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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Leslie K. Barry

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? My stories have either never been untold, or told by people who have taken life out of context. The characters I write about in historical fiction novels are authentic with heroic lives. They’re based on real people, often developed through genealogy platforms such as ancestry. Because they are real people, I give them voice and make them all narrators. Through different voices, the reader gains perspective from all sides, creeping empathy into uncomfortable places. They are often anti-heroes who have their side of the story. And I want traders to appreciate different perspectives. My novels explore the convulsive collision of history and romance that allow readers take a chilling look at devastating events that were occurring in history.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? The more you understand your character and their motivations, the easier it is to develop their path through life. When I am stuck, I go to personality systems to understand the actions my characters will take. Also, because I am very visual, I create storyboards so I can see what’s happening and puzzle out the world.

What is your favorite time to write? My favorite time to write is at night when everyone and everything is shut down. It’s the time I can focus and see the best.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Stay committed to your vision but along the way, listen to those giving you feedback about your story who do not understand the characters or the plot. This is your problem to help them understand.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? In today’s age, writers can be detectives. Through technology and communication, it’s easy to discover so many untold stories and uncelebrated heroes and tell their stories. And then it’s easy to reach the people who will appreciate the stories.

Leslie K. Barry’s Newark Minutemen: A True 1930s Legend About One Man’s Mission to Save a Nation’s Soul Without Losing His Own is out now with Morgan James.