Saturday, November 10, 2007

Interview with Kathleen Y'Barbo

Hey, folks, here's your chance to learn a little bit more about Kathleen Y'Barbo, author of Beloved Castaway, reviewed earlier this week here at OTWP.

-Kathleen, thank you for joining us here at On The Write Path.
I’m so glad to be here!

-Can you tell us a little about yourself and your path to publication?
My start in Christian fiction actually began when I turned down a book sale. It was 1999, and I had been writing for a little over three years. Just about the time my agent found a home for a general market three-book historical series, the Lord decided I needed to write only for Him. I left the agent and the general market behind, along with the book deal and struck out a new path in the CBA. Less than a year later, God provided for my first CBA sale, which turned out to be a bestseller. Thirty books later, I am still writing for him and still humbled every time another sale comes my way.

-I just finished reading Beloved Castaway. What research went into this book?
Much of the research for Castaway came from the three-book series I just mentioned. Making the decision not to sell those books was tough, but using the research I’d done for them turned out to make the process of writing Castaway much easier. Almost all of the facts about New Orleans came from that research. To get a feel for the Florida Keys, I made two trips, the first on my 20th wedding anniversary in 1999 and the second in September 2001. An interesting aside to this is the fact that my return ticket was for September 12, 2001, which meant my writing buddy and I were stuck in Key West for days past our original departure date. The trip back from this eventful research junket is a story in itself!

-I appreciate how you handled the storyline with Isabelle. And I loved the twist at the end. Did you plot that ending or was it a surprise to you too?
That ending was plotted almost from the beginning, although during the process of writing the book I did concern myself some with whether the twist would work. I’m so glad to hear that you liked it.

-You are multi-published with Heartsong. Did you find it difficult to write longer fiction?
Actually, it’s been harder to keep to the shorter format because I end up with more plot that word count.

-Are you part of a critique group? And if so, how did you get together? Do you submit weekly?
Critique groups are essential! I’ve been with my current group, all published authors, since 1999. The format has always been the same: four authors, one chapter per week critiqued by email followed by a weekly in-person meeting to plot and pray. Two of us are original to the group while the third joined in 1999. Our fourth just got her first contract for a three-book series!

-What are your favorite parts of being a writer? Least favorite?
My favorite part of being a writer are those moments, generally after the fact, when I realize that God wove a message through my manuscript that I didn’t expect, that He typed using my fingers. Sometimes I see this coming, but mostly He surprises me. My least favorite part is stepping away from the computer to stand in the spotlight. I don’t mind speaking or signing books, but I don’t like even unintentionally shifting the credit away from where it belongs: with God.

-What sort of marketing are you doing for Beloved Castaway?
Danielle, my publicist at Glass Road PR, is doing an amazing job of getting the word about about Castaway. In addition, I am doing speaking engagements and book signings. I’m very excited about the signing I’m doing next week with Mitch Albom, author of Five People You Meet in Heaven.

-Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
Never stop learning. If you think you know everything about writing and publishing, I guarantee your career is about to end.

-What’s next for you?
I am starting on the sequel to Castaway, Emilie Gayarre’s story. The title, Beloved Captive, should give the hint that Isabelle’s sister is about to have an interesting twist of events in her own life. Did I mention there are pirates and a handsome Naval lieutenant involved?

-Thank you for stopping by On The Write Path. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Thank you! It’s been a pleasure!

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