Saturday, September 4, 2010

Interview with Heather Barbieri

Well as a book club we just finished The Lacemakers of Glenmarra and we where truely excited when Heather agreed to an interview with us .... Because we just loved the novel :) ......

1) Being from Ireland myself I really loved the book and could relate to the characters .... Before this novel had you had any experience with lace-making or sewing?
Oh, one of you is from Ireland? Whereabouts? I don’t have experience with lace-making, but I was an avid seamstress (I was going to write “sewer”—ha!) when I was younger. (I won the McCall’s Learn to Sew for Fun sewing/modeling national competition when I was 14; little did they know I’m only 5’2”!) When I was in college, I especially liked to rework vintage pieces and fabrics.

2) Did you have an idea of a defining role for each of the women in the novel when you where writing the story?
For some of them, yes (especially Bernie, Aileen & Kate). Others showed up as I went along.

3) There was a little bit of romance in the novel but the story stayed with the lives of the woman .... Was that on purpose? As one of our girls really wanted more romance scenes with Kate and Sullivan ... lol ...
Yes, it’s really a novel about women’s friendships. The romance was secondary. So many novels put the romance front and center, I thought it would be fun to change things up and give the women center stage.

4) When did you decide to become an author?
I’ve always been interested in writing and acting and was a journalist before turning to fiction. (I flirted w/ the idea of going to law school as an undergrad, but my dad, who’s a judge, plunked one of his voluminous legal opinions down in front of me and asked if that was really the kind of writing I wanted to do. He thought it would be a waste of my creativity, though he said I’d be good at it if a legal career was truly what I wanted. I’m eternally grateful to him for helping me look into my own heart and consider what I really wanted. Most parents would probably have encouraged going with the more traditional, higher-salaried, profession.)

5) Have you ever been involved in a group before ( eg. Bookclub, Craft etc ) where women have got together?
Yes, I’ve been in a book club. Currently, I’m in a gardening group that meets to swap plants, garden, and attend gardening shows—and, of course share meals, laughs and conversation in the process. I’m also in a hiking group—there’s nothing like getting out and adventuring (and mis-adventuring!) with a group of friends.

6) What inspires you to write?
Oh, anything can strike me, really. A newspaper article. A conversation. I try to be a sponge and take everything in, then let it percolate and see what emerges. Once it comes time to getting the words down on the page and setting a writing schedule, the true work—and fun—begin.

7) What's your favourite part of 'The Lacemakers of Glenmara'?
I like the whole thing (ha!--I would say that, wouldn’t I?), but the section where Denny is defending Oona and the other where Bernie is thinking about the loss of her husband are particular favorites.

8) Do you have a favouirte author?
I’m an avid reader and have many favorite books. Recently, I’ve enjoyed Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk and Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. I’m also a big fan of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, The Woman in White, and pretty much anything by William Trevor and Edna O’Brien.

9) If you were writing a book about yourself what would the title be?
Oh, heavens, I don’t know. Her Children Are Driving Her Crazy. (Kidding! Well, most of the time.) Little Woman. (Remember, I said I’m short?) . . . .

10) What are your current projects and can you share anything with us? I’m batting around ideas for a third book with my editor and am chomping at the bit to get writing. Autumn always spurs me into a flurry of activity.

Thanks Heather and looking forward to reading your future works .... The Exclusively Girls xx

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