Real Life Has Been My Inspiration — Barbara Delinsky

‘People don’t cry because they’re weak. They cry because they’ve been strong for too long.’
― Barbara DelinskyBefore and Again

Barbara Delinsky is one of the most successful American authors with 22 New York Times bestselling titles. Her titles include Twilight Whispers, Commitments, A Woman Betrayed, The Secret Between Us, While My Sister Sleeps and many others. They are character driven studies of marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, and friendship. Her novel Twilight Whispers won the Rita Award for Best novel in 1988. Before and Again is her latest novel, which got published in June 2018.

Barbara Delinsky – The Writing Journey:

She is an accidental writer who began writing when she happened to see an article in Boston Globe about women who wrote category romance. ‘I was looking for another job and the article made it sound doable while raising a family with three young kids,’ she says. Surprisingly, she had never read category romance, but she went out and bought a bunch1 ‘I read them, then sat down to write my own. I was lucky. I got the right manuscript to the right publisher at the right time. And it sold!’ she adds.

The Writing Inspiration:

‘Real life has been my inspiration. I have training in Psychology and people fascinate me,’ she says. Barbara is a great listener. She finds her inspiration even in newspapers and news. And in friendly conversations with her friends where they share the issues in their lives. ‘My books are never any single person’s story, but an amalgam of many stories. The issues at the heart of my books are current and real,’ she says.

The Need to Write Under A Pseudonym:

Barbara Delinsky had written under the pseudonyms of Bonnie Drake and Billie Douglass. Why? I asked. She says, ‘When I first started writing, my husband was in a prominent public position in Massachusetts.  I wasn’t sure how using my real name might affect that.  Moreover, I was writing genre fiction, where authors’ names generally had a more generic sound.  So I stuck with my own initials and wrote under Bonne Drake for one publishing house and Billie Douglass for another.’

When she began writing for a third house, Barbara Delinsky, her original, legal name, became her go-to. ‘That’s when my star began to rise,’ she says. Interestingly, in time, those original two houses reissued her pseudonymous books under Barbara Delinsky as well.

The Writing Process & Routine:

Early mornings works best for Barbara’s creativity as at that time she can write peacefully, without any interruptions. When it comes to writing pattern, she is both plotter and panster. ‘I do work from a plan.  It isn’t an outline, per se, rather an 8-10 page description of the story, the characters’ issues, the setting, the emotional arc.  In that sense I’m a plotter.  But — and this is a big BUT — in the course of the writing the characters and story take over, at which point things happen that I didn’t plan at the start.  Here I become a pantser.  Spontaneity is good stuff!’ She shares.

What’s Next?

Barbara is currently working on a book tentatively titled What I Remember – a story of a woman and her family; a traumatic event that family members remember differently, and a resolution that works for them all.  ‘My story asks a question – “If your most basic childhood memory proves wrong, has your whole life been a lie?’

Pearls of Wisdom:

‘Read, read, read.  Pick the kind of book you want to write and read every example of it you can,’ she suggests. ‘It’s better to read currently published books to understand the mood of the market.  That way you know what publishers are buying now.’ She adds.

Author(s): Barbara Delinsky
Publisher: Sphere
Release: June 2018
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary
Buy this book from Amazon – Please buy this book via affiliate links and show us some love!

If you are an author, share about you and your book(s) in Author’s corner and do take a look at our unique community approach to Book Marketing.


Tarang Sinha is a freelance writer & author of 'We Will Meet Again'. Her works have been published in magazines like Good Housekeeping India, Child India, New Woman, Woman's Era, Alive, and a best-selling anthology @ Uff Ye Emotions 2.

Leave a Reply