The Mansfield Lighthouse Cats – Author Interview

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Paperback Writer would like to introduce an author that has put a new spin on poetry. Charlotte Barnes author of THE MANSFIELD LIGHTHOUSE CATS has written a collection of poetry to appeal to even those readers who don’t pick up a book of poetry very often. Containing poems for all ages, it contains poetry about such diverse topics as love, loneliness, football, and genetic testing. The title of the book comes from the name of the book’s first poem. The book was recently recognized as the Book of the Year 2007 in the Poetry category by




Hi Charlotte Barnes,


Welcome to Paperback Writer!



Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book? 


I came up with the idea for “The Mansfield Lighthouse Cats” slowly as I collected many poems over time. I wrote poems everywhere I went, just as they came to me. I wanted a collection that everyone could enjoy—even those who don’t read poetry on a regular basis.


Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?


When I’m writing I take notes. In fact, I write everything out before I type it. With the poetry, I’m usually trying to convey a particular feeling, or perhaps display my little vignette, a moment captured in time.


Do you know the end of the story at the beginning? 


Sometimes I know the end of a story or poem. Sometimes it evolves as the work goes in different directions as I edit. A lot depends on how fully-formed the idea was when it came into my head.


Do you have a process for developing your characters?


I try to understand as much about the character as I can—what they wear, how they spend their time, what motivates them. A lot of times I’ll start with just a name.


It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?


Since I write mostly poetry or nonfiction, it’s not as much of an issue, as far as characters, but when I do write a story, I incorporate a lot of humor—snappy dialogue, quirky traits, habits, habits, etc., that people can relate to as they read.


What is your most favorite part about this book?


I have certain poems that I like, but I don’t like to influence readers by naming them. I prefer it when people tell me their favorites.


When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?


I usually complete the rough draft and then I look for a publisher.


What struggles have you had on the road to being published?


It’s hard getting a publisher in the first place. The marketing is probably the hardest aspect for me because I’m a quiet, reserved person generally, and it doesn’t come easily for me.


What has been the best part about being published?


I like to be able to bring enjoyment to other people’s lives.


What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?

I’d like for them to laugh, cry, or whatever the poetry makes them feel, and then I’d like for them to say, “I’m glad I read that book!”


Do you have plans to write another book?


I have a  children’s book, “Stella Ducktropolis,” due out later this year. I’m hoping it will be out in spring or summer.


Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you? 


Everyone has been very nice, helpful and very patient. I think it’s a wonderful way for authors to be able to relate to their readers.


Where can readers find a copy of your book?


They can find them at major booksellers or at the publisher’s site,


Do you have a website for readers to go to?  Feel free to come visit me anytime at


Thank you, Charlotte Barnes for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.


Charlotte Barnes tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion and if you would like to visit the rest of Charlotte’s stops you can find them here.








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