Author Influences With Barbara Quinn

Hello and welcome to this week’s Author Influences. I’m joined by the lovely Barbara Quinn for today’s book chat.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
The Nancy Drew series captivated me. So did Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Alice in Wonderland.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
English was always a favorite. I loved learning about historical times and delving into fantastical journeys such as Jules Verne’s undersea adventures in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the
genre you write?
I mainly read a lot of fiction. Yes, it does influence my writing! Good stories spur me on to make my own better.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’ve written in several genres including paranormal, fantasy, chick lit, and women’s fiction. I’m working on a steampunk story which is a new and challenging genre. I tend to go where the muse takes me. A women’s fiction is also brewing.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write
and if so who, what and why?
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland enthralled me as a child and through my teens. The wonderful characters came alive in my mind and made me want to travel down my own rabbit holes.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you
have to get it?
Anne Tyler is always a favorite.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I
had written that’ and what was it about the book?
The Great Gatsby has been a huge influence and always sets the bar for my own writing. The deceptively simple language reminds me to stay away from adjectives, adverbs, and other weakening words. And the story itself shows there can be a fascinating tale in any situation.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life
events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
For sure real life events and people influence me! My latest novel, The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me, is set at the Jersey shore in the heart of Springsteen country. The novel is a tribute to the healing power of music and Springsteen’s songs in particular. You don’t need to love Springsteen to enjoy it! The story is about a woman who finds a way to move forward after suffering losses. Music helps her heal. Each chapter is titled with a Springsteen song and that song is woven into the fabric of the chapter.

Another book, The Speed of Dark, a coming of age tale, opens with a young boy encountering a girl with magical powers as they ride their bikes in the fog spewing behind a DDT truck. It’s hard to believe now, but we used to do that when I was a kid growing up in the NY suburbs! I liked the idea of something special arising from that poisonous cloud.

Massive thanks for taking part, Barbara. You have mentioned some of my much-loved books here.

Barbara’s latest book The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me is out now. Here is what it’s about:

Arriving home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days.

So, after scratching an expletive into his Porsche and setting the cheating bastard’s clothes on fire, she cranks up her beloved Bruce and flees, vowing never to look back.

Seeking solace in the peaceful beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ, Sof is determined to start over. And, with the help of best friends, new acquaintances, a sexy neighbor, and the powerful songs of Springsteen, this may be the place where her wounds can heal. But, as if she hasn’t faced her share of life’s challenges, a final flurry of obstacles awaits.

In order to head courageously toward the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom, and mend her broken soul.

About Barbara Quinn

Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels. With roots in the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester, NY, she currently resides with her husband in Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL. Her travels have taken her to forty-seven states and five continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work. Her 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 and planning her next adventure. She wants to remind everyone that when you meet her, SHE’S NOT SHOUTING, SHE’S ITALIAN.

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