Our 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!
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?
Latest posts by Hearts Through Time Gnome (see all)
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- Interview with Barbara Longley - May 16, 2016