MoAA Interview #25: Vanessa Barger

Today, MoAA is proud to present Vanessa Barger!


Alethea Kontis: What’s the best thing about writing?

Vanessa BargerVanessa Barger: The best thing about writing? Tough question. I think it’s being able to escape into my own head, and bring out those characters and share them with everyone else. The ability to create something that I enjoy and share it with others.

AK: What’s the worst thing about writing?

VB: The ending. I always start writing with…shhh, don’t tell…very little idea of how it will end. This is okay, as long as I eventually figure it out. Sometimes, though, I get halfway through and still have no idea… Finding time is also difficult, as I am a teacher for my “real job” and a writer all the rest of the time. Sometimes writing requires burning the candle at both ends. Someday, I’d love to do writing as a career and teaching for fun!

AK: Finish this sentence: “Writing is like…”

VB: A box of…oh, wait. Sorry. Writing is like baking. You put in all the ingredients, stir, and then let it cook until it’s finished. Then you dish it out to your friends and see what the results are.

AK: If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

VB: London or the highlands of Scotland. In a room with a view. In London – an apartment overlooking the Tower. In Scotland, a cottage with beautiful gardens and a view without other people.

AK: Pick five words to describe your latest work.

VB: Ghosts. Mystery. Discovery. Love. Horror.

AK: Pick five words to describe you.

VB: Eccentric. Nerd. Book-lover. Quiet. Observant.

AK: What’s your favorite type of tree?

VB: Woah. *blink* How did you know about my tree obsession? This is hard. I have a thing for trees with great shapes. But if I had to pick a specific kind, I’d go with an oak tree. Or weeping willow. Oaks are strong and make great gnarled trees. Weeping willows, though, always seem to be hiding something…

AK: What were you like in high school?

VB: I was the quiet, overachieving nerd. I was definitely NOT in the cool crowd. The first two years that bothered me. The last two I was too busy to care. Lol.

AK: If you could give one piece of advice (writing or otherwise), what would it be?

VB: Keep writing. Don’t give up. Even when you think you can’t make it, don’t stop. When you stop, that’s when you’ve failed. Don’t write for other people. Write because you want to.

AK: The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: What are 3 things you’d like to do before you die?

VB: Three things? It’s not an exciting list, but…

  1. Normal things like get married, have kids, etc.
  2. See the Northern Lights
  3. Take a month-long trip to the UK and see all the out of the way things that are on my list.


Vanessa Barger is a middle grade and young adult author, represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel. She teaches high school technology education in rural Virginia and is the slave to one cat, Molly. She spends all her free time writing. She’s a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Virginia Writer’s Club. When not writing, she’s reading, and an avid movie fan. She also loves long walks on the beach discussing Shakespeare while sipping large fruity drinks with little umbrellas.

A WHISPERED DARKNESS is a YA Horror, that will be released from Month9Books in Sept 2014. It’s about a girl who has to save her family from a vengeful ghost and possession, while trying to stay alive.