Evelyn David is thrilled to welcome Ms. Kaye Barley back to The Stiletto Gang!
We understand you have some big news to share. Rumor has it that you've just published your first novel. Tell us a little bit about it.
I have, indeed! Can you believe it? I’m still pinching myself. WHIMSEY: A NOVEL is a bit of southern fiction with a splash of magic and a touch of fantasy, topped with a sprinkling of humor. It’s about connections. And you can read more about it at The Whimsey Webpage - http://www.kayewilkinsonbarley.com/
Just between us, did you base your book on any real events or people in your life? If so, do they know it?
Just between us – yes, there is a real life event and it concerns a bit of painting done in the dining room of one of the homes on The Island of Whimsey. That was lifted, in part, from an experience my parents had in having their dining room painted when I was a little girl. I remember it well. It’s been a source of laughter for us for a number of years. My mom loved that it made its way into the book.
You live in a beautiful part of North Carolina. Does setting play a role in your novel? If so, how? And have you ever met that guy "Eustace" from the reality tv show Mountain Men? Okay, forget that last question – you can email us privately about that.
We really do live in a gorgeous part of North Carolina. These mountains are heavenly and filled, I think, with creative and healing energy. I can’t believe you’re asking about Eustace! I think I’m the last person on God’s green earth to have heard of him! I just heard about him for the first time a week or so ago and now find out he’s a local celebrity. Which shows not only how much I watch TV (hardly ever), but how much I get out and about (apparently, not enough).
Anyhooo - - getting back to your question (sorry, I do tend to get off on tangents, don’t I?). Setting plays a huge role in WHIMSEY, but not our North Carolina mountains. The setting is an island off the coast of Georgia. One of the things that draws me in while I’m reading and will keep me coming back for more is a book’s setting. My favorite authors are those who have such a great sense of setting and those which are so well drawn they become a character all on their own. I tried to do that with Whimsey. I hope I succeeded.
Now that you're an "official author" do you view the book world differently? Can you still get lost in someone else's novel? Do you get distracted by a tendency to analyze paragraph structure and determine point of view?
Thanks for the “official author” thing! Wow. I’m having a hard time with that one. And you know, to many people I’m not and will never be as long as I’m a self-published author. But, oh well.
Do I view the book world differently? That would have to be a yes – I do. Recent experiences have caused a bit of a shift in how I view the book world.
Can I still get lost in someone else’s novel ? Oh, Wow. You bet. I am completely and totally a reader. One who wants to just crawl inside the story. A well-written book transports me and I live in that world until the story is over – and often well after the story is over. I rarely get distracted by anything that has to do with someone else’s writing. There are as many different writing styles as there are writers, and I leave the analyzing and deconstruction to those who actually know about those things – and that’s not me. I just wanted to write a story that had all the elements that I enjoy reading about. I figured if it’s a story I loved, there would probably (hopefully) be others who would love it as well. I’m well aware that it’s not a book for everyone – but what book is? I’m also well aware that I’m not, never will be, a great writer. But I tell a decent story, decently written, in a fairly distinct “voice.” Hopefully, as I continue writing I’ll get better.
Your dog Harley has a huge following. What does he think of your new venture? Will he accompany you on book signing tours?
That Harley. What a ham, huh? Harley thinks WHIMSEY is all about him, of course. And Fred the Corgi does look an awful lot like Harley, I have to admit. Harley, however, does not read the Wall Street Journal, and if he did, he would not need glasses to do that.
Signing tours! Wow. So far, Evelyn, no one’s been begging me to come do much in the way of a signing tour. I am, however, going to be one of the exhibiting writers – as opposed to the big name presenting authors – at the High Country Festival of the Book here in Boone in June. I’m not sure, though, that it’s a dog-friendly venue. He would love it though ‘cause a couple of his favorite authors are on the roster. I’m pretty excited about it too.
What's next on your writing agenda? We know you're a fan of mysteries. Have you considered writing one?
Next on the writing agenda is Whimsey Book #2. There are five very close girlfriends in WHIMSEY: A NOVEL. We learned Emmaline Foley Hamilton’s story in Book #1. I hope to tell each woman’s story over time. I’ve written the first scene in Book #2, but have put it aside for a bit while I concentrate on promotion right now.
I am a huge fan of mysteries, you’re right. I have not considered writing one, but just a few years ago I had not considered writing a novel at all. So, maybe. We’ll see.
If you could tell someone who was thinking of writing their first novel, one thing – what would it be? Why?
Pick a favorite paragraph from your book and share it with us.
A favorite paragraph. Okay – here’s one.
“The painting showed not just five little girls playing dress-up, but the depths of their joy in one another. Each making sure they were all equally visible, unable to be separated without a hand holding another’s hand, a finger touching another’s nose, one giving another’s big picture hat a minor adjustment. The joy was infectious. The love was palpable. The quiet shades of white and sepia tones tinged with the palest pink, recognized widely as Olivia’s signature palette, giving it an aura of timelessness.”
How do we find WHIMSEY? Where is it sold and what formats is it available in?
Print versions of WHIMSEY are available through any bookstore. Because it’s self-published some people think it’s only available at Amazon. I purchased an ISBN through Bowker so that the book could be distributed through other distributors, such as Ingram, so your favorite bookseller can order it for you. The only eVersion, right now, is Kindle.
You can follow news about WHIMSEY here - http://kayewilkinsonbarley.com/
Kaye is Blog Mistress of Meanderings and Muses, which you can follow here -http://www.meanderingsandmuses.com/
She also steps in as "Oh, Kaye!" the first Sunday of every month at Jungle Red Writers - http://www.jungleredwriters.com/
Kaye was also a contributor to two regional Western North Carolina anthologies - - - "Clothes Lines," and "Women's Spaces Women's Places," both edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham.