Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview Barbara Casey
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I write both novels and book-length nonfiction, so it just depends on what mood I am in. In the case of The Seraphim’s Song, my publisher asked if I would keep the series going. What started out as a stand-alone novel in Book 1 – The Cadence of Gypsies, now has developed into five published books. And I have already started to gather research on Book 6.
2. Writers write what they know and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
What an interesting question! I am an only child and was brought up as a military brat, transferred every two or three years. As a result, I saw a lot of the country, learned to be flexible, and met a lot of people. As an only child, I also learned how to entertain myself. I developed a love for writing at a very early age, and that love continues today. Being a writer requires that I spend a great deal of alone time, and I think having had no siblings makes that easy for me.
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a home office that is filled with the necessities of writing; such as my desk, computer, copy/printer, reference books and so forth. But it is also filled with favorite things I have either collected myself or been given by grandparents and other loved ones. This gives my office an atmosphere of love and warmth, and a place in which I enjoy spending time writing.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
I am really good at killing villains, but in The F.I.G. Mysteries, the three Females of Intellectual Genius, their mentor Carolina Lovel, even Jimmy Bob Doak – the caretaker at Wood Rose Orphanage – and his hound dog Tick won’t get killed. They might come close to losing their lives because of the circumstances in the stories, but I won’t kill them.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
I simply have too many favorite authors to name just one. However, one interesting thing is that in addition to being a writer, I am also a literary agent, among other things. Recently I have been receiving submissions from writers who are taking a writing course from well-known author James Patterson. One of the handouts he gives to those attending his course is a list of literary agents that he recommends, and I am on his list. I would ask him how he found out about my agency and also thank him for his kindness.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
Like most people these days, I have an extremely busy schedule. I write first thing in the mornings before tackling my other responsibilities. In order to accomplish everything I need to in a day, this means getting up at 3 am. Thank goodness I am a morning person!
7. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going, or do you drive the speed limit?
My biggest failing is that I have absolutely no sense of direction. None! So, I never know where I am going or how to get there. Fortunately, some very smart person invented the GPS in cars for people like me.
Thank you so much for your interest in my writing and my latest book, The Seraphim’s Song: Book 5, The F.I.G. Mysteries. My best to you and your bloggers. ~Barbara
The Seraphim’s Song
by Barbara Casey
Book 5 – The F.I.G. Mysteries
Many changes have taken place at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women while Carolina and Larry were on their honeymoon in Frascati, Italy, on the Granchelli farm. The newlyweds have been given a larger bungalow; Ms. Alcott, niece of the founder of Wood Rose, and Mrs. Ball, assistant to the headmaster, have moved into a bungalow together; and Jimmy Bob, caretaker and night watchman at Wood Rose has moved from his family home down the road a bit into a small bungalow on the orphanage property with his hound dog Tick, as well as his new cat and her litter of kittens. Most important, thanks to the persuasive powers of Ms. Alcott and Mrs. Ball, the F.I.G.s have been given a forever home at Wood Rose.
Summer is coming to an end and the F.I.G.s will soon return to the universities to complete their special projects. They are starting to feel anxious, and the coping mechanisms they have used their entire lives are starting to work overtime. Dara’s thoughts turn to an unknown language, possibly from another world; Mackenzie focuses on the relationship of math to music; and Jennifer keeps hearing the note of B flat minor and is drawing dark swirls on her canvas board.
Deadly forces and natural disasters are unleashed into the world when Milosh, the evil young man who placed a curse on Carolina when she searched for her mother, steals an ancient artifact—a “key”—from an archaeological site near Puli, China on the Yellow Sea where he is working. This artifact, when paired with a certain note—B flat minor known as the Seraphim’s song—opens a portal that enables man to communicate with the gods.
When the key gets lost in a storm, Carolina comes into possession of it through Jimmy Bob’s dog, Tick, and when she does, she hears Lyuba, her gypsy mother, tell her that time is running out. The F.I.G.s and Carolina must go to the forbidden cave on the Yellow Sea, the place where the early gypsies are believed to have settled before travelling into Europe. For it is there where the key must be returned before all is destroyed.
As she usually did in the early, pre-dawn hours, Lyuba was digging roots, in the dark of the crescent moon, and every so often replanting a good piece of a root to grow next year. The day before she had picked herbs, during that time when the essential oils are at their strongest, before they could get evaporated by the midday sun. Where she searched was her favorite place, the place where the energies were strongest. Surprisingly, it was the old church graveyard built on a slight mound just outside of the rural Italian village of Frascati, which is why the other gypsy women stayed away. Unlike Lyuba, they feared being so near the dead. They believed that being near death would hasten their own, therefore they refused to go there. Lyuba, however, saw death as the natural and necessary progression of life, in another form, in a different dimension. She found comfort and solace in its nearness.
A creek ran nearby, and a tall, unkempt yew tree grew near the entrance to the graveyard, poisonous, but giving off positive energies. It was a place Lyuba knew well, having discovered it from earlier times when the travelers came this way. It was there where she found peace.
She would prepare her potions from the roots, bark, and hard seeds she gathered and make decoctions by soaking them overnight and boiling them the next day. Some of the decoctions she would add honey or sugar to; others she would thicken into syrup or add lard to make ointments and salves. The freshest herbs she saved for her oils.
Once her potions were ready, she would take them into the village to sell. Coughs or colds, rheumatism, cuts and bruises, burns—it didn’t matter. She knew what remedy was necessary to relieve pain, create lustrous hair, revive the impotent, whiten teeth, cure constipation, or simply heal the broken spirit. Unlike others who only pretended, she had the gift.
As she scraped pieces of root and bark, and gently picked the seeds from the plants she revered, she suddenly paused, aware of something different in the air around her—an unseen potent force. She stood up and, closing her eyes, listened quietly as she sniffed the air. There was an unfamiliar strangeness surrounding her. She felt the slight tremor of the earth and somewhere very far away, she heard the low-pitched hum.
It was a sound she knew well for it had been given to every civilization from the beginning of time. Used in all of the major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Christianity—it was the sacred universal sound. A single sustained note, a mantra, it was the melody of the angel that acted as the means of communication between the gods in the heavens and the humans on earth. It was the seraphim’s song.
But something was wrong; the single note was slightly off-key. The pitch wasn’t quite right. Then, because she was a choovihni and had the knowledge of the universe coursing through her veins, a cosmic consciousness that had been passed down to her from her mother, her grandmother, and her great grandmothers through all time, she sensed darkness and evil.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.
Barbara has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Several of her books have been optioned for major films and television.
Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Barbara wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Barbara’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).
Barbara is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Barbara received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with three cats who adopted her, Homer – a Southern coon cat, Reese – a black cat, and Earl Gray – a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.
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15 thoughts on “Author Barbara Casey: The Seraphim’s Song”
Danita, it is really nice to spend time with you and your bloggers. Thank you for inviting me. ~Barbara
I am curious as to how the key features in the story.
Really good question, Mary. The “key” is actually an ancient artifact that had been hidden in a cave in China until a young gypsy man found it. This artifact has some sort of symbols or writing on it and when put with the sound of E flat minor, it opens a portal to the universe. The key is symbolic to all knowledge. Thank you for asking.
Thanks for hosting!
It’s a pleasure to have you here Barbara! I love the cover. Congratulations on this exciting release!
The book details sound like an interesting read.
Thank you for your comment, Sherry.
Great interview, I love the cover and I enjoyed the excerpt! The Seraphim’s Song sounds like an excellent read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a super weekend!
Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
I am from Raleigh also!!! So cool! I am a huge fan of fiction, sci fi, mystery and thrillers. Can’t wait to read this!
That is wonderful! I hope you get a chance to read the series. Thank you for your comment.
Sounds like a good read!
Thank you, Danielle. I am glad you stopped by.
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