Interview of Barbara Mostella
Rita Lee Chapman
This week it is my pleasure to interview Barbara Mostella-Oliver. Would you please introduce yourself to my readers, Barbara, and share something about your life?
I’m a native of Alabama now living in Georgia. My Murder Mystery fiction book is dedicated to my parents Grady and Ruthie Mostella.
When did you write your first book and how did it come about?
I started writing and came up with this title for my book about nine years ago while I was working for The Department of Defense as a civilian. My discipline for writing during that time of my career was zero because my dedication to my career and other social activities kept me so busy. Many adults like myself have had to become caregivers for their parents as I did while still working. It was only after my mother's passing while in my care, that I truly became motivated and set aside time to complete this book. My book is in memory of both my parents. This is my first fictional book titled “Who Would Have Thought.” The first printing was in August 2018 but published in March 2019.
Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?
Yes. I chose the genre fiction because this is the type of book that I enjoy reading, and I have decided that this is the best for my writing. There is nothing like a good mystery book to read when it is cold or raining outside, or when on vacation just relaxing. It warms my heart to know that my readers and other authors that don’t normally read fiction have truly enjoyed my book.
When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?
I start with an idea first and then put that idea on paper in the form of a
map. From the map, I develop my outline and characters for the book. Since I write fiction, my next step is to do research online and interview subject matter experts about my idea that may be unfamiliar to me. My reasoning behind the research is to ensure that readers understand all the aspects of the book, but they also learn something from reading my work.
Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character in this book would be Alphonso. His character is a lot like I was early in my career. He is very dedicated to his job and has the highest respect for the law firm which employs him. He puts his career above his personal life and misses out on developing personal relationships. Sometimes our careers take us in a direction that is not always fulfilling and sometimes it becomes just a job that pays the bills. When we truly enjoy a job and are happy with who we are, you know that God had a hand in the choice.
What is the best marketing tip you have received?
Because this is my first book, I don’t have any specific marketing advice. I believe an author must figure out what is the best path to get their book to the readers. I have been focusing on social media like (website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), just as most authors are. I’ve also found that book clubs, book signing, emails, publisher weekly, and advice from other authors has been useful as well.
How would you describe yourself?
Having worked as a civilian in a military supported environment, I would say that I am very detail-oriented and somewhat of a perfectionist. In everything I do, I give it my best. I am also a stickler for time. I try to be on time for everything I’m involved in, and sometimes I expect others to do the same. I am working on that part of my growth.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
When I was younger, I saw my mother, grandmother, and other family members quilting. It has been something that I have always wanted to learn how to do. For the past two years, I have been attending a quilting class once a week and I have learned many quilting techniques. Since attending, I have quilted several quilts for family members. It has become an enjoyable and relaxing hobby when not reading or writing.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
I would say Italy because I love Italian food and could eat it daily. Each city in Italy has something unique for tourists to see, taste, and experience. I would like to see the Pantheon, and the Dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, some of the art and architecture in Florence as examples. Most of all I would love to taste the local cuisine in different cities.
What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
When I select a book, I read the synopsis or summary first. If a book does not capture my interest in the first couple of chapters and the summary, I probably won’t read the entire book. I like reading not only new authors' books but also those who have been around for a while. As an author, I say to new authors, make sure the summary of your book is outstanding, because it can determine whether a reader purchase or not purchase your book.
Do you have your own website?
Yes. It is:
Are you working on a new book now?
Yes. I am working on a sequel to my current book. The title is “Why Me Why Now?” It will be published in 2020.
Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?
Yes. I have a book signing at Turning Page Book Shop in Goose Creek, South Carolina December 14, 2019.
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