Barbara Dunlop

USA Today bestselling author Barbara Dunlop sold her first book to Harlequin in 2000.  She has since written 29 novels for a variety of Harlequin and Silhouette lines.  Barbara is a two time RITA Award finalist and a two time winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart.  Her next book, “The CEO’s Accidental Bride” will be released by Silhouette Desire in January 2011. 

I’m thrilled to interview Barbara Dunlop today.  As a new Desire author, I learned so much of my craft from reading Barbara’s wonderful stories.  No matter how distracting my surroundings, I always know when I pick up one of Barbara’s books, her characters will pull me into their lives with warm humor and passionate encounters.


There was no way multimillionaire Zach Harper would split his inheritance with a stranger. Even if she was his wife. What had supposedly been a prank Vegas wedding to Kaitlin Saville was very real. And now, according to his late grandmother's will, Zach's future was tied to Kaitlin…forever.

CEO truly believed he could buy off his bride with a few million and a signed divorce decree. However, Kaitlin didn't want money. She wanted an opportunity only Zach could provide. So he offered her a job, vowing never to consummate their marriage. But some vows were meant to be broken.…

CAT:  How often to you get lost in a story?
BARBARA:  I get lost every time I read a good story.  There’s nothing better than diving into a great book with fun, compelling characters.  And when you have to take a break from reading, it’s wonderful to know the book is waiting for you to pick it up again.  I particularly enjoy comedies.  Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, Jane Graves and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are some of my favorites.  Recently I’ve been reading Lisa Kleypas contemporaries.  They’re terrific!

CAT:  What’s the first book you remember reading? 
BARBARA:  As a young girl, I loved the “Little House” books.  As I grew into a teenager, I found myself gravitating toward books with strong romance plots.  I don’t think there were as many Young Adult romances back then.  But I’m sure I would have loved them.

CAT:  Where do you read and how often?
BARBARA:  Lately, I tend to read on airplanes.  I often save books by favorite authors for when I know I have a long flight coming up.  Nothing makes a day of traveling brighter than getting lost in a great story!

CAT:  What was the first story you remember writing?
BARBARA:  I wrote “How the Giraffe Got His Long Neck” when I was about eight years old.

CAT:  What’s your favorite movie of all time?
BARBARA:  It’s hard to pick out a single film.  I loved “The Last of the Mohicans”.  In a completely different genre, I thought “Charlie Wilson’s War” was fantastic.  But I’m also a huge sucker for a romantic comedy.  Most recently, I laughed out loud through “The Proposal”.  I’m a Sandra Bullock fan.  I also loved “While You Were Sleeping” and “Two Weeks Notice.”  Obviously, I could go on and on!

CAT:  Be honest, when reading 1st person...do you miss the hero’s POV?
BARBARA:  My personal preference is third person, in part because I do enjoy having the hero’s POV.  But a well-written first person story is also enjoyable.  I mentioned Lisa Kleypas in an earlier answer.  Her contemporaries are first person, and they’re incredibly engaging.

CAT:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
BARBARA:  Comedies are my all time favorite stories to get lost in.  Even though the Stephanie Plum series isn’t really a romance, I still buy them all and laugh my way through.  I like snappy dialogue, particularly great banter between a hero and heroine.  There’s something energizing about a witty, intelligent debate.

CAT:  If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
BARBARA:  In addition to being a writer, I’m also a Film Commissioner.  That means I get to work with a huge variety of filmmakers and support the careers of other artists.  It’s a great job.

CAT:  If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
BARBARA:  There’s a brilliant news commentator in Canada on the CBC, Rex Murphy.  I don’t know if I’d necessarily want to do a formal interview.  I’d rather have lunch with him and hear his views on world politics, or pretty much anything really.

CAT:  If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?
BARBARA:  I’d be dark purple, something different and mysterious, but not too flashy.

The Silhouette Desire line often features powerful heroes and glitzy settings.  What are your favorite hero professions, billionaires, cowboys?  What are your favorite settings?

Barbara can be contacted through her web site www.barbaradunlop.com.

Thank you, Barbara for blogging with us today.

Please stop back Monday, January 10th when Maureen McGowan hosts Middle Grade and YA author Eileen Cook.


  1. Barbara, Welcome to GLIAS. I think what I love most about your books is the lively interactions of your characters. I always smile as I'm reading their banter. In fact, reading your books gave me the inspiration to try a little bantering in mine.

    i didn't realize you have a second career as a Film Commissioner. I think being involved in the movie industry would be top of my list of cool places to work.

    Thanks for being with us today!

  2. Good morning, Cat, good morning, Barbara, welcome to GLIAS. I love Harlequin and the Silhouette lines, and what's so terrific about this blog is we get to meet so many wonderful authors. Your story sounds like something I would read in one sitting. Banter? Fantastic. I'm all over adding you to my nightstand. Great answers to questions. You lead an interesting life. So when you're not writing books or writing movies, what do you do with your down time--or do you have any?

  3. Hi Barbara,

    Your new release sounds like a page turner. And snappy banter between hero and heroine is so much fun to read! My favorite location for a Silhouette romance would be...I suppose a situation like the TV reality show Undercover Boss could be a riot of fun plus steamy as well. And it could be set in some unlikely, hellish rural town. Either the heroine or the hero could be the undercover boss...

    Would you write this please, so I can read it? Lol!

  4. Rex Murphy! Ha! What a great answer. He would be a very interesting person to talk to, for sure.

    Love that. Welcome Barbara!

    Are you from Canada or do you just listen to CBC Radio? :)

  5. Hi, Donnell

    Down time? Are you kidding?

    Actually, I take every Friday evening off. I usually watch a good movie and drink some nice, red wine.

    Then again, I love both of my jobs, so work doesn't really feel like work.


  6. Thanks, Gjillian!

    Hmmm. Undercover boss turned hero... I like it!


  7. Thanks, Maureen

    I'm from Canada. Do you watch Rex? I missed him while he was away. It's nice to have him back.


  8. A film commissioner as well - now there's a lovely add on to being a writer. You've done so well for yourself, you're an inspiration to us all.

    I'm not sure as a writer - there is time off? Not for me anyways.

    Thanks for being so accessible.

  9. Barbara, I'm in Toronto. I often listen to Cross County check up... That's were I get most of my "Rex". :)

  10. HI BARARA !!
    (waving from my snow-covered hotel window)
    Great interview, I first started reading you with Jane Graves for Duets. Really wish they hadn't folded that line.

    Anyhoo...I'd really like to know HOW THE GIRAFFE GOT IT'S LONG NECK... >>>grin<<< Do you remember how the story ended?


  11. Hello Barbara,

    Thank you for the great post ,The ceo's accidental bride sounds absolutely stunning I cant wait to read it ! Where do you draw your inspiration for character names from ?

    And Angi thank you again for the stunning blog!
    All the best Desere

  12. Maureen,

    I usually watch Rex on The National. I'm a bit of a political junkie. Toronto, eh? I'm in Whitehorse.


  13. Hey, Angi

    As I recall, a mischievous monkey tied him to a tree, and as the tree grew, while he ate the leaves, his neck stretched. I'm sure there was also a subplot, probably a romance of some kind...


  14. Thanks, Desere

    You know, it's hard to describe where the inspiration comes from. I guess I see the world in stories. Wherever I go, and whatever I do, I'm constantly thinking about how I can turn information and experiences into plots. Does that make sense?


  15. Hi Barbara! Thanks so much for being with us today at GLIAS.

    I so love the Stephanie Plum novels too, and agree that witty banter is my favorite part of reading. Your book sounds amazing. I look forward to it.

  16. Thank you, Heather. And thanks for inviting me, Cat!


  17. Thank makes perfect sense ! Thanks for answering my question !