Someone just gave you the best compliment ever. What was it?
My son has told me several times in the past couple of years that he thinks I look younger than I am. I’m at an age where that is definitely a compliment. I do not, however, get carded.
You have no choice but to live your life from now on as one of your characters. Which character is it and why?
Easy question. Quinn Fontana from FANTASY MAN. I think I identify with her in that she was overly protected by her family and every bit of spontaneity she had got squashed by their concerns for her safety. So when she’s finally free of them, she goes a bit overboard. She understands their behavior but wishes she’d rebelled against it a bit sooner and stood up for herself. Plus, Reif is just delightful as a security consultant who can protect her from everything except himself.
You can never write another work of fiction. What will you do instead?
I’d become as actively charitable as I like to think I am in my heart. I’d come out of my writing hidey hole and volunteer and get involved in my community. I’d go read to little kids and become a hospice volunteer.
You get a month off from your regular personal life and writing routine. You can spend it doing which of the following? Feel free to elaborate.
Other (fill in the blank)
Well, it wouldn’t be cooking, I can tell you that. Or sleeping. I’ve heard you can sleep when you’re dead. I’d travel. I’ve only got a month so I wouldn’t go anywhere exotic, but I’d go visit my mother, brother and cousins in Missouri and my friends in Illinois and my daughter in New Hampshire. When I got back to home I’d trek down to south Florida and over to the east coast to see my friends and my son. (Plus, you can combine reading and traveling.)
You get one do-over from your life so far. What is it?
I’d go to college after high school. I think that’s an experience I would have benefited from and I always wish I had a degree.
Optional: Name one person who has either influenced you the most or you learned the most from and why.
My dad. He was a wonderful storyteller. He always had words of wisdom or a pithy saying he’d picked up and he would repeat it when the occasion called for it. I remember them all and my everyday language is peppered with his words. He read a lot. That’s one thing I remember from my childhood. We didn’t have a lot of money but there were books because he brought them into the house. Reader’s Digest Condensed Books? I devoured those.
Barbara is still married to her first husband, has two fantastic children and one almost perfect dog. Originally from Southwest Missouri, (she blames her roots in the Show Me state for her somewhat skeptical nature) she currently resides in Central Florida.