Breathing life back into her stories.
An interview with Barbara Bickmore.
AP – You love to read on your Kindle. Is that what planted the idea to turn your books into Ebooks?
Barbara - The moment I saw a Kindle I knew I wanted my books digitalized. I begged my NY agent for years to do it, but they can't make enough money that way to be worth their time. So I finally took matters into my own hands and decided to do it. Thanks to my discovering Tony and Karla Locke (and Armchair Publishing),who were willing to undertake editing, digitalizing, designing covers, doing all the research necessary it has come to pass. Now they've discovered a way to bring my books out in paperback too. The best of all worlds.
AP – Since your books were only available in printed form, they had to be converted to digital. This meant copying them and then converting to digital, which resulted in unusual characters and misinterpretation of some of the words. Due to this process, it required you to go through each book, page by page, to edit and correct.
Barbara -Yes, it was tedious, reading for every comma, etc.
AP - What was it like to revisit your stories?
Barbara - It was interesting. Many times (most times) I didn't even know what was coming next. It had been a long time since I'd read them. I didn't even remember some of the characters. All in all, I decided I was pretty proud of them, particularly the historical ones, which are factually accurate. I spend a lot of time researching. Combining facts and fiction is something I love to do. I call it faction.
AP – Since the rights to your books were returned to you, this put you in the publisher’s seat. You were now in control of all aspects of your book; editing, cover design, publishing and marketing. Did you find yourself enjoying it?
Barbara - Not particularly. I do not think that generally creative people enjoy or are even good at the business side of it, the factual details. My mind likes to soar to the land of make believe not the little details of reality.
AP - Did you enjoy having creative input into the designs of your new covers?
Barbara - That was fun. And working with Tony Locke was most enjoyable. He'd take the ideas I tossed at him and come up with ideas that we'd discuss and he was a pleasure to work with, so that added to the enjoyment. I did not like all the original covers of my books. For instance, in Distant Star the heroine was wearing a kimono, whereas it takes place in China and kimonos are only worn in Japan. That irritated me. I like the details to be accurate as well as have something to do with the story.
AP - It has been quite a while since your last book was published in the U.S. Now two of your books, Stairway To The Stars and West Of The Moon, are going into print for the first time in the U.S. Are you just a little excited?
Barbara - Well, they've been out in Europe for years and I have at least a dozen book covers of them already. I like the idea that my friends and fans now have the books available to them. For over 20 years I taught high school English (American Lit) and I think once a teacher always a teacher. I think my history books will teach readers things they didn't know or weren't aware of, and I love the idea that I'm till teaching, still able to introduce new ideas to readers.
I've had women from all over the world tell me that my heroines inspired them or even changed their lives. Oh, what a wonderful feeling!
AP – Your fans want to know if you are working on anything new?
Barbara- Yes, in a couple of months I should finish a novel I've been working on for years, about the building of the Panama Canal. It will be 100 years old in 2014. People don't realize what an event it was, tying two oceans together, cutting shipping time and expenses instead of going around the world, they could go through it. It was also the largest engineering feat ever undertaken, with the Great Wall of China.
I like writing about warm sunny tropical places because it takes me at least two years to write a book and when I'm writing one, I'm mentally wherever the book takes place. Its tentative title is Rites of Passage.
Visit Barbara's website for a look at all of her books.
Seventeen years ago I married the “boy next door” to my college apartment—he was thoughtful, brilliant, and handsome. We married after nine intense months of dating and spent the next ten years becoming the “All-American Couple.” We had lots of money in the bank, traveled extensively, and planned three children. We methodically lived out our goals and plans, barely stopping long enough to look at what we had created. Our marriage and family seemed to be thriving, but I felt frustrated and lonely. I denied constant intuitive feelings that something wasn’t right, and learned to bury them because my husband and my life looked so “perfect.”
Then after ten-and-a-half years of marriage, my husband’s long-kept secret was revealed: he had been having numerous affairs during the length of our marriage. I was repulsed and heartbroken beyond what I thought I could bear. And I had to start looking at the reality of our marriage—it was far from thriving. In fact, it was probably the most troubled relationship of any I knew. In the subsequent weeks, we would learn through counseling that my husband was a sex addict, and had been for as long as I had known him.
As a result of the pain that ensued, I began a healing journey that has brought me to the happiest place I have ever known. This tragedy shook me to my core and uncovered a soul that had been dying a slow death. It has since been re-awakened, and I am living a life that inspires even me. I am thankful for the process and for the long, wonderful, difficult journey.
A powerful and transforming journey of love, loss and finding oneself.
Available now as an ebook - $4.99
The Author in all of us
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