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Vivian Barz Books In Order

Publication Order of Dead Remaining Books

Forgotten Bones (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hidden Bones (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Vivian Barz grew up on a farm in a tiny Northern California town with less than three thousand people. With all of this fresh air and open space available to allow her imagination run free, she started writing mystery stories when she was young. The first time she picked up a pen and began scribbling tales is around 1988, around the age of ten.

One of her earliest stories that she wrote was a tale about a magical scarecrow that had a taste for kids’s blood. The story was read during a show-and-tell when she was in the third grade. The story wound up getting mixed reviews.

Vivian kept on with her writing, and later studied film and media studies and English at the University of California, Irvine. She loves watching movies just as much as she loves reading and considers herself to be a major film nerd.

Vivian also likes to listen to all kinds of music. From indie rock to Motown, film and television scores, and even old school country music.

While writing a novel, she will write around two thousand to four thousand words a day, working six hours each day. She starts in the afternoon and work on through the night. She starts writing at one and breaks for three hours. Vivian checks her progress at the end of each hour for about a minute or two. Her focus is more on her daily word count goal, rather than hours logged at the computer, so she only stops typing once her goal is reached for the day.

Vivian will get an idea for a story in her head, and starts writing rough chapter outlines out in longhand on big yellow legal pads. She jots the main ideas for the chapters on big Post-Its and stick them up on the wall. This gives her the chance to move things around in her story, both figuratively and literally, should she need to. These Post-Its also help with things like creating a timeline and continuity.

Then she actually writes the novel. Once it is done, she puts it away for a few weeks before she edits the story. She continues editing more and more. Vivian goes over and over her story with a fine tooth comb, getting things right. After she has some feedback on her newest story, she revises it further until she feels the manuscript has gotten where she thinks it ought to be.

She will usually stay in cabins in the wilderness while writing, and this is one reason why she is able to write quickly. There is no cable, spotty cell reception, and no internet. It leaves her alone without anything to distract her, allowing her to get a lot done in a short amount of time.

She does not base characters on herself or those she knows. Parts of herself may find themselves in a character or something, but nothing that is close to her. Her friends and family might influence her writing by doing or saying something that will generate an idea. However, these characters are not based on a certain person she knows. If she did, she might make them react to things in the same ways her friends would, and this would defeat the whole goal of writing fiction in the first place.

While she writes, she likes to have complete silence while working. If Vivian does use music, it is to get into a certain mood for a scene or if she is editing something she has finished. Vivian finds lyrics distracting and insists the music be wordless, and listens to a lot of movie and television scores.

Ideas come to her from out of nowhere. There will be times she will have an idea, then it is usually while she is talking to somebody, when she hears a song, looks at an odd object, and then other ideas coming to her.

To cure writers’ block, Vivian will take a long drive, go for a jog, bake something, and paint a canvas. Just stepping away from the computer screen for about ten minutes will help.

Vivian also writes under the pen name of Sloan Archer, which she writes mysteries, thrillers, and contemporary romances under. Her first novel, “Forgotten Bones” was released in the year 2019. Vivian still writes mystery novels.

“Forgotten Bones” is the first novel in the “Dead Remaining” series, which was released in the year 2019. Police officers of a small town find the grave of a young boy, they are rather quick to pin this crime on a convicted felon that lives close by. When it comes to murder, Officer Susan Marlan will never trust any simple explanation, which means she is only just getting started.

At the same time, Eric Evans (a college professor) hallucinates a young boy wearing overalls, which is a symptom of his schizophrenia, or so he believes. He has more visions as more bodies are found, they actually mirror details of the case. While the investigation moves forward, the cops stick by their original conclusion, yet Susan’s instincts tell her that something is really off. The higher-ups continue to stonewall her, and the FBI is closing in.

Susan, who is desperate for answers, goes rogue and goes to Eric for help. While they work together, they take a most unorthodox approach to the case and the evidence continues to get stranger. Eric’s hallucinations intensify and the body count increases, will the pair be able to separate truth from illusion just long enough for them to catch a monster?

This book is an entertaining, fast paced, and eerie murder mystery. It is a character driven, well written, and chilling roller coaster ride of a novel. Vivian does a great job of painting the terrifying hallucinations and allowing the reader to picture them very well. It is great to see somebody with a mental illness handle things so responsibly and his plight is never vilified or romanticized. With a debut this good, fans cannot wait to read what Vivian puts out next.

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