Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Interview and book giveaway with Barbara Britton!!

Today we continue our visit with Barbara Britton as she answers interview questions and offers a free, signed copy of her latest book
 Defending David. 

All you need to do to be entered is to click on the comment button after the interview and leave a comment and your email. 

Here's a short blurb about her book:

When a quiet journey to Jerusalem turns tragic, newly orphaned Rimona must flee a kinsman set on selling her as a slave. Racing into the rocky hills outside of Hebron, Rimona is rescued by a rugged Philistine commander journeying to Jerusalem with six hundred warriors. Can Rimona trust this giant foreigner or will she be betrayed once again?

Exiled commander Ittai the Gittite is seeking refuge in the city of David. Protecting a frantic Hebrew woman is not in his leadership plan. Though having a nobleman's niece in his caravan might prove useful for finding shelter in a foreign land.

As Rimona and Ittai journey to Jerusalem, an attraction grows between the two orphans looking for a new home. The unlikely pair arrives in Jerusalem on the eve of a revolt against King David. Will the chaos separate them forever, or can a bold woman and a Philistine exile defend an aging king who has slain tens of thousands, but cannot control a rebellious son?

Well, this sounds so interesting! Barbara, what inspired you to want to write this story?

I first heard about Ittai the Gittite in a sermon my husband preached called  A Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother. Ittai befriended King David during Absalom's rebellion and became a trusted confidante of the king. What caught my attention about Ittai is that he is a Philistine exile. The Philistines were enemies of Israel and they worshipped many gods. But Ittai's first words in II Samuel 15:21 show why he might have been exiled from Philistia: 

"As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives,"

Did you catch it? Ittai believes in the Living God. The One True God. Ittai also pledges allegiance to King David, God's anointed king. I would love to know Ittai's backstory and how he became a believer. I write my ideas in the book.

No wonder this character sparked the interest of you and your husband! What made you decide to be a writer?

I had no plans to be an author. I was teaching Bible stories to elementary students in chapel and needed to modify my curriculum and write new lesson plans. I prayed to God for creativity, but I wasn't specific that I needed help with only my chapel lessons. After the prayer, I had a prompting to sit down and write sweet historical stories. I finished three books before I started writing about little-known Bible characters. I should have started writing about what I was teaching each week. I guess I'm a slow learner.

I love writing about people in the Bible that many Christians haven't met. It surprises me how many stories are new to me, and I have been a Christian for a long time.

There is so much rich history in the Bible, and so many people whose full stories aren't told. Yet! What is the biggest challenge for you in being a writer?

When I started writing, the internet and social media weren't invented, or were in their infancy. I didn't have to balance my writing time with building a social media platform. My family responsibilities and my church ministries haven't changed, but now I need to find time to write posts and snap pictures and comment on friend's stories. 

It can be distracting to have dings going off when you're trying to concentrate. I have to constantly remind myself to make writing a priority over social media. I'm sure we've all had it happen that you're only going to check for notifications on Facebook and a half hour later you're still looking at pictures.

How true that is!

Do you write from an outline, or just from inspiration, or both?

I love it when God gives me an outline and I can follow a story in Scripture one verse at a time. I focus on II Samuel, chapters 15-19 in "Defending David." There's plenty of material in those chapters to write a story. David had an interesting life, and a lot is written about him in Scripture.

When there isn't much in the Bible about a person or story, I have to fill in action that may have happened and make it fit the customs of life in biblical times.

I bet that can be pretty challenging!

Do you have any underlying themes that you want your readers to come away with?

I have themes for all of my books. For "Defending David," I chose Proverbs 18:24:

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Ittai sticks closer than a brother to King David. It's interesting that none of David's brothers are mentioned during Absalom's rebellion. Some may have passed on or they were too old to assist David. David was about sixty years old when his son tried to seize the kingdom.

Our ultimate friend and Savior is Jesus. Jesus' mother and step-father, Mary and Joseph, were both from the line of King David.

 Do your characters share any traits with you or someone you know?

In Biblical times, life was difficult. The Israelites lived under occupation and meeting daily needs was a chore. I like to think my characters are a lot bolder and more courageous than I am.

People in the Bible couldn't fathom having a social media account or imagine the advancements of technology. maybe they would think that we are the fearless ones.

That's an interesting thought!

Do your characters ever surprise you?

When I'm working under the constructs of historical times, my characters don't surprise me much. When I work on a contemporary story, I find my characters surprise me all the time. With technology, there are a myriad of conflicts that can happen in present day stories. As an author, you have to write a novel so that technology doesn't make your plot points obsolete. One nice thing about history is that it doesn't change with the new I-phone release.

Thank goodness for that!

What are you working on now?

I'm briefly breaking with Bible stories and writing a contemporary series. I am using the wisdom I gained as a breast cancer survivor to shine a light on self-esteem and health issues.

That sounds like a much-needed issue to shine a light on. I appreciate you spending time to answer my questions! It's been wonderful to have you on The Diamond Mine!!

Now readers, here's a bit more about Barbara and her links. And don't forget to leave a comment so you'll be entered in the drawing for a free, signed copy of "Defending David."

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow-- when it accumulates under three inches! She is published in Biblical Fiction and loves bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Her WWI historical Until June released in 2020. Barb is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Romance Writers of America. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.

You can connect with Barbara on:

And you can find her books here: 


Barbara Britton said...

I enjoyed our interview. Thank you for hosting me on The Diamond Mine, Nancy.

Abigail Harris said...

This one sounds so good! Congrats on the new book, Mrs. Britton!

A. readreviewrejoiceATgmailDOTcom

Barbara Britton said...

Thank you, Abigail. I had so much fun bringing Ittai and Rimona to a novel. God's Word is always teaching me something and bringing me closer to Him. Thanks for joining us.

NYLILY said...

I really enjoyed this interview. It is always a pleasure to gain some insight into who an author really is and what inspires them to write. Christian novels are such an inspiration to me!

Barbara Britton said...

Hi NYLILY. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for joining us.

Natalya Lakhno said...

Thank you for the interview!

Roxanne C. said...

I enjoyed reading the interview and learning about Barbara Britton. Her new Biblical fiction novel sounds amazing, and I always learn something valuable from her books.

Barbara Britton said...

Hi Natalya. It's good to "see" you again. Thanks for joining Nancy and I, and posting a comment. I'm glad you liked the interview.

Barbara Britton said...

Hi Roxanne. I'm glad you're here. Thank you for the kind words about my books. It warms my heart.