Bibliophiles ‘R’ Us

Guest Post: Barbara Bretton

Posted on: August 27, 2009

Barbara Bretton

Today we welcome Barbara Bretton to Bibliophiles ‘R’ Us!

Writers will do just about anything to research a story. Bungee-jump. We’ll climb mountains, swim oceans, talk to dangerous people in dark alleys in the middle of the night, all with the certainty that the Muse will protect us from harm.

And those of us writing paranormals will happily take a walk on the wilder side of reality if given half a chance.

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that my writer friends and I all said yes when a mutual friend suggested we experience a past-life regression.

Let me set the scene for you: it’s 8:30 on a cloudy Saturday morning in central Long Island. Five writers, clutching bed pillows to their chests, race across the hotel parking lot toward what promised to be a Big Adventure.

I knew exactly what to expect. We’d be greeted by an exotic-looking woman draped in jewel-toned silk and smelling faintly of something heady and alluring. The room would be dimly-lit. Soft New Age music would float through the air from an unseen source. One by one we would be led through the sun-dappled meadows of our minds and introduced to the fabulously exciting lives we’d lived before we ended up in Ballroom B of the Hauppauge Ramada Inn.

And I’d find out I’d been Cinderella, complete with glass slippers, the perfect past life for a newly-minted romance writer.

Except it didn’t quite work out that way.

The medium was a middle-aged matron named Ann who wore a corduroy skirt, sensible shoes, and glasses that hung between her breasts from a grosgrain ribbon. Garish fluorescent lights beamed down on us from the ceiling. Instead of New Age music, Van Halen pounded against the far wall.

After introductions, we were told to lie down on the floor of the conference room and get comfortable. Comfortable? All I wanted to do was make a run for the exit.

“Okay,” said Anne, “now that you’re settled, let’s do a few relaxation exercises.”

Who was she kidding? I wasn’t there to relax. I could relax in the coffee shop later.

But the exercises worked and suddenly I found myself drifting toward sleep. The medium’s voice snapped me back into the moment.

“Now we begin,” she said. “We’ll start at the bottom . . . your feet . . . see your feet the way they were . . . ”

That was more like it. I knew exactly what I was going to see: dainty feet in glass high-heeled slippers. What else? I mean, I knew deep in my heart that there was a beautiful 18th century English heroine with a score of eager suitors lurking deep inside me waiting to get out.

Imagine my surprise when I saw two enormous work boots instead! I was horrified. Work boots? What in the name of romantic fantasy was going on? Whose past life was this anyway?

If Anne knew things were going terribly wrong for me, she never let on. “Now we’ll see your ankles and calves,” she said.

Oh, great. I saw worn and filthy trousers over thick ankles and we all know that no self-respecting heroine ever had thick ankles. What a disaster this was turning out to be. She worked our way up the body and I got more depressed with every part revealed. No dainty ballgown-wearing damsel for me. I was a man. And an ugly one at that! I was a big, rough-hewn, foul-tempered Swedish coal miner.

Believe it or not, things went downhill from there. She told us to age ten years. “Where are you?” she asked. “What are you?”

I was finally getting married. My wife hated me but she had no choice. She was as homely and old as I was. I saw us on our wedding night and I was a rough and uncaring lover who made her cry. I didn’t care. I sat by the fireplace and smoked a pipe. Even my dog didn’t like me.

“Fast forward another twenty years,” Anne instructed and I see myself sitting by the same fireplace, still smoking a pipe. My dog is dead. My wife is dead. I lost a leg in a mining accident. I am bitter, miserable, and alone.

I wanted my money back. Where were my ball gown and slippers and handsome suitors? This wasn’t at all what I signed up for. Believe me when I tell you I didn’t want to be a one-legged Swedish coalminer with a bad attitude.

What I was, however, was a writer with an even worse attitude. I got so caught up in trying to force the experience to meet my expectations that I almost lost the point of it all.

It didn’t matter if I was Cinderella or a coal-miner. The point was the experience itself. How it felt to lie on the ballroom floor of a Ramada Inn. The sound of my friends breathing next to me. Anne’s soft voice. The strange sensation that came over me as I “saw” things I didn’t expect to see, in a way I never thought I’d see them.

And isn’t that the point of getting out there and doing hands-on research? I should have left my preconceptions at home and just let it happen. Don’t make my mistake when you research your own novel. Live in the moment. Soak up the knowledge. Savor the element of surprise when it comes your way. You never know where the unexpected might take you.

ABOUT BARBARA

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. Her most recent title, Laced With Magic, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world and have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer’s Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

ATTENTION AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS, AND PROMOTERS: If you would like me to review one of your books, please drop me a line at jaam121388 AT yahoo DOT com. Please put something along the lines of "Book Review" in the subject line so I know it's not spam. I'm not really adverse to any genre except most non-fiction, but my favorites are paranormal and romance (all subgenres). Refer to my review policy if you have any questions, as it will answer most of them. If your question or concern isn't answered there, feel free to contact me via email. Thanks!

If you would like me to put your blog or website on my blogrolls, please email me!

If anyone has promotional items they'd like to donate to me, please email me. I like to pass on bookmarks and such to friends, family, co-workers, and winners of contests here on my blog, and any donation is very welcome.

My Current Contests


Ends September 15. Click for details.


Ends October 6. Click for details.

Please join me here!!

Search & Win
By registering, you can win things like books, musical instruments, gift cards, trading cards, video games, electronics, and much more JUST BY DOING SEARCHES IN THEIR SEARCH ENGINE!! There are also other ways to win things. For full details, click on the button.

Upcoming Blog Tours


Review coming September 17

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
Review coming September 18


Review and Giveaway coming September 20

Guest Post with Michelle Moran
Coming September 24


Guest post coming September 25


Review coming September 29


Review and giveaway coming October 2


Guest post coming October 8

Guest Post with Diana Rumjahn
Coming October 21


Guest post coming October 22


Review coming October 23


Guest post coming October 26

Guest Post with Rolf Hitzer
Coming October 27

Upcoming Giveaways

Lucan by Susan Kearney
Coming September 20

A Highlander's Temptation by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Coming October 2

Seduced by Shadows by Jessa Slade (ARC)
Date TBD

Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas
Date TBD

A Drop of Red by Chris Marie Green
Date TBD

Tempt the Devil by Anna Campbell
Date TBD

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta
Date TBD

The Other Eden by Sarah Bryant
Date TBD

The Lady & The Libertine by Bonnie Vanak
Date TBD

When You Believe by Jessica Inclan
Date TBD

For the Earl's Pleasure by Anne Mallory
Date TBD

A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
Date TBD

Mommy and the Millionaire, The Second-Chance Groom, and Falling For the Lone Wolf by Crystal Green
Date TBD

The Ultimate Bite and Good to the Last Bite by Crystal Green
Date TBD

Currently Reading







Photobucket

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
Created by OnePlusYou



FeistyFrugalFabulous







come and win some free books

Awards


Thanks J. Kaye!


Thanks Trin!


Thanks Mary!


Thanks Trin!


Thanks Trin!


Thanks J. Kaye and Trin!

Blog Stats

  • 11,372 hits
August 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
%d bloggers like this: