Interview with Barbara Lindsley Galloway

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, I've read so many stories/books.
When did you first start writing?
I made up verbal stories as a small child, and started taking writing seriously about the age of 14. It has taken me a lifetime of practice to learn how to tell stories in a written format.
How did you determine what genre to write?
When I was a teenager, I tried to write Christian romance like Grace Livingston Hill, which turned out corny. Then I turned to science fiction, but it seemed purposeless and weird. I was really stuck for a genre in which to spend the rest of my life telling stories. It wasn't until I read the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien that I realized with sudden clarity, that Christian fantasy was my thing. My books have actually turned out to be a combination of fantasy and folk tale with some action, adventure and romance. I write the kind of stories I wish I could have read growing up, but could not find.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My books are allegories of Christian themes in a folktale format. They are action-adventure with some romance.

In the Blessed, which has been released in paperback and ebook, Trufanion Loudermoss and his sister Katryanna travel to Port Al Kab, hoping to purchase the Inn of Glad Tidings, but because their life savings is lost and Kat decides she is in love, find themselves in the woodlands of the Eretreyians instead. Those who dwell in the shadow of the woodlands are looking for the appearance of the Blessed One, who will bring them healing and blessing. The Shadowlanders, as they call themselves, trust no Outlander, and Trufanion finds it difficult to trust them. This book is not part of Rista's Tale, but contains a character from that trilogy and takes place on that world about 25 years later.
How long does it take to write a book?
If I write full-time, 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week, it takes me about 3-4 months. Scarjheen took 3 months; The Last Stone Seed took 2 1/2 months and The Chronicles of the People took 4 months. That's just writing the first draft. Then it takes another year to edit (from 18 to 25 edits) and some more time for the cover. From start to finish:from 2 to 3 years. My fourth book, The Blessed took me 1 year and nine months to write out in longhand. Transferring to computer, and editing has taken me another year and a half.

I am getting quite fond of writing in longhand; it gives me time to really think about my characters and their situations, and create awesome scenery. It's also easier to edit, as I do so while I'm typing my story into the computer.
How do you approach research?
i research a lot online. I have a number of books: textbooks on biology, genetics, bloodbanking, etc. from my years studying for my degree in biology, and the years I spent in medical technology. I studied crystals and shapes (tetrahedrons, dodecahedrons, etc.) for Scarjheen for two weeks. I even made a paper model of a tetrahedron; I bought a book on ship model building that has incredible detail in preparation for The Last Stone Seed. I've printed a bit of info on different subjects. I like going to Half-Price books and looking around for interesting topics. I love books.
What is your writing process?
Before I start a book, I wait on inspiration from the Lord--a story--which comes to me beginning and end. Since I know how the story will end, I seek to write to that end.
I think about the story and characters a lot, about what the story wants to convey and how I want to get there.

Writing on computer: I used to plan out the book on a legal pad and write a synopsis. I decided the relative number of pages and number of pages per chapter. I broke the story down by chapters; the chapters by pages and the pages into paragraphs. Certain pages are relegated to character descriptions including drawings and sketches. I tried to follow this outline to the basic structure as I wrote the story on the computer.

Writing in longhand: If I have to write a story in longhand, it means I have a job and little free time. Since I know what the story is about and where it's going, I do a little less structuring by outline, and rely more on daily inspiration to carry the story forward in an interesting way. Every day is a new day, where you feel different about things; different perspectives seem to show up after thinking things through. I'm amazed how the Lord works out every detail that is consistent with what came before.
Who are your favorite authors?
Hard to say. Anyone who writes a great story, basically. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis. I discovered Bodie and Brock Thoene in 2014, who write historical inspiration.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
These are not necessarily in order nor are they set in stone:

1. I love the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, because there are definitive heroes and arch-villains; you know who is good and who is evil. There is no sex or profanity. There is hope. Christian symbolism.

2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Beautifully written; well-done story. Well defined heroes and heroines. A story of forgiveness and redemption with Christian overtones. I don't like the other books in that series as much because they are not as well-written, but I do love Reepacheep, the character in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader that Puss 'n Boots in the Shrek movies was patterned after.

3. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. This is another perfectly-written book that captures your imagination from the very first paragraph and contains memorable characters.

4. The Bible, not only for the characters and stories, but for the timeless message that God sent His Son into the world that we might have hope.

5. I would say any of the classics. Read The Good Earth in seventh grade and was thoroughly captivated. Enjoyed Charles Dickens. A work from 20-30 years ago is James Clavell's Shogun--a monster work.

I just love to read a good story. It's hard to pick a favorite.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Discovering that it was hard to get traditionally published if one did not write about witchcraft, vampires, sex or horror, but I have no desire or plans to do so.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Giving readers something for which to aspire; giving them hope, that good can conquer evil. Having my readers tell me how much they love my books.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean that I have done something right; they have given me encouragement.
What are you working on next?
My fifth book--The Sword of the King, which is different than either Rista's Tale or The Blessed, about a lost sword that belonged to an ancient king, and the search to find it by his descendants. Actually, working simultaneously on The Sword of the King and the Bonepicker, which is about an old man who comes across an ancient book that washes ashore by his beach home. So, I'm writing two books at once. Okay, actually working on three if you include Applestone.
Published 2017-02-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Blessed
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 119,190. Language: American English. Published: January 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
Trufanion Loudermoss and his sister Katryanna travel to Port Al Kab on the hope of purchasing the Inn of Glad Tidings, but find themselves in the woods of the Eretreyians instead. They hear of a legend revered by the outcasts who live in the shadow of the woods, of One who will bring healing blessing and hope. But not all celebrate the coming of the Blessed, as Trufanion soon discovers.
Rista's Tale Part 3: The Chronicles of the People
Series: Rista's Tale, Part 3. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 112,810. Language: American English. Published: August 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
When the New People of the First Ones are born and a new dispensation begins, things suddenly go terribly wrong in the Garden.To set it all in order as was intended, Rista and the three other Chosen Ones embark on a perilous voyage to a new land rising at the top of the world. What they find is a stunning surprise wrapped in a riddle they must solve before time runs out and they cannot escape.
Rista's Tale Part 1: Scarjheen
Series: Rista's Tale, Part 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 116,820. Language: American English. Published: August 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
Human beings have colonized a new world and upset the delicate balance between the planet and the gentle, indigenous First Ones, which brings about the plague Scarjheen designed to destroy the offenders. Together, Rista and her childhood friend Tiko are thrust into a race against time in an adventure that promises to stop the plague, but will change their lives and that of those they love-forever.
Rista's Tale Part 2: The Last Stone Seed
Series: Rista's Tale, Part 2. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 112,580. Language: American English. Published: June 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
Rista takes her people to a new life in the Woodlands after their mountain home falls in the Cleansing. When she remembers she must have the Last Stone Seed to bring about the Harvest of the First Ones and restore the balance of the world, she travels to another continent in search of it. There, a chance encounter with another Chosen One has them both wondering about curious events