Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Interview with Barbara Britton and #Giveaway!!!

Barbara M. Britton, “Providence: Hannah’s Journey”

Today we are blessed to have Barbara Britton join us. Barbara is graciously giving away a copy of her new book "Providence" to one commenter. Please be sure to leave contact information! 

Barbara, glad to have you. Where did you grow up and attend school?  Are there any authors in your family?

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after my freshman year in high school, my family moved to Connecticut. That was a difficult move for me as a teenager, and I had to “start” high school all over again as my high school in Westport began at grade 10. After I graduated, I relocated to sunny Texas to attend Baylor University. I lived in Dallas after graduation and met my husband who was a seminary student at Dallas Theological Seminary. He was, and is, a Chicago guy, so we eventually moved to Illinois and now we live in Wisconsin. I cheer on the Packers, but hubby is a stalwart Bear’s fan.

I am the only author in my family. My sons used to get a bit of sympathy when they had to write papers for school, but now I tell them, “You can’t fix a blank page.”

How did you get started writing? How old were you? What made you want to start? What did you enjoy reading as a child?

I was in my early forties when I began writing. I was teaching chapel to kindergarten through fifth graders—all at once—at a nearby Christian school. I had to modify my curriculum for the vast age range I taught, or I had to write my own curriculum. I remember being tired at the end of the school year, and needing to decide what to teach the following year, so I prayed, “Lord, hit me with some creativity.” I wanted help with Bible stories, but I got a prompting to write. So, after nine years of writing, I sold my fourth book, “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” It was my first work of Biblical fiction.

As a child I liked to read mysteries. One of my favorite series was Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. Not many people have heard of this series, but I know I can’t be the only one to have read these adventures.

How and when did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? What does he think about your being an author?

My husband and I met on a double date when we were with the other people. Yikes! After awhile, my husband asked his buddy if he was going to ask me out again, and when his friend wasn’t, my husband called me.

My husband has always supported me in my writing career. He is a non-fiction reader, so he hasn’t read any of my books. His advice when I was teaching chapel was not to just teach students the stories of the Bible, but to teach them the theology behind the story, so the kids would know why that event was in the Bible. All my books are based on a Bible story, or character, and the theology is there, hidden away.

I drew my inspiration for Hannah from the servant girl in the story of Naaman in II Kings 5.

How old are your children? Do they read your books? Have any of them got the writing bug, as well?

My boys are in their early twenties. One started seminary this year, and one is finishing college. They have each read one of my books, but not the ones that are being published. My oldest son and his friends did a video of my first book for a class project.

The writing bug hasn’t infected my family, but they are all very supportive of my work.

How do you research the communities and people you write about? Do you find yourself having to do a lot of research?

Research is my friend. I tell myself that as I’m figuring out the dates that kings reigned, and when the prophets lived, and which tribe of Israel lived north of the Salt Sea. I try to have fun learning about the Bible, especially the Old Testament. I have a map of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day on my office door, and a map of the tribes of Israel from the time of the Judges on my wall. I enjoy studying the Bible because I always learn something new.

The Bible is my first resource. Since my husband is a theologian, I have a basement full of commentaries and study guides. I use my local library too.

Thanks for having me on your blog today Laura. It’s been fun.

Barb’s Bio:

Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicked off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” Naomi’s journey is set to release this spring. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.

Book blurb:

As the sole daughter of the chief priest, Hannah is publicly shamed when the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her.

Determined to restore her family’s honor, Hannah escapes Jerusalem in hopes of finding the prophet and convincing him to heal her deformities. Gilead, a young Hebrew guard sympathetic to her plight, willingly accompanies her. On their way, they are captured by a band of raiders.

Hannah is forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army, an officer who is in need of healing himself. 

Meanwhile Gilead is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers.

Hannah must act fast to save Gilead and herself. But survival means coaxing the prophet of Israel to heal an enemy commander.


Sally Shupe said...

Hi, Barbara! What a great interview. I loved reading Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators! When my kids were younger I worked on completing my set. Still working on it lol. I love reading Biblical fiction, but don't know if I could do all the research it would take to make it real. That's great that your husband has commentaries and study guides you use. My son has read some of my stories. I enjoy his feedback and insight. What is the hardest part about writing Biblical fiction for you?
sallyshupe1 at gmail dot com

Angie Carroll said...

I thought it was interesting that Barbara lived in Illinois and now Wisconsin because I grew up in Illinois moved after I got married, moved back to Illinois and now we live in Wisconsin. a_stonecipheratyahoodotcom

Barbara M. Britton said...

Hi Angie,
Are you a Packer's fan or a Bear's fan? My husband won't cheer for the Pack since he's a Chicago guy. I'm a green and gold girl. Thanks for joining us.

Barbara M. Britton said...

Hi Sally,
Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad I found someone who has read Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. Yay! I loved those mysteries when I was a kid.
The hardest part of writing Biblical fiction is the dialogue. I want my characters to sound realistic, but I don't want to confuse my readers. It's a challenge.
Maybe one day my sons will read my books!

Debi Brown said...

The mysteries i read growing up were Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.
I do have relatives that live in Wisconsin, but my family moved to CA when i was just 18 mos. old, so i really don't know the area.
I did spend one winter in IN, courtesy of the Army, and i have never been soo cold in my entire life, lol!

Barbara M. Britton said...

Hi Debi,
I made the opposite switch--California to Wisconsin--with a few stops along the way.
I like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries too. I even watched the Hardy Boys TV
show with Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson. I think they had an actress that played Nancy Drew.
Thanks for visiting with us.

Marilynn Walton said...

Love well researched books and authors from my current state, Wisconsin!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Marilynn. I wish our Packers had fared better today. Thanks for stopping by.

lollipops said...

congratulations to Angie Carroll'