Out of the Depths of the Past by P.I. Barrington

And out of the depths of despair came my latest novel, The Brede Chronicles. I’d spent nearly a year depressed and disinterested, unable to write one creative word, convinced I’d never produce another novel and if I did probably no one would care. But I do have a strange little habit—you could call it compulsion—and that is to scour the Internet and find interesting photos and pictures that for some reason speak to me. It can be aliens, alpha males, or avatars but if they evoke something in me, I collect them.

I especially collect photos, pictures, and articles on ancient history particularly Egypt. I’ve been in love with the ancient Egyptian world since my mother bought me the World Book Encyclopedia set for my eighth birthday and I read each one including the reference books (LOL!). One of the most impressive bits of information I came across was the process of “mummification” done by the Egyptians. I’ll spare you the details but I never stopped obsessing about that ancient culture and people and their magnificent civilization. 

Just in case you’re wondering what the heck this has to do with a science fiction novel, hang in there please. It has a lot to do with it—a lot.  I pulled up every image of Egypt I could find or already had and indulged in their eye candy for months, not really sure what to do with them if anything. An automated writing prompt started me thinking about mixing cultures and timelines, and since I am primarily a science fiction author that kicked off the creative process that had been in neutral gear for at least six months. I don’t know whether it was sheer relief at having those artistic juices flowing again or just the idea of an interesting setting/story/characterization, but I was grateful and decided to focus on the story that would eventually become The Brede Chronicles. I had to think hard about it. What exactly did I want to do with the new story? After the dark, intense Isadora DayStar, I wanted something a bit more upbeat, a bit easier on the emotions. So I thought.

What would happen if the entire Earth’s economy and ecology took a nosedive 100 years from now? Who would save us? Aliens? What if they were a positive for humanity rather than the negative almost always depicted, at least economically? What would the revamped Earth and its residents be like in the next 100 years? What would be kept culturally and what would be tossed out? What has humanity kept over the millennia? Specifically, what has Egypt kept over the millennia? I pulled up those photos, dug up information, and shifted my creativity into overdrive.

First, as with humanity from even before Egyptian beginnings, was livestock. The earliest peoples shepherded livestock and along the life-giving Nile River they harvested their food from its blessed annual flooding. Eventually they taught themselves crafts and trading. As of 2014, the souks (trading bazaars) namely the Khan Al Khalili, the biggest and most well known in Cairo, still do thriving tourist business just as they did thousands of years ago. That trading and marketplace sold and still sells live animals, chickens, goats, sheep, and plain and fine cloth and rugs. That stayed.

I needed characters and Alekzander Brede was the first of all. I started with his name. Brede. It just sounded good. For me, names have to have a ring to them, a cadence. They have to be recognizable without being too simple. Now for a first name: I started in the A’s and came across Alexander. Alexander Brede. Yup, it had that ring. But it was too simple, too common for an ice-cold alpha male alien/human. Hmm. I looked at the different spellings and saw Alekzander. That was it. It looked harder, tougher, more edgy with the 'k' and 'z' in it. Only later would I go back and find that the definition of the name Brede meant ice! Perfect!

Now I needed a heroine. I didn’t want some beautiful female with long tresses and hypnotic eyes. No, this character was different. She was a scamp in love…with Alekzander Brede. She was a street orphan, a terrible hustler who thought herself particularly gifted in the art of theft and scamming but wasn’t.  Her name? Again I went to the names and got to E. Elektra, she told me. Elektra what? I asked. Elektra Tate. That did it. She was different from the rest of the humans of New Cairo, Egypt. She had pale blonde hair and blue eyes. And an uneven grin that irritated Alekzander Brede to no end. Oh yeah, these two were a pair alright.

Now, just in case you think this is all a bit too pedantic, this is how I got this book done and sold to a publisher. This book was a sort of salvation for me and my writing. I became obsessed with it, as I said. It rescued me from the depths of despair and saved me by setting me in the world of the past, only future.

I loved this book. I loved the characters and even when others didn’t I still believed in it. And I still do. 

If you’ve learned anything from this long lecture-like exposition, it’s this: believe in your story. Believe in it! And someone somewhere—the right someone—will believe in it too. 

Guest Blogger Bio

After an extended detour through the entertainment industry, P.I. Barrington has returned to fiction author. Among her experience are journalism, radio air talent and the music industry. She lives in Southern California.  Her work includes Future Imperfect Trilogy (Crucifying Angel, Miraculous Deception, Final Deceit) through Desert Breeze Publishing, Inamorata Crossing/Borealis 1: A Space Opera through Desert Breeze Publishing, Isadora DayStar (self-published), The Button Hollow Chronicles: The Leaf Peeper Murders through Mainly Murder Press, as well as some free stories for your reading pleasure on ReadWave.com & Wattpad.com.









Coming Soon:


Interview with Author Devika Fernando

My guest today is Devika Fernando.  Hello!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you again.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?   

I released my debut novel When I see your Face in March, and it is available as an eBook on Amazon as well as Smashwords. It’s a contemporary romance novella that deals with domestic violence, second chances and discovering your real self as well as starting your own business. I have received requests to release it as a paperback and translate it into German, but to be honest, my next books are more important to me at the moment.

Is there anything that prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you?

Usually, anything can inspire me: a sentence I read, an item on the news, somebody else’s book blurb, a sentence that would make a great title…However, I find that visual prompts work the best. My novel Playing with Fire – the first in the 4 Elements of Love Series – was sparked by wonderful digital art I saw on deviantart.com, and some of my short stories were also inspired by pictures. My current work in progress, Kaleidoscope of Hopes, just popped into my head with its opening scene. I drew a bit of inspiration from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre while writing.

Great!  So, when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

My parents have always told me that when I was tiny toddler, I used my crayons to fill the blank pages with scribbled lines of something like writing instead of just drawing pictures. So, I guess, I started early. LOL. I remember that at school, I was the only one who loved the writing assignments and who struggled with the upper word count limit. My first forays into writing were poems and then fantasy short stories. I started writing in earnest when I was a teenager, switching from my mother tongue German to English. Basically, I just always knew that I want to be a writer. It’s who I am.

Do you have any favorite authors?

Don’t ask me! It was hard enough when I had to name 15 authors that have influenced my writing in one of those Facebook tagging games! ;-) If somebody put a pistol against my temple, I’d settle for this Top 5: Anne Rice, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Arundhati Roy and Jane Austen.

LOL.  I agree.  That is hard to narrow down.

Do you write in a specific place?  Time of day?

My main job is being a freelance content writer for German customers, so most of the day is spent writing articles from the comfort of my home office. I usually turn to working on my stories from 5 to 7 in the afternoon. Saturdays and Sundays are great for creative writing because I don’t work that much.
Wow.  That sounds like a great system.

So, are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers?  Any advice?   

Sometimes I come across (aspiring) authors who are surprised that I read so much. That, in turn, surprises me, because I believe without reading, there’s no writing. My advice is that writers should read as much as they can – fiction and non-fiction, all the genres and literature types – because there is no limit to what you can learn from others.

You're right!  Reading is very important.  :)  

Readers, here is the blurb for When I See Your Face.

Cathy has had enough. Having run away from her abusive husband, she tries to pick up the broken pieces of her life in a remote village, focusing on her dream to start her own cake business. Finding true love is the last thing on her mind. When she comes face to face with a man who looks exactly like the one she is struggling to forget, life throws the biggest challenge yet at her: Should she give in to his charm and care or is history going to repeat itself?

Here is an excerpt. 

He bent and plucked a dandelion, holding it in front of her face.
“Make a wish and blow on this. Folklore has it that such wishes come true when they are carried away on the wind and are heard by fairies.”
There was a faint grin on his lips, but his tone was more serious than the suggestion warranted it.
She had so many wishes crowding together in her head, jostling for a place at the front of the queue.
“Am I supposed to say it out loud or is it best kept secret?”
“Make your wish silently. I have always believed that thoughts are more potent in their magic than the spoken word.”
She blinked. What kind of man had beliefs like that? How much was there to him to discover and revel in? How much more to make him so appealing that she could never find it in herself to resist him?
Drawing close to his hand, she closed her eyes. Frowning with concentration, she tried and tried to decide which wish to make. Sucking in a long breath, she opened her eyes again and blew hard at the fluffy white dandelion. Its seeds flew apart and sailed away on the air, like so many tiny parachutes carrying her wish to God knew where.
Straightening up, she looked after them with an almost painful longing.
“Do you think I’ll be lucky? Will the fairies listen to me?” she asked, working hard at keeping her tone casual, and not succeeding.
He smiled his crooked, charming smile that got to her each and every time.
“I would if I were a fairy.”
She heard the flirting in it and it felt like a caress to her.
“Don’t you think it’s my part to be the fairy?” she joked.
His smile widened and his eyes darkened.
“You’d make a wonderful fairy. I can just about imagine you in gauzy, loose clothes and diaphanous wings with flowers in your hair and bare feet, dancing lithely through the fields and making lone wanderers fall head over heels in love with you.”
His voice was a sensual growl deep in his throat. His fingers brushed over the pulse hammering at her throat and strayed sideways, lifting a strand of her hair and twirling it round his index finger.
With her heart beating in her mouth, she made an effort at lightening the mood.
“If you had ever seen me dance, you wouldn’t describe me as a lithe and graceful fairy. I am a clumsy wooden donkey with two left feet.”
“Maybe you’ve had the wrong partner all along,” he said, his voice full of meaning.
She swallowed.
“Maybe,” she conceded.
They looked into each other’s eyes for a long time, frozen in place, their minds full to the brim with possibilities and dreams and obstacles.

Author Bio  

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.



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