Last month, I had the pleasure of reading, enjoying, and reviewing Barbara Devlin’s Enter the Brethren, and now she’s joining me today to answer Ten Questions with Mia! The second book, My Lady, The Spy, is also available and part of a Kindle Countdown promotion from January 19 until January 25, selling for .99!
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Author Bio: Barbara Devlin is a retired cop turned exceedingly eccentric English professor—now successful independent author.
Author Site: http://www.barbaradevlin.com
You can find her Brethren series exclusively on Amazon!
About the Writer
1. What five words describe you?
Bold, rebellious, stubborn, forgetful, humorous.
2. What was the first story you ever wrote? I mean the really bad one we all have that you’re trying to hide in the back of closet now that you’re published?
A horrid little mystery featuring an old-world sleuth named Herschel Biltmore. But I was so damn proud of that goofy story. I think the murder weapon was a fingernail file. Seriously.
3. What inspires you?
Life, in general. Everyday people surviving extraordinary circumstances. Really interesting seemingly inconsequential moments in history.
4. What distracts you?
Life, in general. My husband. Rufus, our very co-dependent Brittany. Any song by Pink—I have to dance.
5. What’s your favorite story? This can be specific, as in a particular book or even story-driven movie, or general, like “I’m a sucker for a hero looking for redemption story.”
The 19th Century American Gothic Hope Leslie, by Catharine Maria Sedgwick. On the surface, it is an unapologetic examination of 17th Century New England and the dispossession and extermination of American Indians. But at its core is a beautifully composed historical romance between the Indian Oneco and his “white bird” Faith, and their subsequent inter-racial marriage, which was quite controversial given the that the book was first published in 1827.
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About the Writing
1. Tell us about your currently available titles.
My current titles are the first three books in the Brethren of the Coast series, which focuses on the descendants of five Templar mariners. Enter the Brethren, My Lady, The Spy, and The Most Unlikely Lady are just the beginning. Book 4, One-Knight Stand will be available in February 2014. Each book is a meticulously researched and detailed construct of early 19th Century England during the Peninsular Wars. For the sea battle in My Lady, The Spy, I consulted an expert in 19th Century tall ships for the appropriate vernacular and strategy.
2. What’s your favorite part about writing these stories?
What I love most about fiction is that it enables the author to share intimate aspects of their life with a multitude of readers, yet the reader has no idea what’s real and what’s make-believe. Also, these stories, in particular, give me the opportunity to draw from my experiences living in London, as an undergraduate. The first time I toured the Naval Academy in Greenwich, I fell in love with the splendor and elegance, so my work merges two of my great loves: history and writing.
3. What would your characters say about you? Be honest!
My characters would describe me as a ruthless perfectionist and bemoan the fact that every time I lose my way, they all contract the plague and die.
4. Who would play your favorite character if they made a movie of their story?
Eek! I purposely avoid putting models on my covers because that ruins my ability to relate on a personal level with the characters. I want to think of them as I imagine them in my head, and that changes over time. And call me shallow, but if I don’t find the cover models attractive, I won’t buy the book. So I prefer to leave it to the reader to envision the characters as they see fit. In a sense, it allows the reader to form an existential bond, of sorts. As it is, I wish I could omit any description of the physical traits of my characters, but that isn’t very realistic. And I highly doubt anyone would ever consider a screen adaptation of my books, because it would cost a fortune. In short, it would never happen.
5. Do you have any projects currently in the works you want to talk about?
Well, Book 5, The Captain of Her Heart, is in the polishing stage. It’s the story of Alex and Captain Jason Collingwood, and I had so much fun creating their happily ever after. The remaining Brethren books are fully plotted, by chapter. And due to reader requests, I am going to write the stories of the five Templar Mariners, whose vignettes set the stage for each BOC novel. As it is, I’ve really come to love those Medieval guys. Also, I will include a short story detailing the courtship of then Lieutenant Mark Douglas and Lady Amanda Gascoigne-Lake in an upcoming anthology.
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Thank you for joining us today, Barbara, and good luck with your stories!