M.A. Greene’s Desire of Whimsy Interview with Charletta Barksdale
- M.A. Greene: How you would describe Desire of Whimsy in your own words?
Charletta Barksdale: I mostly describe it as a fiction fantasy series, but with a love story that’s hidden between paranormal and real life, which brings the supernatural story to life. Basically its about a young woman that is coming into her adulthood. Accepting a new job, moving out on her own for the first time and discovering many new things about herself including discovering she has special gifts. In between it all she cares for a coma patient at her job which she is passionate about, but is drawn to one patient in particular, hoping to speed his recovery, she gets attached. Its the paranormal part that shes not aware she is causing that makes her different. The different struggles is the exciting part and I hope readers want more. This is my first book, i still have so much to learn and stories to tell, i want everyone that pick up my book want more.
- M.A. Greene: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Charletta Barksdale: I realized I wanted to be a writer about 4 years ago, when I decided to finally take journaling to another level. I’ve always liked to write short stories and ideas in my journal but I never turned any of them into a book until now
- M.A. Greene: That’s so interesting. How did you come up with the idea for Desire of Whimsy?
Charletta Barksdale: Desire of Whimsy was a short story I entered into a contest… OMG years ago with colleagues at work. It had a different title called Desire of dreams
and actually had first decided to write a more serious story regarding my life. But at the time I was definitely still going through a healing process that was to touching to write. I do still plan to write it, more than ever. I know I jumped off the question but in truth… it came about by me deciding which story do I want to talk more about and which will remain just a short story for a contest on goodreads.
The ideal was from my journal, im always writing things down and thinking of really cool things to talk about with others. So one day i was sitting there thinking about where do people minds really go when they are in a coma and begin to write those ideas down in my journal
Wrote a short story, then entered it into a contest and got really good reviews.
- M.A. Greene: How long did it take you to write Desire of Whimsy, the actual novella, from start to finish?
Charletta Barksdale: Oh wow… it took me 4 years to complete it. I work full time as a Development software engineer coding automated scripts by day and releasing stress by writing. It really took a long time because i hadnt put much time into turning into a book until i decided to set goals for myself. If i wanted the dream to come true, then I realized i had to make time for that goal.
At the time… i didnt see myself as a writer, writing at the time was a hobby that i did when i had time. It is now after publishing my first book I have decided that i want to write more then working in IT
- M.A. Greene: When you made goals were they like writing for an hour every day? Writing in the morning before work? What were your goals that propelled you to finish?
Charletta Barksdale: First it started out as writing on weekends and I realized that it was not going any where at that rate. So I decided to set a more grounded goal and at the beginning, I would write a chapter each month. I figured if i wrote a chapter each month i would have 12 chapters before the year was up. After i realized I actually finished 12 chapters, i was excited to finish the book, so it became 1000 words per week. no matter what, just write something.
After finishing a chapters in 2 years, i didnt realize i would be spending a year with my editor 😊
my whole 12 chapters crumbled but it was an amazing experience… like i said writing was a hobby, there was still so much i needed to learn and I had really good support encouraging me
- M.A. Greene: Good support systems are essential to writing. It can be so isolating if you don’t have the proper support. Did you decide to self-publish or traditionally publish and why?
Charletta Barksdale: I totally agree! Actually both… The idea was to self-publish, i did not want set deadlines for myself. i needed control over my time and I really just wanted people to read my stories. It was after working with my editor, i realized i needed assistance, i wanted to find a way to seek the help i wanted but also keep most of my royalty rights. I was okay with not going traditional, my mind at the time was thinking bigger. Write the book, create your own site and cut the middle person out. Well, publishing a book requires many processes that I was not aware of, until I did my research. This is how i found Lulu, a self-publishing company that assist you through the process. After the long year of editing with my editor i had to go through another process with lulu. I really takes a lot of work to self-publish but it is worth it at the end. Its such a big accomplishment to know you did all that by yourself. Create the story, create your own design… who doesnt want credit for that.
Making a decision to not go traditional was a very hard decision. Telling my marketing team i did not want an agent or deadlines is mega big and challenging but the reward is satisfying knowing I had more control over my book. I have many that are interested in doing more. I purposely wrote the short book because it is the first of a 5 book series and I wanted to draw people in because giving out the whole series.
having producers interested in turning the story into a book was more satisfying then going traditional
- M.A. Greene: How did you come up with Serenity and Trance’s personalities?
Chareletta Barksdale: I wanted their personality to go with the true meaning of their name. It was by definition their personalities came to life. Serenity is a calm peaceful but kind soul and Trance is in a coma and the name true definition is hypnosis, and taping into those meanings brought the idea of those personalities to life.
I’m not sure if anyone realized the symbolizing of each characters name in the book. Serenity, Trance, Delusion… all deals with dreams, hypnosis, coma etc… and if caught while reading, it brings the story to a whole new light 🙂
- M.A. Greene: How did you come up with how drifters were able to go through dreams?
Charletta Barksdale: I wanted the coma world to feel real, we all dream when we are sleep but what causes them. I needed a really good way to bring Trance mind while in a coma to life but also make the world real and powerful enough so that people that read it want more. We talk about angels, the unknown but how cool is it to come up with your own idea of what it may be like in a spiritual world. Its why the cliffhanger was so important, i have so much more to add to this story
- M.A. Greene: What advice can you give aspiring writers for the writing process and what advice would you give them as far as getting an agent and the publishing process?
Charletta Barksdale: My editor once told me that writing is an art, the takes practice. If you practice hard enough you will become better at what you do. I believe success comes from within, everyone has it locked underneath their own talent, waiting to be discovered. Never give up on your dream because your ideas are important too. Remember to “just write”, because 2 words will become more and more words becomes chapters and before know it, you have a book. As for getting an agent, I would tell them to design their plan before making any decisions. Publishing, I want them to understand, it is just the process and its truly up to them on what route to take. You book can be seen even with self-publishing and the hard work will pay off with being very patient.