Welcome Back, Barbara M. Britton!
Why did I feel like I had to write a story with cancer as a thread? I’m a seven-year breast cancer survivor. Praise God. Over the years, I have received calls from friends who received the same diagnosis. I was able to encourage them and tell them about my journey and what worked for me.
When I drafted my story and made my heroine twenty-three-years old, I thought she would be too young to have breast cancer. Unfortunately, breast cancer is hitting women at younger ages, so Samantha wasn’t too young to deal with a breast cancer diagnosis.
My goal was to write a light-hearted, and sometimes humorous, story even though cancer played a part in the book. That was no small task.
How do you develop your characters? (e.g. decide on their vocation, names, etc.)? Most of my characters come to me with a vocation intact. In Biblical Fiction, I am limited in the roles that women would have had, but jobs are limitless today. I have taught children for many years, so the teacher position for Samantha seemed like a good fit. I understood the mindset and challenges of teaching.
Cole’s vocation came to me while we were remodeling a house. We used a lot of tradesmen to do
With names, I try to find names that are easy to pronounce and that don’t start with the same letter. With historical characters, you are stuck with their given names.
Recently, with the rise of AI in storytelling, I have wondered how that will impact writing. I believe AI will be lacking in the characterization aspects of novel writing. Characters are imaginary friends to authors and only the author can develop characters in a certain way.
Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series? I did not set out to write a series. I was going to write my contemporary story and then go back to Biblical Fiction. I happened to mention my story to an agent, and she asked for three blurbs to form a series. The agent passed on my story, but I didn’t let the blurbs go to waste. I am working on a sequel at the moment.
The moral of the story is to have at least three blurbs ready when pitching a story to an editor or agent. Make sure you have secondary characters that can be the protagonist in the next book. If you were to write a spin-off book about one of your secondary characters, which one would you choose and why?
I am currently writing about Samantha’s friend Emma and Cole’s brother, Wade. See my answer above about series blurbs and fun secondary characters.
Emma and Wade had fairly major roles in “Christmas at Whispering Creek.” They were easy to slip into a sequel.
I prefer to write during the day, but if I need to finish a scene, I will write in the evening. The longer I have been writing, the more I can do it at any time of day.
What are common traps for aspiring writers? I’m thankful that I wrote my first books before social media became crucial for platform building. Trying to post on several social media platforms regularly can drain creativity and time from a writing schedule. I would advise writers to prioritize their writing time. There’s nothing like a new book launch to energize your platform. You may need to place a limit on how many social media platforms you can realistically engage with. The fear of missing out (FOMO) keeps writers trying to do too much. Our physical and mental health needs to be a priority.
There is nothing better than developing authentic relationships with other authors. They will be a constant support to you during your writing career.
What is your next project? I am finishing book two in my Whispering Creek series, but I plan to dive back into the world of Bible stories soon.
About Christmas at Whispering Creek:
Nashville native, Cole Donoven, left his family' s electrical business to write country music. When Cole' s song-writing partner and girlfriend dumps him for a country music star, Cole abandons Nashville to hole up in Whispering Creek and compose one more song. The last thing Cole expects to find in the sleepy small town is a deceased friend, estate squabbles, and a Northern beauty. Will the chaos in Whispering Creek help create a bestselling song for Cole and possibly help him find a life-long collaborator?
Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction from Bible Times to present day USA. Her Tribes of Israel series brings little-known Bible characters to light. Her novel “Christmas at Whispering Creek,” is a compelling, yet fun story, shining a light on breast cancer. Barbara has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. You can find out more about Barbara and her books on her website http://www.barbarambritton.com. Or follow her on https://twitter.com/BarbaraMBritton, Facebook, and https://www.instagram.com/barbarambritton/.