Today we welcome Karoline Barrett.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Karoline Barrett: I’ve been writing for about fifteen years now. I started with short stories and then went on to novels. Besides writing, I have a day job that involves math (ick!), and when I’m not doing that, or writing, my husband and I like to head to the beach, or do other traveling. I also love to read.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written?
Karoline Barrett: I’ve written five books.
Book ‘Em: What are they about and why did you choose to write them?
Karoline Barrett: The first one was women’s fiction and called The Art of Being Rebekkah. It’s out of print now, but I hope to find another publisher for it. It’s about a Jewish woman who finds out her husband has a dark side. The next three books are part of my humorous Bread and Batter cozy mystery series, and the last one, which will be out on Thanksgiving Day 2017, is part of a Christmas mystery boxed set put out by Summer Prescott Books. I chose to write them because I thought they would engage and entertain readers, and provide an escape from everyday life.
Book ‘Em: Do your books have a message?
Karoline Barrett: Not exactly a message, but my hope is that they draw readers in and are entertaining and hard to put down.
Book ‘Em: Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Karoline Barrett: My books are all fiction.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Karoline Barrett: I do. It’s a stand-alone mystery. I’m about half-way through it. When that’s done, I’m going to start on book four of my Bread & Batter mystery series.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote?
Karoline Barrett: The first book in my Bread and Batter series, Bun for Your Life.
Book ‘Em: What made it difficult?
Karoline Barrett: It was the first mystery I’d ever written, and trying to think of a plot, and how my amateur sleuth was going to solve it while being credible, was challenging.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Karoline Barrett: I Google lots of stuff; I’ve taken police procedure classes; I’m Facebook friends with an author who was also a police officer, so she’s been a lot of help; and for Bun for Your Life, I talked to the man who invented the Honey Crisp apple.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure?
Karoline Barrett: So many!! I especially love Joan Hess, Janet Evanovich, Faye Kellerman, Ann B. Ross, Ruth Ware, and Diane Chamberlain.
Book ‘Em: Is there an author that inspires you?
Karoline Barrett: I’d say Ann B. Ross.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Karoline Barrett: My mother and my husband.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Karoline Barrett: Understanding my characters right away, being able to get into their heads, so to speak, and dialogue.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Karoline Barrett: I don’t have a routine really. I make a timeline for myself then scramble to keep up with it. Most of my writing I do on weekends. I try writing after work in the evenings, but being a morning person, that’s tough sometimes.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Karoline Barrett: I want to tackle writing a suspense/thriller. And of course, I’d love to see myself on the NY Times bestseller list!
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Karoline Barrett: Stick with your own voice.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Karoline Barrett: When’s the next one coming out?
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Karoline Barrett: This is an excerpt from my latest Bread and Batter mystery series book, It Cannoli Be Murder:
She came over, jumped up and placed her paws on my lap. I smoothed my hand over her head and down her back. “I appreciate your concern, but don’t worry. I don’t think it’s a huge worry.”
“I didn’t think so. What if this character tries to extort money from businesses in town for protection? Bread and Batter included.”
She barked, then looked at me expectantly, her tail wagging, waiting for more information.
I wasn’t thrilled about having someone from the Bellafiori crime family in our midst. I looked over at Noelle, still busy eating in the kitchen. “I don’t know any crime family members personally, how about you?”