Monday, March 18, 2013

Reintroducing Ms. Kaye Barley

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 - 

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? 
I would say “Do It!”   I would say this to anyone who wants to do anything they have an itch and an urge to do.  Writing, painting, photography, whatever.  Just do it.  It doesn’t need to be for anyone other than yourself.  If it brings you a bit of joy, do it.  And don’t wait until you think the time is right otherwise the years are going to just keep on going by and you’ll still be waiting.  Just do it!    
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.  

WHIMSEY is Kaye Wilkinson Barley's first novel. She lives with her husband, Don, in the North Carolina mountains along with Harley Doodle Barley, the Wonder Corgi.

You can follow news about WHIMSEY here - 

Kaye is Blog Mistress of Meanderings and Muses, which you can follow here - 

She also steps in as "Oh, Kaye!" the first Sunday of every month at Jungle Red Writers - 

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.


  1. Hi Guys! Thanks for having me back! The first time I was here was in 2008 talking about my efforts to quit smoking. Those efforts have been successful, I'm happy to say. Perhaps this visit will mean as much success for "Whimsey!"

  2. Hey! Hi Kaye. It was fun to get a bit of background on Whimsey and your plans. I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next.


  3. I enjoyed this piece - Kaye's immense graciousness shines right on the screen!!! What do you mean, however, that Harley doesn't read the WSJ? I saw him buying it at my newstand on Friday! Thelma in Manhattan

  4. Kaye? You wrote a book, published a book, people have READ and loved your book ... you're a published author.
    I hereby give you permission to buy yourself a stylish girl cut tee with "I'm a published author" emblazened upon it.

    thanks for hosting Kaye today. She's always a delight. [and I bet she brought you cookies]

  5. Cookies? There were cookies? I think maybe "Harley" forgot to pass on those cookies that "Karen from Mentor" mentioned. Cookies or not - thanks for joining us today at Stiletto Gang!

  6. It's a great interview, Kaye. I am so very pleased for you.

  7. Thanks, guys - I always have so much fun here! Karen - help me find one of these stylish tees!!!!!

  8. Welcome to The Stiletto Gang, Kaye! Nice to see you here. I've got WHIMSY on order from my local bookstore and am looking forward to the chance to read it.

    And yes, Stiletto blog partners, I have computer again!! I'd be so excited if I weren't so busy reinstalling programs and reloading documents and other files from back-up. *sigh*

  9. I is so nice to see you here. Even your paragraph has a touch of that magic and the connections-wispy, and so strong.

  10. I am always so happy to see you guys around the web. It brightens my days to spend some time with friends - and virtual friends like you guys are always a joy.

  11. I absolutely loved WHIMSEY and highly recommend it. Enjoyed this post too. Lots of luck, Kaye.

    Gail Farrelly

  12. Kaye, Harley and all your friends can eat the cookies, but no one had better touch my fudge. (That's a [private thing between Kaye and me. HehHehHeh)

    Loved this interview, Kaye, but then I love everything you write. I remember when I said you should write and you said, "I'm a reader, not a writer." Ha! You were born to write, girl.


This is a comment awaiting moderation on the blog.