Good morning! I’m so excited that Barbara Barrett has agreed to join Pink Fuzzies for a morning chat. Her debut novel, The Sleepover Clause, a Crimson Romance, is an ebook that will be out and available through B&N, Amazon and iTunes on September 3rd. However it can be pre-ordered on Amazon today!! I’m hoping we can give her a good send-off!
Welcome, Barbara! Love the cover!
Barbara, like so many people, I’m curious to know why you decided to become a writer.
I tended to ignore the early signs that I was meant to be a writer. My fifth grade teacher singled out my writing. In sixth grade, an essay I wrote about my imaginary travels to France was printed in the local newspaper. I placed second in a national essay contest when I was fifteen. And I wrote a weekly column, “Teen Talk,” for that same paper, the Burlington Hawk-Eye, when I was in high school.
And after that?
Writing fiction helped me avoid a midlife crisis. Actually it was the character of a romance writer on a daytime drama that inspired me to consider this particular genre. If I’m being honest, it was the glamour and acclaim that had me writing those first words. A few thousand words later, the quest for glamour and acclaim had long faded, but along the way, I discovered my passion. Even though I liked my day job, I’d finally found what I was meant to do. That drive kept me going for the next several years through numerous rejections, low contest scores and a bout with breast cancer.
I probably would have given up after the first few years of writing, had I not joined Romance Writers of America and begun to learn my craft and more about the publishing business and gained the support of a huge network of writers fulfilling their dreams the same way.
And what else do you enjoy doing?
I’m a movie buff who still has aspirations of writing screenplays someday. My interests include interior design and cooking, so spare time is spent watching HGTV and the Food Network, when I’m not dabbling in those areas myself. Since moving to Florida, I’ve learned to play Mah Jongg and have recently introduced the game to my Iowa friends.
I’m so excited for you! Tell us about The Sleepover Clause.
The Sleepover Clause is the tale of an interior decorator who hides out in the Iowa town of Burlington while the ruckus caused by a job gone wrong on the West Coast dies down. She can’t resist meddling in the personal affairs of the three brothers who own the customized motor coach company where she has been sent to finish the interior of her sister’s touring coach. The younger brother, in particular, to whom she is attracted, needs prodding to tell his brothers how much he’d rather sit for the bar than work with on motor coaches. It’s only when her problems in California track her down that he considers returning to the lawbooks.
Just what is the Sleepover Clause? When the brothers make her to agree to a list of “conditions” for working in their garage, she retaliates with her own list of requirements, one of which is that they provide her with sleeping quarters for those nights when she has to stay late. Though she never intended to invoke the option, before long, she finds herself a “guest” in the firehouse cum garage, which is also the brothers’ living quarters.
Why Motor Coaches? To be truthful, I’d never thought much about them.
When a country music star brought her show to town, the reviewer on our local newspaper devoted part of his story to describing the motor coach that had been customized just for her. The article initiated one of those "what if's" in my brain, the kind that set the writer's mind percolating. What if I set a story in one of those rigs? Loved the idea but I still needed a hook.
About that same time, I became a fan of HGTV, especially the interior design shows. Somehow, the two thoughts married up and took me to another "what if": what if the star insisted on having her own interior designer finish the interior? And just to make things more interesting, what if said designer was claustrophobic?
And what if I set the story in my home state of Iowa and gave it a fish-out-of-water theme: an Angelino with attitude, who within four hours of her arrival in the Hawkeye state pronounces that Iowa sucks? I had great fun throwing her into one seeming catastrophe after another, threatening her with June bugs, an attack of mayflies, and being smoked out of a fire house.
Don’t miss this new book and author! The Sleepover Clause is a fun, fast-paced read with well-drawn characters written with a great insight into people. Barbara’s website is www.Barbarabarrettbooks.com. Her email is Barbarabarrett747@gmail.com. She can also be found on Twitter: @bbarrettbooks.