Super happy to have Kathleen Y'Barbo with us today! Bestselling author, Kathleen is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than eighty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine. To connect with her through social media check out the links on her website at www.kathleenybarbo.com.
Thank you so much for visiting us today here at the CCC blog! Can you tell us about your latest release and what inspired you to write the story?
Thank you for having me! My newest release is a novella called The Princess of Polecat Creek, and it can be found in the Secret Admirer Romance Collection (May 2017). Here’s the blurb: Scandal divided them. Two kidnappings and a wedding later, can a Texas cowboy turned Washington lawyer and the girl-next-door who secretly loved him since childhood save their marriage of inconvenience?
Of all your characters in this story, which one did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I had so much fun writing about Deke Wyatt, hero of the story and the eldest of six brothers. This poor guy was stuck between loyalty to his very proper high society mama from New York City and the Polecat Creek Ranch in Texas where he was born and raised. Even though he left to become a lawyer and is preparing for a move to join his grandfather’s law firm in Washington, DC, he still has to deal with those brothers of his one more time while settling his later father’s affairs. If you’ve ever had to walk a tightrope between pleasing family members or doing what you felt called to do, I think you’ll sympathize with Deke.
If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play them?
Henry Cavill would make a fabulous Deke, although I could totally go old school on this Rhett Butler-type guy and say Clark Gable. I like Emma Stone for Pearl, or possibly Julianne Hough. Since this is a Texas novel, I’ve got to add one more: Sam Elliott as Deke’s grandpa!
How did you decide on the setting/location for this novel?
Actually, Polecat Creek is the name of a real creek that crosses Interstate 75 just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Every time we drove past the Polecat Creek sign, I thought about how great that would sound in a book. Then the title came to me: The Princess of Polecat Creek. I had no idea what the plot would be, but I loved that title. It sat in a file on my computer for almost two years before I was approached about writing a novella about a secret admirer. I found the file and decided it was time to give the title a story, although I did move that story from Oklahoma to Texas (just as we moved a few weeks after I turned in the completed story, ironically).
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it and why?
I had to think very hard to answer this one because I cannot imagine limiting what I would write if God told me to write about it. However, I did write a book (Beloved Counterfeit) where the heroine was raped by the villain who had been threatening her throughout the book. Although I only alluded to what happened and never showed any details of the event, I got emails from readers who felt that was a trigger for them.
Moving on from your story, tell us a little about yourself. We’ll help! What literary character is most like you and why?
When I asked my husband this question, he said I was like Anne of Green Gables because I like to write and no one can tell me what to do. Ha! I prefer Alice from Alice in Wonderland because when I go down the rabbit hole of writing, I never know which interesting characters I will meet.
What strange writing habits do you have? Like standing on your head while you write with a pen between your teeth?
There was a time when I could write in total chaos, but that time is long ago when all four of my grown children were little. Now my desk has to be clear and everything in its place before I can concentrate on my book, probably because if it isn’t I either get distracted or I waste time putting everything back into order again.
Do you have a writing mentor, or another author who has inspired/encouraged you in some way?
DiAnn Mills was an early mentor of mine, and she still inspires me with her work ethic. My best encouragers are the writer women with whom I’ve kept an ongoing text group for the past four years. Linda Kozar, Dannelle Woody, Janice Thompson, and Sharen Watson lift me up when I’m low, celebrate with me when things are going well, and generally kick my rear into gear when the occasion calls for it. I cannot imagine trying to do life, much less the writing life, without my girls.
We talk a lot about faith and how it weaves throughout our fiction, here at the blog. How has your faith affected/or not affected your writing?
My faith is integral to my writing because writing a book itself is an act of faith. When I plot out my stories, I always ask my characters what their faith looks like because that tells me where each of them is in their relationship with the Lord. None of what I know about this may even come out overtly in the story, but it will be built into the thoughts and actions of each character. Who we are in the inside always shows on the outside—eventually.
Because Jaime has some darker elements to her split-time historical and contemporary romantic suspense coming out this year, she likes to ask weird questions. So, if you were responsible to write your own epitaph for your tombstone, what would it say?
Wife, Mother, Child of God
Anne is an insatiable romantic with a serious vintage aura in all she writes. Do you have fabulous love story in your family history that you could share with us in a few words? If not, what about your own?
I wrote about a love story from my family’s history (circa 1850s Texas) in the novella Saving Grace. My own love story is much briefer but so much better, I think. You see, my husband and I are relative newlyweds (7 years married this October) after finding each other again on Facebook. All my friends and readers got to watch as my hunky hero in combat boots and I reconnected after 35 years and then eloped to Hawaii. Just writing that makes me smile because I was a single mom for sever years prior to that and never thought God had a romance in store for me. Unlike my novels, where I always know what will happen, I was blindsided by our story—in the best possible way.
Erica and Gabrielle both write sweet historical romances. How does romance influence your own writing?
I love romances! Every story I write, even the historical mysteries, have an element of romance. To me, the best part of the story is making the reader wonder how two people who absolutely cannot possibly fall in love manage to do so anyway.
And for some extra fun . . .
If you could pick one superhero to save you from impending doom, who would it be and why?
My husband, of course. After 28 years in the military, he’s my go-to super hero.
If you could guest star in one TV show, what would be and what would your ideal role be?
Dr. Who! I would be the companion who brings back the tenth doctor. Somehow. No clue how, of course, but I’m sure the writers can figure that out.
Name one significant heirloom or keepsake you have and why it’s important to you:
There are two of them, actually, and they are my maternal and paternal grandmothers’ wedding rings (I should add that as the first grandchild on both sides, I was named after both of them). My maternal grandmother’s gold and platinum band is special to me because it is the ring that my husband put on my finger in Hawaii on our wedding day.
My paternal grandmother’s diamond wedding band is special because I thought it had been lost in my move from Texas to Oklahoma in 2010. We scoured the house looking for it and finally gave up. When we were packing to make our move to Texas last summer, my husband found it in the bottom of a vase of silk flowers that had been sitting in our bathroom the entire time! I now wear that ring along with my wedding band and engagement ring, not only to remind me of these two special women I was named after but also in hopes that our marriage will last until death do we part just as theirs did.
We’d love you have you share a snippet from your novel to entice us and hook us! J Please share something below:
Glad to! This is a scene where Deke has arrived at the ranch and learned that his brothers have not only accidentally been mistaken as train robbers in a dare gone wrong, but they have also managed to kidnap a childhood friend from a neighboring ranch in the process. This is Pearl and Deke’s first meeting in the book, and I had so much fun writing it.
“Joke? Do I look like I am amused?” Her hands crossed over that tiny waist of hers and her toe went to tapping. Oh but she was a beauty when she was angry.
Who was he kidding? Pearl Barrett was a beauty. Period.
And no, she did not look amused.
Once again he thought of the marriage hunt that had so worried his mother. Whoever ended up with this spitfire was to be pitied.
She tilted her head slightly and a ray of afternoon sunshine slanted across her face. Perhaps pitied wasn’t exactly the right word, for no matter what sort of orders her groom would be receiving, he would still be putting his boots under the same bed where that woman slept.
Deke shook off the thought and aimed his gaze at the blue sky overhead. Patience had never been one of the virtues the Lord bestowed on him, but it didn’t hurt to ask for an extra dose of it right now.
So he asked. And he waited, but only long enough to hear his name being called yet again. And not in a particularly fond manner.
He shifted his attention in time to see Eli once again walk behind Pearl, this time carrying the washstand. He paused as if watching the interaction between them.
Half his family tree might have originated on the best side of Boston, but the other half’s roots were dug deep in Texas soil, Polecat Creek Ranch soil to be exact. That little woman might think she could order him around, but she was sadly mistaken if she thought he’d sit on that horse and ignore her shrewish behavior.
“If you’re telling the truth about not playing any part in this situation-”
“Other than being the person stuffed into the feed sack, you mean? That, I will claim a part in, though I did not go willingly.”
“That’s the truth,” Eli called. “She bit Ben on the hand, though she didn’t draw blood.”
She turned and said something to Eli that Deke couldn’t hear. A moment later, his brother disappeared. Pearl returned her attention to him. “You were saying?”
“I was saying that if you’re telling the truth, then we’ve got a situation that needs dealing with.”
“Oh, I am, and you know it. And yes we do.”
Thank you again for allowing me to visit! I had a great time answering these questions. You really made me think!!
The book is up for pre-order on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2mRywjP and Christian Book Distributers here: http://bit.ly/2n8wkVw .
As of now, there is no pre-order on Barnes & Noble or Lifeway, but keep looking and I’m sure the book will be on there soon and in stores by May 1.
AND WE'RE GIVING AWAY A COPY TOO!!! ENTER TO WIN!!