Mimi Barbour is a published author who loves the feel of a good book in her hand.
However, the Qualicum Beach resident isn’t shying away from their electronic versions.
Barbour has just had her fourth book published in The Vicarage Bench series, this one entitled, Together Again, and she expects it to be popular — both on the bookshelf and the e-reader.
“It’s a romance novel that will be available in all the major bookstores and Quality Foods will stock them, so they will be available for local readers. However, I think I will sell more of the e-books than the print.”
The switch towards e-books is only the start. This book is also by far her longest effort.
“This is my first full-length novel, some 65,000 words. The others were novellas — about 20,000 words,” she said. “I agonized over this one … made lots of revisions. When you aren’t used to writing full length it’s much more difficult. You have to do a lot more plotting and the conflicts have to be more interwoven throughout the story and the characters had to be interesting enough to sustain that kind of word count.”
The tale she came up with, as with the first three instalments, involves spirit time travel.
“When I first decided to start writing this type of a story, it was for a contest and I was following guidelines which put me into the paranormal criteria,” Barbour said. “It was inspired by a TV show called Quantum Leap, where the main character would take over a person’s body.”
“In my stories, they invade somebody and they live simultaneously. All kinds of humorous dialogue and conflicts arise. You can get in to so much trouble in that situation.”
The name of the series, she said, arises from a bush of magic roses that grow behind the bench.
“People get pricked by a rose and crazy things happen,” she said.
The hero in Going Home is a young woman, Dani Howard, who spirit travels into the body of a 30-year-old male reporter, Troy Brennan.
“He came to town to follow a story on a woman who was involved in bank robbery in Chicago, his home town,” Barbour said. “She foiled the bank robbers by herself and all the reporters wanted stories from her — but she wanted to get away from them. What she finally realizes is that the woman he is after is herself at an older age.”
There’s much more to it than that, with a fast pace and engaging dialogue that keep the action flowing along nicely until the amazing conclusion.
“Any romance reader will love it,” she said. “It’s a real love story. I hope it will make them laugh and I hope it will make them cry.”
Sound farfetched? That depends. Who 20 years ago would have thought that an author would even consider focusing her efforts primarily on electronic publishing, rather than print?