Wednesday 28 May 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway: Kathleen Y'Barbo

By Ellie Whyte

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of over forty novels with more than one million copies of her books in print in the United States and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified family law paralegal, she was recently nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well as a Reader’s Choice Award by Romantic Times magazine.  has four grown children, seven bonus children, and her very own hero in combat boots. 

The following is a recent interview with Kathleen.


Post a comment about this interview at the end of the blog post and enter the Rafflecopter draw for a Kindle copy of one of Kathleen's books -- HOLLYWOOD, TEXAS (Contemporary Romance), BELOVED CASTAWAY (Historical Romance), or PLAIN TROUBLE (Western Romance). A valid comment on the blog is an entry requirement into the draw. Contest open to entrants WORLDWIDE, and ends on Saturday, 31 May.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I'm a wife, mother, and writer. Oh, and I love Jesus!

How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write? 

I began as a reader who eventually decided to try her hand at writing. When I was young I never dreamed I would be doing what I do now. I had never met a writer, although I had fallen in love with books at a very early age.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? 

I think Christian fiction gives readers hope.

Selection of Kathleen Y'Barbo Novels

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

I hope that readers fall in love with the characters as I do when I am writing them. I also hope that he or she can see that even the flawed can be used by God. That seems to be an a theme in my writing--and in my life!

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

Rocky Mountain Heiress Collection
A friend told me about a man who gave his life to Christ after reading one of my books in the hospital. There's nothing better than that.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Being a novelist has caused me to cling tight to Jesus not only for the ability to do what I do but also for the guidance to create stories and characters reflecting His purposes.

Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 

To be a great wife, mom, friend, and neighbor. I would also like to make the Lord proud.

As a writer, what influences have inspired you the most to write, and continue writing? 

My first, and possibly greatest influence, was reading. My parents were voracious readers, and my mother instilled that in all four of her children with frequent trips to the library. God took that love of reading and turned it into a love of writing. That keeps me inspired and causes me to continue to write.

Flora's Wish
Every writer struggles with various aspects of their writing journey. What has been the most difficult aspect of writing for you, and what come the most naturally?

My greatest writing challenge is time, both the lack of it and the use of it. For the seven years that I was a single mom, time was a precious commodity. Between caring for my children and working outside the home, there was very little left over to give to the pursuit of writing. I cherished those hours, however, and somehow books got written and deadlines were met. Now that my children are grown and I’m married again, the issue isn’t lack of time but rather use of time. There are so many good things vying for my attention that it is difficult to sort through them. And oh, the hours I could waste sitting at my computer and chatting with friends online!

As to what has come most naturally, that would be the stories. My agent once told me the time to retire is when the stories stop. I rather agree with that. In the meantime, I will keep collecting stories!

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring writers - either something you adhere to, or something you wish you had known when you started writing?

What a great question! I teach an entire workshop on what I would say to my 1996 self upon the purchase of my first word processor. I suppose I could answer the question with a bit of humor mixed with seriousness and say that I wish someone had told me the problems of the world and the size of my jeans would not shrink at the moment I finally sold that first book. While this is a bit of an exaggeration, I will admit that I believed if I could just get published, everything else would fall nicely into place. I’m nearing 20 years into this writing journey, and I can say that seeing the fifty-fourth book released is every bit as exciting as the first. So, my more serious advice would be to put your dreams into perspective but also put them into action. Write. Sit down and just write. There is no book ever read that hasn’t been typed into a manuscript, so get on it!

Millie's Treasure
As a reader, which stories excite you the most to read, and do you have any favourite novelists?

Oh my, that list is so long! I’m an eclectic reader. Right now I’m switching off between a Malcom Gladewell book (David and Goliath), a book about the making of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (Fifth Avenue, 5AM), and the novel True Grit by Charles Portis. In the queue are several novels I’m reading for endorsement as well as a contemporary romance dealing with arranged marriage, a story about a vintage dress shop, and the expanded and revised version of an old favorite titled Freakanomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

Recent novels that I’ve loved have included Hilary Manton Lodge’s A Table by the Window and Carla Laureano’s Five Days in Skye. In addition, I will admit that I will buy just about anything Susanna Kearsley, Jamie Langston Turner, or Karen White writes. I adore a well written story, period. SO many authors are doing just that. Call me a fan of every one of them!

What are some of your most favourite places on the internet to visit, that help challenge you as a writer, and encourage you as a reader?

See…there’s that issue of time and the internet again! My first impression was to say that Facebook and Twitter are places I love to visit but they definitely provide a challenge in the way of lack of time! I do subscribe to some great blogs: Books & Such Literary Agency, The Moral Premise, and (to which I contribute a monthly blog post).The American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America sites are fabulous sites for writers. I highly encourage membership in both, but you do not have to be a member to enjoy much of what these organizations offer on their websites.

What can you tell us about your most recent and upcoming novels?

Hollywood Texas
My newest contemporary release is a novella called HOLLYWOOD TEXAS. I’m very excited about this book and all the story ideas the citizens of Hollywood, Texas are giving me. This may very well become a series. Here’s the description:

Movie industry insiders may call actress Amy Foreman the next Grace Kelley, but Texas veterinarian Adam Chambers calls her the woman who broke his heart. Now she’s grooming dogs in his clinic while the trouble she left back in California untangles in her absence.

Where does a woman with the most famous face in America go to hide? Home, of course. From Hollywood, Texas to Hollywood, California and back again…can a small town veterinarian and a famous hometown movie star rekindle their lost love?

SADIE’S SECRET, my 1890s historical romantic suspense novel that Romantic Times gave 4.5 stars and named a Top Pick is also now on bookstore shelves. While this is the third book in the award-winning Secret Lives of Will Tucker series, each of the three novels do stand alone and can be read without requiring purchase of previous novels. Here’s the description:

From bestselling author Kathleen Y'Barbo comes Sadie's Secret, the third book in The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series. These historical novels capture the romance of the South mingled with adventure and laced with secret identities and hidden agendas.

Sadie's Secret
Louisiana, 1890--Sarah Louise "Sadie" Callum is a master of disguise, mostly due to her training as a Pinkerton agent but also from evading overprotective brothers as she grew up. When she takes on a new assignment with international connections, she has no idea her new cover will lead her on the adventure of a lifetime.

Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage--pretend or otherwise--but his past is a secret, his twin brother has stolen his present, and his future is in the hands of the lovely Sadie Callum. Without her connections to the world of upper-crust New Orleans, Jefferson might never find a way to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years.

Only God can help these two secret agents find a way to solve their case and uncover the truth about what is going on in their hearts.

Do you have any parting words?

Yes, thank you for allowing me to talk about books and writing with you! I love that, geography aside, we’re all just readers looking for that next great book! What a blessing you and Soul Inspirationz are, Ellie!

Download a free eBook by Kathleen Y'Barbo:

Miss Merriweather's Marriage

Miss Merriweather's Marriage

This free short story e-romance by bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo encompasses a season of adventure, surprise, and romance at the Merriweathers’ summer home on Spaniard’s Island in Georgia. Read this prequel to gain insight into the generations to come in The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series. As a bonus, this free eBook also contains the first chapter of Flora’s Wish, the first full novel in the series. 

For Millicent Merriweather, the summer of 1844 is unforgettable. As determined as she is to avoid her parents’ schemes to find her an eligible husband, she realizes that the afternoon’s view from the porch is not entirely dreary. Down on the beach, the men cheer wildly as they catch sight of the horses rounding the bend and racing toward them. While Millicent’s brother Langley urges the bay faster, the dark-haired stranger leans in and matches the pace astride the paint. Much is at stake—for the winner earns the right to claim a Merriweather family possession of his choice. Who wins the race, which family treasure does the winner choose, and how does a lighthearted Georgian summer adventure blossom into a beautiful romance?

Post a comment about this interview and enter the Rafflecopter draw for a Kindle copy of one of Kathleen's books -- HOLLYWOOD, TEXAS (Contemporary Romance), BELOVED CASTAWAY (Historical Romance), or PLAIN TROUBLE (Western Romance). A valid comment on the blog is an entry requirement into the draw, followed by the mandatory entry on Rafflecopter. Please indicate in your comment which title you would like to win the most, in order of preference. Contest open to entrants worldwide, and ends on Saturday, 31 May.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit Kathleen's Author Portfolio Page at Soul Inspirationz // Christian Fiction Site to find links to her website and other online hangouts, as well as her list of books and a Featured Author Interview.

ELLIE WHYTE is a long-time supporter of Christian fiction and is the founder and owner/operator of Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site which relaunched after a 5-year hiatus in January 2013. Ellie also has aspirations for her own writing career, and has begun working on a project set in New Zealand in the 1850s.

Facebook: Soul Inspirationz
Twitter: @SoulInspiredNZ


  1. I love Kathleen!! She's the best and I've loved having her as my guest on Ink Dots. Thanks for sharing more about her with us, Ellie. 54 books!! Wow. :)

    And thanks to Kathleen for stopping with us. I appreciated your honest struggle with time management even after so many successes.

    Dotti :)

  2. Kathleen and Ellie, lovely interview. Wow, I agree with Dotti, 54 books is a great achievement! Thanks for visiting with us today :)

  3. I love Kathleen's book but just realised I cant enter the giveaway. I have read many of her books from Heartsong presents to the longer books. Enjoyed the interview.

  4. I enjoyed the interview. I didn't know she had written so many books. I would love to win a copy of one of these books. I would Plain Trouble or Hollywood, Texas. I already have Beloved Castaway :)

  5. I love Kathleen's books! I'd love to read Hollywood Texas, since I don't have that one yet. Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway.

  6. Always good to hear about a writing journey - they encourage me no end. Great interview, Ellie! I'd love to read Hollywood, Texas, btw :)

  7. Hi Kathleen,
    Thanks for sharing with us today. I love hearing stories about how reading leads into a writing career which has blessed many people.

  8. I have read most of Kathleen's books and really enjoyed them. Very, very, very clever writer with a sweet dose of romance and inspiration! The interview made me appreciate her work even more!

  9. This was a very enjoyable interview to read! I especially liked that Kathleen pointed to the influence of reading in her life. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the library with my dad. :-) Thanks for the opportunity for a giveaway!

  10. Thank you for the warm welcome!! I'm beyond thrilled that so many of you have read my books! You've made my day!

    For those of you who don't have a Kindle, please be aware that you can go to Amazon and download a free app that will allow you to read Kindle books on your PC or Mac.

  11. Oh, I love Christian writers. I always feel safe reading your work!


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