Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get Lost with Barbara Barrett and The Sleepover Clause

Get Lost in a Story Readers, It's my pleasure to introduce to you today debut author Barbara Barrett and her brand new release, THE SLEEPOVER CLAUSE.
Now if that title doesn't grab you... nothing will!

About The Sleepover Clause:  What's an interior decorator to do?
Aubrey Carpenter hides out in the Iowa town of Burlington while the ruckus caused by a job gone wrong on the West Coast dies down. She can’t resist meddling in the personal affairs of the three brothers who own the customized motor coach company where she has been sent to finish the interior of her sister’s touring coach. The younger brother, in particular, to whom she is attracted, needs prodding to tell his brothers how much he’d rather sit for the bar than work on motor coaches. It’s only when her problems in California track her down that he considers returning to the lawbooks.

Just what is the Sleepover Clause? When the brothers make Aubrey agree to a list of “conditions” for working in their garage, she retaliates with her own list of requirements, one of which is that they provide her with sleeping quarters for those nights she has to stay late. Though she never intended to invoke the option, before long, she finds herself a “guest” in the firehouse cum garage, which is also the brothers’ living quarters. 

Hi, Barbara, welcome to Get Lost in a Story.  Readers, all set?  Let's learn about Barbara Barrett. 

DONNELL:  If you could live any place on earth, where would it be?

BARBARA: Saccharine or not, I’m living exactly where I want to live right now: half the year in Florida and half the year in Iowa. There are still many places I’d like to visit, though, starting with Tuscany in Italy. I’d also like to see Spain and the Hawaiian Islands and return to England and France. Once upon a time, when I dreamed of being a cultural anthropologist (that was actually a college major for about a year), I would have answered Machu Picchu.

DONNELL:  Favorite time of the year?

BARBARA: In Iowa, it’s this time of year. I never enjoyed autumn as much as I should while I was either in school or working. Once I had more time on my hands, I discovered the beauty of fall, when the trees turn, the mums bloom and pumpkins appear everywhere. The late afternoon sun this time of year absolutely glistens. I was fortunate enough this year to see all that before I returned to Florida. In Florida, it’s March and April, the beginning of spring, when the weather is balmy but not hot and new buds appear on the trees.

DONNELL:  Favorite genre? & Who would you say influenced your writing?

BARBARA: In romance, my favorite genre is what I’m writing, contemporary. May sound a little strange coming from someone with a Master’s Degree in American History, but after I finished my thesis on the foreign policy of Herbert Hoover, I decided I wanted to stay in the present. Recently, I’ve enjoyed watching “Downton Abbey.” I am so impressed with the attention to detail portraying the upstairs and downstairs lives of that family. But I’m not ready to throw myself into that type of research. At least not yet.

I also enjoy mysteries, especially the cozies. One of these days, I’m going to write my own. The ideas are still percolating inside my head, although I’m getting closer to knowing the main characters and the plot.

Who has “influenced” my writing? I love Janet Evanovich’s comedic voice. I hope some of that light touch slips into my voice.

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

BARBARA: I just returned to Florida, so there isn’t much in the fridge at the moment, and believe it or not, almost everything there is healthy! Lots of fruit, salad makings, chicken and fish, bottled water, and Weight Watcher ice cream. Okay, there’s also Diet Coke and a box of milk chocolate from Germany received from friends who traveled for ten weeks in Europe this past summer. Do I get credit for not opening it yet? 

DONNELL:  Where do you write and how often?

BARBARA: I have my own office in both places. The one in Iowa is in the basement and looks out on a lake. The one in Florida is on second floor and looks out on a courtyard filled with palm trees. I probably should have chosen a windowless room, because I find myself staring outside and daydreaming more often than I should. I tell people I’m in creation mode, but more often than not, my brain is taking a break. I try to write everyday, even if it’s only a little. My best time is the middle of the day, starting with late morning and going into early evening.

DONNELL:  Are you organized?

BARBARA:  Depends. I am in the respect that I’m a good planner. One of the world’s best inventions is the “table” function in Word. Since I learned  how to put one of those together, I can plan just about anything. However, executing the plans I come up with is another story. It takes great discipline to stay on course and check off all those “to do” items on the list at the planned time. The inside of my purse is usually a mess. The top of my desk also suffers from encroaching clutter. When I hit a wall creatively, I tend to clear the top of the desk in order to move on.

DONNELL:  What character in THE SLEEPOVER CLAUSE would you like to invite to dinner; which one do you hope stays away?

BARBARA: Not my heroine, Aubrey Carpenter. She forgets about the skillet of hamburger she has put on the stove while she takes a phone call. The resultant smoke chases her and the three brothers she’s working with out of their garage/residence, which just happens to be a converted firehouse. I guess I’d like to invite Geoff, one of the hero’s brothers, because he fancies himself a ladies’ man and would be quite the charming dinner companion.

DONNELL:  Name the most unusual thing in your closet?

BARBARA: In Florida, my sewing machine. There isn’t room anywhere else for it, and I still need to use it on occasion. (In Iowa, half my office is given over to my sewing area, where too much unused fabric and patterns reside.)

DONNELL:  If you could meet anyone past or present, who would it be, and why?

BARBARA: I never knew my paternal grandmother, so that part of my family history is a complete blank to me. I’d like to know how she met my grandfather, what her aspirations were as a girl, where her family came from. 


BARBARA:  NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.   TIME TO ASK READERS A QUESTION What storylines would you like to see more of in romance?
Comments will earn one luck reader a digital copy of THE SLEEPOVER CLAUSE.


Twitter: @bbarrettbooks

The Sleepover Clause can be purchased on Amazon, B&N, and iTunes. It is not currently available in print format; that is coming in future months.

  Barbara Barrett can’t help being a bit schizo when it comes to her lifestyle, since she lives half the year in Florida (guess which season) and the other half in her home state of Iowa. She believes she has the best of both worlds, with visits to the Mouse in winter and her six grandchildren in summer. Although she has been writing romance fiction for several years, her debut novel, The Sleepover Clause, was just released this September by Crimson Romance. While she has refined her craft, she has also been active in RWA, particularly the Kiss of Death chapter (someday she’s going to start that cozy mystery series), chairing their annual conference planning committee for two years, including New York City.

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Come back Friday when Jill is here with Samantha Grace. ~Donnell 



pc said...

Love stories with leading women on a mission/course who meet the men who are their equal (don't try to completely dominate them) and finding that love is a partnership.

Unknown said...

Ive got mail, thanks for the input. Something to keep in mind.

Barbara Barrett

Diane Finney said...

Where did you get your idea? How long did it take for you to complete and polish your manuscript? Diane

May said...

Sounds great!

I am not picky. I just like smart and intelligent... That's all...

Kwana said...

Great interview! i love the sound of your duel lifestyle and am jealous of your 2 offices. Keeps things interesting.

Cynthia D'Alba said...

Hi Barbara! Cannot wait to get back down to Florida and celebrate your first book with you! and you are right about the fall. We are in the peak of fall colors in Arkansas right now. That's one thing Florida doesn't have! Now, the cold weather in Arkansas winters? That's something I DON'T miss.

Very hard question you're asking! If I knew, I'd write it. hee hee

Unknown said...


Thanks for stopping by. The idea came from more than one place. It started when I read an article in my hometown newspaper about a famous country singer who was appearing in town. The reviewer spent a lot of time talking about the motor coach she used for her tour and how it had all the comforts of home. I thought, what a great place to set a story. Wish I'd saved the article so I could tell you who it was about, but I didn't. Then I started playing "what if." What if it took place in my hometown of Burlington, Iowa? What if one of the main characters was claustrophobic? And it evolved from there.

I don't recall how long it took to write. Probably 1-2 years.

Barbara Barrett

Terri Herman-Ponce said...

Barbara, in some ways we're kindred spirits. I'd LOVE to go to Italy, and France (again) and Hawaii. And I adore the fall season, too. There's something about the fresh clean air and the beautiful colors on the trees that is so breathtaking.

Good luck with the book!

Unknown said...

May, I'll keep that in mind!


Unknown said...

Kwana, "dual lifestyle," hadn't used that term before but I like it. And it does keep things interesting.


Unknown said...

Cynthia, hope to see you soon. Hope to learn from your publishing experience.

We not only do not have fall colors here, with all the rain they had all summer, everything is very green. Very strange to me, for fall.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Terri, I wish you well on your book too. I'm waiting for my husband to retire, and then maybe I can visit those places.


RT Wolfe said...

Great post. It was great to learn more about you and The Sleepover Clause!
-R.T. Wolfe
Black Creek Burning (Crimson Romance, 2012)

Unknown said...

Thanks, R.T. I appreciate your dropping by. Hope I didn't give away too much!


bn100 said...

Congrats on the book! I like all kinds of storylines.


Sparkle Abbey said...

Barb, So great to "see" you here! We miss you in Iowa... Love the book... Now, I'm noticing fancy motor coaches everywhere! As far as storylines, I love romantic comedies and would love to see more of them. ML aka Sparkle

Bonni Bohn said...

Barb, I enjoyed reading about the evolution of your writing. Thank you for pursuing your passion and sharing it with others!

Unknown said...

Hey,you two, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope when you're noticing those motor coaches you're snapping a pic or two for me, if they belong to celebrities.

I love romantic comedies also. I have one in the hopper, if someone picks it up.

Glad you liked the book.

Barbara Barrett

Unknown said...

Bonni, it is so good to hear from you. Thanks for commenting. Writing really has become a passion for me. It got me through some tough times a few years back, and now it's opening some wonderful new doors for me.

Barbara Barrett

Unknown said...

Thanks, Donnell, for inviting me to Get Lost in a Story. What a fun place to visit.

Barbara Barrett