What good books have you been reading lately? I've been enjoying The Matchmaker Brides Collection put out by Barbour. I always find it fun to learn more about authors. Today we have the opportunity to meet Barbara M. Britton.
Thank you for having me on your blog. I love talking books and writing and family.
It's great to have you here. How did you develop a ‘love of story’?
As far back as I can remember I would watch TV and movies, and run different story scenarios in my head. I liked to portray the heroine in my mind, or change the ending of a sad story. Happily-ever-after endings were my favorites. During the summer when I was growing up, my mom would buy a set of movie tickets for an inexpensive price, and my sister and I would see a movie a week. Those classic stories of Willy Wonka and Mary Poppins stayed with me.
So you wrote your own endings. :) How does your faith and spirituality work in your writing?
I grew up in a loving home, but it wasn’t a Christian home. My mom learned about Jesus and started taking me and my sister to church when I was in the third grade. Before I knew about God, I felt unsettled about life and death. I like to write stories about God, and share my testimony so others can learn about God and know what it means to have a relationship with Him.
My husband is an ordained minister and he always tells me not to bore people with the Bible because it is an amazing, life-changing book. Amen! He also tells me to make sure I am sharing the theology behind the Bible stories I write. I enjoy bringing those little known Bible stories and characters to light—with Scripture, action, and a bit of romance mixed in.
Sounds intriguing. Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book?
I was reading through the Bible and came across a crazy story in the last chapters of the book of Judges. I had no idea this Sodom and Gomorrah-ish story was in Judges, and that the tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out by the other tribes of Israel. The remaining Benjamite men had to steal wives in order for their tribe to survive. I wondered what it would be like to be a young woman stolen by the Benjamites. That’s when Naomi’s story began swirling in my head.
Here's the blurb:
Love Grows Where God Grafts the Tender Shoot.
Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife.
As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her tribe.
What a great idea for a story. Apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet?
I love music. I can’t sing, but I enjoy lip-syncing and dancing. Music is playing when I’m cleaning, or getting ready to go someplace. I don’t write with music on in the background, but I do pick songs as themes for my stories and characters. The theme song I chose for “Building Benjamin” was “God’s Great Dance Floor” by Chris Tomlin. Naomi, Cuzbi, and Jael are abducted from a celebration/dance, so this song reminded me of their story. I would play their song when I needed motivation to write.
I don't think I've heard that song before. I'll have to check it out. What does your writing space look like?
It’s messy! I have a smattering of post-it notes all over my desk to remind me of deadlines and upcoming events. I’m a visual learner so my walls are covered with diagrams of Jerusalem and the early tribal lands of Israel. I like to post pictures of my characters on my wall too. Perfume advertisements come in handy for that purpose. Now that I have books published, I have boxes of books and mailing wrap on the floor. But…I know where everything is in my cluttered office.
I'm a firm believer that post-it notes are a writer's best friend. :) What do you plan to work on next?
I have the third book in my Tribes of Israel series set to come out this fall, “Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey.” This story will follow one of Shallum’s daughters who helped restore the wall around Jerusalem. Currently I am searching the Old Testament for more intriguing characters we don’t know much about.
You can find out more about me and my books on my website, Facebook, Twitter, and on Goodreads.
Purchase “Building Benjamin” on Amazon, B&N, Target (my print release is April 1st, but the e-book is out in the world).
I wish you the best, Barbara. Thanks again for stopping by today.