Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a Carol Award and RITA nominee of fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad and nominations including a Career Achievement Award, Reader’s Choice Awards, Romantic Times Book of the Year, and several Romantic Times Top Picks. A proud military wife and tenth-generation Texan, she now cheers on her beloved Aggies from north of the Red River. Find out more at www.kathleenybarbo.com.
Welcome to The Engrafted Word Kathleen Y’Barbo! It’s wonderful to have you here!
Savanna: Your stories often include lots of secrets and surprises throughout for your readers. Were you ever surprised at any point with where the story took you in writing your newest release Sadie’s Secret?
Savanna: What initially sparked the idea for your series, The Secret Lives of Will Tucker?
Kathleen: My husband and I love to take long drives. On one of these drives, we stopped at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. While sitting on the expansive back veranda overlooking the Ozark Mountains, I wondered what it might have looked like back in the 1880s when the hotel first opened. Who would be sitting in those chairs? What would they be discussing? I imagined a Southern grandmother—thinking of the Dowager Duchess in Downton Abbey but as an Atlanta matriarch—and her worried granddaughter whose fiancé was late for their elopement. Had he gone the way of the past four fiancés and met a tragic end before he could marry her? That was the genesis of the series that became known as The Secret Lives of Will Tucker.
Savanna: That’s fascinating! Being from the Ozarks myself, I agree they’re a great source of inspiration! 😉 You mention on your website that you are a member of ACFW and RWA. What is one of your favorite things about being a part of these writing groups?
Kathleen: RWA was where I learned to write long before ACFW existed. There are so many things I love about both groups, but if forced to name only one, I would say it’s the people. I’ve made so many wonderful friends since 1996 when I walked into my first writers group meeting. My writer friends challenge me to do better, cheer for me when I succeed, and offer love, prayer, and chocolates when I fall on my face. I cannot imagine my life without these amazing people in it—and all because I joined RWA and ACFW.
Savanna: From all your research, has there been a particular piece of history that really stood out to you and maybe even surprised you?
Kathleen: I was stunned to find out that well before women had the vote, they were serving as Pinkerton agents. Can you feature it? Women who were solving crimes, catching bad guys, and putting their lives on the line but could not vote or, in some states, even own property? To be more specific, after reading the story of Kate Warne, a Civil War era Pinkerton detective who foiled a plot to assassinate President Lincoln before he could take the oath as president, I was inspired to write about my own spunky lady Pinkerton, Sadie Callum. While Sadie doesn’t save the president, she does solve a crime that has befuddled two male Pinkertons before her. Read all about it in Sadie’s Secrets, JUST released on February 1, 2014!
Savanna: That is so cool! Who says history has to be boring, right? 😉 With almost 2 million books in print, you’ve had a very busy and exciting career so far! This may be hard to answer, but can you name one of your most unforgettable moments from your writing career to date?
Kathleen: Oh my! That is hard! There’s nothing like seeing your very first book in print and holding that book in your hands. Of course, I still feel that way every time I open a box of books!
Savanna: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us? How can readers connect with you?
Kathleen: Sadie’s Secret, the third in The Secret Lives of Will Tucker, released February 1 in print and on e-book. My publisher, Harvest House, will be offering some great deals on the first book in the series, so watch my Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Amazon page for details. For more details, visit my website: www.kathleenybarbo.com.
Kathleen has generously offered a free copy of her newest release, Sadie’s Secret to one lucky winner!
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