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Today we welcome debut author Barbara M. Britton. Barbara, welcome!
Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I am happy to share my writing journey with you and the story behind “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.”
Are your characters based on real people?
In my Biblical fiction, my characters are based on people who appear in the Bible briefly, but we don’t know their full story. I also write about stories in the Bible that aren’t well known, and I pop some characters into the conflict. My other novels are based on real life situations that I have learned about, or experienced. I always enjoy hearing stories and wondering ‘what if’?
When did you decide to become an author?
This is tricky. I don’t know if I ever thought about being an author until I prayed for creativity. I had been teaching chapel to elementary students and was suffering from a bit of burnout at the end of the school year. I knew I had to craft new curriculum for the next school year, so I prayed, “Lord, hit me with some creativity.” I wrote my curriculum and then had a prompting to keep writing. So, I sat down with a pad of paper and a pen, and started a story. I knew nothing about the publishing business, or how to write a novel. My overnight success took nine years. I had a lot of learning to do. Providence was my fourth book, but the first one to be published.
Do you have trouble saying goodbye to characters?
No. By the time I finish one book, I have new characters popping up in my head and talking to me about their story. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but as a writer, I wonder what I would do if I finished a story and no new characters showed up. I am happy to have another adventure to write.
What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
This is a tough question because I love all the characters in my books. If I had to choose a favorite, I would say it is the second book I wrote. It’s a “Me Before You” story without euthanasia. All my books have to have a happily ever after. My second book also has been the toughest to edit. I have rewritten it about three times because when I was a newbie writer, I made newbie writer mistakes. Providence is at the top of my favorites because it was my first Biblical Romantic Adventure and my first book to be published. Yay, Hannah!
How did you come up with the title?
Hannah goes through several conflicts before she has her happy ending. The theme of her life, and the book, is God is in control even in the chaos of life. God has a plan for Hannah’s life and His providence brings it to completion. Usually, a publisher will change a title. I am fortunate that both my Tribes of Israel titles have held. I hope my next one holds as it is one of my favorites.
What did you edit out of this book?
I had to tone down some scenes in this book (she says blushing). My antagonist, Konath, was a meanie. I had to curtail his meanness a bit. I thought I would have to edit my second book in the series for sensuality, but I sailed through.
When you wrote this book, did you have an idea of how it would end at the beginning?
Absolutely not. I knew it would have a satisfying ending and Hannah and Gil would be together, but my last chapters were a blur. Many of my final scenes come to me when I’m cruising toward the end of the story. Trying to pull all the themes together is a tough task, and I guess the story needs to percolate while I write. I’ve heard at writing conferences that the ending of your first book will sell your second. Get it right, and readers want to read more of your stories. Get it wrong, and a reader will find another author to read. Endings have to rock and give the reader a satisfying conclusion to the story. I strive to do just that.
Want to learn more?
My real name is Barbara M. Britton. The journeys will continue in February with “Building Benjamin: Naomi’s Journey.”
Thanks to Barbara for stopping by today. Be sure to pick up her debut Biblical fiction, Providence: Hannah's Journey.