A Chat with The Writer Whisperer, BARBARA SCOTT

Okay, I’m biased. But one of my most valuable business relationships occurred when
a little publisher I didn’t know much about hired a new senior editor for their
fiction line. When Barbara Scott accepted the job at Abingdon Press, I had no
idea how profoundly my own life would change (both personally AND professionally, as it turned out).
Finding an editor who really “gets you” is that beautiful lightning-in-a-bottle miracle that every
writer hopes to land. Since she bought my first single title novel for the
Christian market (The Big 5-OH!),
Barbara has established herself as an editor (and agent, for about a year) who truly
loves writers and feels that it is her special calling from God to nurture and
guide them through a sometimes-treacherous, often-confusing journey. I can tell you from firsthand experience that she is successful in following
her commission. So I thought perhaps Novel Rocket readers might also benefit from
getting to know her.
Barbara Scott has more than 35 years’ experience in
newspaper, magazine, and book publishing, including adult, youth, and
children’s fiction. She also co-authored two bestselling novels for Thomas
Nelson—Sedona Storm and Secrets of the Gathering Darkness—as
well as numerous gift books and ghostwritten pieces. Barbara was responsible
for acquiring and launching a new bestselling YA fiction line at Zondervan
Publishing before taking on the adult fiction line at Abingdon Press.
About the authors
with whom she’s worked, Barbara says:
“Sandie,
discovering you was like finding the Hope diamond. You make me laugh, and you
make me cry. Not every author has the ability to move me emotionally. Through
the years, I’ve also worked with unique stand-out authors such as Melody
Carlson, Brandilyn Collins, Nancy Rue, and dozens of others. I don’t think I
steered their careers, but as their editor, I hope I contributed to the success
of their projects.”

@BarbaraScott01: Avoid writing your first scene about
a character staring out the window, thinking about his emotions or what he’s
about to do. #writing

When Barbara recently returned to work as a freelance
editor, she really dug into her desire to mentor and guide authors. One
manifestation of that desire came when she began tweeting little nuggets of
advice. The response, she says, has been overwhelming.

@BarbaraScott01: Don’t switch point of view in the
same scene unless you want your reader’s brain to short out from confusion.
#writing

About the tweets, Barbara
says:
“I realized I had years of experience in
writing, editing, and agenting and could help new and experienced authors learn
more about their craft and the Christian book publishing industry in general.
I’ve gotten into a rhythm and post five or six nuggets of knowledge every day
of the week. I also include encouraging quotes or Scripture, usually for my 6
a.m. post. Writers seem to enjoy and look forward to learning in a shorter
format. I’ve almost decided to give up my blog because I’m more effective with
the format on Facebook. I also have a Twitter following because my Facebook
page posts connect to that site. It’s been fun receiving comments and answering
questions. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I’ll do research and find
out the answer for my readers.”

@BarbaraScott01: Your main characters should be
complex and four-dimensional (physical, psychological, emotional, and
spiritual). #writing
On the role she
feels she is meant to play in the writing journey, Barbara says:
“My gift as an editor is to
encourage authors and edit their manuscripts so their voices are strong and
their prose sings. They should be able to accept all of my changes, read
through their manuscripts, and not be able to tell what I’ve done. Edits should
blend seamlessly into an author’s work.”
@BarbaraScott01:  Don’t overplay your description. Use bits of action, dialogue, and the five senses to show a character’s reaction to pressure. #writing

On
her blog, Barbara states:
This becomes a two-way conversation when you post a comment. Often I jump
back on the blog during the day and will answer your questions or respond to
your comments. I have both published and unpublished authors who read this
blog, and we’d love to hear from you so that we can learn from your experience.
Let’s talk!”
If you’d like to keep up with Barbara, here’s how you can
find her on the net:
Twitter: @BarbaraScott01
Her Blog
# # #

For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles and,
while writing in every spare moment, worked as a personal assistant and
publicist to some of daytime television’s hottest stars. Since then she
has published 17 novels, including the popular Another Emma Rae Creation series that started with Always the Baker, Never the Bride.

The final book in the Emma Rae series hits bookstores this spring with Always the Baker, FINALLY the Bride, now available for pre-order at Amazon.