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03 April 2011

Meet Ann Gaylia O'Barr

Today's host:Amanda Flower

About Ann
Anna writes, "My occupations have included computer programmer, historic preservation planner, and U.S. Foreign Service officer. The first job was so I could eat, the second (for less pay) was for fun. The only reason I left that job was because working overseas sounded even more fun, which it was. I changed countries every two or three years, except for Algeria. A terrorist threat forced an evacuation even before my household shipment arrived.

Working in Muslim-majority countries strengthened my core Christian beliefs. It encouraged me to know what I believed and why and how important Jesus is to my faith."

Interview with Ann

What characteristics make up a good antagonist?
A good antagonist pulls a measure of sympathy from the reader. At the same time the reader is repulsed at the way the antagonist chooses to act.

Who is your favorite fictional antagonist from a novel you have not written?
Jack Boughton, a mild antagonist in Marilynne Robinson’s Home, comes to mind. Jack is a likeable character, one sinned against by his father as well as sinning against him. He is the prodigal who chooses that way even if it saddens those who love him.

How did you come up with the idea for your antagonist?
Antun isn’t based on anyone I know. Rather, I think he formed in my imagination from the type of person I would fear and loathe. Yet, as I got to know him, I realized he had a reason for the way he became. One who has been a victim of evil must have deep faith to overcome the temptation to become evil and instead to swim against the currents of his own culture. Antun chooses the easier, more common way.

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April Gardner said... Monday, 04 April, 2011

Hi Ann! So pleased to meet you! What a fascinating life you've lead. I think it's neat that you've been creative both in math and language arts. Usually, people are good at one or the other. Not both. I'm having a hard time remembering the blurb to your books, so I'm going to assume it's set in the Middle East. Did you draw on your experiences there to write the book?

Christine Lindsay said... Tuesday, 05 April, 2011

I enjoyed reading your comments on an effective antagonist. Very helpful. Thank you.

Scribbler said... Tuesday, 05 April, 2011

April and Christine, thank you for your comments. Yes, Singing in Babylon begins in Saudi Arabia where an American Christian young woman has accepted a job teaching English, struggles to adjust to the culture, and meets an American journalist with his own problems. I meant the name Babylon to call up the idea of exile. The story is not my story, but the background comes from my experiences in Sauid Arabia. Ann

karenk said... Tuesday, 05 April, 2011

a wonderful posting...looking forward to reading your novel, amanda.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Michelle Massaro said... Thursday, 07 April, 2011

Hi Anne! I just wanted to say welcome, and thank you for joining our COTT family. Keep turning those fascinating life experiences into great plots. =)

Scribbler said... Friday, 08 April, 2011

I've thoroughly enjoyed the contest. Answering the interview questions sharpened my ability to explain the novel. Writing is a continuous learning expreience, and I love it! Ann

Item Reviewed: Meet Ann Gaylia O'Barr Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Flower