From Auckland, New Zealand, Barbara Russell’s short story, Miss Princott’s Time Travel Agency, features in the Fairfield Scribe’s When to Now anthology released on 1st Oct 2018 and I talk with her about her journey.
Firstly, can you tell me about your short story?
Miss Princott’s Time Travel Agency is a story set in Auckland, the City of Sails, about Miss Princott who owns the first time travel agency in the world. A client asks to see Verona in 1527, to meet the real Romeo and Juliet, but something happens and they’re stuck in Verona. Owing a time travel agency was supposed to be fun.
What did your research for the story look like?
I read many, many novels on time travelling and since the protagonist goes back to Verona during Romeo and Juliet’s time, I re-read Romeo and Juliet as well. Shakespeare is always a pleasure to read!
Would you call yourself a planner then?
Yes definitely a planner! I can’t pants. Totally can’t. I write the blurb first, then a synopsis, then the outline, and when everything is clear in my mind and on paper, I start writing. I have a sort of OCD about writing, haha. Once I start writing a novel, I MUST finish. Can’t focus on anything else. So I write at least 2,000 words no matter what. Even on Christmas Day. Even in hospital. Yeah, I don’t have a life.
I write in the dining room. I have a small room that was designed as my ‘office’, but gee, it’s so very cold my fingers grow numb when I spend too much time there. A friend thinks the room is haunted or something. She got me put a recorder in the room, you know, like in the Sixth Sense, but we caught only my dogs barking.
How long have you been writing for?
I started writing when I was seven, eight? My first “full” novel was the story of (please, don’t laugh) a space bear named Monga. Monga lived in a planet populated by bears, but every bear had the coat of just one colour while Monga had a multi-coloured coat. He was an outcast, an oddity. So he decided to search the galaxy for a beautician who could dye his coat and turn it into a one-colour fur… No luck. He travelled everywhere, but his coat remained like a rainbow. So he decided, who cares? I’m keeping my coat as it is. If his fellow bears didn’t like it, it was their problem.
Now, while you might think that the story has a message, let me tell you, it doesn’t. It ended like that because I was exhausted and didn’t want to write another chapter.
You’ve also got a raft of books coming out in the near future, but what do you do when you’re not writing?
I read 4-5 books per month…yeah, I don’t watch TV. No idea what Game of Thrones, or Dr Who are about. Never watched them. I know, sue me. At first I thought that Breaking Bad (which I initially read Baking Bad) was a cooking programme, go figure. I was already picturing a sort of Master Chef for cooking-challenged people… it turned out it was about some guy becoming a drug dealer? Not sure.
Can you tell me about your upcoming projects?
I have a book out with Champagne Books, A Knight In Distress, and another one in January (Mummy Dearest: A Pharaonic Adventure) with Black Rose Writing. Then other three books (Arabian Days that will be published by Solstice Publishing; The Heart Collector that will be published by Soul Mate Publishing; The Good Inside Me that will be published by World Caste publishing), but I don’t know the release date yet.
I love the cover of a Knight in distress. What’s it all about?
Here’s the blurb.
Knights are supposed to rescue damsels. That’s the natural order. So when Nathair, a knight in training, finds himself rescued by the princess he’s supposed to save, he’s annoyed. And when the princess proves she can fight like a knight? Well, that’s enough for a boy to think about a career change.
It just leaves me to thank Barbara for the taking the time to talk with me today. You can read Barbara’s short story in the anthology When to Now and a her full length novel, A Knight In Distress, both of which are available to buy from Amazon now. I wish you luck and please keep in touch about future projects. If you want to keep in touch with Barbara you can visit her blog, or connect by Facebook and Twitter.
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