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An Interview with Joseph Frank Baraba

Carol: What should we know about you?

Joseph: Hello Carol Ann, it's nice chatting with you today and I would like to thank you for this interview. I was born in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1950's. I remember in the 5th grade I had a English teacher, Mrs. Siegel, she did something amazing with the class, she told us if we brought in .75 cent we could order any book we wanted from a catalog. I thought to myself this is an amazing idea. So I brought in my money and I ordered a book by a writer named Frank Edwards , the title was: " Stranger Than Fiction," I was hooked , in the coming months I ordered more books and this is how I got into reading. I have never forgotten Mrs. Siegel; she had a wonderful idea on how to get children to read. As a teenager I would go to the public library and borrow books, books on plants, biographies, History, anything I could get my hands on.


Carol: What is the current name of your book?

Joseph: Carol Ann, I'm glad you asked that. My latest book is titled: “Dusty," ISBN# 1424120187, it came out in April, 2006.


Carol: Give us a short synopsis of your book.

Joseph: Dusty is about an eight year old boy who finds an abandoned three month kitten and names her Dusty. This is a heart warming story about a kitten and her adventures and the great love a boy has for his cat. This is a book for all children and pet lovers. Oh yes, I'm donating 10% of the proceeds to The Doris Day Animal Foundation, Miss Day is a great advocate for animals and her foundation has done some great work. I'm also creating an Audio CD Book with the help of another PA author named Danny Lee Ingram, he has a fantastic voice, and it should be completed by the end of October. He also did the Audio CD Book for Betty Fasig's “Wooffer."


Carol: What are you other published books?

Joseph: Let's see, my first book published in 2005 by Publish America is titled: “Is Your Father Black?' It's the story of a family in the 1950's Brooklyn , who loses their father through illness and their mother is a widow at 29 with five small children ranging in ages 7 -1, their mother meets a man who is black and they marry , at that time society didn't accept inter-racial marriages , it's a book that's very touching and sad. I do have another book that hasn't been published yet, titled: " Clara Layten: The Chelsea Murders. " it takes place in New York City. The main character is a detective’s aunt who keeps getting her nephew into trouble with his boss, she's a character and she tries to help him solve the Chelsea Murders. I have another book waiting in the wings titled: “Visions of Freedom-Through the Eyes of a Cuban Refugee." This is a book based on truth but the names were changed to protect the innocent. It's the story of one man's great desire to be free from communism in Cuba.


Carol: What is your journey to publication story?

Joseph: We'll Carol Ann as you know and every author knows this, I felt like I was giving birth, joke. That's how I felt, from the time of conceiving an idea to having a publisher look at your book, to be accepted, to the publication. To me the journey has been worth the wait and anxiety, to see your own words in print, the jacket cover the way you dreamed it would be, it's amazing. I always believed anyone who is a writer this is a gift you‘re born with.


Carol: How long have you been writing?

Joseph: I have been writing since I was 14 years old. My first was poetry, the first poem I wrote was titled: " Goddess," a poem about Marilyn Monroe, I was touched by her death and this poem is in my first book:" Is Your Father Black?" My next poem I wrote was my feelings on the assassination of President Kennedy, titled: “My President.” I stopped writing until I reached my late twenties, then I started to write on and off till I wrote my first book.


Carol: What made you start to write?

Joseph: To me it just came naturally, I always loved to make up stories.


Carol: Who gave you the aspiration to write?

Joseph: I don't think its one writer. I just loved to read and write.


Carol: What is the name of your current publisher?

Joseph: Over the last twenty years I tried hard to find a publisher, then one day I found Publish America, they accepted my work and published it. It was beyond my wildest dreams and the jacket covers they created just blew me right out of the water.


Carol: Are you happy and satisfied with your current publisher?

Joseph: Oh yes. I have met many great writers through Publish America from here in the USA to around the world and many have become my friends.


Carol: What are you views on self-publishing?

Joseph: I would never do it, too costly.


Carol: Would you self-publish?

Joseph: Never.


Carol: There are so many new writers publishing books. What do you think of this trend of writers?

Joseph: Personally I feel there are many writers out there with good and bad books, so far I've only come across the good ones. I think everyone has a story to tell.


Carol: Who are your favorite authors?

Joseph: Edgar Allan Poe, I loved his stories, plus I have many PA authors, I won't give names.


Carol: What is your favorite book?

Joseph: "It Was The Night Before Christmas," By Clement Clark Moore.


Carol: What are your goals with your current book?

Joseph: Carol Ann, I would love to entertain people with stories, so they can escape from every day worries, to educate children on how important it is to "read". If I accomplish this with my writing then it would bring joy to my heart.

Carol: What is the length of time it takes for you to write a novel?

Joseph: It depends on what I'm writing, it can take six months up to a year. I love when I write, my imagination goes wild, I sit at the computer, stare at the screen and it's almost like watching a movie.


Carol: What writing opportunities have your book brought to you?

Joseph: I tell people about “Dusty," and their eyes light up, especially children, this has brought me great joy knowing people are reading it, to me this is worth more than money, it touches my heart.


Carol: What are your marketing and promotion tools used for writing?

Joseph: I use websites, business cards and word of mouth. When I tell people that wrote a pet book for children and pet lovers they want to know more, I give them just a little story then I hand them a card with my book information.


Carol: Give us a short synopsis of your next book.

Joseph: It's going to be a sequel to “Dusty."


Carol: What is your website so your readers can contact you?

Joseph: Oh yes, they can get to hear part of “Dusty’s" audio CD Book there.


Carol: What is your email address so your fans can contact you with comments?



Carol: Name a few of your favorite websites for writers.

Joseph: E Books Cafe.


Carol: Did writing classes help you improve on your writing skills?

Joseph: Not a one.


Carol: What is your motivation to write?

Joseph: “LIFE." There are so many great stories to be told to the world.


Carol: How is your writing time spent?

Joseph: In front of the computer five to six hours a day when I'm not working, other times writing notes on a legal pad.


Carol: What genre of writing is your favorite?

Joseph: Fiction.


Carol: What is your favorite voice to write in?

Joseph: The first person.


Carol: In five years where do you see yourself in your writing career?

Joseph: As a writer I love writing many different types of novels, if I could bring someone joy with my writing I'll be happy. If I could get kids to read and enjoy stories that too would make me very happy.


Carol: For new writers what advice can you give them?

Joseph: Write, write and write more, don't ever give up. Believe in yourself, you have a story for people to read. Carol Ann you have been very gracious and I count you as one of our great writers, thank you and God Bless.

Click here to buy Dusty at Amazon

2006 Past Columns

An Interview with Joseph Frank Baraba

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