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Interview with Renata F. Barcelos

Hello, Renata – please tell us a little about yourself …

I live in Brazil with my beautiful and creative teenager daughter.

I watch way too much TV and read perhaps too many (almost exclusively) mystery contemporary fiction. I think I’m a frustrated detective, so I try to use my detective skills reading, watching and, finally, writing.

I teach English and Spanish as Second Languages and write a lot, all the time. I write for as long as I can remember, and I’m currently working on a coming of age mystery novel.

I had stories published in some magazines in Portuguese, and one novelette in English on Amazon.

What inspired you to write?

Actually, I find it weird how some people don’t write. It has been something absolutely natural to me, all my life, since I’ve learned how to write.
There are so many stories and characters inside of me, I just have to put them out…

How many books have you written?

I have at least three books and a lot of short stories written in Portuguese that I plan to translate someday. In English I have one novelette recently published on Amazon, and I’m working on a novel.

Briefly, give us the lowdown on what they’re about, including genre and

All my stories have some mystery, and talk about dark, twisted and damaged characters. I crave for literary fiction, trying to put some depth into their actions motives, and thoughts. Their lives have been crushed somehow at some point, and that’s why they do what they do.

My published novelette is called Mean: a psychological thriller novelette. It follows Cassandra Connelly’s therapy sessions. She believes she is mean inside and there’s a person she hates so much she is convinced he or she deserves to die. She is thinking about killing said person, so seeks help on therapy—would the therapy help her decide not to kill somebody or push her to do exactly that?

Where can we find your book/s?

On Amazon:


What or who is the driving force behind your creativity?

Oh, I wish I knew.

Well, on second thought, since my stories are so dark and twisted, it’s probably better not to know…

What was your first reading experience that ignited your imagination?

When I learned how to read, I discovered a new world and could never stop reading and writing again. I remember especially my first Ruth Rendell novel.

What’s your favourite meal?

Well, I love eating. I’m a vegetarian so, apart from meat, I eat everything—especially junk food, like pizza, lasagna, French Fries, eggs… Hummmm, now I’m hungry!

How do you feel about e-publishing compared to traditional publishing?

I’m a happy kindle owner for more than a year now and I simply love e-books. They are easy and fast to get. However, I know that a lot of people still prefer traditional publishing. I don’t understand the rivalry, actually… I believe the two options can walk side by side, which would be better for readers and writers.

What’s your favourite movie?

I love old movies, and I absolutely adore …Gone with the Wind. I’ve seen this movie more than thirty times.

What’s your all-time favourite read?

This is difficult… I think I’d say The Killing Doll, by Ruth Rendell. I read it when I was 13, and it hooked me to this gender for life.

Who is your favourite author?

Another difficult question… I love British novelists, lots of them.

Cannot pick only one. Ruth Rendell, Camilla Way, Amanda Coe, Yvvette Edwards, Louisa Reid are some of them. Outside UK I love Linwood Barclay, Michael Connelly, Jussi Adler Olsen, Chevy Stevens and Gillian Flynn.

What other interests do you have besides writing?

I watch way too much TV and read a lot.

Do you draw from personal experience when writing, such as situations and

Oh, yeah! My mind is always thinking of scenes for my books.

Are the characters in your books based on real-world people (you don’t need
to name names!)?

Some are. As for situations and settings, your real life inspires your writing. Of course they are completely transformed when I write—it’s only an inspiration.

How many books have you read in your life so far?

No idea. I read since six or seven incessantly, so, there’s no way to know for sure… This year I’ve read 57 books so far.

If you could morph into any animal, what would it be, and why?

A cat, for sure! They are so free, don’t care about people, and their owners still do anything to please them…

Have you attended any writing classes or workshops? If so, which ones?

I did. I attended poetry, and literature (for writers) classes in my hometown. In one of them we even had a soirée in a theater. It was almost a play, and I remember interpreting Baudelaire and Lewis Carroll. I’ve never forgot Jabberwocky after that!

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to almost anything, but I love folk music. Cass Elliot (Mama Cass) is the best singer ever, and I’m normally listening to one of her songs, and referring to her in my books…

What’s your overall impression of self-publishing?

It’s not as easy as I thought, that’s for sure. You have total control over your product, which is great, because you can choose the title, the cover, the release date, etc… but it’s also bad, because you have all the responsibility too—for editing, marketing, etc. It can be overwhelming and expensive sometimes, so you’d better be prepared for the journey.

Where’s your favourite place in the world, and why?

My house. I love to stay in with my daughter, reading, watching TV or writing.

Technophobe or technophile?

Technophile, but I have a lot to learn…

How do you handle feedback from readers, both negative and positive?

I love to hear from readers, even if it’s a negative feedback—okay, I know it sounds political, but I swear it’s true. I even became friends with one person that wrote a not so good review for my book!

If you could sit down with any author and have a chat, who would it be, and

Right now I’d say Ivvette Edwards. Her debut, “A cupboard full of coats” is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and it inspired me a lot. I’d love to talk to her about writing, creative process, characters…

World peace or a piece of the world?

Such a clichéd, but I’ll never stop hoping for world peace…

Do you use social networking such as Facebook and/or Twitter, and if so, how do you find it and can we have your details?

Oh I try! I have a FB page ( and recently joined twitter (@RenataFBarcelos).

I’m still new to this world, but I’m learning, and having some fun too!

How do you market yourself and your book/s?

As I said, it can be overwhelming how much marketing you need to do. I’m still learning here and there, but I try a bit of everything. I’ve used three of my free days on Amazon for exposure, am trying to use my twitter and FB to get more readers and more reviews, and announce my book in any place I can.

If you owned your own planet and the laws of physics didn’t apply, how would you have it?

I’d love if we never had to commute. Imagine going from one point to another just by clapping your hands? No pollution, no traffic…

If you could sum yourself up in one word, what would it be?


If others could sum you up in one word, what would that be?

Crazy? Weird? Different? Oh my, I hope nothing worse…!

What does the future hold for you and your writing?

I can only hope for one thing: success!

Lennon or McCartney or neither, and why?

Both, together with George and Ringo! I love Beatles… If I absolutely had to choose only one, I’d say Paul, just to be as far as possible from Yoko…

Who is your hero and why?

Spider Man! Seriously, the guy is so young, works so much, carries the guilt from his Uncle’s death, is always being spanked and losing his girlfriends and still tries to save the world every day!!

Okay, I have to admit—I’m a bit of a geek…

If you were stranded on a desert island, and needed to burn books for
kindling in order to survive, which of these would go into the flames
first – The Bible, Catcher in the Rye, the Complete Shakespeare or War and Peace?

Man, what an impossible choice! I’d rather die than burn the Bible, since I’m a Catholic and want to go to Heaven… I really like Catcher in the Rye… Shakespeare has some good stuff I’d like to read one day… So I’d say War and Peace.

In fact, it makes sense… It’s a huge book; the fire would last for days!

Thank you, Renata, for your your Interview responses!
Please support our Indie Authors by checking out her work.