Monday, December 24, 2012

Emerald Barnes Author Interview

Photo Content from Emerald Barnes

Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.
Emerald's constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She is, also, a crazy grammar nazi who proofreads novels!

She's an auntie, Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and an avid TV watcher. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
Sign up for her once-in-blue-moon newsletter to stay apprised of what Emerald has going on!


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is important because it’s a release. If we tell stories, we’re escaping life for a few minutes. Our minds need a break from the worries and busyness that we face from day to day. It helps us cope with those.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I think they would be surprised to find out just how much of a nerd I really am. I love super heroes, Doctor Who, nerdy guys in glasses…

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
The greatest thing I learned in school was how to write. In school is where my love began, and ever since then, I haven’t looked back. I’ve learned how to hone my writing skills and turn it into something.

What’s in the future for you?
I’m not sure exactly, but I have a YA Fantasy novel coming out next year sometime, which will be the first of a trilogy. Also, I’ll be writing a romantic suspense to keep up with my genre I began in.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
To never give up. All authors say that, but you don’t realize how important not giving up is until you’re stressed and depressed about your writing. But trust me, it’s harder giving up than it is going on.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?
Depression and feeling completely overwhelmed at your situation. It’s hard to deal with that. There are times that you’re so overwhelmed with writing, marketing, trying to figure out what sells and what doesn’t that sometimes, it’s too easy to get depressed. But that’s when you need to walk away and take a break. Getting upset and feeling overwhelmed will hinder you more than help you. DO NOT KEEP GOING when you feel this way. Set the story aside and go for a walk, clear you mind. That will definitely help.

Can you tell us when you started Piercing Through the Darkness, how that came about?
The novella came out a few years after I wrote the original short story. The short story began when I first started college. I was supposed to write something for my Creative Writing course, and as I was trying to decide what I wanted to write, I had this idea about a girl, running from someone who wanted to kill her for wronging him somehow. I just didn’t want her to know why he was going to kill her. So, I didn’t want it to be random or the wrong person, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the story just right until my psychology class and how we were talking about hypnosis and how it could bring repressed memories back to the surface. So, I researched repressed memories and Piercing Through the Darkness was born.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Kandi?
I learned that although Kandi was a victim, she was also the villain – unwittingly of course. But, in creating characters, they don’t have to be a certain protagonist or antagonist, sometimes, they can be both.

If you could introduce Jimmy to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Christian from Read Me Dead. Christian knows how it is to protect the woman you love. He would give his life to protect her if he had to, and so would Jimmy. They would get along well, I believe.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Never give up on your dreams. I know it’s kind of sappy and clich├ęd, but it’s something I hold dear to my heart. It was something my parents taught me growing up. And it is something that everyone should do. Follow your dreams and don’t give up.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Oh gosh. I try not to lie, but I always lie about my weight if asked!

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
The beach in Destin, FL. As far as vacation destinations go, that’s the best. Except when a sunburn is involved.

What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
Selling makeup! I am possibly the worst saleswoman in the world!

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
Just this morning. I always tell my nieces and nephews I love them at the beginning of each day.

When was the last time you cried?
At church. Hearing the stories of the children receiving Christmas Shoe Boxes from Operation Christmas Tree makes me teary eyed. Those children break my heart.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
To tell them that I don’t love them back. I hate hurting people’s feelings, but in cases like that, it’s important to tell them how you feel instead of just letting go.

What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?
My nieces and nephews right after they were born.

Alexia Wheaton’s problems go beyond picking a dress and a date for homecoming.

For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory - her parents' horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet to protect herself, but when the local newspaper reveals her secret, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents' murderer will soon find her - and silence her forever.

Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents' murderer to justice.

Emerald Barnes’ Read Me Dead is a suspenseful thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats. At age ten, Alexia (Alex) Wheaton witnessed the murders of her parents and got a clear look of the killer’s face. The killer threatens her life and warns her to not tell anyone. Fast forward seven years, Alex and her twin brother Matt, now in the care of her uncle and aunt, wants to forget that horrific day and tries to live a normal teenage life. But with the secret tormenting her every single day, she finally tells her brother and two other friends. The local media gets a hold of her secret and is printed in the newspapers. With her life always in jeopardy and the killer still out there, she must now also look out for the lives of those around her.

The one thing that this novel will have an advantage of is even though it is meant for a YA audience; it will appeal to adult readers as well. The building of the suspense is remarkably done. What is more impressing is how author Barnes is able to maintain that suspense throughout the book. Being able to keep readers clinging on to the story until the end is no easy task. However, Barnes’ fine writing style manages to keep eyes wide open and interest level at high. She perfectly blends a thriller with murder mystery, triangle-romance, and betrayal within an entrusted circle. She leads an amazing story that will go through many twists, turns and bumps and finally coming to a shocking ending. Read Me Dead is an excellent example of what a thriller/suspense book should be.

You can purchase Read Me Dead at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you EMERALD BARNES for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Read Me Dead & Piercing Through the Darkness by Emerald Barnes.
3 Winners will receive an e-copy of Read Me Dead by Emerald Barnes.


  1. Thank you very much Emerald and happy holidays! This is definitely great in the spirit of giving!:)

  2. Why thank you! Good luck! :) And Happy Holidays to you as well! :)

  3. Thank you Jean and Emerald for this awesome giveaway!!

  4. Thank you ladies for this giveaway! Xx

  5. Thanks for entering, guys! Good luck! :)