My Sore Hush-a-Bye by Renata F. Barcelos – Interview + Giveaway

Welcome to Author Renata F. Barcelos

Renata F. Barcelos lives in Brazil with her beautiful and creative daughter and teaches English and Spanish as Second Languages.

She loves dark, twisted and flawed characters and stories. She watches way too much TV and reads perhaps too many (almost exclusively) mystery novels, convincing herself it’s all work – research for her own stories.

She writes for as long as she can remember, and has two published books: “Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette” and “My Sore Hush-a-Bye”.

She’s now working on a new novel called “Myself in Blue”.


What made you decide to write in this genre? 

Because of what happened to me as a child (you may read more about it on my blog: I want to make people think about the horrendous reality of child abuse, so I write about dark and twisted themes, in the hope that one day they will only exist in fiction. Unfortunately, there are lots of kids suffering ordeals like the one Camille faces in this book. Since most of them are never going to have the chance to tell their stories, I think it’s important to read about it, even if it’s fictional, so people will perhaps be more alert to recognize the signs. There may be a child right next to you in need of help, and you may not see it if you don’t know what to look for. I hope that my fictional story might help give a voice to helpless children everywhere.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because everybody should learn about child abuse, so everyone would be able to identify the signs and maybe help children in need.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

Definitely! My Sore Hush-a-Bye’s title was inspired by the song “All the Pretty Little Horses”, a traditional American lullaby that says: “Hush-a-Bye, don’t you cry, go to sleep little baby…”

The song is so important to the story, it’s almost a character itself.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

I guess that a bit of an author’s personal story is always here and there in his or her books… But mostly my characters are real people that present their stories to me inside of my head. Yes, I know how schizophrenic this sounds, but isn’t that what writing fiction is about? 🙂

How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?

As I said, they tell me their stories, so usually the names and personalities just pop up in my mind while I’m plotting or writing…

Which scene or characters were the most difficult for you to write and why?
Some scenes in ‘My Sore Hush-a-Bye’ where I had to make unspeakable things understandable, yet not explicit. It’s a thin line to let the readers imagine or understand by themselves what happened without entering into gruesome details.

Describe your book in 5 words

Growing up can change everything…

How do you react to a bad review?

This may sound hard to believe, but I truly love to read anything people write about my books, even if they didn’t like them. I think if someone feels the need to write a review about my stories I have caused an impression, so my job was done. The only thing that bothers me is if the review contains unwarned spoilers. When writing a review, you’re free to express your opinion, of course, but don’t spoil other people’s fun by telling the end…

What’s your favorite season/weather?

Winter, definitely! I hate hot weather. I’m pale as a ghost and the sun kills me!

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Ruth Rendell. She was the first mystery author I’ve ever read, and for years I re-read The Killing Doll over and over again.

Where do you write?

Everywhere! When the idea comes I have to write, wherever I am.

How do you go about revising/editing?
For my first book I thought I didn’t need an editor, that I could do it all by myself… Silly me! No one can, it’s impossible! You have got to have at least one extra pair of eyes before publishing—a professional one. The reader deserves a professionally edited book. So now I hired an editor, and have beta readers to help me. I like to polish the manuscript; it’s hard work, but also fun to revise and edit.

What’s your favorite word?

Compelling. Every time a reviewer says it about my books I’m in heaven!

Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?

I usually have the basic plot in my head, and start writing. Some things may change, new characters appear, new subplots, but the basics I have from page 1.

Titles: do you write the books first and the title comes next or does the title come to you as you write?

It depends. ‘Mean’ was undisputable since the beginning. ‘My Sore Hush-a-Bye’ took me a while to decide. My next book had a title (‘Myself in Blue’) way before I knew the storyline… In fact, in this last case, I plotted to fit the title, not the opposite.

TV or Movies?

TV (it has movies, shows, news…perfection!)

Hot or Cold?

Cold, always cold!

Coke or Pepsi?


Action or Drama?


Pizza or Pasta?

Both! 🙂

Sweet or Salty?

Salty – don’t really like sugar…

City or Country?

City (I love cement and noise!)

Facebook or Twitter?


My Sore Hush-a-Bye

Camille is a young girl stuck in the past. Classic TV shows, old music, and dresses that never made it into the 21st century.

After her mother left a puzzling note leaving her in the care of Uncle Bob, she had a rough go of it, not wanting to conform to his rigorous rules and this new life. But she learned. She learned to love and accept her sheltered life.

That all starts to change when Camille finally goes to public school once she reaches her teenage years. She meets a friend who mysteriously disappears. She has suspicions that Uncle Bob may not be the perfect man she once thought. She starts thinking about her mother.

Most important of all, she begins to grow up, and that is what changes everything…

Giveaway Details
$15 Amazon Gift Card + a copy of My Sore Hush-a-Bye
Paperback open to US only, Ebook available Internationally
Ends 12/9/12

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