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Today I have the pleasure of getting the scoop on Young Adult author, Vanessa Barger. I for one have been dying to delve into the past of this lady. I just know there are some secrets to be revealed and I’m just brave enough to ask. This time we are going to start right off the bat with my then and now game.

Joey:   What was your ultimate can’t miss television show when you were growing up? And now?

Vanessa:  I loved Fraggle Rock, She-Ra, and Thundercats.  🙂 I also used to sneak Beauty and the Beast once in a while, and my brother and I used to watch the old Dark Shadows when we came home (although we weren’t supposed to).  And then, of course, I totally intended to marry MacGyver. *sigh*
Today? Well, shows I like have a tendency to go off air. I liked the Dresden Files (gone), I own the entire series of the Vicar of Dibley, I LOVE Supernatural (but you’re safe – i’m buying the seasons and watching them on my own. I love no commercials.), Like Ghost Hunters sometimes, Good Eats, Cities of the Underworld, Hogan’s Heroes.

Joey–  Thundercats Ho!! I loved that one. What was your worst subject in school? Would it still hold true today?

Vanessa– Math. *shudder* Wasn’t that I didn’t understand – I just didn’t see a use for it, so I didn’t care enough. As for today – funny enough, I teach a class that’s basically practical application of physics. Its all facts and math. But practical math. Who knew?

Joey–   Ooh. We so have the math thing in common. It was not the subject I excelled at. Not creative enough I guess. Okay, let’s dish…who was plastered all over your walls back in the day? If you could plaster someone on your wall today who would it be?

Vanessa– MacGyver. (I always go for the older men.lol), Prince William, Most of the Disney guys, esp John Smith, I think Bryan Adams (the country singer) and Devon Sawa were probably in there somewhere too.

Joey– Though he wasn’t plastered on my wall, I can see the appeal of Devon Sawa…MacGyver not so much. 🙂 Magazine you couldn’t live without? Which one is it now?

Vanessa– I used to love my grandparents’ reader’s digest. And Highlights.
Now? Hi-Fructose (counterculture art magazine), most cooking magazines, Archaeology

Joey–  I don’t know too many kids who didn’t have Highlights.  Favorite author as a teenager? And now? (I know you are tempted to say Joey Nichols, but as you get pre-publication insight, it’s not really fair to the readers, so I abstain from your selection. 🙂 )

Vanessa– This is always hard – as a teen or not. Loved Tamora Pierce, of course, and the Elfquest graphic novels (until the end of the series, and once they started time traveling I hated it), Tolkien (still a favorite), L’engle, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series.

Now? Love Bill Bryson and Katie MacAlister. Heather Graham, Austen, Shakespeare, Joey Nichols….. lol It changes all the time.

Joey–  Now onto some “Just cause Joey wants to know” questions…If you could be any animal, mythical or real, what would it be and why?

Vanessa– Unicorn. Or the Loch Ness Monster. (family calls me nessie already, I’m halfway there!) Maybe a cat. I mean, who doesn’t want to lounge and sleep all day, have someone cater to every whim, fix dinner, and clean up your crap (literally!)

Joey– The unicorn would be cool, but the cat part cracked me up!  Alright, if you were a superhero, who would you be and why?

Vanessa– Wonder Woman. She had a lasso of truth!

Joey–  Just keep the lasso of truth away from me. I like my secrets.  Which book would you want to live in and why?

Vanessa– Toss up between Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice.  I love Jane Eyre because she isn’t beautiful or wealthy, but she still manages to be happy and find love and stick to her morals and beliefs. (and she was a teacher. See a pattern?)  P&P because Darcy is just to die for!

Joey–  Man I am really feeling bad that I can’t remember Pride and Prejudice. You are the second to give me that answer. We are planning a trip to a place for story research. Where are we going and why there?

Vanessa– Scotland and England. We are going to London to research architecture of the age, and then we’re going to Scotland and seeing Glencoe, Loch Lomond and the Highlands.

Joey– Ooh see, and now I now you love me. Any friend who would take me along on a research trip to Scotland, really knows their way to Joey’s heart. Okay, I believe you have allowed me to torture you enough. Care to share a little about your book? I love excerpts that tempt me, so lay it on me!

Also available on Amazon and BN.com

Into the Ether just came out from Astraea….  Here’s the blurb and an excerpt:


As a Touch-Know, Genevieve has never been required to steal more than a few paltry coins. But when a powerful stranger requires their help, her family of street-wise thieves sends her to get the most important thing they’ve ever decided to liberate. It was supposed to be a simple overnight job. Instead, Genevieve is required to appear attached to her mark, the curator of the British Museum. For Genevieve it becomes more than an act, and her problems are far more significant than the possibility of her lies being discovered.

When her family betrays her, she must make an important choice – turn to the man who has destroyed everything she holds dear, or strike out on her own.


In the distance a steam engine stalled out and throbbed in the night air. My skin rippled with distress as I picked through sludge-stained cobbles. I could hear the machine drawing closer, but still far enough away that, perhaps, I wouldn’t be noticed.

My heart fluttered, adrenaline sharpening my senses. Only a few more steps. A bright shaft of light sliced across my back, sending my shadow into sharp relief on the pavement.

All pretense thrown aside, I broke into a run. The steam auto roared behind me and I risked a glance over my shoulder. Two police officers hunched in the cramped glass carriage of the auto. One drove, following commands barked by his partner, who rode in the passenger seat. He hung out the window, his spotlamp trained on me.

At the nearest corner I flung myself to the left and searched for an alleyway, a door; any place to hide. The brick buildings coated with soot and grime didn’t offer any respite.

My lungs burned and fear made my legs watery. The auto was close enough, even after making the turn, that I could see the sparkling moisture gathered on the lookout’s brow. I hoped his eyebrows singed in the heat from the gas spotlamp.

Paying too much attention to what was behind me, I missed the curb and slipped. I tumbled, both hands spread to break my fall. My knees scraped rough pavement and I heard the sound of ripping fabric. Pain radiated from my wrists to my elbows from the impact. The auto pulled along side and I paused, waiting as the officer leapt from the auto, laughing.

I slid my feet under my body, hiding them in the folds of my ragged skirt. When he reached out to grab my hands, I sprang up, caught him off guard, and pushed at his chest with all the force I could muster.

He toppled eyes wide with surprise and a wicked oath on his tongue. I noted with some satisfaction that he’d landed on his rear in a large puddle of something unpleasant. Then I spun and ran back the way I’d come.

When my knees felt like pudding and my chest burned with each breath, I stopped, crouching in the shadow of a doorway. I strained to hear past my heavy pants. For the moment, there was nothing. I’d run more than ten blocks. Surely they hadn’t followed. All the same, I waited, pressed against the glass doorway, for several minutes. No sense in getting away once only to be caught again. I didn’t have enough stamina for that.

Somewhere nearby a church bell tolled the hour. Nearly one. Time for a shift change at the station. No police officer stopped if they were on their way home. Too much effort. Creeping out of my hiding place, I made my way down the street, clinging to the walls and shadows, staying away from the pools of flickering gas light under the lamps.

Almost halfway home, I stopped and patted my pockets, anxiety making my heart jump. Tonight I had been sent out alone, which didn’t happen often. My value lay in knowing an object’s worth rather than actually stealing anything. I never came back with much, but I didn’t want to come back empty handed. This evening, only a few small coins weighted my pockets. I reached inside and curled my fingers around the round metal discs, warm from my body heat. Continuing, I sighed in relief. Everything was still there. My hands burrowed deeper where the icy air couldn’t reach.

Footsteps sounded behind me, slow at first, then gaining speed. They drew closer as I approached the dark mouth of an alleyway. My stomach knotted and I jumped over a mound of blackened snow landing neatly in the center of the street.

Before I could summon the energy to run, a dark shape rammed into my gut and locked arms around my waist. All the air rushed from my lungs and I narrowly avoided cracking my skull on the pavement.

Joey– Well that was utterly fabulous! Thank you so much for stopping by Vanessa. So glad that we had the chance to get to know you a little better. Can’t wait to see what more you have in store for us in the future. If you would like to follow along on Vanessa’s journey, you can visit here at http://vanessabargerwrites.wordpress.com/ Plus, you still have two more days to get in on her Big Release Contest! Hurry because it ends March 17th!