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Behind The Words

A journal by Barbara Wood

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The Benefits Of Research

by Barbara Wood last modified Aug 29, 2016 04:08

Doing research is one of the stages of writing a novel that I particularly love. Research gives me ideas, inspiration, guides my characters and points my plot it in the right direction. I do all my research myself, I never have help. In writing my current novel about a German wine making family in California, I have naturally had to do research on wines. While I am a wine drinker, I am no expert. I buy my wine in jugs at the supermarket. So naturally I had to familiarize myself with all the different varieties, how they are grown, processed, etc. In so doing, I have tasted many lovely wines over the past months. Last night for example, I treated myself to a particularly delightful Gew├╝rtztraminer.

Needless to say, I have been very happy while doing this research

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Plan B

by Barbara Wood last modified Aug 24, 2016 08:53

I was fascinated with Roman and Egyptian history as a girl, so much so that I wanted to be an archeologist. This passion to unearth treasures did influence several of my books. Star of Babylon, The Blessing Stone, Sacred Ground, The Prophetess, The Watch Gods Hounds & Jackals, The Magdalene Scrolls.  I never became an archeologist, but I get to write about it :)

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A Writer's Sense Of Humor

by Barbara Wood last modified Aug 10, 2016 14:12

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Past Leads To The Present

by Barbara Wood last modified Aug 02, 2016 13:05

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This quote could easily apply to so many of the female characters I create. They usually have a past they are trying to escape or overcome or a secret that is consuming them. Inevitably a bright future is where they are heading (although it usually takes them about 400 pages to get there) - writer's prerogative.

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Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas From?

by Barbara Wood last modified Jul 30, 2016 07:46

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Authors And The Feline

by Barbara Wood last modified Jul 27, 2016 14:39

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Most of my author friends own cats (or are owned by them). I wonder why this is, as I too live with a wonderful kitty named Bucky. She loves to sit on my desk while I work, and when I step away, Bucky likes to walk on my keyboard - bless her! But what is the special affinity between writer and feline?

I recently learned, for instance, that the great French novelist Alexandre Dumas was a rescuer of stray cats. Not only was his home filled with them, but he formed a group in the 1880's called the Feline Defense League (sort of an early SPCA), and other famous writers - Baudelaire and Guy de Maupassant to name just two - were also founding members. Another famous French writer, Colette, was fond of cats and was known to have said, "There are no ordinary cats."

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Summer Reading

by Barbara Wood last modified Jul 21, 2016 12:38

(image of a dad in a tiny pool

The right book can make any pool time experience a great one!

Hope you've found your perfect Summer book.






(Artist: Amos Sewell)

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Land Of The Afternoon Sun - Audible

by Barbara Wood last modified Jul 18, 2016 10:00

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For Readers who like to listen: Land of the Afternoon Sun is now avaialble at Audible.com

Narrated by Mia Gaskin.  Here's a little bit about the narrator.

Originally from Southern California, Mia began acting at age 5 on the sidewalk in front of her house, performing her heart out with the kids on the block for anyone that was willing to watch. Her passion for performing continued into her adult life, and she went on to earn a degree in Theatre from UCSD and later continued her professional training at South Coast Repertory. She spent the next several years performing semi-professionally and professionally on stage as well as in independent films. While living in Los Angeles, Mia discovered she had another calling: voice-over. She began recording radio spots and discovered that she LOVED being behind the mic! From there she began recording audiobooks and has narrated over 40 audiobooks in the past 2 years. Currently, Mia is collaborating on a new musical project with her husband as well as building a state of the art recording studio in her home. She lives in Southern Oregon.

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Today Is The Day!!

by Barbara Wood last modified Jul 12, 2016 09:14

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Today is the official publication date of my latest book, Land Of The Afternoon Sun.

During book events and in my past blogs, I have likenend each of my books to a precious child.  I don't have favorites and each one is special.  And so the pub date of a new one, is like a birth.  So, today I'm announcing that I'm the proud parent of my latest little one! 



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A Row Of Houses

by Barbara Wood last modified Jul 12, 2016 14:57

<p>Many of you know my assistant, Sharon, who is also a very dear and close friend. Sharon recently went to England to visit family and came back with lots of photos. One of them was of a residential section in the town where her family lives, and I was astounded at how much it looked like the small town where I was born in northern England. I could have grown up in a neighborhood just like the one near to where Sharon's family lives, if my father hadn't brought us all to America . . .</p>

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You're On Your Way

by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 21, 2016 12:30

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go."

From "Oh the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

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by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 17, 2016 11:50

I'm often asked where do I get my inspiration from for my novels. I don't have a simple answer to this question. Sometimes it's a conversation with a friend, or an article I've read, or an ancient story, a vacation, an old photograph, a piece of art, or it can be a dream.

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by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 14, 2016 02:59

Don't frown. You never know who is falling in love with your smile

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An Encouraging Word

by Barbara Wood last modified Jun 05, 2016 08:18

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It’s June and schools everywhere are holding graduation ceremonies. A time for expressing gratitude to those who taught us and inspired us so well – the teachers! I look back and recall Mrs. Jeffries in particular, who was one of my 8th grade teachers. I remember a writing assignment – the subject was to be of our choosing but the purpose of the essay was to write it in such a way as to enthuse others on the subject. I chose to write about Pharaoh Akhenaton and his wife Queen Nefertiti who, to this day remain mysterious, controversial figures in history. Were they truly humankind’s first monotheists?

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Happy Memorial Day

by Barbara Wood last modified May 30, 2016 06:53

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What IS She Reading?

by Barbara Wood last modified May 29, 2016 18:21

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Do you suppose she's reading Land of the Afternoon Sun?





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Advice From An Author :)

by Barbara Wood last modified May 24, 2016 12:48

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Facing My Fears

by Barbara Wood last modified May 19, 2016 06:56

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I was told I needed to have an MRI. This was not joyous news as I am a dedicated claustrophobe and do not relish being squished in a dark coffin-like tube for nearly an hour with loud banging deafening me. I hemmed and hawed. I tried to find excuses. And then my kindly doctor who vaguely resembles George Clooney which is all the medical credentials I need, informed me of the new “open” MRI machines. They are designed for children and the claustrophobic. I was still wary, but the procedure had to be done.
On the front entrance of the imaging center, before you even open the door, there is a sign that says, “Please inform personnel if you are claustrophobic.” This did not encourage me. At the sign-in window, there is a sign that says, “Please let us know if you are claustrophobic.” My false courage started to leave me.
Being taken into the Inner Sanctum, I saw more signs about claustrophobia. Now I really started to feel the walls closing in. “Are you wearing any metal?” the technician asked me. “Do you have any metal inside your body? Any bullets or other shrapnel?” Shrapnel???? Hey, I look like a soccer mom. “Have you ever worked as a welder?” Welder????? “Do you have any foreign objects in your eyes?” Was this a joke? I started to look for the hidden TV camera.

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Research, Limousines and Wine!

by Barbara Wood last modified May 15, 2016 14:13

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I am often asked if I have other people do research for me, and I always say Not at all!  I love doing my own research, it’s half the fun of writing a novel.  At the moment, my research is especially fun as my newest book (“The Far River”) is about wine making in California – specifically Spanish and Germans wines (Tempranilla, Garnacha, Cava, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir).  Naturally, this requires a thorough understanding and knowledge of wines, and as it just so happens I live very close to Southern California’s wine growing region, I am obligated to pay visits to the lovely wineries in Temecula and Escondido.  (It’s hard work but someone has to do it!)  Fortunately, there are these wonderful services offered by local companies where you can hire a limousine and a sober driver and be taken from winery to winery and you can enjoy all the tasting you want and have a nice snooze on the way home.
     I’m thinking of writing my next book about a cheesecake restaurant.

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Happy Mother's Day!

by Barbara Wood last modified May 08, 2016 05:45

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Happy Mother's Day

to Moms around the World!







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No Time Like The Present


The Far River


Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Nov 27, 2017

My Next Book - The Far River

Nov 20, 2017

Audio Book - Woman Of A Thousand Secrets

Jul 18, 2017

Audio book: The Serpent & the Staff

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Copyright © 2007 by Barbara Wood. All rights reserved.