Spotlight on Barbara Meyers

From leaving the past behind to unexpected love and the secrets of coffee, meet author Barbara Meyers

After we read this opening line that Romance Novels for the Beach wrote in a book review of Barbara's newest release, If You Knew, we had to track her down!

Check it out:

Where are your kids?

Turns out they’re at school, but they have a former porn star as a teacher’s aide, and a reformed junkie as a guidance counselor.

The beauty of this novel is it will show you why there’s no problem with that situation.  

That review of If You Knew hooked us, Barbara! Can you tell us where this unique plot came from?

I wondered if I could make a former adult film actress an acceptable heroine in a romance novel. I was told by an editor that the premise would not fly with traditional romance readers. But I wrote it anyway and it has received positive reviews from those who’ve read it. I also love small-town settings and fish-out-of-water scenarios. If You Knew features both.

How did you handle with the flack you got over your proposed story plot?

I didn’t listen to that editor (or to anyone else’s thoughts about my premise). This was the story I wanted to write, and I think that’s the beauty of independent publishing. Authors have found the freedom to write the books of their hearts. Editors, agents and other “publishing professionals” are no longer dictating to authors or exerting as much control over the market the way they once were.

Most readers may not understand the difference between traditionally publishing and independent publishing. All they want is good books.

You’ve been writing for over 25 years. Do you have a favorite genre and if so, why?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading contemporary romance and romantic suspense. I see my stories expanding those genres and crossing into women’s fiction, which I love.

Chocolate, wine, or pizza. You have to live without two of them. Which will go on your chopping block?

That’s pretty cruel. I could probably live without pizza…and maybe???? Wine????

A little bird told me you were recently in Paris. How was your trip? And do you have a birthday cake photo we should see?

I do have a birthday cake photo you should see. My daughter (@elle_bakeshop on Instagram) made me a Paris birthday cake last year. My BFF and I were planning a trip to Paris 20 years ago, but life and world events intervened. Finally it happened. It was a great trip and quite the adventure. Paris is a beautiful city. We did all the tourist-y sites. The only downside? All those other tourists!!!!

If someone was going to read a Barbara Meyers novel for the first time, which of your titles would be your recommendation to them?

A Month from Miami is the Barbara Meyers primer, if you will. If you like romance blended into a bigger story, then If You Knew.

Do you have a favorite character from one of your novels?  What is it about them that appeals to you?

Kaylee from A Month from Miami and Devonny from If You Knew. Both leaving the past behind and create a new life and find unexpected love along the way.

You were a barista in a former life. Any coffee secrets or special blends you can share with us? 

I’m still a part-time barista! For 15 years I’ve worked for a great company that offers health insurance and many other benefits to part-time workers. A coffee secret? Don’t put your coffee in the freezer. It dries it out. Just store it in an airtight container in a cool place. Beans are best if used within a week of opening the package. 

Does your barista knowledge ever find its way to the pages of your stories?

Yes. Under the pen name AJ Tillock I have the first two books of a series called Grinding Reality available. It was inspired by my years as a barista and centers around the unexpected effects of magic coffee beans.

What do you have in store for us next?

I’m working on If You Dare, the second book in the Red Bud Series. Doug Winston (the villain of If You Knew) gets his own story.

We’re sending you on a road trip with two of your favorite celebrities or historic figures. Who do you want traveling with you and where is your destination?

Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence seem to have a lot of fun together. Think they’d let me horn in on their good time? I’d love to go pub crawling with them in the British Isles.

Thanks Barbara for stopping by and answering our questions for this spotlight!

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If You Knew released on 1 April 2019 and is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like to learn more about Barbara Meyers or sign up for her newsletter to learn about her future releases and events, you can check out her website.

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