Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
Hello! My name is Barbara. I live in the City of Sails (Auckland, New Zealand). It’s spring in this side of the hemisphere and the days are getting longer. I write fantasy, steampunk and paranormal with romance. I love romance. As a reader, I read anything except horror or any story where an animal dies.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
After reading The Lord of The Rings. I wanted to be like Tolkien (so silly of me, lol. There’s only one Tolkien.) Still, I can remember the awe while I was reading and the feeling of wanting to do the same, to be able to picture scene only with words.
I wrote my first novel when I was 10. Well, for me it was a full novel, haha, but the word count was merely 800 words. Anyway, it was the story of a space bear who lived in a planet populated by bears. Each bear had the coat of just one colour, while the protag had a multi-coloured coat, and everyone gave him sideways glances for that.
He started a quest to find someone who could dye his coat and turn it completely brown. He travelled up and down the galaxy and found nothing.
At the end, he said, “Screw it,” and he kept his multi-coloured coat.
Now, before you think that the story has a morale, that it’s about accepting yourself, etc… let me tell you this: it doesn’t. I just got tired of writing and ended the story there, lol.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
I’m working on my Gaslamp series. Gaslamp is just a fancy way to say a paranormal story set in the Victorian era. The first book of the series, The Pact of the White Blade Knights will be live on the 24th of October.
What is the most challenging part of writing paranormal romance?
I think the world building. It’s hard to find a fresh approach to demons, vampires and werewolves or other creatures. If the world building feels like it has been done to death, the reader will get bored, and a boring book is a dead book. Readers might forgive a silly book, but not a boring one, lol.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
Oh, I love doing research for my books. I read a few books in that genre to see what’s on the market, then I starts from the beginning. For example, if I have to write about vampires, I search the origin of the myth, the legends that have created the myth and the early books published on vampires. Trust me, it’s fascinating.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you?
Really, I’m the last person who should give pieces of advice to anyone. Especially on writing. If we talk about bugs, then yes, I can tell you everything about them (I’m an entomologist, I study, research, and work with bugs.) I see that many fellow writers get discouraged by rejections or simply by the amount of work and dedication writing a book requires. Writing is a lonely profession. I have to sacrifice a lot to keep writing. So my piece of advice is this : Don’t quit. Keep going.
Do you have any work experience involving the elements of paranormal?
Ah, I love this question. Actually, yes. My mum was like the child of the Sixth Sense. She saw dead people everywhere. They often asked her to bring flowers to their graves because there was no one to remember them. I lost count of how many times we visited cemeteries all around the country to see the grave of a stranger.
What is your favorite paranormal-related (horror or fantasy can be included!) books, author, or movie?
Bec MacMaster! I just love her books! I love the writing style, the stories, the characters. She writes steampunk and paranormal. Highly recommend her!
If you could be any paranormal creature for a day, which would you be?
Most definitely, a zombie. Zombies take life slowly. They’re never in a hurry and obviously aren’t worried about dying. Can’t ask for more.
Any last words before we go into the speed round?
Yes! A message to all those people out there who don’t read. Please, don’t say it out loud! Every time someone says “I don’t read books”, an author somewhere gets a writer’s block.
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? Dark chocolate of course! The others are just imitations.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, or other? Christmas!!!
Boxers, briefs, or commando? Hmm… if we’re talking about Chris Hemsworth, nothing ;)
Leather, lace, or silk? Silk, please :)
Top, bottom, or against the wall? Against the wall. It’s the most sensible answer. Always.
Cats, dogs, or exotics? Anything furry that barks or meows is more than welcome in my house!
The Pact of the White Blade Knights
While other twenty-seven-year-old, middle-class women think about rearing children and attending dinner parties, Hazel finds herself unmarried and unemployed.
The stuffy barons of the Royal Archaeologic Society don’t believe a woman can be an archaeologist, so they gave her the sack. Having slapped the leader of the society when he groped her breasts might have something to do with losing her job.
With bills to pay and a stomach to fill, she accepts a position as dealer in ancient artefacts. It’d be her dream job except that her new employer, Tyon Sancerre, has more secrets than an Egyptian tomb and is probably involved with the Whitechapel’s mob.
When he says he needs her to find his long-lost fellow crusader knights, she thinks he’s mad, a rich, handsome, but mad man.
Tyon claims to be a sin-eater, a human turned into an immortal to clean people’s souls from their sins. After he and the other sin-eaters—the knights of the White Blade—were cursed, they were separated and scattered around the world. Alone the sin-eaters don’t hold much power, and with their enemies—the sin-breathers—multiplying and causing wars and famine, the only way Tyon has to find his brothers is through a relic Hazel worked with at the museum.
It’s all poppycock, that’s what she says. But when sin-breathers attack them, a ghost appears to her, and she witnesses wounds healing themselves in a moment, she wonders if her beliefs need to be reconsidered.
And the worst thing? She’s falling in love with an immortal, cranky, too-many-centuries-year-old white knight.
****Due to the content of the book, this novel is for adult audience only****
More About Barbara
I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Rings and fell in love with fantasy novels. When I discovered cosy mystery, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and . . . Nah, I’m joking. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.