Friendy...Monday? with Freya Barker
Greetings and Salutations from the Rock 'n' Romance Blog! I'm a couple of days late and probably more than a few brain cells short, but I want to share with you the latest release from the multi-talented author/designer extraordinaire, Freya Barker.
Freya and I met through photographer Reggie Deanching of R + M Photo about two years ago. Reggie did a custom shot for me with model Scott Secor for the cover of Road Trip and he suggested I contact Freya to design the cover. She did absolutely brilliant work and I was thrilled with the results. I got to meet Freya last year at the LoveNVegas event and it was so great to meet her in person! Getting to see her books in person and giving her a copy of my book baby that she designed the cover for was the highlight of the event for me.
Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories. Driven to make her books about 'real' people; she creates characters who are perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills in their lives.
A recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None”, and Finalist for the Kindle Book Award with “From Dust”, Freya continues to add to her rapidly growing collection of published novels as she spins story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!
Freya took the Rock 'n' Romance Interview on and here's what she has to say:
Author Interview for Rock ‘n’ Romance Blog
What’s one thing every reader should know about you?
I started writing at a later age, mainly because I was tired of reading characters that in some cases were younger than my own children, and were definitely more perfect. People aren’t perfect. Not at my age, and not in my world. I started writing stories I would want to read, as a mature reader. Characters I can identify with, and stories that include mundane things like grocery shopping, bill paying, and social responsibilities. More like real life. I write, because I don’t really have a choice.
Five years ago I was a wreck: newly disabled, and heavily medicated. Today I’m still disabled, but no longer unable, and down to only two pills a day. Writing is my drug of choice. Writing is my therapy. Writing has become my absolute joy.
What’s your worst habit as a writer?
Not so much habits as traits, but I’m impatient. The moment characters form and a story reveals itself, I am frothing at the bit to get my fingers on the keyboard and I forget the world around me. Every day things like eating, a shower, or putting a meal on the table for hubs when he comes home, become annoyances that interrupt my progress. It takes a lot of practice, and even more structure, not to lose myself to my stories.
Have you had a major setback as an author, and how did you overcome it?
Setbacks are par for the course for authors. It can be as minor as one bad review, or as significant as a release that totally and completely bombs. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never had to encounter the writer’s block phenomenon. Sure, there are days when it doesn’t flow as easily as the next, but that horrible inability to put pen to paper some authors have to deal with, is something that is terrifying for me. My mother was a wise woman. If she were still alive she would tell me to “put one foot in front of the other” to get through a rough spot, and to “tickle myself or I’d never laugh” whenever my spirit needed a boost. Mom is gone now, but whenever I threaten to get sucked down by disappointment, I still hear her voice.
What is the best reader response you’ve ever received?
It’s one I’ve heard more than a few times, and one that never fails to move me to the core. “Your characters are so real, they feel like friends I would love to hang out with.” There’s nothing better than that. I claim to write about “just ordinary people with extraordinary stories” and that kind of feedback tells me I succeeded in doing just that. The best!
Did a teacher in school ever encourage or discourage your desire to write? Care to share?
Hmmmm. I can remember being encouraged to pay attention, stop doodling on paper, and to quit humming in class, but no one ever told me I should write. As I mentioned before, I’m a late bloomer. I’ve had many careers in my life, but now that I’ve found writing, I can’t understand how I didn’t take to it before. I can’t imagine my life without it.
Who do you share your story ideas/writing with first? What can you expect from them?
I have an interesting relationship with my editor and proofreader. We have become close friends, and touch base throughout every day in an ongoing chat on Facebook. These women are pivotal to the development of my stories. They know everything, see everything, and are not afraid to tell me where to get off when I need it. I need them to be critical, because it keeps me sharp and on my toes.
These women are the finishing frame for ever one of my stories: they are present from the first thought, all the way to the last finishing touch..
Ever find yourself writing/thinking about writing when you’re supposed to be doing something else?
Only all the time. If I could live in my chair, with my little laptop desk in front of me, while people serve me whatever I need, and I didn’t ever have to talk to anyone, or go out of the house, I’d be in heaven. LOL. I’m sure it would get boring at some point, but it’s my favorite place to be—hidden inside my story
What do you do to hold yourself back/motivate yourself?
I alluded to structure before, but that is how I try to hold back. I’ve learned not to sprint to the end line, but to pace myself there instead. It’s a much nicer way, especially for those around me. As for motivation, everything motivates me. A bad day, a good day, a news story I read, a conversation I have—everything and anything can become motivation to write.
What music inspires you?
Ohhh, I don’t have a good answer to this one. Mainly because I prefer to write in silence. In order for me to disappear into my story, I can’t deal with any distraction, and if you knew me, you’d know that EVERYTHING is a distraction. As laid back as I appear, my brain is on permanent spin cycle.
What’s your reading guilty pleasure?
I’m not sure in today’s market any reading pleasures are considered ‘guilty’ anymore. If I had to pick any, I would say an occasional ménage story. I mean, what woman doesn’t dream of one man devoted to her pleasure, let alone two!! I’ll also occasionally pick up a BDSM book. I’ll admit, mostly out of curiosity, and not everything appeals to me, but it sure gets you fantasizing.
Which book boyfriend/girlfriend (either one you’ve read or written) sets the standard for heroes/heroines in your writing?
For a hero I would choose a man like Gunnar, my leading man in From Dust. One who has seen a bit of life and learned from it. Who is willing to work hard for his family and is a great father. A man who doesn’t use a lot of words, doesn’t mince them when he does, and still manages to convey everything important.
For my heroine I would pick Emma from my first book, Slim To None. She sets the example for every heroine of mine that followed after. She has learned to embrace her imperfections, to push her limitations, and to make choices for herself. She is the ultimate strong woman in my humble opinion.
Her latest creation is Cabin 12, the second book in her Rock Point series. Here's a blurb:
Even at thirty seven, with a challenging but rewarding career as a paramedic, Bella Gomez is treated as the baby of the family. It’s made her allergic to anyone meddling, so she chooses to keep mostly to herself. Unfortunately that doesn’t stop her family from inserting themselves in her life. Nor does it deter the one man she knows she shouldn’t get close to from showing up on her doorstep.
Jasper Greene, an FBI agent with the La Plata County field office, doesn’t even know the meaning of family. His team is his family, which is why—when his boss asks him to keep an eye on his baby sister—Jasper readily complies. Even when the sister in question is a spectacularly developed princess with plenty of attitude.
With a shooter on the loose and corruption running rampant, Bella is a magnet for trouble, and Jasper finds himself with his hands full—in more ways than one.
Here's what readers have to say about Cabin 12:
Freya is a go-to author for me. Her words and sexy, suspenseful stories never fail to keep me reading late into the night! —Brynne Asher, Author of the Carpino and the Killers series.
“Cabin 12 captivated me from the very first page. Edge-of-your-seat pacing, dynamic characters, and the perfect amount of heat…this is without a doubt my top read of 2018!” — Anna Paige, Author of the Thrill of the Chase series
"A strong heroine, relatable characters and enough twists and turns to keep me hooked. Cabin 12 has popping chemistry between Jasper and Bella, and will keep you turning the next page until the satisfying ending. Don’t miss out on this incredible book." —Amy Ruttan, Author of twenty Harlequin Medicals.
Here's where you can find Freya:
I hope you'll check out Freya's work and go on over to her socials and say hello! Tell her Ro sent ya! Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance!