An Interview with Barbara Casey, Author of “The Wish Rider”

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Barbara Casey 3-2

Book Spotlight:  The Wish Rider

Barbara Casey is back on tour with her newest book in the F.I.G. mystery series.  Once again, we are excited to share the book with you.  The captivating series continues with The Wish Rider.

Touring throughout the month of August, you will find Ms. Casey at a variety of sites with articles, interviews and reviews included.  The tour is hosted by iRead Book Tours.  Her full schedule is listed below, but do stop by her Author’s Page at iRead Book Tours to check it out.

Lovely author with a wonderful talent, whether writing fiction or non-fiction.   We hope you will enjoy our interview!

The Interview

It’s a pleasure to be back with you once again Ms. Casey.  The Cadence of Gypsies is a lovely book, both in characters and story.  Even the title was evocative, as is the new one, The Wish Rider.  

Where does the title come from? 

Hi Merry. It is so nice to visit with you again. Thank you for your kind words about The Cadence of Gypsies and The Wish Rider, Books 1 and 2 in the F.I.G. Mysteries. When I was developing the characters of the three young women—Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer—who are orphans with intelligence quotients in the genius range, there seemed to be a natural rhythm in how each managed to survive in life—a cadence, if you will. And with the gypsy connection in the story, the title just seemed to fit. In Book 2, The Wish Rider, I remembered an old English proverb that I was particularly fond of:

If wishes were horses
Beggars would ride:
If turnips were bayonets
I would wear one by my side.

It just seemed to describe Dara’s situation and determination to learn the truth about what happened to her mother.

Is it difficult writing a story that relates to both young adults and adults alike? I certainly enjoyed both as an adult.

Several readers who are adults, many with children and grandchildren of their own, have told me the same thing. I don’t find it difficult to write from the perspective of an adult or young adult. In fact, I enjoy the challenge. In this case, the three FIGs as well as their teacher, Carolina, each have such different personalities. It is a matter of relating to them and trying to anticipate their reactions to the difficulties they face.

Do you plan the series to continue beyond each FIG having her own story?  It seems with their special knowledge, they would find other mysteries and problems to solve.

Right now I am working on Book 3 in the F.I.G. Mysteries, and it is Mackenzie’s story. I know this won’t be the end, though. Carolina and the three FIGs aren’t ready to let me go yet. I am already thinking about Book 4 and where it will lead these characters.

How did you decide to combine music, language, and mathematics as the ‘specialties’ of your three characters?  It works so well together. Were there other skills in the running?

When I first started to develop the characters of Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, each girl had such a strong personality in her own right. The areas they specialize in—their special talent and genius—seemed to go with each personality. I never considered anything else.

Writing for young adults, do you have readers in that age group that read and make suggestions, before or after?

I have never turned my work over to readers for suggestions. In fact, I don’t even let my husband see what I have written until my book is actually published. I guess I am superstitious in that way. When I write, I need to keep everything to myself.

Most of us can relate to feeling like outsiders when in school.  I’ve heard that often foster children feel that way along with the super smart.  Did you experience that in your research? 

You are so right. I think everyone at some point in life feels like an outsider. This is especially true with orphans. In The Cadence of Gypsies and The Wish Rider, Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer—as well as Carolina—develop coping mechanisms that are even more complicated because of their intelligence and special talents. Carolina, even as an adult, can emphasize with her three charges, the FIGs, but her situation takes on even more complexity when she discovers her mother is a gypsy.

We’ve enjoyed your adult novels as much as your Y/A selections.  Is it hard to reset your mind from one to the other?

It really isn’t difficult. I don’t try to force it; I just let the ideas come to me. Once that happens, though, I become totally engrossed in my characters and their lives. Thankfully, my husband is understanding, and doesn’t get upset if I call him by one of the character’s names, or walk around in a daze because I am figuring out a scene, or burst into tears because of what I know my character is going through.

Are you working on one of each at times, or do you completely focus on one at a time?

I like to focus on one at a time. That way I don’t lose the thread or stream of emotions.

Do you travel to the locations in your books, or is your research mostly done from your home base?

In all of my books—both adult and young adult—I have been at the locations where they are set. It is helpful especially when I describe a particular place and can connect my memories or emotions of that place to bring it to life.

What sort of writing schedule do you generally follow? That is hours or words a day?

I get up very early every morning—usually around 3:30—and walk my three dogs. Once they are settled, I write. It might be several pages or just wrestling with a difficult paragraph. Once I feel like I have accomplished something, I can move on to my other work.

How about with books?  You have authored so many. For instance, do you try to write one thriller, then another genre, then back? Or do you go where your ideas lead?

I definitely go where my ideas lead me. It just so happens that right now I am under contract for two books: a nonfiction adult work, and Book 3 of the F.I.G. Mysteries. So, right now, that is dictating what I write and when. I have pretty much completed the nonfiction, and am eager to get involved with Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer again in their next adventure. After that, it will just depend on where my ideas take me. For me, that keeps things fresh and exciting, and I am always surprised.

Are you an outliner or do your characters lead you along as the story progresses?

I am a big thinker and planner. Usually by the time I actually sit down and start writing, I pretty much know how I want the book to begin, how I want it to end, who most of the characters are, and a few things that I know are going to take place along the way. Everything else in between, however, I let my characters guide me.

What do you like to read?

For my own personal enjoyment I enjoy either a good mystery or a contemporary story. I am especially fond of several of the British authors.

Is there one most important message you would have readers get from Wish Rider?

Everyone faces different and unique obstacles in life. The important thing is to set your goals and not give up.

Best of luck on your tour.  Thank you for your time and for the opportunity to enjoy the first two books in your series.

Merry, I can’t thank you enough for your interest and time. You ask such good questions, and I have truly enjoyed being with you again. You were kind enough to review my latest nonfiction book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, a few months back. I just wanted to let you know that it has been optioned for a movie.

My very best to you and your bloggers.


The Tour

Book Description for The Wish Rider (Book 2):

Seventeen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the F.I.G.’s (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy.

It was there that their much loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies, and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world.

Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks her friends to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother.

Their determination turns to desperation, however, as they encounter a dark hidden society more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined. It is there that

Dara hopes to find out why she was abandoned in a candy store all those years ago.

Buy the book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Book Description for The Cadence of Gypsies (Book 1):

On her 18th birthday Carolina Lovel learned that she was adopted and was given a letter written by her birth mother in an unknown language.

After years of research she travels to Italy on a mission to find the truth about her past. Carolina is accompanied by three extremely gifted but mischievous students the FIGs from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women.

In an effort to help their favorite teacher, the FIGs will have to use their special abilities to decipher the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, and the one thing that is strangely similar to what Carolina was given. Their search will take them into the mystical world of gypsy tradition and magic, more exciting and dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Author’s Bio:

Barbara Casey-2
Barbara Casey is a partner in Strategic Media Books, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. She is also a manuscript consultant and the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories.

Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary adult novel received several awards including the prestigious IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction. Her most recent young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, received the Independent Publishers Living Now Award and was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of Best Books.

Ms. Casey makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix, Fitz, a miniature dachshund, and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

Connect with the author:   Website


Tour Schedule:

Aug 15 – Working Mommy Journal– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Aug 15 – Bound 4 Escape– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Aug 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews– review of The Wish Rider / guest post / giveaway

Aug 16 – Zerina Blossom’s Books– book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Aug 16 – Haddie’s Haven– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / guest post / giveaway

Aug 16 – Writers and Authors– interview

Aug 17 – Mystery Suspense Reviews– review of The Wish Rider

Aug 18 – Sahar’s Blog– review of The Wish Rider

Aug 18 – Jayne’s Books– review of The Wish Rider / guest post

Aug 19 – Library of Clean Reads– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / giveaway

Aug 19 – The Travelogue of a book addict– review of The Cadence of Gypsies

Aug 21 – Writers and Authors– book spotlight / giveaway

Aug 22 – Bookroom Reviews– review of The Wish Rider / interview

Aug 22 – Heidi’s Wanderings–  review of The Cadence of Gypsies / giveaway

Aug 23 – First Impressions Reviews– review of The Wish Rider

Aug 23 – Olio By Marilyn– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / author interview

Aug 24 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine– book spotlight / interview

Aug 24 – Haddie’s Haven– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Aug 25 – Laura’s Interests– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / guest post / giveaway

Aug 26 – The Travelogue of a book addict– review of The Wish Rider

Aug 26 – The Autistic Gamer– review of The Wish Rider

Aug 29 –– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Aug 30 – Jorie Loves A Story– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / guest post

Aug 30 – Words And Peace– book spotlight / giveaway

Aug 31 – Discovering/Writing Life– review of The Wish Rider / interview / giveaway

Aug 31 – My Journey Back– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / interview / giveaway

Sept 1 – Laura’s Interests– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Sept 1 – Book and Ink– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / giveaway

Sept 2 – Library of Clean Reads– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Sept 2 – Laura Fabiani – Top 500 Reviewer– review of The Wish Rider

Sept 5 – Heidi’s Wanderings–  review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Sept 6 – Olio By Marilyn– review of The Wish Rider

Sept 7 – Jorie Loves A Story– review of The Wish Rider

Sept 7 – New Horizon Reviews– review of The Cadence of Gypsies / interview /giveaway

Sept 8 – JBronder Book Reviews– review of The Wish Rider / guest post

Sept 8 – My Journey Back– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Sept 9 – Book and Ink– review of The Wish Rider / giveaway

Sept 9 – New Horizon Reviews– review of The Wish Rider / giveawa


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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