Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Wild Rose Press author Nina Barrett sharing her inspiring journey and new release, Renegade Heart.
I always wanted to be a writer, but being shy, it was hard to say so out loud. As a child I made up stories in my head, completed a mystery manuscript in junior high and exchanged stories and poems with a writer friend in high school. After finishing college and surviving a divorce, I began life as a single mother teaching in a small town. I loved teaching, but it wasn’t enough. Teaching was what I did; a writer was what I was.
I wrote stealthily at nights and in the car, waiting on my son to finish his swimming or piano lessons. A newspaper article about the Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio sponsoring a scholarship contest piqued my interest. I submitted a piece of writing without anything in the way of expectations. Sometime later a letter in reply arrived. It took more than a few days to open it.
Someone – actually a committee – liked my work. I was privileged to attend the workshop and take a class with the incomparable Sue Grafton. The experience encouraged me to continue writing and submitting to agents and editors.
I returned to Antioch and took a class with romance writer Jennifer Crusie who is as encouraging and supportive as she is talented.
I grew up relishing the works of such authors as Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart, Mignon Eberhart and Daphne du Maurier. I began reading what was currently available in the field of romantic suspense and completed my first romantic suspense manuscript. It failed to find a publisher.
Through my local RWA chapter, I learned of a small e-publisher opening for business and soliciting for manuscripts. To my shock, I received the call and in June 2012 my Western romance Marriage Made in Haven was published by Musa Publishing. Since then my books Return of the Dixie Deb and A Man to Waste Time On have been published by the Wild Rose Press. On April 27th my novel Renegade Heart will be released.
Romance doesn’t always have the respect other genres receive. I write light, contemporary romances meant to entertain, to make someone’s day a little brighter. Romance + mystery + an HEA: I think the world could use more than that and I like trying to provide it.
Advice for anyone pursing a similar dream? Own your own life. At the end of it would you rather say I tried, I tried as hard as I could but I didn’t succeed or I was scared so I didn’t try?
Favorite Quotation: It’s never too late to become what you might have been.
As if Vegas didn’t have excitement enough, December brings the National Finals Rodeo to the city. Heading the Imperial Hotel’s participation as a host hotel, Kerstin Hennepin is rushing to a meeting when a fall sends her tumbling into a stranger’s arms and he’s in no hurry to let her go.
Jake Aaron is a troubleshooter for the rodeo Or maybe he’s just plain trouble. Their attraction is instant and one close encounter leads to another, but Jake comes with plenty of questions. True he’s busy handing the offstage antics of rowdy rodeo contestants, but does his job also include romancing a young barrel rider and carrying a concealed weapon?
With the finale of the Finals approaching, Kerstin needs answers. But when her search for the truth reveals more is going on behind the scenes than on the arena floor, she and Jake are squarely in someone’s cross hairs.
Where to find Nina…
Nina, Like you I also taught for many years, all the while secretly dreaming of a writing career. I enjoyed learning more about your journey and appreciate the advice given. BTW…George Eliot’s quote is also one of my favorites.
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Love the inspiring story, Nina! And Love your cover. Best of sales on the release!
4 books – this is my favorite cover!!
Thank you – one of the best parts of being part of a group like RWA or the Wild Rose Press authors loop is the mutual support : – )
Loved reading about your evolution as a writer. I’m familiar with Antioch, as my daughter attended Wittenberg. Congratulations on your book–love the tagline and the cover!
The Antioch Writers Workshop is so worthwhile!
Nina, Thanks for the inspiring words. I agree that “escape fiction” which in my opinion includes my own work in both historical and contemporary romance, should get more respect. Anything that can help a reader put aside what may have been a difficult day, escape the worries for a while and relax is very worthwhile. Best of luck with the new release!
Thank you so much – I was really inspired by Kristen Higgins at National RWA in Atlanta several years ago speaking about the importance of what we do.
Your cover is eye-catching, and I enjoyed your blurb. Sounds like an action-packed book! I agree that light, contemporary stories are often over-looked, yet that approach takes as much, if not more attention to detail. Keep writing! The world needs a lighter touch.
Congrats on the release! You have a beautiful cover.
She’s done other covers for me, but this is my favorite!!