|Author Kathleen Y'Barbo|
As you might have read in my bio, I am a fan of college football, especially my alma mater, Texas A&M University. My question is: what is your favorite sports team? And yes, it’s fine if your answer is none. :-)
Now, on with the interview!
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of forty-five novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A Romantic Times Top Pick recipient of her novels, Kathleen is a proud military wife and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River. To find out more about Kathleen or connect with her through social media, check out her website at www.kathleenybarbo.com.
Thanks for joining us at Novel PASTimes! We’re glad to have this chance to learn more about you and your books. Congratulations on Flora’s Wish releasing this month! Tell us a little bit about the storyline.
Flora Brimm, a not so prim and proper Natchez belle with four fiancés whose untimely deaths kept them from arriving at the altar has one wish: find a husband and secure the family home for a sibling who would otherwise be tossed out. Ever resourceful, she’s sure she knows exactly how to make that happen. So she makes her plans without taking time to consult the Almighty and then gives the scheme all she’s got only to find out she is the subject of a Pinkerton investigation and just may be engaged to a jewel thief. Meanwhile, Pinkerton agent and inventor Lucas McMinn is trying to decide whether the lovely lady is part of the solution or the problem.
The back-cover copy on your website makes it sound like Flora’s Wish has three main characters to keep things interesting – Flora, Will, and Lucas. We’d love for you to introduce them to us.
Lucas McMinn is a half-Irish, half well-to-do New Orleans French who is bent on revenge for his sister’s death. When he’s not creating gadgets in his laboratory, he’s on the trail of the notorious Will Tucker.
Flora Brimm of the Natchez Brimms is bound by her grandfather’s will to either marry and produce an heir or cause the family home to be turned over to a cousin who will sell it at the first opportunity.
Will Tucker is a charming conman whose habit of becoming engaged to wealthy heiresses has him coming to blows with the Pinkerton agent whose sister’s heart he broke.
What drew you toward writing historical romance? What do you like most about it?
I love the research. I could read books on history for days on end without ever writing a word!
What sparked the idea for Flora’s Wish?
A trip to the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, sparked the idea. I was sitting on the porch looking out over the Ozarks when a story started unfolding. I couldn’t type fast enough.
I saw that Flora’s Wish is the first book in series you’re calling The Secret Lives of Will Tucker. Sounds interesting! It also sounds a little different, with the focus being on a male character. How did it reach that point?
The focus is on the villain, actually, although Will is a charming villain—mostly.
You’re rapidly approaching your fiftieth book – congratulations! How do you keep the ideas and your writing fresh after so many stories and characters?
Thank you! Ideas are everywhere. Sometimes it’s an overheard conversation or something I read in the news that sparks the idea. Other times, I’m just looking for a character and along comes a plot, if that makes sense.
Historical fiction requires a lot of research. What’s the most interesting (or unusual, or funny) thing you’ve done in the name of research for a book?
I went out onto the fourth floor ledge at the Crescent Hotel where Flora makes her unconventional escape in Flora’s Wish. It’s really high up. I will leave it at that.
If you could be any character from another historical novel, who would it be and why?
This one’s easy. I would be Pollyanna. I loved her books growing up. Who wouldn’t want that ?
Oh, I love Pollyanna, too! She's a great choice.
Some writers love plotting, some like writing that first draft, and others enjoying researching or digging into the revisions. What's your favorite part about writing a book?Having written. Writing is hard work, with a whole lot of fun thrown in. But there’s just something about completing a project all the way through to the last edit that is so satisfying. Yes, that’s my favorite part. However, I don’t get to enjoy that for long. The next book is always calling me.
When starting a new project, do you tend to begin with a time period or event and create the characters to live it, or do you start with characters and then find their story?
Yes. What I mean by that is it can begin either way. If I had to choose, I would say that because I love historicals and historical research, often it is an incident in a time period that sets the stage for the story and then the characters are born.
What would you like readers to gain from reading your books?
First and foremost, I want them to be entertained. Reading is an escape, and I want my readers to happily transport themselves to the time and place where my story is happening. If I have done my job, they won’t want to leave when I’m done.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write. It’s far too easy to talk about stories, to read about writing, or to attend meetings and network. Sitting alone in the chair and putting words on a blank page or screen? Now that’s the hard part. Do the hard part and the rest falls into place.
You're right about that! Any final words?Thank you for buying my books, for asking me questions, and for making my life as a writer an incredible ride. You are much appreciated!
And we appreciate you for joining us at Novel PASTimes, Kathleen! And, thanks to our visitors for stopping by again. Be sure to answer Kathleen’s question in the comments section for your chance to win a copy of Flora’s Wish (include your name and email with ‘at’ and ‘dot’ spelled out to cut down on spam). The drawing will be held at approximately 8 a.m. EST on Friday.
Here's Kathleen's question again:
As you might have read in my bio, I am a fan of college football, especially my alma mater, Texas A&M University. My question is: what is your favorite sports team? And yes, it’s fine if your answer is none.