Interview with Barbara J Gilbert

Barbara J Gilbert

Hi Barbara how’s it going? How’s life in our new reality treating you?

Treating me okay so far, though getting a bit bored stuck at home.

Yea it definitely affects everyone differently. I find a lot of writers have been ok with some of the changes, personally, while obviously not ok with the ramifications of the virus itself.

Exactly. For some of us getting out and doing things is nice, but now there isn’t really any place to go. Although, I will be trying to go to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to take pictures on Wed.

Awesome. So I’ll start with asking when you knew you wanted to be a writer, and what led to the publication of your first novel?

I have always created stories in my mind and rarely wrote them down. However about 10 years ago my boys were required to write for NaNoWriMo and weren’t doing well so I joined them to give them inspiration.

I never finished the story and the next year began another one alongside of them. At the time I was taking care of my mother so I wasn’t in the same state as they were. Again I didn’t finish the story.

In 2018 I got new messages and facebook post from nanowrimo, and since they changed the rules I printed out the first story I wrote and took it with me on a bus ride to New York. While reading it, I decided not to continue the story and started a new one in my head.

I began the 2018 nanowrimo and ended up completing it and winning. I decided two things. 1. I would need to split the story up if I was ever going to complete it. 2. No one would know I wrote the story, so I decide what the heck and put it up on amazon.

I did have plenty of help from author friends and they helped me by reading the manuscript, pointing me to an editor and cover designer. And my neighbor was my sounding board to throw ideas around.

That’s how it all began and I credit my boys for it.

 

Sounds like quite a journey. What is it that appeals to you about writing Science Fiction. Where did your love of the genre begin?

My love for science fiction and fantasy can be attributed to my first science fiction/fantasy book I read. It was the Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

The love for the genre that I write began with my fascination with the end times (revelations) and my desire to always be able to help people. I always imagined what the world would be like if something bad happened.

So talk a bit about your Future Apocalypse series and let our community know why it should be their next click.

Future Apocalypse is a split genre between Time Travel and a Post-Apocalyptic world. The settings are in real locations and the characters interact in these locations.

Paulette, the main character, is a brilliant young lady who has always wanted to invent time travel. In her mid-twenties she is finally successful. In her thirst for new technology and more advanced science that would stretch her abilities she jumps 250 years into the future.

When she arrives she discovers that Seattle is underwater, and in a panic runs back to her time pod to go back home only to discover it won’t work.

Stuck in this post-apocalyptic world she grabs her go bag, rifle and pistol and begins searching for people who could possibly help her.

In book two they begin a perilous journey across the Cascade Mountains to the City of Technology. They run into trouble along the way and several people die or are injured.

Once they arrive at the City only Paulette and Thomas are allowed to enter. There she discovers they have a time pod but can’t get it working. However, they want to go and change the past in the hopes of saving people and the planet from death and destruction.

She doesn’t agree with them and needs to find a way to get home and not let them change the past.

In book three she is forced to go back into the past and change something. To prove her point she goes, and as they jump into different points in history she eventually proves that changing the past doesn’t work. Now they have to figure out how to fix what they changed, and get back to the City of Technology. She still is trying to get back home and has devised a way to take the time pod and destroy her work so they can’t rebuild. The antagonist gets what’s coming to him in a spectacular way. And the ending is not what the readers think it might be.

Tried not to give to many spoilers. LOL

Sounds amazing.

Thanks!

How much of yourself and the people in your own life do you insert into your characters?

As I was writing the characters began to take on various aspects of my life and habits, as well as, those of others around me. I even included my dog in the story. As it turns out some characters had similar first names as people around me and some of my friends asked to be apart of the story so I wove their first names into the story.

Each characters last name was different to make it less like the real people the names were pulled from. There are also multiple locations that really exist, or had existed at some point.

ME: It’s one of the great things about being a writer. Being able to bring yourself and those you know into an adventure you or they would never experience in real life. In my Cider of Legend novel, my wife and I were written in as sidewinder snakes but the character traits are all us.

Wow that sounds really cool.

So what takes up most of your time when you’re not writing?

At this point the marketing of the books has taken a lot of my time. When I’m not doing that I like to do paint by number and send them to friends and relatives as presents. I do want to get back out and do my photography. I also read and listen to audiobooks in my spare time.

I also recently went to a train show in Raleigh, NC and ran my Milwaukie train on a mile long winding track.

I am an Amateur Radio operator and hope that the new antenna we will install this week will let me get on the other HF bands and let me reach people around the world.

And when I really get bored I tinker with electronic projects. A couple months back I built a speaker set from scratch.

So getting back to reading, what are some recent Indie Sci-Fi or Fantasy novels you’ve read that you can recommend to the community?

There are so many. There is a great series with a similar location as mine from Author Austin Chambers called Cascadia Fallen.

Also a recent book I read Starcross Academy by Jeanna Lane.

There are great books by Tom Abrahams, in fact his main character is mentioned in my book.

If you like zombies and a good laugh, the Christopher Artians The End of Everything Series and Safe Haven series are a good read.

I am currently listening to the Lucidite series and it is awesome. I could go on and on…. Boyd Craven has several great series out as well. If you like Thrillers check out J. Sharpe’s books. I just finished reading Broken Memory and it was excellent.

These sounds great. My TBR is an ever growing mountain at the moment.

So is mine. It is more than I can probably read or listen to in a life time.

So what’s next for you? What can readers expect from you in 2021?

Well I am going to take a break from writing and work on honing my skills from the various classes I have purchased. Work on my photography again and later in 2021 with probably a 2022 release I will complete the free short story.

I forgot to mention I have a free short story. It is the first story I typed when I worked with my boys on nano. The one I decided not to finish in 2018. I rounded it off and sent it out as a free short story and someone has asked me to complete the story. I already have the covers paid for, so its just a matter of finishing it.

Then I may finish the comet Collison story that involves a young virologist and an alien virus that is on the comet that impacts the earth.

That’s sounds cool. Enjoy the break and we’ll await your return. So as an indie author how important is reader interaction to you and how do you most enjoy network with your readers?

Being new I am still learning. My interaction with readers right now is through my newsletters and my author facebook page. I have thought about a fan page, but not sure how to get started and also not sure about how much energy it will take to run. I am a disabled veteran and so have to do things when I can.

I like to end each interview with this question. What one piece of advice could you offer to new and aspiring authors?

First and foremost always continue to write. Make sure to find and connect with other authors in your genre. They can be a very helpful resource. Also get a good editor and cover designer.

Thanks Barbara it was great talking to you today!

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