Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Author Barbara Kyle: A Day At My Desk And A Giveaway

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Barbara Kyle here today as sheBarbara Kyle author image makes a stop on her Nurture Virtual Book Tourz.

Barbara’s latest release is a thriller/suspense, ENTRAPPED. Here’s a brief description of it: Set in Alberta, Canada, ENTRAPPED is the story of Liv Gardner, an ambitious young oil executive intent on stopping farmer Tom Wainwright who is sabotaging her rigs after a spill of lethal “sour” gas poisoned his wife. Desperate to save the company she built, Liv plants evidence to frame Tom. But when the evidence is used to indict him for a murder he didn’t commit, only Liv can save him. 

Thanks to Barbara, Jaidis and the good folks at Nurture, I have 1 eBook copy of ENTRAPPED to give away to a luck visitor who comments on this post between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 1. The giveaway is open internationally. Be sure to leave your e-mail address in your comment if it’s not included in your profile. 

Barbara has answered an age-old questions for me, “What is a typical writing day for you?”

I thrive on routine. Early morning, around 7:30, is for answering emails. It’s a joy to hear how my books have touched readers, and to hear what they’re up to. I happily reply to each email. This is also the time when I post updates on my Facebook Author Page and post on Twitter. I like Twitter, like checking out the fascinating links that other authors and book-business people post, so I have to cut myself off at 9:00 a.m.

Entrapped Book CoverThe rest of the morning I spend on “fixing” – that is, re-writing – whatever scene I wrote the day before. I enjoy this process and could fix all day, so again I have to cut myself off, at noon.

The afternoon is the challenging part of my day: it’s for creating the next “bit.” I need that morning of re-writing to build up momentum for the afternoon’s creating. I strive to write 5 new pages a day, but I rarely accomplish that. Usually it’s 3 to 4.

At around 4:00 I’m pretty drained. That’s when I go to the gym, or, in summer, go for a long walk. 

Throughout the day, I constantly jot down notes about anything and everything, big and small: from a change of one word in a dialogue exchange, to a change of the turning point in a whole scene. I keep these hand-written notes in a folder on my desk and continually re-read them, discarding each one as I’ve incorporated the note into the draft.

By the way, I always work from an outline. I can’t imagine working any other way – it would be like building a house without a blueprint. In fact, the most helpful tip I can offer any emerging writer is: take the time to write an outline. Take a long time. The outline is where the heavy lifting of creation takes place: the invention of your characters and plot. I spend four or five months writing my outlines, while concurrently doing research. 

I call the outline a “storyline,” because as writers we must never forget that we’re telling a story. In the workshops for writers that I give, I enjoy teaching the principles of outlining. I did a video on this subject in my online video series called “Writing Fiction That Sells.” Anyone interested can watch a clip on my website:

Entrapped Nurture tour banner

Barbara, thanks so much for guest blogging. You do put in a full day of writing. I like your comparison of an outline to a blueprint. That’s interesting.

Now for a bit of background on Barbara. She is the author of the Tudor-era “Thornleigh” novels including THE QUEEN’S LADY, THE KING’S DAUGHTER, THE QUEEN’S CAPTIVE, and THE QUEEN’S GAMBLE, all published internationally. Barbara previously won acclaim for her contemporary thrillers under pen name ‘Stephen Kyle,’ including BEYOND RECALL (a Literary Guild Selection), AFTER SHOCK and THE EXPERIMENT. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold. 

Barbara is passionate about helping emerging writers. She has taught her “Writers Boot Camp” for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations. She offers twice-yearly Master Classes that focus on work-shopping each participant’s novel-in-progress. Her popular series of videos “Writing Fiction That Sells” offers 10 hours of tips, techniques, and inspiration, and is available online via her website. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.

For more on Barbara and her writing, visit her website, find her on Twitter, visit her at Goodreads, find her on Facebook, or visit her author's tour page.

You can also follow the remainder of Barbara’s tour at the following sites:
Nov. 24th – @ NURTURE Virtual BOOK Tourz™ Blog
  Nov. 25th – @ Everyday Is An Adventure
  Nov. 29th – @ Everyday Is An Adventure
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Are you a morning or an evening person? Which time is most productive for you?


  1. It's always fascinating to me to see other writers' routines. Thanks so much for hosting Barbara! And...mornings are much more productive for me. :)

  2. Barbara, thanks again for guest blogging and sharing what your typical writing day is like. Wishing you much success.

  3. Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by. As I remember, you are an early riser too.

  4. I'm not entering the giveaway - just wanted to say great post! I always enjoy finding out how other authors tackle the day!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'm a creature of habit - and of outlining. My most productive writing time is in the evening. I need some time with my guitar to wipe away the day's stress before writing anything productive.

  6. Barbara, I love outlining and must do it to save my mind...if it can be saved. Love the cover and the story plot

    Mason, Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Interesting to hear how another writer plots out the writing day. Myself, I'm most creative in the morning, with afternoons for editing.

    I like the idea of a cut-off time for social media. I'll have to try that. It can get so distracting.

    Thanks for sharing, Barbara, both your insights and the copy of your new book.

  8. Hi Barbara:
    Thank you for sharing how your day shapes up as a writer.
    It has encouraged me.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.