Thursday, March 17, 2022

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Barbara Britton

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Barbra Britton

Linda: Welcome back! Congratulations on Defending David that released last month. I love the way you take little known biblical characters and make them come to life. How did you decide to write about Ittai? Is this going to be part of a series? 

Barbara: Thank you for having me back on the blog, Linda. I first heard about Ittai the Gittite in a sermon my husband preached. His sermon title was A Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother. The friend my husband referenced was Ittai. He arrives at just the right time to help King David survive a rebellion. I added Ittai’s story to my Tribes of Israel series where I write about little-known Bible characters. He fit right in. 

LM: What is something you learned about him or King David during your research that really stuck with you? 

Barbara: The first words from Ittai that are recorded in the Bible are, “As surely as the Lord lives…” (II Samuel 15:21). This was a shock to me because Ittai is a Philistine. The Philistines worshiped several gods and not the One True God. How did Ittai come to believe in God? Did his faith have something to do with his exile from Philistia? I explore what Ittai’s backstory might have looked like in my novel. 

LM: To research a time period that occurred so long ago must be challenging. What sort of resources do you use to research biblical times, and this story in particular? 
Barbara: My first research tool is the Bible. I then branch out into Bible commentaries and history books. Certain details about Bible life we may never know. I use Bible maps to chart the journeys of my characters. When I looked at a map to see how Ittai and his warriors arrived in Jerusalem from Gath, I was perplexed. Hundreds of Philistine fighting men walked across the lands of Judah without instigating a war. That had to be a blessing from God.
LM: How long does it take you to finish a book, including research and editing? 

Photo: Pixabay/
Peter Olexa
Barbara: I feel like my writing time is getting faster over the years. Usually, I like to have a year to write a book. The average time for me is nine months. I have written books in five months, but those were a continuation of a series where I knew the characters well. It takes time to get to know the characters. At the end of a story, I know a character’s personality and backstory better than when I began the book. Writing inner thought is one of the hardest aspects for me. I need to understand a character really well to make their thoughts flow. 

I hear about authors who finish a book in a month or six weeks, but that’s too fast for me. I like to “ponder” plot points and character interactions. 

LM: What would you have done differently in your journey to publication? 

Barbara: I didn’t plan on being an author. When I had a prompting to write a book, I sat down and wrote a story. After it was finished, I had no idea what to do with the manuscript. I didn’t know if the story was well written. I didn’t have a clue about genre and word count. I wish I would have joined a professional writing organization sooner and started learning about the craft of writing a book. 

For example, I had written a Young Adult novel with a Middle Grade word count. For another book, I wrote a story similar to a Bible story and tried to sell it to General Market agents. Boy, did I need professional groups to set me straight. 

LM: What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you? 

Barbara: Getting into the mind of a character and making them sound real is the most difficult part of the writing process for me. Character traits, authenticity, and inner thought are what I have to work on constantly. I write in Deep POV, so I need to let the reader into the thought process of the character. Deciding what is enough information, or too much, is a challenge. 

LM: What is your next project? 

Photo: Pixabay/Jackson David 
Barbara: I have finished my next project. I am happy dancing and writing a sequel. 

Over six years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went from the best-case scenario to the worst-case scenario after my first surgery in October of 2015. I have talked to many women over the years after they received a cancer diagnosis. I decided to write a character who was contemplating some of the decisions I had to make in my breast cancer journey. Obviously, it would be hard to write that story in Biblical Fiction, so the story is a Contemporary Romance. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Barbara: I have a lot of information on my website, I am also active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and BookBub

Defending David:

When a quiet journey to Jerusalem turns tragic, newly orphaned Rimona must flee a kinsman set on selling her as a slave. Racing into the rocky hills outside of Hebron, Rimona is rescued by a Philistine commander journeying to Jerusalem with six-hundred warriors. 
Exiled commander, Ittai the Gittite, is seeking refuge in the City of David. Protecting a frantic Hebrew woman is not in his leadership plan. Although, having a nobleman's niece in his caravan might prove useful for finding shelter in a foreign land. 
Rimona and Ittai arrive in Jerusalem on the eve of a rebellion. In the chaos of an heir's betrayal, will they be separated forever, or can they defend King David and help the aging monarch control his rebellious son?


  1. Thank you for having me back on the blog, Linda.

  2. Barbara, so nice to see you in another venue. I can relate to a lot of your writing journey, especially things like the YA book with an MG word count. Knowing the market isn't a "dirty word," it's just practical. Less time wasted for us, less for editors/agents, and sooner or later we'll get it right. Right? Thanks for all you do for other authors. Linda, I know Barbara from Pelican.

    1. Hi Kathy. Thank you for joining Linda and I here on the Talkshow. I learned a lot of publishing lessons the hard way. I hope my advice keeps others from going on those detours.

  3. Congratulations Barbara on your new release! What a wonderful interview. Your book sounds awesome.

    1. Thank you, Stacy. I had a lot of fun bringing Ittai to the page. He really is my new favorite Bible hero. I'm glad you joined us.