Interview with Barbara Longley

barbaralongleyOur gnome is back with the first in our series of author interviews! You asked, we’re delivering 🙂 First up is Barbara Longley, author of the time travel series, The Novels of Loch Moigh.

So, tell us, Barbara, how do you choose the names of your characters?

I do a Celtic name search, or I look through histories occurring during the era of my story to see what the most common names were during that period.

Are you like any of your characters? C’mon, fess up.

I suspect all of my characters are a little bit like me, rather than my being like any of them. They come from my imagination, my fantasies, outlook, field of experience, etc., etc. Characters and books are our “children of the mind,” in that sense. The seed of an idea is planted, it germinates and then is given life and brought into the world.

How do you choose the characters for your story?

My stories are character driven, so they always begin with the characters and grow from there. I develop my characters in a variety of ways. I use archetypes for protagonists and antagonists. I use a lot of the psychology and human development knowledge gained through my education, and I am an observer, the lurker on the sidelines at the party, listening, watching, plotting . . .

What inspired you to write time travel romance? Was there any one influence?

I’ve always been fascinated with the concept, and I believe in String Theory when it comes to time. It’s not linear. The past, future and present coexist simultaneously. So much you can do with that! What inspired my first time travel was a Scottish story about a haunted castle, and the horrid events that took place there. I remember thinking the poor victim in that tale had been treated so unfairly. Then I thought how cool it would be if someone could go back in time to rescue the poor young woman who was attempting to escape from her bedchamber window. Her own father cut her hands off at the wrists, causing her to fall to her death on the rocks below. So, I sent someone back in time to save her, if only in my imagination.

What is your method of time travel and how did you come up with it?

My time travels thus far involve the Tuatha De Danann, or Children of the Goddess Danu, from Celtic mythology. They were (or are?) demigods who could travel through time as easily as you and I can go from one room to another. These beings have left some of their time portals open and abandoned, and sometimes hapless souls walk right into them. Other times, the fae, as they are also known, like to meddle in the lives of mortals for their own entertainment.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

I think I’d go to the wild west during the 1800s. I love medieval times, but the reality is, life back then was brutal and precarious. Most people in medievals times had fairly short lifespans.

How did you celebrate publishing your first book?

I went out with my longtime critique partners and bought us dinner. I wouldn’t have gotten published had it not been for their helpful suggestions and critiques.

Describe your writing cave.

I have an office in my home. One wall is bookshelves where I keep all of my favorite reference books. My closet is filled with swag, copies of my books, and my file cabinet with all of my book bibles, contracts, and other records. I have a comfortable leather chair with an ottoman, a table with a ceramic jar filled with pens, markers and sharpies, a basket filled with sticky notes, a lamp and my Bose blue-tooth speaker for streaming music. There’s also a doggie cot in my office, because my cat and dog like to hang out with me while I write.

Why do you think readers and authors are fascinated by the idea of time travel?

Time travel opens our minds to numerous fascinating possibilities. It’s romantic.

What music, if any, do you like to listen to while writing

My tastes are eclectic, and I listen to everything from country to opera. I do not like jazz, and I do not like rap or heavy metal. I listen to whatever music fits with what I’m writing at the time.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love Yoga, walking my dog, getting together with friends and family . . . this feels like a “date” profile! LOL

Hee, hee. Well, the gnome has been known to get frisky. What was the first thing you wrote, and how old were you when you wrote it?

I wrote Wooly Willard, Caterpillar in third grade. I still have that story somewhere.

You should dig it out! Share 🙂 How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

I write early in the morning when my brain is fresh and alert. I do promo in the afternoons or evenings. I’m very fortunate, because my publisher does a lot of the marketing for me.

What is the most fascinating aspect in researching and writing for you?

It’s like meditation. The most fascinating aspect of writing is when I am able to immerse myself in my characters and virtually lose myself in the story. That is awesome, fleeting, and often elusive. I think that sensation is like a drug, and I’m a junkie.

Salty or Sweet?

Salted sweet, like caramel and sea salt!

Favorite color?

Green, the color of the healing chakra.

Cool! It was great getting to know you a little better, Barbara. Now the gnome is turning it over to you–do you have any questions for Barbara?


Hearts Through Time Gnome

This is the magical gnome who posts stuff on our authors' behalf. Rumor has it this gnome wears a kilt and lurks near time portals. We're grateful when he graces us with his presence!

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Hearts Through Time Gnome

This is the magical gnome who posts stuff on our authors' behalf. Rumor has it this gnome wears a kilt and lurks near time portals. We're grateful when he graces us with his presence!

14 thoughts on “Interview with Barbara Longley

  • Avatar
    May 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Your process sounds like mine. I say I’m in ‘the flow’, and time disappears when I write. It was great to get to know you a little Barbara. Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar
    May 16, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Hey Barbara!

    I love the Native American side of True’s character in book 1. How did you do the research for her character?


  • barbaralongley
    May 16, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Shaila, my ex-husband is Anishinaabe, and he had Goodsky cousins. I used my ex’s reservation (Nett Lake/Boise Forte) as Alethia’s home. I’ve been criticized for all of Alethia’s skills. I want to say right here that every skill she possessed, I’ve at least tried. Some of them I’m pretty good at. I should post pictures . . . I make moccasins, do applique and peyote stitch beadwork, plus I learned to do quill work, but I really suck at that. I have tried brain tanning leather, but I suck at that too, and it’s messy/stinky work. I have not set snares or trapped, but I assure you, it’s still being done in remote areas. My first teaching job was on the Lower Sioux Dakota Community, and I have a minor in human relations, with an emphasis on Native American studies. The research was kind of a no-brainer for me by the time I wrote True to the Highlander. 🙂

    • Avatar
      May 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

      That’s crazy that you were criticized. Ugh! It’s fiction, but why *can’t* a girl do all those things?! Well, I was impressed and I loved it, so there. 😉

      • barbaralongley
        May 16, 2016 at 10:55 am

        Yeah, but some people can’t imagine a life different than the one they live, and this country has not done a very good job at providing an inclusive kind of curriculum. I’m glad you loved the book and the heroine. I loved writing her story. She was very heroic.

    • barbaralongley
      May 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Oh, including playing the violin. I played from early on through high school. Wish I hadn’t quit.

  • Avatar
    May 16, 2016 at 11:39 am

    It’s lovely to know you better, Barbara! Thanks so much!

  • Avatar
    May 17, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I always wanted to know more about you, Barbara! Now, I do! Thank you!

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