Hello, all! And welcome to my blog! Fridays, as some of you know, are Author spotlight/interview/guest post day. And today is no exception. I have author Eve Culley with me today, talking about her book, the second in a series, released earlier this month. It is a children’s book, most suited for ages 7-12, but the reviews say that children as young as 5 have enjoyed it. I am eager to nab a copy for my own youngsters. As you read more about the books below (and visit the reviews for yourself, you’ll surely see why. What an imaginative story! But I detract from the interview…so I’ll get to the good stuff:
Further Adventures in Barn Town is the second book in the Barn Town Series. It is a clever book of hilarious anecdotes, written in feline narrative by a life-long resident, Ol’ Stripe (Deputy of Barn Town) who shares with the reader the highlights of life in Barn Town – a barn situated on a large farm.
I know that authors can get inspiration from many places. What about you? What was the inspiration for Further Adventures in Barn Town?
The inspiration for the Barn Town Series are the animals that live in our barn and that visit with me every day. I watch and listen to them as they talk to one another and their stories emerge from there.
I can only imagine! I am an animal enthusiast – both domestic and exotic (I was an educator at a zoo for over 17 years!). And I know that’s true – animals have a sense of communication between them that is unique. Maybe it takes a writer’s imagination to see it. Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
I have always had a vivid imagination and loved to tell stories. I thought that because of this I would be a teacher and did teach for a while in private schools.
We are of the same heart. I have a passion for teaching. Though I have a science degree, I went into the field of zoo education before my passion for writing took over. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In 1997 I self-published a book of poetry on my family history and gave copies to my mother and mother-in-law. I think that is when the writer bug got into my blood and I became a “writer”.
Poetry! Now that is an art I really do appreciate, but must admit I don’t truly “get”. But I admire those who do and can write it. Since you have been writing for a while, you must already know that there are things about the process that different writers don’t love so much. What about you? What part of the writing process do you dread?
The part of writing I dread is the editing process. The initial process of putting ideas on paper flow almost faster than I can type. Editing is like pulling teeth without Novocain.
I like that metaphor. Too funny. Around here, we say “like pulling teeth through a wall”. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Focus, Sara, focus! I always take hold of every opportunity to learn. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
I hesitant to suggest to any writer how he or she could be a better writer. I feel I am still very much in a learning mode and gleaning all I can from anyone willing to help me. However, I will share with you what works for me and that is jotting down everything that I find of interest. I write notes about anything and everything that catches my interest. I will also say that a lot of my notes end up in my writing and I religiously keep a notebook with me at all times.
That is interesting. I do carry a notebook with me with my “to do” list and to take notes if I need to, but never thought to jot down things that I notice or that inspire/interest me. I’m going to try that!
You’ve probably heard, as many of us have, that writing is somewhat intuitive. That we pick up a lot of what we know from reading. So, it is a good idea to keep reading…in your genre, out of your genre, etc. And it’s just fun! I have yet to meet a writer who wasn’t a reader first. What are you currently reading?
Morgan Le Fay Small Things and Great by Jo-Anne Blanco, Sense of Touch Love and Duty at Anne of Brittany’s Court by Rozsa Gaston, and When You Wish Upon A Fairy by Melody Delgado.
I have heard good things about Rozsa Gaston’s book. And it’s in my genre. You’ll have to let me know what you think.
Now let’s get a peek into your writing environment. I have to listen to music when I write. Do you? What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
I listen to Pandora – Christian and Country.
Here’s where we part ways, my friend. Though I grew up near Nashville, TN, I am NOT a Country fan. But I am alone among a sea of dedicated fans here. To each his (or her) own!
Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
I write any time of the day or night. I have a T.V. tray set up in the living room with my lap top that way my hubby and grandson can at least look at me and me at them. (grin)
Love that! I prefer to share space with hubby while I write too. I just have to bounce each scene and idea off someone. How long does it take you to write a book?
Somewhere around 9 months I guess but that includes my wanderings and talking to my animals and forming the stories in my head. I build back stories for all the characters in my book. This helps me to write about them more completely.
How intriguing! I’ve learned in my writing journey just how vital character development really is. Three dimensional characters makes them real, doesn’t it?
Just a couple more questions…and these may be prying questions, but I’d love a peek behind the curtain, as it were. Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
This book is longer than the first book; there are more pictures and they are all in color this time. I also had a hard time finding a good stopping point.
Ooohh… Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
Since my third book has been submitted for contract, I am working on a stand-alone story that goes with the Barn Town series about Stripe’s (my main character) early life.
Sounds fascinating! Thank you so much for being on my blog today and answering all my crazy questions! Now, I’d like to introduce everyone to the book:
Further Adventures in Barn Town
Written in feline narrative by a life-long resident, Ol’ Stripe (Deputy of Barn Town) shares with the reader the highlights of life in Barn Town – a barn situated on a large farm. Deputy Stripe does all he can to keep his eyes and ears open in order to maintain peace and order, with a hilarious outcome.
AGE LEVEL: 7-12
Enjoy an Excerpt
Cogburn stayed just out of the staff’s reach and taunted the Sheriff with cat calls of crow while dancing across bales of hay. I stayed up in the loft after my search and burrowed back down into the hay. I was ready to go help the Sheriff again if he called, but I hoped he could manage without me. After all, it was very cold out there, out of the warmth of the hay. No need for both of us to be popsicles, I thought.
Then it happened. Rooster Cogburn made a mistake. He zigged when he should have zagged and was cornered behind an extra door leaning against the east wall. It had been put there for storage and made a great place for me to catch a snack. With no way out he was trapped like the “rat rooster” he was. The Sheriff yelled in triumph and grabbed that sorry excuse for a rooster and held him tight.
The Sheriff’s wife, Honey, who had earlier ventured out into Barn Town, adorned with a coat, hat, scarf, gloves, and shoes to watch and lend vocal encouragement to the Sheriff, was presented with Rooster Cogburn by a very triumphal but tired, cold and limping Sheriff. I peeked over the loft edge to watch. The Sheriff’s wife held the culprit tightly while the Sheriff applied the no crow collar to Cogburn’s neck according to the instructions. I watched as the collar was checked again to ensure that it fit properly. Cogburn was released to the ground and promptly fell over. I snickered.
“I can’t breathe,” Cogburn whispered. I could barely hear him. “I can’t move. My legs, I can’t feel my legs,” he gasped. I watched as he lay limp as a wet noodle. I saw the Sheriff pick him up gently. I could tell that all anger was forgotten as the Sheriff readjusted the collar making it a little bit looser and placed Cogburn back on the ground. Cogburn jerked, flopped, and jerked some more.
I started down from the loft as Cogburn gasped and muttered, “I’m dying,” and then dramatically flopped around on the ground, twitching, jerking until finally laying still and not moving. By this time I was beside the Sheriff as he picked him up and again checked the collar. I could tell that it was not tight.
“It is placed as the instructions indicated,” the Sheriff muttered, “but something is definitely wrong.” The Sheriff looked at me and shook his head. It seemed the rooster had died or was dying, unable to breathe or to walk.
Not knowing what else to do, the Sheriff very reluctantly removed the collar. Then the Sheriff placed Cogburn on the ground in hopes he would revive. The very instant Cogburn touched the ground, he was gone. The blur from that rooster would have done the Flash proud as he disappeared into the darkness. It had all been an act by a crafty and tricky villain.
The Sheriff stood there shaking his head. Turning toward Village House, he said, “I’m done.”
Welcome to Barn Town where the residents are friendly and there is mischief and mystery around every corner. Things are changing in Barn Town and Ol’ Stripe is keeping his eye on the new arrivals and the current residents in an attempt to keep the peace.
Buy Links (Amazon)
More About the Author
In the middle of the 1970’s and 80’s, my husband and I were missionaries working in the United States. We worked in different church print shops where Bibles, New Testaments, and individual books of the Bible were printed in different languages and shipped to different countries around the world. We traveled across the U.S. to other churches and businesses to raise money for paper, ink and shipping cost for the Bibles. To gather the necessary money needed, a lot of travel was required and as we traveled I would tell stories to our two young sons of adventure, heroes, and villains.
As our sons grew into adulthood the stories to them became less and less until they stopped. When our grandchildren would visit, the stories were requested again until the stories, too, were a thing of the past. But the storytelling refused to die and go away. Instead, a hunger grew in me to put my stories on paper and books grew out of them. I write, of course, adventures for children to read, believe in and take life lessons from them.
Story-telling is as much a part of me as breathing is to my body. I have found that, as I tell stories, as I put them on paper, it makes room for the other stories that are building and will need to be told soon.
Connect with Eve and her books
Barn Town Children’s Books: https://wordpress.com/posts/barntown.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Eve-Culley/e/B072FLGKP5