The Writing Life of: Barbara Devlin

Barbara Devlin

This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Barbara Devlin. Barbara will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘To Catch a Falling Spy‘, which was released on 28th June 2016, and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.

Barbara Devlin


Bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, DE that forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite.

Barbara writes heartfelt historical romances that feature flawed heroes who may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero, before they find their happily ever after.

Barbara earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.

Interview 2020 Whispering Stories Image


1) Do you remember the moment you decided that you would like to become a writer?

That probably happened in the womb.

2) How did you go about following your dream?

I’ve always been a writer, starting with journal writing in elementary school. The switch to professional writing came naturally, as I recovered from a life-altering, line-of-duty, law enforcement career-ending accident.

3) Is there a particular author that inspires you?

No. While I’ve always been an avid reader, I don’t draw from any author’s style or work, because I want to develop and rely on my own unique voice. I don’t want to sound like someone else.

4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any strange writing habits?

My average writing day begins with coffee. I get up, make a cup of java, feed the dogs, and sit at my computer. On days when hubby is at the fire hall, I can write 15-18 hours straight.

5) Do you write Longhand, Type writer, Computer?


6) From all your books, do you have a favourite character?

To be honest, I think I have a favorite character–until I write the next book. In truth, I love all my characters for different reasons

7) Do you plot your books completely before hand or do you let your imagination flow whilst in the writing process?

I am a ruthless plotter, but that’s not to say I’m married to it, because sometimes the characters drive me in a different direction. I plot on the W-curve, with a plotting partner, to ensure every scene has a purpose and in some way advances the story, because I loathe filler.


Concerning your latest book:

To catch a falling spy

To Catch a Falling Spy
Brethren of the Coast Book Eight

Author – Barbara Devlin
Pages – 289
Release Date – 28th June 2016
Format – ebook

synopsis of a witch

Lady Elaine Prescott, the most timid member of the Brethren, has spent much of her time in the shadows, forever blending into the background. From her unconventional perspective, she studies people and their behavior, gleaning information most overlook, and she is content in her quiet little world.

When her unusual habit puts her in the right place at the wrong moment, she witnesses a violent crime, and her life is threatened. To her dismay, Elaine finds herself in an unwelcomed spotlight and in need of a knight.

Sir Ross Logan is a master spy and the mysterious head of the covert Counterintelligence Corps. In dark spaces he lurks, scrutinizing those he is charged to defend, and it is an easy and uncomplicated existence for a man of many secrets. In the midst of a murder investigation, he is tasked with guarding a noblewoman, the gentle lady he has furtively admired for years. Young and unspoiled, she is everything he is not, and he vows to protect her.

While he doubts not his ability to save her from a lethal villain, can Ross defend Elaine against himself?


8) How long did it take to get from the ideas stage, to the date of publication?

About 6 months, and this is the first time I’ve written two books at the same time.

9) Did you suffer from writer’s block at any stage? How did you overcome it?

That’s the beauty of plotting–you always know where to go in the next chapter or scene.

10) How did you come up with the name(s)for your lead character(s)?

I find the names of my characters in my research. Every one of my characters bears a name or combination of names listed in some historical document. Even my ship names come from a manifest, of a sort.

11) If your book was made in to a film, who would you love to play the lead character(s)?

Now this is a question I refuse to answer, because I believe it stifles the imagination. That’s the main reason I don’t put people on my covers–because I want the reader to run with their vision of my characters.

The Black Morass is the lone exception, because I collaborated with Vikkas Bhardwaj for an e-backstep. And the image will grace the back cover of the paperback. I met Vikkas at RT in Vegas, and he struck me as Jean Marc Cavalier, at first glance.

12) Did you get anyone in particular to read your work before sending it to the publisher i.e family member, friend etc?

My plotting partner acts as a beta reader, and I have a professional editor. Beyond that, I don’t ask friends and family to read my work, because they usually just pat me on the back. I need honest, constructive criticism when it comes to my work.


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