Say Hello to Barbara DeLeo

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of the CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE ebook giveaway was Cherie Le Clare.  Congratulations, Cherie.

I am joined today on my blog by  recently published  author, Barbara DeLeo.  Barbara's novel CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE was published by Entangled Publishing recently, in their Indulgence imprint.  Her second novel, LAST CHANCE PROPOSAL is coming out in January, 2013, also in Entangled Indulgence.  Barbara answered a few questions for me about her writing journey and process.

Barbara DeLeo

What gave you the inspiration to write CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE?

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Maria. The inspiration for Contract for Marriage came from my fascination with the way people can become attached to a particular place. I tried to imagine a situation where two people could be passionately intent on hanging on to a home but could never live there together. I also wanted to explore the idea that people often use each other for their own ends and how that could play out when they’re deeply attracted to each other.

It's your debut novel, but have you written any novels previously?

I’ve been writing seriously for the past seven years and in that time completed six manuscripts. I’m happy to say that one of those five other manuscripts, Last Chance Proposal will be out this coming January. I’m hoping a couple of the others might be picked up too but the first one I wrote would probably be best used as bedding for our pet rabbit....

Did it take you a long time in your journey to become a published author?

I completed revisions on a number of manuscripts for different editors in thoseseven years but my stories always seemed to be a little out of the box. When my agent suggested we submit my latest manuscript to Entangled Publishing, I was very interested. They’d only just started the Indulgence line and the titles were so fun and fresh that I was more than happy. When my agent called only a couple of weeks later with the offer for Contract for Marriage I was thrilled.

What advice would you give a new author starting out on the road to publication?

Read, read, read and write, write, write. I’m a big believer in learning about things like language and narrative and dialogue and book structure by reading what’s current in your genre. I’ve also come to learn that writing is like exercise, the more you work the muscles, the stronger you become as I writer.

What is your daily writing routine?

When I’m in “adding words mode”, not editing or planning, I aim for about 1200 to 1500 good words a day. I try to sit down at 9am with all my business emails out of the way so I can hit the ground running. I’m quite slow at putting the words on the page but being so careful means I usually don’t have so much editing to do. I work through until 3pm when my four kids come home from school and will have had some breaks in the day for tweeting, facebooking and writing business stuff (and a coffee or three!)

Do you need complete peace and quiet to write, or are you one of those writers who thrives on noise and a busy atmosphere?

I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a mom of four but I just can’t make my brain work when there’s noise. I have author friends who listen to music while they write but not me! You can often find me crouched over my laptop with my bright orange earplugs trying to finish a chapter while all hell breaks loose around me.

I hear you on  that one, Barbara.  I'm a mother of four too and I'm very similar to you in my reaction to noise.  Thanks for coming here today and sharing with us about your work.

Contract for Marriage
Buy from -
Barnes and Noble 

Barbara DeLeo on the web:


                                             Barbara’s Bio

Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.


  1. Fantastic interview! So inspiring :)

    I can't write if it's too loud around me. Sometimes I go to Starbucks and it's louder than my home, and I'm like, "Seriously?" Lol! Xx

  2. I need peace and quiet and the internet to be absent when I write. No distractions, that's the thing....

    On the other hand, Carmen and Barbara, I'm very good at shutting noise out when I have to. My husband says I never hear him when he calls me LOL

  3. I'm another one who can't write with noise. Think we must be in the majority...

    Fabulous interview, ladies. And Barbara, I love that you likened writing to exercise. Such a great way to put it. I will have to remember that. :-)

  4. A noise true! Libby, thanks for stopping by, I'm so happy to see you here!

  5. I love romance! Even though I am 63. It gives me breathing space, hope and conviction that this world is not all that bad a place. I grew up on M and B's and I still read Chick Lit.

    I have a confession to make. I really prefer women authors as they can write about family, children and relationships with more empathy!

    Look forward to reading Barbara DeLeo. Is she on Kindle?

  6. Carmen! So lovely to see you here. You'd think that with four kids who play various instruments, a dog who barks at every shadow, and a husband who likes power tools, I'd be able to write with noise, but no. Earplugs are my friend. I'd love to be able to write in a cafe but we live in a small town and everyone stops by for a chat. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  7. Oh, I like that selective hearing trick, too, Maria! I think it's a wife's/mother's prerogative!

  8. So true, Padmini!

    Women writers speak our language, that's why!

    Yes, the books on Kindle!

  9. So lovely to see you here, Libby. That's so funny that you mentioned the exercise thing. I'm on a new exercise regime. It involves only using your bodyweight and involves lots of squats and push ups etc. ANYWAY, I haven't done exercise for a couple of months and I'm SO sore I can hardly sit down! Same thing happens when I don't write for a week or so. Everything seems to seize up. A little and often seems to be the key on both counts!

  10. Thanks so much for stopping by, Padmini. You've listed the EXACT reasons I love to write romance. I used to be able to read or watch anything but now I really want to have a bit of hope, a bit of light in what I read. I love women writers too, especially the way they can explore the complexities of relationships. Maria has added the buy links at the end of the interview and it is available on Kindle.

  11. I enjoyed this interview, Barbara, and many congratulations on your success re your novels. Having a backlist to draw on for future novels must give you quite a headstart with keeping up a future output.
    So many people (often men) seem to think romances are only about sex; I'm not sure if they believe me when I say it's the relationships which are the main attraction to readers.

  12. Thanks so much, Cherie. I must admit I'm quite happy to have that backlist now. With digital publishing the turnaround has become much quicker and it's nice to be able to keep up with it. For now, anyway!

  13. Cherie, lovely to see you over here. I think we all agree on the fact that relationships are the real attraction in romance novels.

  14. A great interview! I love learning about the writing process of others, but most especially that of mothers. I have 5 children and have really only begun to devote myself to what I've always wanted to do - write. Writing romance offers the perfect antidote to the hassles, stresses and strains of a very active household. Interestingly I too need complete silence for getting the words down on the page; I leave the e-mails, commenting on blogs, etc for the evenings (or brief breaks between writing sprints!) I would love to hear more about your experience with Entangled. I seem to keep hearing about them lately and it looks like they publish novellas too. Best of luck with your novels!
    Edith xxx []

  15. Hi Edith, hope you're doing all right with your writing, especially as I know you're doing NaNoWriMo.

    Thanks for coming over.

  16. Hi Barbara and Maria, I write best in silence. Which usually means the middle of the night when every one is in bed. Today I was home alone for a while which was nice. Looking forward to reading Contract for Marriage. It looks a great story just from the excerpt.

  17. You know, Edith, your reasons for loving writing were exactly why I started. Writing can be many things for different people but for me it was something that was just for me, something challenging and creative and private. You sound very disciplined with leaving your emails and blog comments until evening. I think that's half the battle. Yes, Entangled have published some fabulous novellas! Flirts are at the shorter end of the word count and Ever Afters are longer. You can find out more about the submission guidleines here: I've loved every minute of my time with Entangled.

  18. So lovely to see you here, Fiona! I crave those quiet times too. There seem to be a few of us who do our writing at night.I find that once I get started the words flow even when I think I'm tired. All the best with your writing.

  19. I hear Fiona. Time to yourself is luxurious.

  20. I am no writer just a regular paralegal,but I do know that I work better with music ,but major loud noises like construction drive me nuts and I cannot think at all. Thanks for the interview Maria !

  21. I suppose if it's enjoyable noise, then it's okay! Thanks for coming over, Desere...

  22. Thanks a million for responding Barbara! I have been really curious about Entangled and it's good to hear someone talk about their experiences with them. Best of luck with your books, and yes I plan to read them! xxx
    P.S. I'm not that disciplined...I do take short e-mail / blog hopping breaks in between a chapter or when I go on a coffee break! xxx

  23. Hi Barbara! Hello Maria!

    Lovely interview, ladies. I was nodding at selective hearing and awww Barbara...power tools? You too? My hubby is a builder and when he decides to work at home....

    All the best with CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE! It was a fantastic romance! A Billionaire hero and a strong, fiesty heroine, what more could we ask for?

    And your writing was flawless. Kept us hooked right to the end!

  24. Oh, forgot to say:

    The above comment is from Nas.

  25. Some great advice there, Barbara and Maria!

  26. You sound so like me, Edith! I love to do little rewards of checking emails and blogs. Only if I've hit my word target, though! I've been using the "Freedom" programme which disconnects you from the internet for a nominated period of time. It does stop me cheating {:o/

  27. Lovely to see you here, Desere. There's definitely a difference between good noise and bad noise! The funny thing is that I like to listen to music BEFORE I start writing (I have a playlist for each book and have just made a new one for the book I'm writing now) I find it really gets me in the mood of the story. Some writer friends have said that music without words puts you in a different zone when you're working but I find my mind wandering!

  28. Oh, Nas, thanks SO much for your lovely words. I really appreciate it. Yep, I can't count the times my hubby has started up the lawn mower or the hedge trimmer just as I'm at a key scene. Not quite as distracting as the kids fighting when I'm writing a love scene, but almost!

  29. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kath!

  30. Ahh, Nas. There's a house being rebuilt two doors down from ours. The noise is unbelievable. I have to use my selective hearing facility. There's no option....

  31. Lovely to see you here, Kath. Thanks for coming.

  32. Hi Barb - fabulous interview. I have Contract For Marriage on my kindle at the top of my TBR pile and am so looking forward to it. Congratulations on your first release!

  33. Helen, you're very welcome. I'm looking forward to having you over as the guest author very soon!

  34. Hi Helen, I'm so excited that you have CFM next in your TBR pile! Thanks so much for your congrats and BIG congrats to you on your RT award!


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