Name Barbara Chioffi
Where are you from Originally, North Carolina, then we moved to my father’s hometown in Alabama. In 1968, I came to Virginia and have lived here since that time.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was educated at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama with a major in Music Education and a minor in Voice. I taught public school music for 38 years, retiring in 2001 due to health concerns.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve just released Halloween Trickery, a group of three horror tales and it seems to be doing well. 😀
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written all my life, mostly journal entries and family stories. Last fall, I made the acquaintance of an author who has become my very dear friend, my sister of the heart. Julie Nicholls encouraged me to begin writing, helped me every step of the way, formatted my first story, and made the cover. I had such fun that I wrote a second story and that was published in March of this year.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write for the public but didn’t have the confidence until I met Julie. Improving my writing has become foremost on my ‘bucket list’. J
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Reading Paranormal. Romance stories for years and thoroughly enjoying the genre resulted in wanting to write my own stories. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, able to ‘see’ what I wrote, so putting my ideas on paper was easy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not aware of one if I do. I write from my imagination, then play with the words until it feels right.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I very much like the title of my first story, Angel Mine. It just popped in my head. The second one is good, Lycan Love, but I wish I had taken a little more time. I have thought of a better title, and from now on, I’ll wait until I actually love it.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not that I can think of. I do like romance with a happy ending and a strong male character who cherishes and protects his mate.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The first one is a Contemporary Romance that could happen. The second one involves a shifter but with many occurrences that could be true to life.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes, my latest does include actual events in my life, describing my family discovering my musical talent, and later, that I had inherited my father’s singing ability.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’ve always loved fantasy, and when older, paranormal romance. I did, however, love To Kill A Mockingbird. A mentor… my sisters have always encouraged me and most recently, Julie Nicholls, mentor and friend.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Ascension Within by Julie Nicholls.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Julie Nicholls, Scott Borgman, Markie Madden, Lisa Klass, Jen Winters, Mistral Dawn. These and so many more I’ve met online in author groups and forums.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’ve started a series of shifter stories, the first will be Dark Lycan. I’m also working on a story for an anthology to be released next year.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Encouragement from writing classes as part of my teaching career. I think that is actually what began my interest in writing for publication.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It could be, I haven’t thought that far. Right now, I’m enjoyed the thrill of putting words on paper.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’m basically an introvert, so writing was a way to express myself when I couldn’t do it out loud.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is from my recent release, Halloween Trickery.
As we ascended in the elevator, I leaned close. She reciprocated and the heat from her gaze left me with no doubt that she would respond to my advances. Her head tilted upward as her lips approached mine and I was awash in her taste and her touch. Momentarily unaware of my objective, I gave into the kiss, experiencing a falling sensation that almost took me over. Regaining my composure, I smiled as the elevator door opened. Almost forgetting I was in charge had temporarily taken me off course, but now, my goal was in sight.
Turning the lock and ushering Morgana in brought all my senses to the fore. She was ripe for the plucking, and I only had to go through the preliminaries to put her totally at ease, making my possession all the sweeter. I took her coat, noticing the softness of the fabric and her scent that emanated from it. My hand brushed her hair, and only holding myself in total control prevented me from taking her at that moment. She sat on the sofa and excusing myself, I sauntered to the kitchen, assured of my upcoming success. Looking at her while gathering the wine bottle and glasses, I could see her exquisite profile as she glanced around my apartment.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I tend to make abrupt changes, something that I’m working on diligently, and sometimes, I lose focus, finding it difficult to put words to paper.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Karen Marie Moning… her ability to pull you into the book and keep you there, her character development, her descriptions of movement… fighting, running, etc. I have found myself unable to put her books down, reading far into the night.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, I am physically unable to travel, so I do research and take virtual tours.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Julie Nicholls has done all three of my covers, as well as teasers and banners. She is extremely talented as an artist as well as an author.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Staying on course. I found myself taking the story off into a tangent that wouldn’t’ fit with what I had envisioned. I finally made outlines which I hate to do, so that I would keep the storyline moving forward. I have ADHD, and my mind wanders at will. J
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I think I’ve improved since my first book, something that happens the more you write. You begin to recognize what works, what doesn’t, and the pitfalls to avoid. Reading others’ works helps also, because you learn to recognize quality.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write, and write. The more you do, the better you will become… and read, read, read as much as you can.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just that I hope you enjoy what I have written, and that, in some way, I have given you an escape from everyday life, if only for a little while.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. My mother told me my first word was ‘book’, and I would walk around wanting someone to read to me. They were all relieved when I began to read for myself. One book that stands out is Beautiful Joe, written from the perspective of a dog. I have been an animal lover ever since.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a healthy sense of humor, usually finding it in almost everything. Puns bring big smiles. Cruelty of any kind makes me cry, especially if I see it. I almost lost my teaching position because I pushed a kid who had just stepped on a turtle, crushing its shell. Luckily, the student apologized and asked the principal to forgive him. He had been a problem, but after that, would come to my room and talk. So, something good came from the situation.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt. She was such an intelligent, strong woman, qualities I’ve always admired.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Oh my goodness. I’ve never thought of that… mmm… Here lies a lover of animals, of nature, of music, and of words. Perhaps because those are the things that bring a smile to my heart.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Cross stitch, puzzles, coloring… yes coloring…lol. I use those to relieve stress. I tend to keep everything to myself and rarely get upset, so those things help to keep me grounded.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Crime shows… CSI, Bones, etc… historical fiction… fantasy, lots of fantasy. Years ago, I loved horror, but not so much now… too gory, but give me a good werewolf movie and I’m glued to the screen.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chocolate, lots of chocolate, Burnt Orange, but when it comes to music, anything goes. It depends on my mood as to what I happen to have for the day… hard rock, Celtic, classical, opera, etc. Having sung opera for years, however, I find that to be the one genre that makes my heart soar.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Been a famous singer. However, I did act in local theatre, perform in area night clubs, and sing solos in church. I didn’t have the drive it took to be famous, although I was always told that I had the talent.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? reveriesfrombarb.blogspot.com
My facebook page is
Thank you for interviewing me today, Fiona.