Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back, Barbara Britton
Linda: Welcome back to my blog. I’ve loved your books about biblical characters. Your upcoming release Until June is a total departure from your past books in that the story is set during WWI. What was the inspiration for the story?
Barbara: Thank you, Linda. I appreciate being back on your blog. Almost twelve years ago, I was on an Alaskan cruise excursion and visited the Taku Glacier Lodge outside of Juneau. Over lunch I heard a story about how a WWI veteran and his caregiver stayed at the lodge and raised sled dogs. I began thinking about a man and a woman being alone in a lodge for a long period of time and Until June was born.
LM: How has writing Until June differed from writing your previous books?
Barbara: Until June was the second story I wrote, and it was written before I started writing biblical fiction. I wrote three sweet romances before I wrote my debut novel based on a Bible story. My biblical novels have hundreds of mentions of God’s name, but Until June has ten. I also cover PTSD and the loss of limbs in a world war, which aren’t themes in my biblical stories. I worked on Until June over the years because it’s my Mom’s and mother-in-law’s favorite book, and veterans issues are near to my heart. I’m so happy it’s finally seeing the light of day.
LM: What sort of research was required to prepare you to write the story, and did you find any tidbit(s) you knew you had to include?
Barbara: I had to research various topics. I went on E-bay and purchased magazines from 1918-1920. One of those magazines was Woman’s Home Companion which is featured in the book. I read the romantic serials in the magazines and looked at the advertisements for dresses and food items. I also had to research war tactics from WWI and what veterans suffered as a result. I based the Gilbertsen Lodge on the Taku Lodge that I had visited, but I had to find out what Alaskan life was like in those early days during the mining boom.
LM: Tell us a bit about your journey to publication and what lessons you learned along the way.
|Barbara and her family|
at Taku Lodge
Barbara: I have learned to never give up on a story. I wrote four manuscripts before I received my Until June would still be under my bed if my son hadn’t seen the movie trailer for Me Before You. He texted me that someone had stolen my story. I looked up the blurb for Me Before You and discovered it differed from my novel. Both books are caregiver stories, but mine has a happy ending. I dusted off my manuscript and asked my publisher if they would like to see it. They offered me a contract over a decade after the story was written. I have improved the story over the years as I learned the craft of writing.first publishing contract for biblical fiction.
LM: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Barbara: I enjoy taking long walks when the Wisconsin weather cooperates. I read a lot of books when I’m not writing them. I love teaching about the Bible to adults and children. You never know when you’re going to stumble upon a little-known Bible story.
LM: Here are some quickies:
Lakes or Mountains for vacation: Lakes
Dog or cat as a pet: It’s a tie on this one.
Favorite shoes: boots or high heels or something in between: Boots, definitely
LM: What is your next project? Can we expect other WWI or non-biblical era books from you?
Barbara: I’m working on another biblical story right now, but there is probably another Historical in my future.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Barbara: I have a website—www.barbarambritton.com.
I’m also on:
About Until June:
When seventeen-year-old seamstress, Josephine Nimetz, agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge to escape the influenza of 1918, there’s enough friction to melt the Mendenhall Glacier. Her position is only until June, and it pays well enough to overlook the hardship of managing a rustic home and a shell-shocked veteran, Geoff Chambers.
Geoff makes it clear that he isn’t too fond of the “runt” sent to take care of his needs, nor of her painful mistakes. Dealing with a depressed and addicted amputee, pushes Josephine to the brink of leaving, if not for the money her salary brings.
But Josephine is a perfectionist, determined to get Geoff back on his feet—figuratively. Though, sending a rich, handsome veteran back into society may cost Josephine the man she has grown to love.
Pre-Order link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B085VKHT5V