Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Short Story Spectacular! Season 1, Episode 1 - BARBARA PHINNEY

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 1 of my Saturday Short Story Spectacular! 

What better way to begin the summer than with a summer photo of our very first author guest! Doesn't that picture just make you want to drop what you're doing and head for the beach? (With your eReader loaded with stories, of course!) In my section of Canada today, Hurricane Arthur is on the rampage with rain and wind, it's lovely to see such a sunny picture.

My first guest is a very good friend of mine, Barbara Phinney who writes not only full length novels for publishing houses like  Harlequin's Love Inspired, but she also writes short stories and novellas as a full-fledged Indie author.

Without further ado, let's meet this wonderful straw hatted lady who is making us all want to hang out with her there—

Barbara's writing career goes back to when she retired from the Canadian Armed Forces. That's when she decided to take up writing. She writes, "Romantic suspense was as far from my previous career as possible, so I chose that one."

 Though her two children have flown their New Brunswick coop, Barbara spends her days either writing or with her semi-retired husband.

Now, time for a few questions. Barbara, what is your all-time favorite short story and why?

This is a hard question! I think it would have to be Soaked in Seaweed or Upset in the Ocean by Stephen Leacock. I think the story (It’s one story, btw, the title is Soaked in Seaweed or Upset in the Ocean, drew me because it was funny and I understood the ending, whereas other kids in the class didn’t get it. I was a silly, fun story and I loved reading Stephen Leacock.

What, in your opinion, is the most difficult part of writing short fiction? 

You need to make your motivations believeable in a short time. No space for deep explanations and we all know that people are complicated.

What piece of advice would you give to a prospective short story writer?

Oh, that would be keep writing and keep reading. Tear your favourite authors’ works apart and see what works in them. Above all, never give up.

Which of your short stories should we read first and why?

I think Cape of Secrets. It’s a long novella, but it starts a series that will include shorter ones, and gives the full flavour of my Bay of Fundy mysteries.

Here's where you can find Cape of Secrets: 


Here's where you can find Barbara.

My note: I just finished reading Cape of Secrets, where Barbara Phinney writes as Georgina Lee, and if you like suspense, romance and a very intriguing plot that spans continents, you will enjoy it!

Thank you, Barbara!


  1. All good, sound advice, Barb. Writing a short story can be a challenge. Good luck with future "shorts" and life on the beach!

  2. OK. Now I'm envious, sitting here in 200 degree Sacramento heat. I think I'll go buy a good book! Liked the comment about motivation. I don't consider it as much as I ought to.

  3. Hi Barbara! Thanks for sharing the great advice with us. I'm curious, which do you find more challenging short stories or novel-length fiction?

  4. Thank you for your comments, Gail, Teresa and VJ. I'm so glad this went on, even in my absence. I have been without power for the past two days, thanks to Arthur - that's Hurricane Arthur who wreaked havoc in my city! But all is well now, and we are all cleaning up.

    1. Here I thought you were having beautiful days on beach and boat. Then I read about Arthur. Glad it's over. Were you on a boat at the time? Also, wanted to say regarding my comment to Barbara regarding motivation. I can see that it's really important in mysteries. I don't write many so that may be why I hadn't thought about it. Always good to look at things from a different perspective.

    2. Hi Teresa, No, we weren't on the boat during Arthur, and looking at videos of those boats pitching and rocking and yawing, I'm glad we weren't! 

  5. I love this post although I'm late in viewing it. For sure Barbara is motivated and a great writer. Linda has a wonderful blog that I read when I have the time. I'll look into Amazon soon to buy a copy. Keep writing!