN, I’d
listen and rethink but I get completely opposite remarks about the same book. For
instance – for a recent book someone said there was no angst, and another review
said love the loads of angst in this story. Reviews are just opinions and everyone is
entitled to say what they think – but hopefully in a civilized way. I haven’t liked books
that others have loved so I have to expect the same reaction to my stories. I can’t
please everyone.

5. How important to you are your titles?

I can’t start writing until I’ve fixed on one and I can’t make the story work until I’ve
fixed on the right one. I suspect a lot of authors are the same. Sometimes I know
them before I sit at the laptop, other times, I’ll brood for hours.
It’s a good idea to choose a title no one else has used but not that easy with
romance books. Mackerchar’s ‘The Romance of Leprosy’ lacks that something – it
probably dropped off. Oops. Sorry.

I need to pick a title with zing! Not like Rossi’s ‘The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe.’
Which I suspect is not sexy at all.

Plus choose something that appeals. Unlike Joseph’s ‘A Letter to the Man who Killed
my Dog.’ That doesn’t sound like it has a happy ending.

I don’t know how other authors come up with their titles but I find listening to lyrics
helps. Robbie Williams in particular. If that fails, I just ask my crit partner and she
comes up with something. Thanks, Arlene!

Cowboys Down – just popped into my head. I wanted something with Cowboys in the
title but it was hard to find one that no one else had used.

Every Move He Makes – inspired by a song Every Breath You Take by The Police

With or Without him – also inspired by a song – With Or Without You by U2

Bloodline – well that just popped into my head too. It’s a vampire and faerie story to
do with er - blood!

Check out Bloodline on Amazon.


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