California natives and sisters P.I. Barrington and Loni Emmert fell in love with New England during fall vacations in Maine and New Hampshire which became the settings for their co-authored mystery Button Hollow Chronicles #1: The Leaf Peeper Murders. P.I.’s experience includes work as a newspaper journalist, radio personality, and at a major record company.
Enjoy this interview with P.I. Barrington.
How did you come to write your ebook, Isadora DayStar?
Isadora DayStar was a real labor of love for me. This is a true story: I used to watch a show on the DayStar Christian Channel called CreationScapes. The show comprised of incredible naturescapes with music and Biblical quotes—I was hooked on it. Also, about that time I read an interview with an author who said she’d given her character huge obstacles because she hated the character so much—which the interviewer said made her love that character all the more. I started thinking about whether an author could intentionally write a main character that they hated and one night I was watching CreationScapes and the DayStar logo came up onscreen. I thought what a great last name DayStar would make. Before I fell asleep the name Isadora hit me—Isadora DayStar! It was perfect! However, I was still obsessed with making a character that I hated. So I wrote up Isadora and made her really gross and crude but once I did that I didn’t see any future for her. Her own story as a drug addicted assassin developed into the real obsession for me and when I presented the idea and story line to my sister (& co-author Loni Emmert) she loved it immediately! We went back and forth on the story putting in and ripping out things until we got pretty much what we wanted. There’s still a large segment I want to put in for future editions and Loni has her own plot point to go in later too!
Is there a favorite paragraph from the book you can share?
Wow! There are a lot of them. Hmm, let me see. I think I’ll give you the prologue—I like it and it’s one of the few passages that doesn’t contain too much swearing, lol!
The white faded into dull grey, room contracting into a narrow rectangle lit from above with dirty artificial light. She sat on a bunk that extended from the wall that was hard, cold and covered with blanket and sheet the color of gun metal. Forty eight hours earlier Isadora had been tossed into the brig for insubordination and then tossed into solitary for starting a food fight with another inmate that escalated into a fist fight with Isadora on losing end of the battle.
Now she sat on the bunk, head down, staring at the floor at nothing in particular, waiting out the silence and boredom of her sentence. The door of the cell slid open and Renan Marcus entered. He pulled the chair seat down from the wall niche and dropped onto it. Isadora refused to look up at her commanding officer.
“Isadora,” he said in a quiet voice.
She did not respond.
“Isadora, do you even understand why you’re here?”
“Yeah because I wouldn’t obey your stupid orders and because I kicked somebody’s ass in the mess hall.” Her lower lip stuck out like a pouting three year old. She remained staring at the floor.
“Isadora, orders exist for a reason. One of these days you’re going learn the hard way what they’re there for; as for the fight I heard you were on the losing side.” He tried to conceal a small smile, but Isadora’s head snapped up and she glared at him.
“That’s a lie! I wasn’t losing anything—”
He sighed and stood up pulled out a remote and aimed it at the camera in the upper corner of the cell and then sat back down.
“There. The camera is off Isadora. I want to talk to you. You have such potential but you waste it by not thinking through anything that you do. You take the easy way and you respond with anger and rebellion whenever someone points that out. It’s a damned shame Isadora because you would make one hell of a soldier if you’d just tighten up your attention and learn to control your emotions.” He paused and Isadora looked at the floor again. Renan stood up and sighed one more time. “Such potential, Isadora,” He brushed a strand of hair from her face and then pulled her up and kissed her.
How was your experience in using Smashwords to format your ebook?
I was surprised at how easy it was to do. I downloaded the instruction manual that had such detail I was flipping out over it. Then I realized, I already knew how to format from my publishers, and that all I had to do was make sure it was in normal format—1 inch margins, basic fonts, it really isn’t that hard to do. Plus they do help walk you through it.
Let’s switch gears to reading. What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Mad Magazine! Actually, I’ve read so many books and so many different types that is a very difficult question. I’ve read everything from Shakespeare to Stephen King and I’ve loved them all. It’s hard to pick just one! Two of my favorites are Taylor Caldwell’s Great Lion of God and Dear and Glorious Physician, A Novel about Saint Luke historical. I’ve hunted those down in thrift stores across the country, lol! Oh, and I have a favorite romantic fantasy/sci fi book by Pat Wallace, House of Scorpio! For its time and even now, the premise is unique and though there are several anachronisms, I love it still. It’s a sweet romance told in several different stories that are interactive with each other and tie up together at the end. Pat Wallace did a great job I think. The book is out of print so I hunt down old paperbacks of it as well! There are so many fascinating books, even textbooks hold some fascination for me—ancient history, biology, some science. As I said, there are millions of books that are amazing!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Music is and always will be my first love of all. When I’m not writing, I’m usually listening to it. Many writers write to music but I’ve said before, I can’t. I have to concentrate on one or the other. It’s like when I’m at the beach. I get too distracted by the sea and sand and the loveliness of nature. I’ve fallen in love with Jackie Evancho’s singing. It is without a doubt the most amazing voice that has ever come out of a human—ever. And believe me, I know voices. She is simply astounding and she’s only 10 or 11. You listen for five seconds and are entranced. So music is what I do when I’m not writing. Traveling is another biggie and third would be gardening I guess. I love those two too!
Where can we learn more about you?
Loni and I have an official website, http://thewordmistresses.com and I have a writing blog, Future Imperfect http://pibarrington.wordpress.com We are both on Twitter (@PIBARRINGTON & @LoniEmmert) and of course we’re on Facebook too!
Anything else you’d like to add?
You know what? We truly would love to hear from our readers! They’re the ones we’re doing all the writing for—we’re trying to entertain them! They can contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and writers/readers can contact me at email@example.com as well.
Thank you so much for having me here for the interview!