According to today’s guests bio on her blog, Barbara J. Hancock’s favorite fairy tale when she was a girl was Beauty and the Beast. (Prince Charming didn’t have enough deep dark secrets.)  All righty then, we know what type of hero Barbara’s going to be writing. The dark and tortured hero. “Werewolves, vampires, fae …”

Considering how she loves the dark paranormals, I was surprised by some of her answers to my questions … 

If you could meet three famous people (or authors) from the past that influenced you as an author, who would they be and what would you always love to ask them?

Jane Austen, Jim Henson, O. Henry. And I’m not sure if I would ask anything. I would love to just sit back and watch them work. The humor, emotion and enthusiasm would have to radiate off them, don’t you think? There are some people who are so gifted that their work is transcendent. It’s beyond a story. It’s pure heart.

Leah: Oooh, Jim Henson, wouldn’t he be a treat to talk to and watch? He’s someone who never would occur to me to add to the list, but he’s on mine now. But none of them really have a dark side, do they? Or do they? Hey, Barbara? Do you think you could write a romantic but tortured puppeteer hero? (I keep flashing on all the fictional and movie puppeteers who lean toward the creepy side.) 

Do you have a favourite book (someone else has written) that you keep as a ‘comfort read’?

Persuasion by Jane Austen is my favourite comfort read. What’s better than an HEA after all hope is lost? Whenever I want to get in touch with the emotion that should be in every romance novel—that want-but-can’t-have ache—I reread Persuasion. (Not to mention the finally-got-what-I’ve-been-aching-for ending!)

Leah: Barbara! Not Jane Eyre with the darkly tortured Rochester? None of Victoria Holt’s dark gothic romances? You’re ruining your image here.   

Do you create or use a play list for your stories? Do you listen to music while writing?

I do have play lists that I listen to before I write to immerse myself in a character or scene. Sometimes the play list comes before the story and sometimes around chapter three or four I’ll realize I’m on the right track when all of a sudden my characters have theme songs. When I wrote HUNGER, a vampire romance, I had the Evanescence CD The Open Door on a constant loop in my head. With “Wilderness”, the werewolf novella that’s included in the Silhouette Nocturne Bites Anthology AWAKENING THE BEAST it was Breaking Benjamin’s So Cold. Right now I’m working on an Urban Fantasy and Breaking Benjamin’s Diary of Jane perfectly captures my kick ass, but vulnerable heroine.

 Do you “cast” your characters using pictures or actors to help inspire you when you’re writing?

Yes! In CAPTURED, my paranormal erotic romance from Loose Id, the hero is a hardened werewolf hunter. The rough & dusty (incredible) Hugh Jackman from the movie Australia was on my mind whenever I thought of Adam Sheppard. (He might have been a cross between Drover Hugh and Van Helsing Hugh, come to think of it!) And the heroine who has just escaped from a government research hospital where’s she’s been subjected to endless cruel tests because she’s the victim of a werewolf bite was definitely Mila Jovavich from Resident Evil. Tough, beautiful and achingly vulnerable…and ready to kick monster ass!

Leah: Can he be wearing Van Helsing’s outfit? Because I loved Hugh in all that kick-ass leather.

If you could go back to meet yourself as you were just getting out of high school, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t sell yourself short! I spent years thinking I couldn’t do this or that based upon where and how I had lived growing up. It would have been a shame if I hadn’t gotten over that way of thinking. Deep down I think I knew there could be more to my life if I would only be braver, smarter, more industrious…whatever. I read everything I could get my hands on. Took college courses just because they sounded interesting. My education? Definitely eclectic. But, for years, I sort of watched life go by without really participating in it because my foundation was shaky. I was insecure as if everyone who looked at me could see my alcoholic father and the trailer park I had lived in as a teen. I finally came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter. We’re all the sum of our parts. That hard-knock background is part of me. As is my love of Jane Austen and vampires. Go figure!

Leah: I needed that advice myself way back when. Heck, I needed it five years ago!

Do you have an all-time favourite romantic movie?

I want to say “One yet to be made with Hugh Jackman and Mila Jovovich”. LOL This is so hard. You have no idea how hard. I have a million favourite romantic movies. And some of them aren’t technically “romances”. I love those scenes between Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest! Who wouldn’t want Hugh Jackman to howl over us like he did over Katherine at the end of Van Helsing? And Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, a boy it isn’t safe to love? Sigh.( Oops, definitely showing my Jackman/Depp preferences there! )Today, I’m going to say my all-time favourite is Bridget Jones’ Diary and I say that because I just watched it for the thousandth time and because you can’t beat that “It’s Raining Men” fight scene with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, that “I like you just the way you are” line and, of course, the “running through the snow in knickers to get your man” scene at the end. Perfection!

Leah: Ooh, Hugh Jackman. Mmm, Johnny Depp. Can we get them in a movie together, do you think?

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do just to kick back and relax?

One word…Netflix…I’ve always been addicted to movies and I finally found a supplier that can almost keep up with my demand. I watch it all. Period dramas. Science Fiction. Romantic comedies. Action/Adventure. And, of course, I also read, but, honestly, reading is kind of like breathing for me. It’s less of a hobby and more of a necessity!

Leah: Aww, I’m so jealous. We don’t get Netflix up here in Canada.

Sweet or Spicy?

In all honesty, I prefer books that are both. My tagline is heat with heart because that’s what I enjoy writing and reading. Even my erotic romance for Loose Id, which is sexually graphic and intense, is also full of emotion with characters who have vulnerability and tenderness. I’ve been told by my editors that it’s unique to blend the two, but I’ve seen authors like Julia Quinn and Johanna Lindsey do it all my life. That’s romance to me. Sizzling yet so tender that it makes you ache.

If you’d like to know more about Barbara or her books, visit her website. Don’t forget to wander over to her group blog Embrace the Shadows as well – they’re having a month-long Masquerade. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

Barbara has graciously offered to give away a copy of her Awakening The Beast to a commenter. (I’ll pull the winner Friday, to give everyone time to get their comments in.)

Awakening Barbara J. Hancock

23 thoughts on “Awakening Barbara J. Hancock

  • October 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Leah & Barbara 🙂
    Thank you for a great interview.
    I think all aspiring writers could use that advice you would've given yourself. I know I took it to heart.
    Thanks for sharing,
    All the best,

  • October 7, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Great interview Leah!

    Although I can definately appreciate Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp, I absolutely ADORE Colin Firth. OMG. The man plays the *best* Mr. Darcy ever. I think I've watched 'Bridget jones' Diary' a hundred times as well. Sigh. Good Stuff. 😀

  • October 7, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Very nice interview! 🙂 I liked the romance between the two leads in Nanny McPhee (Colin Firth) LOL Sometimes it's nice when love sneaks in 🙂

  • October 7, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Thank you for having me on your blog today, Leah. You asked some wonderful questions! As for Jim Henson, I was thinking more of the Labrynth, Dark Crystal Henson. Dark, romantic fantasy. I've loved those movies since I was a teen:>

    And Hugh in leather?? Yes, please. Almost shot my concentration for the day thinking about that at 8am. LOL

    Thanks for stopping by Suzanne and RK:) Colin Firth? Damn straight. Fantastic Darcy. Sigh. And, RK, I'm happy to share. I spent way too many years as quiet as one of Austen's heroines!

  • October 7, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Sandra, we must have been posting at the same time. Thank you for coming by:) Yes on love sneaking in!

  • October 7, 2009 at 4:52 am

    Great Interview Leah.
    Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp..sigh. 🙂
    My new fav is Taylor Kitch,he's so yummy!! 🙂

  • October 7, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Ah, Gambit, not too shabby at all;>

  • October 7, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Hi Leah and Barbara, what a great write up or review. I enjoyed reading it and learning some new things about an author friend. I love to read and never have enough books so it seems. I also love these comment chat rooms as I can get to know who I am enjoying a book by. I hope you have a great day and thanks for letting me join both of you. susan L.

  • October 7, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Barb, such a fun interview. I'm a devotee of Embrace the Shadows, but this really gave us a chance to get to know you better. Would love to win that copy of your new anthology. Sounds terrific!

  • October 7, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Thanks so much for coming by, Susan. We do work to make EtS interesting for our visitors. It helps when we have awesome guests like you;> And thank you too Susan L. I haven't done very many interviews. Leah made it painless with her excellent questions!

  • October 7, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Hey Barbara! Great answers to the questions. I'm with you imaging Hugh in leather…actually, Hugh in anything…

    …um, sorry…lost my train of thought there for a moment…

    Good luck with your latest release and thanks for sharing your story with Leah for all of us to enjoy!


  • October 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Great interview! Am looking forward to reading youe books.

  • October 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Great interview! Big fan of Netflix myself, especially during the winter. The movies coming to me so I don't have to plow through snow is worth any price.

    joderjo402 AT

  • October 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Congrats on the release. What a great interview. Good luck.

    beth @

  • October 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm




  • October 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Congrats on the release! And I'm with you on the Hugh Jackman and Mila Jovavich pairing. Love them both, but I'm a hugh fan of Resident Evil. Also think Kate Beckinsale from Underworld is a rockin' heroine!

  • October 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    That was a great interview! And I to love dark heros! Beauty and the Beast is still one of my all time favorite movies! 🙂

  • October 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Great interview you 2. Fantastic pick for your fav.s Jackman & Depp~ oh man yes. I would have loved to meet Henson too. The muppet animal? the best.
    Congrats on the new release. That is an excelent vid. what a hook!
    Thanks for sharing & offering everyone a chance to win your book. [fingers crossed]

  • October 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I found the interview and the answers very amusing. I chuckled quite a lot.

    So many interviews are sooo dead serious these days. It made a nice difference.

    Johnny Depp rules ! Eeven my husband likes him though that is because he says he is just about the best actor going these days and always seems to pick the best roels, than because of his looks.

    Good luck with the new books.


  • October 8, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp are an unbeatable combination. Good luck with your new releases!!!!!

  • October 8, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I just think Jonny Depp and Hugh Jackman are the Sexyest man out ther right now.Congrats the release of your book looks great.

  • October 8, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you all so much for popping by! I've enjoyed being a guest on Leah's blog:)

Comments are closed.