Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Holly Jolly Christmas on the Mine

 with Barbara Britton and Renee Blare




Beginning December 23, 2020 @ 12:30am

Comment below in Blog Comment Section:

 Entry must include ALL of the following:

1. Name and Email
2. Respond with Your favorite Bible Character and Why
(Who knows? It may provide fodder for a new Britton novel!)

Award: One Print or E-Copy (Winner's Choice)


Drawing Date:
December 29, 2020 @ 11:59pm

1. Winner announced December 30, 2020, by 6:00pm
2. Winner will also be notified by email and will need to respond within 72 hours to claim the desired reward version of the book they wish to receive (print or e-copy.)
3. Lack of response within the specified time frame will rule the winning selection as void and another winner shall be drawn from the eligible comments, regardless of preference and desire.
4. Author, the Diamond Mine, or Miner (blogger) is not responsible for any communication, email, or delivery complications during the Christmas season which may impact the delivery of the winning item. It is said to be nearly impossible to meet delivery deadlines right now.




Come on in, it's "Chat Time!"

RENEE: Hi there, Barbara! Welcome to the Diamond Mine. I'm so excited that you are with us today. For y'all joining us, my guest today is my great friend and Biblical Fictional author, Barbara M. Britton.

BARBARA: Hi, Renee, I am excited to be with you on the Diamond Mine. I cherish our meeting and the time we spent together in Deadwood, South Dakota. I can't wait to get started!

RENEE: Absolutely. Deadwood was amazing and I can't wait until we can spend more time together, professionally and personally. You are a great friend and writer. Your Tribes of Israel series captures Biblical characters in the Old Testament and gives them a day in the Christian Fiction sun. What drives you to start a book in a series such as that AND finish it? You must have true love and passion for writing or is it the story itself?

BARBARA: I would have to say both. When I'm working on a story that resonates with me, the characters grab hold of my mind and they don't let go. It's like I can't stop writing the story or they won't give me a moment's peace. Is that passion? Love? I think it's a blessing or some kind of special gift, but it can be very distracting as well. I write the "goings-on" of the scenes on a piece of paper, then I can obtain focus to accomplish other things. Once I finish the book, the characters leave me alone.
This makes me sound crazy, but other writers tell me their brains work the same way. This passion or constant character and plot brainstorming during the writing process is one reason that writers have notepads stashed in every nook and cranny from their nightstands to the consoles of the cars. It's because we never know when our characters are going to blurt some insanely perfect dialogue or when an ideal plot line or idea for a scene is going to pop into our heads. It's only when I pen the words, "The End" my life returns halfway to normal.

RENEE: How do you pick and then create your characters so they become "human" and deeper than the paper they are written on? After all, Biblical characters can be rather untouchable - unapproachable to most people today, at least at face value.

BARBARA: The Bible is filled with conflict. The Israelites were at war with several nations and they had conflict within their own tribes. Women didn't have the rights they do today, so when women were bold for God, they put their life in jeopardy, or at least their social standing. I try to understand how precarious life was in Bible Times and place the conflict within my characters. I draw on feelings and hurts I've experienced in my own life. I'm also a big music fan and I find that a song can capture the mood or feeling of a character.
You can mine character traits from people you meet or from friends. Don't make it obvious though, or people may be guarded around you. I've used perfume ads to find the personality of a character or what they look like. Perfume ads tend to be dramatic because they are selling a fragrance that is embodying a personality (or character). Being a visual learner, I can glean a lot from a picture more than a list of traits. Some authors interview their characters and write a list of "favorites" to flesh out their characters.

RENEE: Well, we all know the Bible has unique people and unique places. It must be truly amazing to have such an overflowing well to choose from for your books. Can you tell us how you chose this latest book's setting?

BARBARA: The tribe of Manasseh settled in the Promised Land among cities that had their kings vanquished, but their people survived. These Canaanites continued to worship idols and eventually led many Israelites astray in the tribe of Manasseh.
Biblically, the daughters of Zelophehad are descended from Joseph. Manasseh was the firstborn son of Joseph, but he was not given the firstborn blessing. His brother Ephraim received the firstborn blessing from his grandfather Jacob.
In my series, I place my faithful sisters in a land filled with faithless people. It reminds me of the church today. How would Milcah and her sisters continue to serve God in a land that did not praise His name? The sisters live near the city of Megiddo. Some scholars think the final battle in Revelation will be near Megiddo. Good versus evil. What better place to end my series about girls who sought God for their needs and didn't forget His promises?

RENEE: Wow, you make me want to read all three of your books this second! I love the way you work, ma'am. In fact, the books I have read of yours are awesome, just like you are. What would you say is your biggest challenge as an author?

BARBARA: That is a great question. Like most authors, I split my time between being creative and being a businesswoman. Don't get me wrong, I love to write my stories and get lost in my story world, but I also need to make sure readers know I have books in the real world.
When I began writing, social media was not the force that it is today. Publishers did most of the promotion in the "old days." Now a lot of marketing falls onto the author's desk. It is easy to be swept away into the social media realm and not realize that hours are passing by. I have to set boundaries on such things as marketing and social media, or it will consume my day.
My advice for writers of any experience level is to do what you enjoy and limit the rest. Once I was asked why I wasn't on Pinterest. I responded that I didn't have time to create fun and fabulous boards because I'd never get any writing done if I did.
Writing has to be and is my first priority.

RENEE: Time management is a serious subject in anyone's life especially the writer, published or not. I know from experience that my life was turned upside down when writing became a career instead of merely a hobby. I was a pharmacist when I wrote my first novel and already had many demands on my time. The writing was a joy, publication a surprise, but marketing? That was and is a nightmare. I have one final question for you and we'll toast our way into acknowledging and celebrating Jesus Christ's birthday (with coffee or tea, of course.)
Would you mind sharing your testimony and how it impacts those around you?

BARBARA: Of course. It's ironic, or some might say, a "God thing" that I'm a Christian Fiction author. I did not grow up in a Christian home. I had wonderful parents, but they did not seek a relationship with Jesus. My mom became a Christian through Bible Study Fellowship. She brought my sister and me to church, and I became a Christian in the third grade.
I can remember as a child having this great fear of death and believing "luck" to be arbitrary and stupid. When I heard about Jesus, all my questions about life were answered. 
One of my favorite things to do is teach the Bible to kids. I also like to write Christian books for teens and adults. The Bible is one story, God's story, but it is made up of 66 books. We tend to focus on the New Testament and ignore the Old Testament. I'm always learning about new-to-me stories in the Bible and I want to share them with my readers.

RENEE: You are a truly amazing woman and author. I wish I could write biblical fiction like you but until God graces me with that ability, I will continue to read how your elaborate characters within your tremendous biblical settings live their lives facing evil and triumphing with God to do and be good.

BARBARA: Thank you, my friend. And thanks again for having me on the Diamond Mine, Renee. Milcah's story is the third in my daughters of Zelophehad series, but it can be read as a stand-alone story.
In honor of our Savior's birth and this blog, I'm offering a print or e-copy of "Claiming Canaan: Milcah's Journey" (Print copy available for U.S. Winner only).


To enter: please leave a comment beneath the post in the Blogger comment section, sharing your favorite Bible character and why that's the case. Who knows? The person may become the lead character in my next novel!



About the Guest, Barbara Britton:

Barbara M. Britton loves to bring little-known Bible characters to light in her fiction. She is published with Pelican Book Group and ventured into Christian Historical Fiction with "Until June" in June of 2020. Barb lives in Wisconsin, but her college days were spent in Waco, Texas at Baylor University. Barb has a nutrition degree but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. You can find out more about Barb and her books on her website or on social media.

About the Miner, Renee Blare:

In the Black Hills foothills of Wyoming lives Christian Author and Artist, Renee Blare. She's a pharmacist of twenty-three years, but although licensed, is inactive and has not practiced for the last three years due to her disability. She is a published author with Prism Book Group, a subsidiary of Pelican Book Group, and is a best-selling author of Romantic Suspense and Mystery and Contemporary Christian Fiction.
Renee is an advocate for Chronic Pain Warriors including the Disabled and Elderly who must use Opioids. She also is politically active for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Warriors and all other Chronic Pain Warriors being persecuted by State and the Federal Government Agencies for needing to take opioids to control their pain.
She seeks relief from severe and uncontrolled pain through learning and developing new skills in art, crafts, music, and writing.
Discover more about Renee Blare at the following sites:
                  Renee Blare - CRPS
                  Inyan Kara Studio
Instagram: @mrzgrizwyo
Email:       Gmail
                  Yahoo Mail
                  AOL Mail


Barbara Britton said...

Thanks for having me on the "Mine," Renee. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

LoRee Peery said...

A wonderful interview. I so enjoyed meeting you both at Wild Deadwood Reads. Merry Christmas blessings to you and your families. Until we meet again...

Barbara Britton said...

Thanks for joining us, LoRee. I hope we can all meet again in South Dakota. Merry Christmas.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

These sound like amazing books, Barbara!
Wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings with them.

Pamela S Thibodeaux
Favorite Bible Character is the woman with the issue of blood because she reminds me that no matter how far down in the pit of despair we are, God is always there to pick us up and heal us!

Barbara Britton said...

Hi Pam. Thanks for joining us. Merry Christmas Eve!

The woman with the issue of blood is a good choice. She had a strong belief in Jesus and His healing power was complete. Tessa Afshar brings the woman to life in "Land of Silence."

LiteOfTheNite said...

Hello, Pam and LoRee, and Merry Christmas! I agree, Pam as well.

My favorite woman in the Bible. believe it or not, is Delilah, for a reason that most would not understand. Delilah became an obsession . . . a priority that Samson put before God. Delilah was not a woman of God, but simply a prostitute living her life her way as so many of this world do today, and she was exploited and used by the enemy of God.

I always remember to examine or look for the "Delilah's" in my life. Those people and things that I put before my loyalty to my King. Because if Delilah can bring down Samson, what can the enemy accomplish through my "Delilah's" to an unsuspecting, "sleeping" me?

Barbara Britton said...

Wise comments about Delilah, Renee. I sometimes wonder if the silver she received for betraying Samson was like the silver Judas received?

LiteOfTheNite said...

Very good question. Is silver — money — and all it represents today (power, prestige, control) really all it takes to betray the ones who would give their lives for us and in the spiritual sense, the One who gave all?

Elisama Lucena said...

My favorite character is Joseph. He was a wise man, looking for God's answer. He was obedient to the Lord.

Barbara Britton said...

Hi Elisama! Thanks for joining us. I recently studied Genesis again and Joseph's faith stood out as an inspiration. He worshiped God in captivity and even in prison.

Dianna said...

My favorite Bible character is probably Moses. I just think it's amazing that he had the chance to talk with God so intimately -- even glowing afterward!

(dedezoomsalot at yahoo dot com)

Barbara Britton said...

Hi Dianna! Thanks for joining me here, too. Moses would be an interesting character. He shows up in LIONESS. I haven't written an entire story about him...yet.