• Interview Questions Posed by Author Judith Barrow

    What am I working on?

    I am currently formatting the 4th & 5th Books of the series I began writing in 2006; The Celestial Sea Voyages. This is a story that came to me quite unexpectedly—a story that continues to unravel on a daily basis, so while I am organizing past material, I am also keeping a running account of present-day ‘happenings.’ The 1st & 2nd Books; THE CELESTIAL SEA and DRY DOCK are both available through Amazon/Barnes & Noble or Troubador Publishing. The 3rd Book in the series; SETTING SAIL, will be out this summer. The tale is a mystical love story; a sacred romance and moral quest spanning human heart and hemisphere, wrapped in an unusual blanket of intimate, honest sharing. As the years go by, so too the story organically grows, surprising the writer as much as the reader. Through logging the tale, the scribe realizes that ‘something other’ is driving the storyline; something she has no say in directing. Should she be concerned? Should she end the chapters and close the laptop? Fonts are mysteriously changed without her knowledge, codes are added and even passages moved or altered. Live Magic—the real thing—runs through the pages with hope, trust, and ultimately, unconditional love as all involved come to terms with what is---a most extraordinary live epic.

    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    I think the above passage may have answered this question. I have read no other series remotely like The Celestial Sea Voyages, and as a result, it doesn’t easily slide into any specific genre. Written in the present and from a deeply personal angle, the reader is beside the protagonist for every step of her unusual and ultimately thrilling adventure which begins in New Zealand’s North Island. Although set in a modern-day environment, the language has a touch of old-fashioned nuance which gilds the drama with poetic brush-strokes. Primarily a romance, the spiritual element certainly makes it very different from much in that genre. The series was launched in August 2012 as the antithesis of the BDSM trend. I enclose a passage from the series synopsis:

    “Pick a subject for adult readers--a subject to cause a stir; something to feed story-hungry minds. What would you choose? Romance? Adventure? Spirituality? Sensuality? Betrayal? Religious Quandary? Erotica? How about Domestic Hilarity? Live Magic would be different. A Battle between Honour, Integrity and True Love might be novel. What about Psychology? Karmic Enlightenment? Or a Mystery Wrapping an Unborn Child? That could be interesting. Forbidden Love is a good subject too; would that grab the reader? How about a story including all the above? A story that might be true from beginning to end; a story directed by the ‘Something Other’ that makes the magic real and sails a Mystical Boat across uncharted seas?

    If you are interested--read on. Most of the books in this unusual epic are complete. The others are recorded and part written. As the subject, I have had no pre-knowledge of the storyline’s intention; suffice to say the conclusion of the 7th book surprises the writer as much as the reader and leads naturally into the second series—and beyond. All I can say is that the writing reveals a glorious--exciting--and heart-wrenching tale."

    Why do I write what I do?

    There is only one reason I began writing--to save the quantity of literary correspondence that appeared to be accumulating on my mobile phone; literary expression that I couldn’t just ‘delete’. I began weaving these text messages into my diary writing—a way to not only ‘save’ the precious moments, but ultimately to make sense of them. I had no idea that the recording would, in fact, turn out to be a story-in-the-making. So, I can in all honesty say that I never set out to be a writer. In a way, the story turns itself inside out as the leading characters gradually come to the realization that they are, in fact, writing a story—and perhaps the series is the reason for their connection. And this is where the live magic steps in—for what purpose I, as the recorder, am still unclear. But there is a reason, and whatever drives the chapters knows far more than I do! I am merely The Scribe who continues to chart the progress of the story which after 7 years of intense labour has now gone into print. I have grown so accustomed to keeping my diary that I continue doing so—as well as continuing to log and format the remaining books still to be launched. I find that my perception and observation skills have increased no end. I ‘notice’ much that I might never have ‘seen’ if I wasn’t recording daily moments in such detail.

    How does my writing process work?

    I begin my day very early in the morning—usually before 6 a.m--with a cup of tea and my laptop in bed, watching the sun rise over the rural village roof-tops where I live in the heart of Somerset. My two small terriers love this ‘writing/meditation’ time. They curl up either under or on top of the duvet, depending on the temperature! I like to review the previous day’s diary entry with perhaps some additions I may have left out. I then tap in the new date and often record my dreams and ponderings from the night I have recently experienced. My dreams are often colourful, hilarious and sometimes prophetic. Dreams of a very specific nature might hold clues or important revelation that resonates with past chapters or dates—so this takes some time to investigate—and then, yes, you guessed right, I write about my findings in the current diary entry. This means that past passages are often brought forward to be discussed and reviewed in a new light. Alongside the regular and not-so-regular, daily observations this makes for something hopefully interesting! My domestic chores and daytime job three times a week mean I am busy for much of the time, but when I am not I relish stealing a few more moments with my laptop. And so do the dogs!

    Alongside this daily record I am usually working on one, if not two, past volumes. For instance, two weeks ago I finalized the edit on the formatted pages of the 3rd Book; SETTING SAIL, and sent them back to the publisher. This book will be out by the end of July/beginning of August this year. At the same time I have been completing a preliminary edit on the 4th Book; CALM WATERS, while simultaneously logging hand-written script that will make up the 5th Book; NO HORIZON? My laptop does really well, with so many documents open at once—all together with Facebook and Twitter promotions, not to mention e-mails addresses etc. Well—all I can say is that there is no way I would manage this level of both communication and writing if it wasn’t for modern technology—so I hereby say a big THANK YOU to those brilliant folk who have made it possible for writers to really ‘get down to it’!


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