Today is a day I have been waiting for for quite some time. I have so enjoyed doing these interviews with fellow authors, indie and traditional. It thrills me to know that, no matter what I'm going through, as a writer, there are others who have been through the same things. It's my hope that these interviews can help other authors to realize that there is a community out there, of writers and readers who still enjoy the printed word.
For months, I have been preparing my interviews to go live on my website and blog, but I was really looking forward to this particular one. Kathleen Y'Barbo is one of my favorite authors and I am excited to share her interview with all of you!
According to her Amazon page, Kathleen Y'Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of fifty novels with more than one million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. Her novel Sadie's Secret was named the Romantic Times Magazine Inspirational Romance Book of the Year.
Now, she has a new novel that has recently been released, and which I have been privileged to read. The Pirate Bride is book two in the Daughters of the Mayflower Series. Read the interview to see what this talented lady had to say about her new book.
AJ: First, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background that led you to become a writer?
KYB: That’s an interesting question. While I don’t think I ever thought I could actually grow up to be a published author, I was born writing. Okay, maybe that’s a slight overstatement, but I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t dreaming up stories and writing them down.
AJ: What inspired you to write your first book?
KYB: I didn’t make the move to actually writing for publication until I was in my 30s. My dad passed away unexpectedly and I found myself confronted with the reality that life is very, very short. So I made a promise to do two things someday: write books and drive a red convertible. It took three years before I attempted to write and a few years after that in 1999 before I actually sold a book. The convertible came a little later. In 2008, I bought a red Mini Cooper. I still enjoy both writing and driving that convertible.
AJ: You have a brand new book that was releases on April 1 called, "The Pirate Bride". Can you tell us a little about it and from where you got the inspiration to write it?
KYB: The Pirate Bride is a seafaring tale of a privateer and an orphan girl, the daughter of his enemy. I explore themes of revenge and forgiveness, take the reader from Spain to New Orleans to the warm waters of the Caribbean, and I hope I show you that things are not always as they seem even as they are always as God designs. As for the tale itself, this story is brand new and over twenty years old all at the same time. The characters of Maribel and Jean-Luc were first created in Galveston County, Texas on the porch of the beach cabin we used to own there. They came to life in Galveston’s Rosenberg Library where I did copious research while my family enjoyed the sunshine and beach. It took a full year to write the first version of this novel, and I came very close to selling it back in the late 1990s. However, God told me to wait. I had just discovered Him and turned my life over to His direction, so reluctantly I turned down an offer from Pocket Books and set it aside. I wrote lots of other books over the years, but those characters wouldn’t let me alone. When I got an offer to write a book called The Pirate Bride, I dusted off that old manuscript and read it to recall those characters. Then I set it aside and wrote that story God’s way. The result is the book that hit the shelves on April 1, and I’m very proud of how the story evolved to what it is now.
AJ: Without giving too much away, how does Maribel and Jean change throughout the book?
KYB: In some ways, Maribel Cordoba is her same stubborn self all the way through. She’s impetuous, a bookworm, and both brave and kind at the same time. She goes from a nobleman’s daughter to an orphan to a woman with the power to ruin a very important man. Through it all, she relies on prayer, as witnessed by her favorite saying: “Pray the fear away”. Jean-Luc is brash and impetuous, with a strong sense of right and wrong that proves to be his downfall. He is loyal to his family and his country and risks all to do the right thing. Those traits evolve through the story, and by the time the last page is turned, I would like to hope readers will see the man he has become is the best of the fellow he was when the adventure began.
AJ: In The Pirate Bride, we also meet Jean's siblings. Will there be any sequels to this book to let us get to know them better?
KYB: I absolutely have not ruled this out. However, my next project for this series is a story called The Alamo Bride. The heroine is the great-granddaughter of Jean-Luc and Maribel. The Alamo Bride will release in 2019.
AJ: What is your goal, or mission, when writing your books?
KYB: First and foremost, I want to take the readers on an enjoyable journey. I want the characters I know and love to become the “real” people the readers want to read about. Heroes must be heroine and the story line must be both a physical journey and a faith journey.
AJ: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
KYB: I’m first and foremost a reader, so that’s a favorite thing to do. I also love taking road trips with my husband, especially with the top down on the aforementioned convertible. I’ve also got a day job as a paralegal, which is extremely rewarding.
AJ: On my website, I have interviewed many Indie writers. If you could give any advice to young writers, what would it be?
KYB: Write. Just stop with the planning and talking about it and hanging out at meetings and just write. Now…doing all those other things is great. Essential even. But at some point you have to just put words down, string them together, and create a story.
AJ: How can readers discover more about you?
KYB: My website . You can go there to learn about my books or to sign up for my newsletter. As an extra added incentive, any time I send out a newsletter, I also add a giveaway to subscribers. All you have to do to be entered to win is to be a subscriber. You can also find me on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you'd like to find or follow Kathleen Y'Barbo, click on any of the aforementioned sites or pictures to be redirected to one of her pages.