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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Multi-genre Author Barbara Quinn Has a New Book, Hard Head

I’m the author of four novels. All are available at Amazon, B&N and everywhere books are sold. I’m Founder of the Rose & Thorn Journal a zine that has  been around since 1998. The zine is a wonderful place, staffed by writers who volunteer their time to put out a great publication.  I was Publisher and Managing Editor until 2009 when I left to work as an SEO content producer for a consultant to Lexis Nexis, a large legal publisher.

I love to travel and have visited 47 states, plus many countries on four continents.  I've ridden a camel in the Canary Islands, attended the opera in Vienna and spent time in an absinthe bar in Budapest. For ten years I practiced law. Before that, my jobs included process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. I also did some reporting for local papers.  

I split my time between Bradley Beach, NJ where I love the boardwalk, sand, and Asbury Park music scene, and Rockland County, NY.  I have a terrific husband, a wonderful son, and an adorable grandson. You can reach me at  I’d love to keep in touch via 

Tell us about the genre of your work.   
I’m a multi-genre author and love mixing it up. Hard Head is a suspense novel with romantic and paranormal elements. Speed of Dark is a Paranormal Romance. 36C is women’s fiction/chick lit. Slings and Arrows is an Urban Fantasy with dark humor.

Why did you choose this genre?

I tend to write a lot of fantasy and paranormal stories usually with some romance in there. Those genres indulge my love of travel. With fantasy and paranormal, I can go anywhere. When you add a little romance, ahhhh, how can you not feel alive and good? Life is filled with many different genres and so is my writing.   

How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genres?

To me fantasy and paranormal tales are much larger than life, but they tackle real life issues. You have leeway to let go of laws of physics, but you are still bound by the laws of human emotions.

What are some of your books, stories that have been published?

I have four novels published. Two are with Eternal Press: The Speed of Dark, a fantasy set in 1964 is about a fellow who falls for a mysterious girl while riding behind a DDT truck. It came out in October, 2011and Hard Head, the story of a mother and daughter who travel to Italy and are caught up in an ancient vendetta, came out in February, 2012. 36C, the tale of a lingerie shop girl, and Slings and Arrows, about a woman who takes up with a shady spiritualist were published by DiskUspublishing and are available everywhere. 

I also have a number of stories in audio version at My story Crab Lines won Best of the Net in 2006 and I’ve had a number of other short story awards.

Can you tell us more about your book?

Hard Head

My novel Hard Head was re-released in February, 2012. In Hard Head, Rosanna Sweeney defies her father’s deathbed order that she never go to Italy. She and her troubled teenage daughter journey across Italy to the Calabrian town of her father’s birth. They find romance, learn about one another, and uncover a past that links them to secret societies and an ancient vendetta.

ISBN-13: 978-1615726073  

ASIN: B0075XR288  

Some blurbs

Barbara Quinn's Hardhead is eyepopping, filled with memorable characters who take you on a fascinating journey. Think Get Shorty, Pulp Fiction and Fargo, with a zany female slant and much, much more. ... A remarkable book!

                         --Noel Hynd

Barbara Quinn has done an excellent job of weaving her characters through a suspenseful plot and into a believable ending. Beyond the suspense, this novel of self-discovery is bound to resonate with anyone who has ever felt out of place.

                         --The Daily Republic

A great read. Ms. Quinn catapults you from one horrifying moment to the next, keeping you wondering how they will survive these secret, and powerful societies.

                           --Shawn Phillips

Speed of Dark

There are some people you never forget. In the summer of 1964, while riding his bike in a DDT cloud, Luke D’Angelo falls for one of them–a mysterious girl named Celeste. Like Luke, Celeste is an outsider struggling to find her identity, but unlike Luke, Celeste has special powers that have the potential to destroy everything Luke and his friends believe in. Luke and his mentally challenged sister become fast friends with this curious girl. Set in upstate New York, in a town that is home to a shrimp cocktail plant that belches a foul-smelling tomato and fish fog, this coming-of-age tale about a girl with a dream and the teens who want to help her fulfill it, is a balance between the comic and the profound. The story resonates with the message that inside each of us is a light that burns so bright no dark can extinguish it. But at what cost?

ISBN: 9781615725069

Some blurbs: 

I'm always on the lookout for a good new author and Barbara Quinn fits that description to a "T." I loved The Speed of Dark, from the wonderfully realized setting to the characters and their complicated, but timeless, relationships with each other. Quinn has also done a terrific job in bringing to life what it was like growing up in the early part of the sixties. I was a teenager at that time and a lot of what she writes about is eerily familiar-either from my own life, or the people I knew at the time.

-Charles de Lint, author of Someplace to be Flying, Forests of the Heart, Seven Wild Sisters, The Onion Girl

By turns lyrical and grittily realistic, The Speed of Dark brings its own vision to the Stephen King territory of small town life in the sixties. In a novel rich with period detail, Barbara Quinn effectively captures the sense of the numinous that pervades everyday life.

-Eileen Kernaghan, author of The Snow Queen, Songs from the Drowned Lands, and The Sarsen Witch

Barbara Quinn's novel The Speed of Dark is a fascinating and imaginative story, blending the real with the fantastic, giving us characters we can know and root for. Her writing is wise and magical, filled with wit, passion and honesty. Barbara reminds me of my late friend Laurie Colwin. This is an engrossing and rewarding novel. Readers will have fun and be profoundly moved.  

-Noel Hynd, author of Ghosts and Cemetery of Angels

Just read "Speed of Dark" by @BarbaraQuinn The "icy storm in mouth" scene -never read anything like that before!

 -Kat Magendie author of Tender Graces, Secret Graces, and Sweetie 

Slings and Arrows

When her husband leaves her for her best friend, Ellen D'Este loses her ability to enjoy her work as a massage therapist and her life begins to unravel. A friend convinces her to attend a session with a female spiritualist. Ever the skeptic, Ellen resists the pull of the shady Miss Wendy, but falls for the handsome Mark Vernon, a disciple of the spiritualist. As time passes, Ellen is plagued by visions and strange occurrences that test her beliefs and feelings. Can she find love, faith and the ability to massage again or will she be the unwitting pawn of a charlatan?

Paranormal romance/dark humor

ISBN -86473858
ASIN: B004I1KS18

Tressa Connell dreams of finding the right fellow, of putting her graphics art degree to work, and of traveling to Venice. The reality is that she's stuck in a dead-end job selling lingerie to rail-thin women who prowl the high-end Manhattan boutique where she works. Hounded by a helmet-haired boss, befriended by a troubled Latina makeup artist, and wooed by a Jewish cop, Tressa also has a giant grandfather clock strapped to her back, a bushel of eggs in her arms, and her mother cracking a Pampers whip over her head.

ISBN: 030-69102672

ASIN: B004I1KS4U  

Where do you get your ideas for writing? 

I never know where or when an idea will hit. Sometimes I wake up at night and try to jot down the vision I’m having on the piece of paper I keep next to the bed. The next morning it often takes me a while to figure out what those squiggles and letters mean.   

For Hard Head, glorious Italy was the source of inspiration. One of the major scenes in the book takes place in Siena at the wild horse race that is run twice a summer called Il Palio. I had to write about it even though I hadn’t yet been there. I did visit Siena eventually and was touched by its captivating light and beauty.   

What is your favorite thing about your book?
Hard Head has a special place in my heart. My late father was born in Calabria, where much of the story takes place, and he infuses much of the story. The term “hard head” is used to describe people from Calabria who are known for being stubborn. My father always told tales of the hard headed Calabrese, and he was fond of playing tunes on his head with his fist as a tribute to his Calabrian ancestors. He also talked of the Ndragheta, a Calabrian that appears in the book. I’m glad that I was able to get some of the spirit of my Dad onto the pages of Hard Head.

Why and when did you begin writing?  Is there any one person who had a big influence on you or encouraged you to write? 
I’ve been writing since I was a child. When I was a Girl Scout I wrote a play for the troop in which Little Red Riding Hood was evil and tormented the good wolf. My brother and I used to make up stories and then perform them for our parents.
What is your writing schedule?  What atmosphere do you need to write?
I’m a night owl so I usually write late in the afternoon and in the evening. I need quiet to write. No music, little background noise. And I need quiet in my soul. When I’m going through really stressful times, the words tend to slow down. I hate that. But I know that they’ll start flowing again once things settle down.

What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?
I’m working on two things now. One is a women’s fiction about an older woman who is healed through music. The second one is a steampunk novel about a character that has to pay for the sins of his father. That one is just starting out.
What kind of advice or tips to you have for someone who wants to write and be published?
It’s essential that you read, and that you write. Writing is a long journey and the more you write the better your craft becomes. Seek out critics who will be honest. Be generous with others who are trying to write and don’t be afraid to write about the painful stuff. 
Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
Read, read, read, and read some more. Submit to small journals. Enter contests. Grow as a writer and submit to bigger journals. Schedule writing time every day possible.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I love the beach and I often take long walks on the boardwalk from Bradley Beach to Asbury Park where I pass by the Stone Pony and Madame Marie’s. I love cooking and wine too. My husband and I love to travel and try to visit unusual spots no matter where we go.
Include anything else you may wish to add.
There’s a whole new world out there in publishing. The e-revolution has been a boon to writers and no one should be afraid to take a chance with it. Don’t give up!

What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?
Besides those wonderful events of finding the love of your life, and having a child, I can think of a couple of special times. The first edition of Hard Head made the rounds of the major publishers and so did the first edition of Speed of Dark. The feedback I got was encouraging and that made me feel that the struggle was worth it. Though there were no takers, I self-published them and sometime later had the wondrous experience of having them picked up by a publisher.
On another note, when I was practicing law years ago, I was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. Being in that courtroom with those justices on the bench was thrilling. My son and husband were there with me and I’ll never forget that day.  

Note from Sylvia: You can visit my other blog at: features a preview to my new book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.

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