“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” … William Shakespeare
Timepiece begins with two soulmates living in the 1930’s, (pre-wall street-crash), married, in love, then they come across a means to travel across time and choose to take it before troubled times erupt.
Johnny– Hi Barbara, thank you for taking time to talk with me. I noticed on Amazon that you have written a few books. How many books have you written?
Barbara– Thank you for this opportunity, Johnny! I have written and self-published seventeen books of various genres. Three are children’s books. I began with romantic suspense but quickly felt the urge to branch out from there. I tacked Fantasy next (time travel), and several other genres after that. Timepiece is my fourth time travel book.
Johnny– Which would describe this book best in your opinion? That time (no matter how you get there, natural or manipulated) time effects everything, even love? Or, this is the direct consequence and effect of someone running away from their troubles?
Barbara– I’d say it’s the latter. Matthew and Anna have a solid relationship. Even by the end of the book, when it seems that all is lost, they are still in love with one another. Matthew made a hasty decision that catapulted them into impossible situations. However, as we can read in the last few lines, the love is ever-present.
Johnny– This book haunts me, and I love it. It starts off like a “Dickens classic” and end in a full-blown “Burroughs Beat” titling towards “Poe”. What author has had the biggest influence on you as a writer?
Barbara– I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it! I actually adore Dickens, and Shakespeare. I wouldn’t say that any one author influenced me, but it’s more like I’m in love with the written word and the way authors can weave words into a story. That said, Jack Finney’s “Time and Again” is my favorite Time Travel book. It inspired me to try my hand at it.
Johnny– This is the first book by you that I have read, (so far), so I don’t know if your other books deal with this or not, but do you have an artistic or personal interest with time travel?
Barbara– The idea of it has always fascinated me. I’m always interested in television shows, movies or books that deal with Time Travel. I wrote my first Time Travel story three years ago, and I was hooked after that. Unlike other authors, I do leave science out of it, and focus on the “magic of it all”.
Johnny– Your two main characters, Matthew and Anna, what was your inspiration while creating these two?
Barbara– Part of my brand includes advertising the notion that “love is the most remarkable magic – even in horror”. Matthew and Anna are simply two people in love. As the book opens in the 1930s, I simply made sure to have their speech and mannerisms match the decade in which they lived. I used to watch a lot of classic movies. The rest is simply born of my imagination.
Johnny– At the end of the first chapter there is a little sexual tension between Mathew and Martha, what is the back-story there? is there a back-story there? (maybe in another book) or is it just a “is what it is” situation?
Barbara– I wanted the reader to know early on that Matthew would always stay loyal to his wife. That idea circles around, and we see it again at the very end of the story. It’s also a nod to Matthew’s good looks. A reader will often form a picture in their head of how the characters look. I wanted to make it clear that Matthew is a handsome man.
Johnny– Handsome and loyal are awesome qualities, would you say it was his loyalty, to not disappoint Anna, that put them in their situation?
Barbara– Absolutely! Matthew is a proud man. Given the era, think James Stewart or Cary Grant. Times were different then and it was common for the man to head the family and take care of his family both financially and emotionally. The thing that intrigued him most about the watch was not what it could do, but what it could do FOR him.
Johnny– Your descriptive narrative of the late 60’s is raw and very real. Are you a fan of that era?
Barbara– Actually, not really! I prefer the 70s, 80s, and 90s, which is when my other novels are set. It was fun to challenge myself though. I used Google (a writer’s best friend) to find the jargon of the era.
Barbara– That’s a tough one! But I’d have to go with The Bard.
Johnny– Why did you pick the 3 moments in time that you did while writing Timepiece?
Barbara- One of my favourite movies of all time is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. This is the first time that I wrote a story set in that time period. Matthew and Anna naturally found themselves in the 1960s and I had to end it in the 80s. Most people know that I’m an 80s lover. It even says so in my Twitter bio!
Johnny– What do you want the reader to take away from this book?
Barbara– Love conquers all. That’s usually the message in all of my books. Whether dark, or more in tune with a “happily ever after”, love is the only thing that matters.
Johnny– When did you first decide that you were going to be a writer?
Barbara– It wasn’t really a decision. More of a calling? I started out dabbling in poetry. Then, one day, in grade 9 English Class, my teacher praised a short story I had written. He even made me read it out loud which was excruciating for an awkward, shy teen! But my classmates loved it. I penned my first book in 2002. My husband encouraged me to published it in 2015, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Johnny– Tell me something about yourself that the average person doesn’t know. (where you are from, what do you do for fun, hobbies, what’s your favorite binge-watch, pets etc…)
Barbara– We live in Ottawa, Canada, but I was born in Switzerland to Italian parents. We immigrated to Canada when I was two. I still speak Italian daily, and there’s always at least one Italian character in my books. (Anna, in the case of “Timepiece”.) Our only pet is a tarantula that my husband named “Betsy”. (No, she’s not poisonous and stays in her aquarium.) I love to cook and I’m big on cooking shows, but we recently discovered Netflix, and love Stranger Things, Black Mirror and we’re currently bingeing The 100. We recently saw Joker in theaters, and it was right up my alley! It was dark, yet brilliant, and breathtaking.
Johnny– You have already published a few books. What is your process when you start developing an idea to the point you start writing it down as a book?
Barbara– I pick a title first. Then I create the book cover. Both those things inspire the rest of the story. I create a brief outline using bullet points that I email to myself. The story may change from there as I’m generally a panster, but that’s about it!
Johnny– What was the first book you ever written? And did it get published?
Barbara– ”My Love is Deep” is my first book. The title was inspired by the famous Bee Gees song “How Deep is Your Love?” Although I wrote it in 2002, “life happened” and I put it away. Back then, I didn’t know about self-publishing. I’m not sure it even existed. In 2015, my husband encouraged me to publish it. There are now three other books in that series revolving around Peter Travis and his quest to find true love. It’s set between Ottawa and Niagara Falls. Last Christmas, I wrote “The Christmas Miracle” and I’m pretty sure that’s the last book I’ll write with Peter as my protagonist. Fun fact: Peter makes an appearance in my latest book, “Postscript”.
Johnny– Have you ever received a dreaded “rejection” letter? If so, how did you cope, and what advise do you have for unpublished writers if they ever get one?
Barbara– At first, I did briefly query. The rejection only added fuel to my creative fire. I am happily self-published now, and wouldn’t have it any other way. The creative freedom is what my soul screams for. For writers who follow the traditional publishing path, I can only say, don’t let rejections quash your spirit. There’s an audience for everything.
Johnny– I love the fact that rejection only added to your creative fire, is this something that all indie authors need to have in order to break through?
Barbara– Fear serves no purpose, except to paralyze us and inhibit our growth. As we all have different reasons for writing, I don’t want to share a blanket statement. However, if fear is preventing a writer from sharing or querying (or whatever their goal is), yes, they must overcome it to reach the next stage in their career.
Johnny– How do you go about editing work, do you do your own self-editing?
Barbara– I do self-edit! One of the greatest compliments I ever received was from a fellow writer. She sent me a private message and asked me if I didn’t mind sharing the name of my editor since my work is “flawless”. I told her I self-edit. That message that day brought me so much joy. It really was priceless
Johnny– What are your thoughts on beta-readers? Do you use?
Barbara– I don’t use any. Picture the author slumped over their typewriter, or scribbling in their notebook. The one who bleeds their soul on paper. That’s who I relate to. Once those words are down, I share them. I don’t look for feedback prior to publishing. I don’t know, it’s sort of like a chef. Their diners don’t sample the food before deciding to eat the whole plate, do they? I see it more as a “surprise…I hope you like it!” And keeping with the food analogy, just as there can be too many cooks in the kitchen, I feel like there’s such a thing as too much feedback for writers. The magic sort of dissipates. This is also what I mean about confidence being key.
Johnny– Do you recommend self-publishing to anyone that is starting out? If so, how does someone self-publish?
Barbara– I’ve been known to say this a lot, but self-publishing is not “something to fall back on”. It’s not the first step for a novice. It’s a career in itself and a hell of a lot of work. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m too stubborn! The creative freedom is exhilarating. Therefore, I recommend it to everyone who wants their story out there on their own schedule, and doesn’t mind doing all their own marketing, etc. As far as “how”? There are so many different outlets available, so I will just say, find the one that works for you, and learn the technical ropes. The rest is simply your artistic expression come to life, and that is a very beautiful thing.
Johnny– Artistic expression is definitely something that you know about. Barbara, thank you so much for taking this time to talk with me. It has been an absolute pleasure talking with you!
As I stated earlier; This book haunts me, and I love it. It starts off like a “Dickens classic” and ends in a full-blown “Burroughs Beat” titling towards “Poe”. I ended this book feeling much the way one feels when exiting a roller-coaster, and no, not queasy, but rather: full of wonder and wanting more.
In a generation of writers pursuing to publish a new franchise it is so refreshing to come across such daring and originality. Timepiece draws you in with its loveliness and keeps you by it’s desirability. Splendidly written with eloquent historical-appropriate language, it swept me across the fabric of time as true love was put to the “ultimate” test.
Barbara has displayed everything that is truly wonderful and unique about indie authors. Her self published world is where the literary meets the fantasy, the contemporary meets the classic, merging, to becomes a tour d’ force for the imagination.
Honestly ❤ I love it! ❤
I’m giving Timepiece 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on Goodreads and Amazon because of it’s sheer beauty and artistic-flow. This book is an absolute must for anyone who yearns for a really good discussion worthy composition.
WARNING this writer possess the following: originality, tenacity, and charm.
You have met the writer: Barbara Avon
Now read the book: Timepiece
Elegant and beautify written. Check it out for yourself.
Be sure to check out Barbara’s new Book.
If you enjoyed Timepiece be sure to check out Postscript.