Tell us a little about yourself and three things that have nothing to do with writing.
I am a California girl who has spent the last twenty
years in Wisconsin. I love the Midwest and the change in seasons. I’ve been
married for thirty-four years and have two sons. I grew up with dogs in the
house, but of late, my pets have been rescued cats. Our first cat avoided
people and our new cat loves people. She will sit on my keyboard if I let her.
Three things that have nothing to do with writing: I
grew up going to 4-H meetings. I can grow vegetables and cook them, but don’t
ask me to sew. I’m tall, so I dislike shopping for pants. Country music is
growing on me.
What genre do you write?
I am multi-published in Biblical Fiction where I bring little-known Bible characters to light. I also enjoy writing Historical Fiction. I have one book published that was influenced by a true story I heard on an Alaskan cruise ship excursion. My current work-in-progress is a Contemporary story because it deals with current life events. I guess you could say, story trumps the time period.
Are you indie, or traditionally published,
I am traditionally published with Pelican Book Group. PBG is a Christian publisher. When I began writing, I had no idea there was a Christian publishing world with its own agents, editors, and publishing houses.
What are you working on now?
I recently finished a Contemporary Christmas story
that involves a storyline about breast cancer. I am a breast cancer survivor. I
felt God nudging me to share my story, so I added a devotional about my breast
cancer journey to the back of the book. Currently, I am working on a sequel to
my Christmas story and then back to Bible days for me.
Do you read outside of your genre?
When you have a multitude of author friends, you most definitely read outside of your genre. I read contemporary romance, historical adventures, women’s fiction, and occasionally romantic suspense. I’m not of fan of scary stories.
Did the first book you wrote get published? How long
were you writing before you were published?
I finished my first book in 2008. I didn’t receive a
publishing contract until 2015 and that contract was for my fourth book. My
first contracted book was published in 2016 about eighteen months after I
signed on the dotted line. Traditional publishing is slower than indie
The first book I finished is still ‘under the bed.’ I didn’t understand genre parameters when I wrote the story. I thought I was writing a Young Adult book, but the word count was too short, and the story was too sweet for the market.
When you are writing, do you like complete
silence, or do you like to listen to music? If so, what kind of music do you
like? What are your favorite writing snacks?
I like complete silence when I am writing. I often have a theme song for my story. I will listen to the theme song before I begin writing to get my brain focused on the characters. I don’t eat while I’m writing, but I do drink hot chocolate or iced tea. My writing time begins with prayer.
Whom do you trust for objective and
constructive criticism of your work?
I recommend every writer have a critique group of
trusted writing friends. Preferably, at least one member should write in your
genre. My genre would be Christian Fiction. There are differences between what
is acceptable in a general market book and one that is Christian. The biggest
area of discrepancy would be the sensuality level.
Your critique group must be able to speak honestly
about your work and share what is working and not working for them in your
story. Ultimately, it’s your story, so the author needs to decide if they are
going to accept the suggestions and to what degree.
I also have beta-readers who get a first look at my
finished manuscript. I recommend having someone who reads voraciously in your
genre. If you can capture their attention, then you are writing well.
What spiritual or therapeutic practices
help you get into the right headspace?
It would be difficult to write Biblical Fiction
without reading the Bible and praying over my story. I pray before I sit down
to write, and I ask the Holy Spirit to help me write to the best of my ability.
If I have a theme song for my story, I will also listen to that song before I
begin to write.
Walking in nature helps me ponder storylines and develop
plotlines. Exercise helps my brain function better. I have breakthroughs on my
stories when strolling along in my neighborhood.
It also helps to have friends who you can call when
you get stuck or need some encouragement. My critique partners are a huge
support to me and my writing success.
Care to share a deleted scene?
A deleted opening to a chapter in my book “Lioness.”
The daughters of Zelophehad crossed over the Jordan River and did not stay
east. Their clan was listed in Scripture as crossing the river. Before I found
the listing of their clan traveling across the Jordan, I had the girls in
Amorite land, east of Canaan. Research matters (:
The haunting echo of the trumpet
blast bound Mahlah’s stomach tight. She cast a glance at their tent with its
awkward lean. How many more days and nights would they sleep under ram skin?
This traveling dwelling was the only home she had known. What would a stone
structure be like to keep? Would they need to thatch a roof? Build a door?
Clean bones from their cooking courtyard? Human bones? She shuddered.
What did she know of Amorite land?
What crops did the foreigners grow? Were their tools scattered in the fields?
Would God still provide manna and quail to eat until they were settled?
I feel lost. Please give me your strength to lead my sisters where we need to
“Mahlah?” Milcah edged closer, her
hand still gripping the camel’s lead. “Who will guide us if our men are to
fight across the river?”
Hoglah crossed her arms, her
attention centered on the path Sereb had traveled. “Will we follow the women
and children of the tribes of Reuben and Gad?”
Mahlah nibbled her lower lip. These
were all good questions, but she held few answers. Save one. The one answer
onto which they held fast.
“God will guide us. Has He not always
gone before us?” She stroked the camel’s nose until his tongue tried to taste
Defending David Barbara's Latest Release based on events from II Samuel 15-19:8.
When a quiet journey to Jerusalem turns tragic, newly orphaned Rimona
must flee a kinsman set on selling her as a slave. Racing into the rocky hills
outside of Hebron, Rimona is rescued by a Philistine commander journeying to
Jerusalem with six-hundred warriors.
Exiled commander, Ittai the Gittite, is seeking refuge in the City of David. Protecting a frantic Hebrew woman is not in his leadership plan. Although, having a nobleman’s niece in his caravan might prove useful for finding shelter in a foreign land.
Rimona and Ittai arrive in Jerusalem on the eve of a rebellion. In the chaos of an heir’s betrayal, will they be separated forever, or can they defend King David and help the aging monarch control his rebellious son?
Bonus!! Watch the trailer for Barbara’s Tribes of Israel series.