Friday, March 23, 2012

Please welcome Author Barbara Ann Derksen

Watching the expressions on the faces of her readers as well as answering questions about her characters is what drives author and speaker, Barbara Ann Derksen to write yet another book and another. Her favorite genre is murder mystery but each book brings forth characters who rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life. Her readers also have a tremendous amount of input when they wonder what happened to this character or that one, even if they are secondary to the story.

Barbara’s devotionals are sought after each year when she publishes a new one that reflects what God has placed on her heart. From Straight Pipes, her first, to Chaps, the latest, Barbara’s devotions take people to the place where God can touch their heart and leave a lasting impression.

Born in Canada, Barbara lived in the US for 12 years. There her writing surfaced and her readership expanded but now the Canadian public has discovered the gift that God has given yet another Canadian.

She is a member of The Word Guild, Manitoba Writer’s Guild, The Writer’s Collective, and Christian Motorcyclists Association where each summer her books are used to entertain and encourage..

Barbara has spoken across the US for women’s groups on topics such as The Writing Experience, working in the ministry of Christian Motorcyclists Association, Love, Parenting, Time Management, and a host of others.

With 12 books to her credit, each one surpasses the last, according to her readers. Her first book, Mind Trap, was chosen by Iowa Business and Professional Women as their selection for 2005. Dance With A Broom is a household management guide with time management principles, and she has produced several children’s stories. Trumpeter Swan Adventures is narrated on CDs with books included,  Shih-Tzu Puppy Adventures is a six chapter book and Scruffles Finds a Home is a fascinating children’s Christmas story in book form.

Her book Second to None contains first person accounts of the Korean combat experience of veterans from the SECOND INFANTRY DIVISION of the Army. Straight Pipes a devotional for Bikers, was released in 2007, with a sequel, Two-Up, Riding with the Lord produced in 2008. The third in the series, Chrome, Shining Faith was released in 2009 and Chaps, Devotions About God’s Armor was released in 2011.

Barbara Ann released the first of a mystery series in 2009. Vanished readers waited patiently for Presumed Dead, released in 2010 and Fear Not in 2011. The forth in the series will be completed in 2012.

How/why did you start to write?

About 25 years ago, my husband purchased a radio shack
computer. It sat in our dining room, taking up space (My husband and my kids used it but not me) until one sleepless night, I sat down to see if I still had some typing skills. I wrote a story and then had a friend read it. It brought tears to her eyes and I realized something had changed. In high school my writing was all one dimensional and I almost didn't pass English.

How did you become an author?

In 2002, after living in the US for 6 years and working for
a newspaper as a journalist for 5 of those years, I decided to put the short stories I had written into a novel.  I loved to read mystery so I wrote a mystery.

What was your first published piece?

In 2003, after working hard to make sure the story was
complete, I sent the book to Authorhouse. They published it and designed the cover. Mind Trap is the story of a Christian woman who, in a fit of rage, murders a complete stranger. It's not a who-done-it but why would she do such a thing.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

For 28 years I was a stay-at-home mom. In 1996 when we moved
to the US, my youngest (of four children) was in tenth grade. I decided to see what I would do now that I had "grown up". Writing seemed to be where the Lord wanted me so I began to free-lance for a couple of newspapers before I took on a full-time position with one. I learned a lot from some very gifted editors.

What inspires you?

I have an inherited love for people and a clear picture in
my head of what Hell is like. I don't want anyone who crosses my path to go there so my writing points people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The freedom I have experienced as I've lived a faith-based life is something I want for everyone I meet. As a Christian, I write from the world view and do so even as a journalist.

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques

Marketing takes up far more time that I care to admit but
it's become a necessary part of being a writer. The US, I've found, is far more supportive of people in the creative arts than is Canada although, I've only spent a couple of years at it on this side of the border. When I became a writer, I read a lot of books on marketing and found that getting my name known was the biggest hurdle. I sent press releases to television and radio stations after I booked book signings at Barnes and Nobles, and Borders. Then I phoned the person in charge to set a date for that interview. If I had left it up to them calling me.I'd never have done any of the TV or radio
spots. It requires perseverance and dedication to keep your name in front of the public and doing lots of signings, as well as full book tours. In Canada, I've found that if you don't already have a name, the newspapers, TV and radio are not interested. So my press releases go primarily unread. So now, I'm concentrating on social media.

Parting words

Writing, whether a person is traditionally published or
self-published, is a hard job. If I did not believe that this was what God wanted for me, I'd probably ignore the wee small voices that roam around in my head coercing me to tell their story. People who read my work love the way I write and can't wait for another in the series and my reader base is increasing but, maybe not quick enough for me to ever become a New York Times Best Seller. That's Okay, I think. Right now my readership continues
to be in the US but I hope to build that base here in Canada some day.
Currently, I am a member of the Word Guild, Manitoba
Writer's Guild, and the Writer's Collective. My books are sold at and the mysteries are at My husband and I travel all summer ministering at motorcycle rallies where I sign my books and he sings his music, all to encourage the people we meet. You can meet me on Facebook at
or on Twitter at!/prolificwriters

Vanished! That’s what Andrea Wilton and Brian Strait discover when they come to visit their best friends one evening. Where could they be and does God answer prayers, two questions they find the answers to as they journey to another world of voodoo, murder, and more missing people. Andrea and Brian also discover each other as they learn to scuba, fight a common enemy, and search for the proverbial needle in a haystack.


Anonymous said...

What a fun and interesting interview - thank you!

Author Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your comment, Laurie. And, yes, I agree, Barbara did a fine job.