Featured Interview With BARBARA JOHNSON CHASE
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I grew up in southern Idaho. Now living in New England. No pets—but I do have three French antique birdcages filled with ‘fireflies’ (copper-wire led lights), if that counts.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was writing and drawing ever since I can remember. My dad and I used to visit the local library every week. I would bring home books about the early scouts, the American Indians, and the pioneers. My father’s parents had traveled the Santa Fe Trail by lone wagon to start a new life. So adventure was pretty much embedded in my DNA as well as in my imagination. When I grew older I dreamed of dozens of other places I would love to live, including Paris, France. That particular dream came true in 2013, and it influenced my work as well as my life.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Wow, there are a good many that I enjoy. I like to switch things up a but and read various genres,
It will say that when I first discovered one of Billy Collins books (after I had finished my own) in a local bookstore, it was like I was meeting someone I already knew. His sense of humor and his flair for the unexpected never disappoints. I have since collected most of his books.
I am an avid reader of WWII books such as . Ben Macintyre’s THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR exemplifies just such a book.
I find Isabel Wilkerson’s THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS jaw-droppingly well-researched.
I seek out great novels by inspired imaginations. A few examples that come to mind first are Delia Owens’ WHERE THE CRAWDAD SINGS, Anthony Doerr’s ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, and Kristin Hannah’s THE NIGHTINGALE.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
TIPTOEING THROUGH PARIS, one of a trilogy of books containing a series of story-style whimsical poetry with surprise twists and turns, and color illustrations. Seldom serious, often humorous, and always with tongue-in-cheek double-entendre that lets the reader in on the fun.
My purpose in putting verse with illustration is complimentary. The illustrations were not created at the same time as the verse. But one day I had this ‘lightbulb’ of an idea when I realized that my writing and my art were largely a reflection of one another, about four years ago I started playing with them under an intentional side-by-side spotlight. So my books are a culmination of years of painting, sketching, and writing.
All three of my books usually hang out close together in the Amazon book section, but in the event they become momentarily separated by the mysteries of algorithm, the other two book titles are:
PUSHING THE HIGH NOTE
PICNIC ON THE PRINT