Welcome to the blog, Quinn! Could you tell us a little bit about Invisible Snow?
Thanks for the opportunity. Invisible Snow is a story that most of us can relate to on some level. Invisible Snow is a classic family drama about money, power, greed, and redemption, but it's not a romance novel or a soap opera. It's about finding the balance within the family unit as well as life. The idea itself has marinated over time from years of sitting in work and church meetings, women's groups, booster club and PTA meetings. I sensed an underlying hostility from many dutiful women who performed their simple assignments with masterful precision, but seemed frustratingly unfulfilled. It made me realize that most of us lose ourselves in simple tasks to avoid walking our true path, living our own dreams. Kate's journey is about coming to terms with her choices and breaking free of her self-imposed limitations.
What led you to write this novel?
I was an English major so it was something I thought I'd eventually get around to, but I was too busy earning a living to give it much consideration right after college. I worked in software development and then road the dot.com boom, but was luck to get out before the bubble burst. I am also a co-owner in a Los Angeles area tech support and web development company that has managed to grow despite the recession, but the need for web development isn't as great with platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal available. So I decided to take advantage of the recession and finally write a book, balancing my web clients with figuring out the process and puzzle of creating a novel.
How did you create characters readers will identify with?
I don't think I really got to know and understand the characters until the re-writes. A couple of established authors gave me some suggestions about character development, but I took a social media approach and created profiles for all of my characters. I used a Facebook profile as a template than created my own website with individual profiles for each character. The characters became very real for me during this process. I knew about their favorite, music, food, authors, movies . . . even their favorite color. During the re-writes I found myself saying stuff like, "Kate would never say that," or "Louise would never wear that color." It took some time, but the process worked for me.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing Invisible Snow, and how did you overcome it?
Finding long stretches of time to write without interruptions from family and clients. I tried writing in coffee shops and libraries, but there were more distractions in public places than in my home office. Besides, I really enjoy writing in my own space. I learned to get up a little earlier or stay up a little later when thing were quieter and the phone wasn't ringing. I tried going into my office and closing the door with the family around, but it didn't work for me. Being flexible in my writing time was the trick.
What is your best advice on writing?
Just sit down and do it. If nothing comes, be patient and wait. It's kind of like fishing. Keep jotting down ideas until one gets hooked and then just start reeling it in. There may be boring gaps of time between nibbles, but it feels great to be in that current. I try to reproduce that sensation every time I write. It's addicting . . . although I'm not a big fan of actual fishing.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Quinn!
Thanks for having me. I hope all your readers will give Invisible Snow a try and enjoy the journey.
Quinn Barrett is a native of Southern California, currently residing in the West Los Angeles area. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English, she worked as a corporate business development strategist specializing in emerging growth technology, software and Internet companies. She is married and raising a teenage son. Her hobbies include reading, walking, golf, cooking, and travel. Invisible Snow is her first novel.
Quinn Barrett can be found on Facebook and InvisibleSnow.com.
Invisible Snow is available at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and elsewhere!