Barbara Longley Invites Us to Get Lost in a Perfect Book

As a child, Barbara J. Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing.

Find Barbara at:
@barbaralongley (twitter)

Noah Langford narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that killed five of his men and took his leg, leaving him haunted by flashbacks and riddled with guilt. When his stepbrother Matt dies in a car accident, the loss feels like the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul. But then he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned years earlier, and suddenly Noah has a new mission…

Ceejay Lovejoy was nineteen and pregnant when her boyfriend walked out, disappearing from her life just like her parents did. Since that day, Ceejay has devoted herself to giving her daughter a better life, avoiding any man who could threaten that security—until the day Noah Langford shows up on her doorstep. His gentle spirit has an unexpected effect on Ceejay’s guarded heart, tempting her to take one last chance on love. But when a painful secret comes to light, it threatens to break the fragile bond growing between them…and to destroy a love powerful enough to heal them both.

CAT:  How often to you get lost in a story?  
BARBARA:  Very frequently! I read almost every night before I close my eyes. Sometimes what I’m reading (usually romance) keeps me up way past my bedtime.

CAT:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
BARBARA:  I love contemporary and paranormal romance.

CAT:  What’s the first book you remember reading?
BARBARA:  I learned to read with Dick and Jane books. Remember those? But the very first book that *trapped* me was Misty of Chincoteague, then National Velvet, and The Black Stallion. After I grew out of my horse phase, I moved on to the paranormals of my day, like The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

CAT:  What’s your favorite fairy tale?
BARBARA:  I like Cinderella, the Disney version. I used to put it on for my daughter all the time when she was little, so I could watch it.

CAT:  What’s your favorite cartoon character?
BARBARA:  Without a doubt it’s Yosemite Sam. Any of you remember him? The handlebar mustache and his curmudgeon-like personality, yeah, Yosemite Sam is definitely my favorite cartoon character. I’d date him. Is that weird?

CAT:  What turns you off like nothing else? Procrastination.
BARBARA:  Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release? Not so much for FAR FROM PERFECT, but for the second book in the trilogy, THE DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES, Eli Young Band’s “War on a Desperate Man” is the song that inspired the creation my main character, Ryan Malloy.

CAT:  Where do you read and how often?
BARBARA:  Either in my living room in “mom’s” chair, or in bed.

CAT:  What was the first story you remember writing?
BARBARA:  This is embarrassing. Long, long, long ago, I wrote a riveting tale entitled WOOLY WILLARD, CATERPILLAR. It was about a confused caterpillar who knew he was supposed to do something, but didn’t know what it was. It turns out he was supposed to build a cocoon and morph into a butterfly. It was a page-turner, I tell ya. I think I still have the original somewhere. My mom saved it.

CAT:  Who’s your favorite villain?
BARBARA:  Lex Luther, or any villain who really believes he’s doing what needs to be done.

CAT:  What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
BARBARA:  Please, please, please read my books! Is that too much? OK, the kindest most generous thing a reader can ever do for a writer whose work they like: Tell a few friends.

CAT:  Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
BARBARA:  Yes, and what I listen to depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes Country Western, sometimes Celtic, sometimes R&B, or pop.

CAT:  If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
BARBARA:  I’d be a visual artist, or I’d keep my day job as a teacher.

CAT:  What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
BARBARA:  SMILE. Next I call a writer friend and make plans for a dinner out including wine.

CAT:  If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
BARBARA:  I’d be a noble during the Renaissance period.

CAT:  Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
BARBARA:  I do read reviews, and they don’t influence my writing, but they certainly influence my mood. The truth is, after you’ve read a bunch of reviews, you realize what really bugs one reader isn’t even noticed by the next. Like all things, it’s subjective. You can’t please everyone, so you just have to stay true to your own vision and write from the heart.

As a reader, what do you see trending recently in the kind of books you read? What do you want to read?

Barbara is offering a signed copy of FAR FROM PERFECT. Please leave your contact info in the comments.


  1. I am actually seeing more stories with returned veterans. It's the times. We hear daily accounts on the news. The stories make for compelling reading, because we want all to be well in the end.


  2. That's true, and I wanted to explore the very real issues faced by returning veterans, like PTSD, physical disabilities, etc. We do want all of our troops to find HEA, and since I have no control, I write stories where it's guaranteed. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

  3. Free copy of Far From Perfect? Couldn't resist!

    1. You need to leave me contact info, Christine. Oh, never mind. I can find you on twitter. :0)

  4. Great interview, thank you. FAR FROM PERFECT sounds like a good read.


  5. best of luck in the drawing, Ingeborg!

  6. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of FAR FROM PERFECT and loved it! It was fun to read your answers, Barb and learn more about you as the person. ;^)

  7. I love military heroes! nmluiken AT telusplanet DOT net

  8. Me too, Nicole! thanks for stopping by. :0)

  9. Hmmm... well... fifty shades certainly start an erotica trend. It's not a bad book actually but it gets tedious after you read too many books with the same theme!

    maybe31 at yahoo.com

  10. My 76 year old stepmother read Fifty Shades of Gray, but I have not. Not even a little bit curious. Guess I won't be writing porn any time soon. Thanks for stopping by, May.

  11. I love a nice story that I can share with friends of any age. This book sounds perfect. :) Plus a dog on the cover is practically an automatic read for me!
    nancy @ nancynaigle . com

  12. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy! Yeah, dogs are good, except my daughter's basset hound is barking at me right now for...who knows what. She was just out.

  13. I see a lot of books about vampires. Will read almost anything.


  14. I don't write about vampires. Hope that's OK with you.

  15. Congratulations to Kit3247@aol.com! You won the free copy. I'll be contacting you for an address in a minute. :0)