Like me, most readers tend to fall in love with Wyatt Haney in your novel, WHATEVER YOU NEED. I’m
always a sucker for a “nice guy” hero like Wyatt. What type of hero do you most
enjoy writing about, and reading about?
Barbara Longley: Thank you! I’m kind of in love with Wyatt
myself! All you have to do is read a few of my books to see I love heroes who
are kind of clueless when it comes to women and romance, but they are golden
when it comes to the kind of men they are. I like a complex guy, who may have
had his heart tossed into a cement mixer a couple of times. He’s a good man who
maybe went down the wrong path, and now he’s just waiting for the right woman to
point him back in the right direction. I prefer everyday heroes to alpha males.
Miranda Owen: Do you find it challenging writing about child characters,
like five-year-old Brady in WHATEVER YOU NEED?
Barbara Longley: Not at all. I raised two children of my own,
and I was an elementary teacher in the primary grades for twenty years. I
absolutely love to write children characters, because they are so honest,
innocent, open and inquisitive.
Miranda Owen: Having just read your latest release, WHATEVER YOU NEED,
and loving it, I noticed that you have another contemporary romance series –
Love From the Heartland, Perfect, Indiana. Could you describe, for
readers who might be new to either series how the two series differ from each
Barbara Longley: Each of the Love from the Heartland
books deals with a serious problem facing our military men and women as they try
to reintegrate into civilian life post-combat deployments. Each book deals with
a different issue. PTSD is a common thread throughout the series. See, I wish
like hell all of our veterans could find their HEA, but because that isn’t
always the case, I wrote books where wounded warriors, three males and one
female, get their HEA and find their place of healing in the fictitious small
town of Perfect, Indiana.
The Haney series is much more light-hearted. No matter what I write, I can’t
help but infuse some humor into the story. Humor is an excellent coping
mechanism. Life is tough if we can’t laugh at our own human foibles. With the
Indiana series, I wanted to explore the issues facing real GI Joes and
Janes, and with the Haneys series, I wanted to try my hand at romantic comedy
Miranda Owen: What makes you interested in creating characters who are
were either in the military, or touched by war in some way?
Barbara Longley: I was inspired by an Associated Press release,
involving a convoy escorting Iraqi officials to Mosul, a hotbed of insurgents.
The convoy hit an IED, and five soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice. That got
me thinking about what it must be like to survive something like that, when your
close friend didn’t. Then I started doing a lot of research about what our
troops face on a daily basis, PTSD, and a whole host of issues, including
getting a Dear John letter while deployed in a combat zone. Naturally, I had to
turn everything I learned into stories with HEAs, because that’s how I wish the
Miranda Owen: I love historical romance, but haven’t tried any of your
Novels of Loch
Moigh books yet. Could you tell readers a little about them? How would
you describe the tone? Character-driven, or more centered on the action and
Barbara Longley: The Novels of Loch Moigh are what I
like to call OUTLANDER Lite. They are Scottish time travels, infused
with fae magic, intrigue, mystery and adventure. Each book has a very clear
villain, and they include some tense fight scenes. But again, also lots of
humor, and each book involves a different romance and couple, though you see
previous characters from the earlier books in each story. The villains are not
the meddling faerie who sends individuals back and forth though time, though.
Áine, the faerie, has her own personal reasons for what she does, but they
aren’t nefarious. The Medieval era was a vicious and brutal time. If you wanted
power, you plotted, killed or stole to get it. The villains are Medieval men who
have evil agendas toward the hero or heroine in each tale.
Miranda Owen: I see that the fae play a part in your Novels of Loch
Moigh series. Most of the stories I’ve read tend to cast fae characters as
the villain or in a negative light, how are they portrayed in your series? What
keeps you writing about them?
Barbara Longley: In Heart of the Druid Laird, Áine (the same
faerie as in the Loch Moigh series) is portrayed as vindictive. In the Novels of
Loch Moigh, she’s meddlesome, but not evil. The thing is, the Tuatha Dé Danann
are demi-gods with magical powers. They are immortals, and the ancient Celts
worshipped them. Fae egos are extremely inflated, and they don’t view life, time
or humans the same way we do. They can run the entire gamut when it comes to
characteristics, which is why I find them fun to write. The fae can be
benevolent, seductive, mischievous or downright evil, and that’s what I love
about them as characters.
Miranda Owen: What are you currently working on?
Barbara Longley: I just finished and turned in the first book
in a brand new Celtic time travel series set in Ireland, called TANGLED IN TIME.
It will be out in October, 2017. The first book is another curse/quest high
stakes tale along the lines of HEART OF THE DRUID LAIRD. I love writing fight
scenes, and bringing characters to the sharp point of peril before they get
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