Wednesday, June 02, 2010
More than 950,000 copies of her books are in print, and her books have been translated into several languages including German and Dutch. A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y'Barbo lives near Houston.
Welcome, Kathleen. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I’ve always loved western movies, and Tombstone is at the top of the list as much for its attention to historical accuracy as for the fabulous story line and acting. So when a trip to the Margaret Mitchell house during ICRS with author Tracey Bateman uncovered a story about Doc Holliday’s connection to the novel Gone With the Wind, I was intrigued. The research I did on Doc and his friend Wyatt Earp dovetailed nicely into the story I was crafting for Anna Finch, the girl-next-door from The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper. From there, a story was born!
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Only six?? Impossible! However, if I must choose, I would go down the list of great writers at Waterbrook Multnomah and send them all invites. Can you imagine the fun we’d have with the likes of Robin Jones Gunn, Cindy Woodsmall, Donita Paul, Karen Kingsbury, David Gregory, Deb Raney and others in attendance?
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Again...only six?? This is so hard! Again, I’d have to go back to my fellow Waterbrook Multnomah authors and send shout-outs to Jane Kirkpatrick, Liz Curtis Higgs, Francine Rivers, and so many more. Can I invite the editors too? What a grand time that would be!
You'll have some of my favorites at those parties, so I'd have to be a party crasher. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
My most difficult problem right now is finding balance in my writing life. Like many others in this business, I have a life outside of the writing world that must be kept in perspective when making decisions on schedules, marketing efforts, and the like. Ultimately, I try to go back to the formula I learned in church: God first, then family and then everything else. Most days, I get fairly close to achieving this. I’m a work in progress just like my manuscripts, however.
Aren't we all? Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s a teaser courtesy of Amazon.com: When an aspiring reporter and a Pinkerton detective get tangled in Doc Holliday’s story— and each other—sparks can’t help but fly.
Despite her father’s attempts to marry her off, Anna Finch dreams of becoming a reporter. A chance encounter with legendary gunslinger Doc Holliday gives her the opportunity of a lifetime, but Pinkerton agent Jeb Sanders is about to ruin everything.
Though her father hired Jeb to keep her out of mischief, Anna’s inconvenient attraction to her hired gun only multiplies her troubles. She doesn’t realize Jeb has a score to settle with Doc Holliday, or that her association with the famous outlaw will affect more than just her marriage prospects. Between her father’s desperation to see her wed and Jeb shadowing her every move, getting the story and fulfilling her journalistic ambition just got far more complicated than she ever imagined.
Sounds like a book we'd all like to read. Please give us the first page of the book.
We had a little misunderstanding, but it didn’t amount to much.
April 30, 1885
Daybreak found Anna Finch astride her horse Maisie, heading for the plains west of Denver. Her father had given her the mare before he decided riding horses across the high plains was not for well-bred women of marriageable age.
As the youngest of five daughters, Anna had always been able to tug on her father’s heartstrings and get whatever she wanted from him, and what she’d wanted was a proper saddle. Not one of those sidesaddle contraptions where a lady had to balance herself and her bustles to avoid falling and injuring more than just her pride. Despite her mother’s vocal protests, Anna soon had exactly what she wished for. That old saddle still served her well, though Father long ago believed she’d retired it, along with her habit of watching the sun rise out on the prairie, astride a trusty horse.
As an observer of people, Anna had learned by watching her sisters, who’d been forced to give up all but the most docile pursuits, that there would come a day when this would be asked of her, too. And once that day came, she’d no longer have the freedom to ride like the wind. Instead, she’d be left knitting in some parlor, praying for a breeze.
Shrugging off the thought, Anna urged her horse to a trot and let the mare find her own pace across the plain. Wild streaks of orange and gold teased a sky painted deepest purple as she loosened her hairpins and tossed them behind her.
If the maids wondered why they had to fetch so many hairpins from the mercantile, they never said. Nor did anyone question why Anna’s skirts were often coated in trail dust or why the occasional set of youth-sized trousers found its way into the carpetbag she carried on her rides. Those who resided under the Finch roof, be they servant or family, preferred a sort of self-induced blindness that relegated all but the most obvious to the edges of their vision. And sometimes even the obvious was missed.
Anna, on the other hand, prided herself in seeing details. As a girl, she’d begun the custom of writing in a journal. Once the risk of Mother or Father coming across a written record of her life became a concern, Anna had turned to poetry and, on occasion, fiction. Writing poems and stories couldn’t be counted against her, she reasoned, so she’d created characters and events that gave her staid life in Denver a sparkle it might not otherwise have.
Her dream, however, was to use her love of writing to make a difference. Wouldn’t Mama and Papa be shocked to know their youngest daughter’s fondest wish was to become a journalist? She smiled at the idea of someday seeing her byline beneath a headline on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News or the Denver Times.
All right, Anna just moved to the top of my to-be-read pile. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me at http://www.kathleenybarbo.com/ . I’m also on Twitter and Facebook and love interacting with readers through those sites. Also, in conjunction with Waterbrook Press, I will be giving away a huge basket of cowgirl goodies along with autographed copies of Anna Finch and the Hired Gun and The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper. If your readers like chocolate, books, rhinestone cowgirl hats, an amazing piece of cowgirl-approved jewelry, and chocolate - did I mention chocolate? - keep checking my webpage, Twitter, and Facebook sites for information - coming soon!
I know I'd be interested in all that. You did say chocolate! Thanks, Kathleen for this fun interview.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using this link when you order, you support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing web links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.