Author Interview The Beautician’s Notebook

  • How long have you been writing?

I started back in the 8th grade when I began writing the world’s most awful poetry.  I still have a few of them and they are really funny! I’ve just been writing for as long as I can remember.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I’m not sure I have a favorite.  I seem to do a little of everything—I have a memoir, short story collection, poetry chapbook and three novels.  I write what comes to me and in whatever form it wants to take. I guess I could tell you my least favorite and that would be memoir.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve never tried a play or movie script.  I’m terrified of them because I know nothing. But maybe someday.

  • Please tell us about your book.

The Beautician’s Notebook was inspired by my own beautician, DeLana Holden, who owns A Cut Above in the small town near where I live.  The book is a cozy mystery with a little romance sprinkled in. When Willa Jo Temple is found stabbed through the heart on the floor of her beauty shop, the good folk of Summerset, NC are sent into a tizzy. Rumor has it, Willa Jo kept a notebook detailing all the secrets her customers had told her over the years, and she was going to write a tell-all book. Everybody in Summerset has secrets.  Is there a secret worth killing for?

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why? What was the hardest part about writing your book?

My favorite character is Avenelle Young, the preacher’s wife.  She’s a middle-aged woman who has tried for years to be the perfect minister’s wife. Yet, there is another side to her, a side her husband has no idea exists. She is funny and a little crazy—like me, I guess.

My least favorite would have to be Ralph Myers.  He is very wealthy, married but a philanderer. He is completely selfish.

The hardest part about writing this book was finding the time to write.  That is always my biggest challenge.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Ideally, I write in the mornings, until around 1 pm. But life is seldom ideal. I have to carve out the time, tell my friends and family I’m working on a new project and my mornings are sacrosanct. Then, I have to have the discipline to get my bottom in that chair and work! I need Diet Coke, snacks (sadly—for me, writing is fattening!) and quiet.  I also need time to veg out. I need what I call ‘dream time,’ a time when I can sit and let the ideas cook. A daily walk and daily meditation/prayer time.   I am not perfect at keeping these habits, but I try.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

This one took about three months.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I’m very lucky in that I have a couple of dear friends who are also writers who are my early readers.  My husband, Frank, is my first reader and he usually helps a great deal. After I hear what they have to say, if the comments resonate, I fix those points.  I read and read and read until I feel I have it ready.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No, though a lot of readers have asked for a sequel. I don’t have one planned but who knows?

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read the great writers of the past and the respected writers of the current day.  Read about your craft. David Huddle’s The Writing Habit, John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle, On Writing by Stephen King…there are just so many great books about writing.  Far too many to list here.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

It’s funny, poignant, and of course, we all want to know ‘who dunnit.’

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Oh, that’s a tough one.  I’d pick Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins (the poet) and Thomas Hardy.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

My beautician.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on three books at the moment.  Two are set in West Virginia where I grew up and one is set in North Carolina where I live now. One is about a madwoman, one is about a man who wins a girl in a poker game and one is about mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. I’m about halfway finished with each book, so my plan is to finish them this year.  We’ll see if that happens.


The Beautician’s Notebook by Anne Barnhill

Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
eBook & Print; 304 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Romance/Contemporary
It’s up to her ex-husband, Sheriff Tal Hicks, to investigate. Evidence points to four possible suspects: Willa Jo’s business partner; a town socialite; a preacher’s wife; and Willa Jo’s live-in lover.
Willa Jo kept a notebook containing all the secrets she’s learned while doing hair. Rumor has it Willa Jo is going to write a book, exposing everything. But now, Willa Jo is dead and the incriminating notebook is missing, leaving the sheriff with very little to go on. As he interrogates the suspects, he finds himself attracted to newcomer, Clarissa Myers. He delves into her past only to discover she has deeper ties to Summerset than anyone imagined. Before the sheriff can complete his interrogations, however, another suspect, Avenelle Young, confesses.
The sheriff is skeptical about Avenelle Young’s guilt because she refuses to discuss what happened with Willa Jo. Her statement is a terse declaration of guilt, with neither motive nor method explained. The sheriff has no choice but to incarcerate Mrs. Young.
During the investigations, as the secrets of Summerset are slowly revealed, each family touched by Willa Jo’s death must come to terms with the new information being unearthed. The repercussions are far-reaching, and forgiveness hard to come by. However, at the heart of the book is the possibility of reconciliation among the town folk as they learn the real ‘truth’ about one another.

Praise for The Beautician’s Notebook

“…a great who-done-it” that will keep you reading until the very last page.—Brenda Bevan Remmes, author of The Quaker Cafe and Home to Cedar Branch.
“What a treat! Anne Clinard Barnhill has penned a mystery with heart and soul. Her characters are so likeable—even lovable—that I hated to think of any of them guilty of a heinous crime . . . despite their many motives. An intriguing and heartwarming novel.”—Diane Chamberlain, NYT bestselling author of The Silent Sister.
“More red herrings than in a fishmonger’s wheelbarrow.”—Molly Weston, Mystery Writers of America Raven Award Winner.

About the Author

Anne Clinard Barnhill is an award-winning, internationally published writer who has published two historical novels (AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN and QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER), a short story collection (WHAT YOU LONG FOR), a memoir (AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: Autism, My Sister and Me) and a poetry chapbook (COAL, BABY). She has also written hundreds of articles, features, book reviews and essays published in a variety of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Ms. Barnhill has received four regional artist grants, one writer’s residency and has taught writing and creativity workshops in various places across North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi. She has three grown sons and lives on the NC coast with her husband and a very energetic dog.
For more information please visit Anne’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 10
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 14
Feature at Rimpy’s Reads

Thursday, August 17
Guest Post at Must Read Faster

Tuesday, August 22
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Friday, August 25
Interview at I Heart Reading

Monday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, September 1
Review at Buried Under Books

Monday, September 4
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, September 6
Feature at Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Wednesday, September 13
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, September 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, September 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland


To enter the giveaway for a copy of THE BEAUTICIAN’S NOTEBOOK, please see the GLEAM entry form below. Five copies are up for grabs!


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