Friday, December 13, 2013

The Year the Cat Saved Christmas and Mrs. Scrooge by Barbara Bretton: Interview

 





Welcome Barbara! Thanks so much for being here. Where do you dream of traveling to and why? 

The rings of Saturn.  Really.
 

Who is your favorite author? 

The late Robert B. Parker and the very much alive Lawrence Block.
 

What do you think makes a good story? 

Emotion. Make me feel something. I don’t care if your words make me laugh or cry or shiver with fear. As long as you make me bond with your characters and feel their emotions, you’ll keep me turning the pages.
 

Tell us about your family. 

I’m an only child, only grandchild, only niece (or nephew for that matter.) As my husband says, my family is small but volatile! And occasionally controversial: when I was three years old my mother’s father became engaged to my father’s mother. It didn’t work out and they went on to marry others, but the spark between them never died.
 

What was the scariest moment of your life? 

When I thought my husband’s plane had gone down in Alaska. He was in the Air Force at the time and had come home on leave from Okinawa for Thanksgiving. He caught a commercial ride from New York to San Francisco, then picked up a military transport to take him to Alaska and from there back to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa.  I was living with my parents at the time and we were watching television the night after Thanksgiving when an emergency bulletin broke into the snow. “Air Force transport crashes in Alaska,” the newsreader said. “Number of fatalities not known yet but—“ 

That’s all I heard over the buzzing (screaming?) inside my head. I was twenty years old and my whole life had crashed with that plane. My parents were still. Their faces were ashen. Nobody moved. Nobody said anything. The sudden ringing of the phone went through us like gunshot. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed for the telephone and I swear to you that the sound of my husband’s voice as he said “Hello” was the most beautiful sound on earth. 

As it turned out, he had missed the plane that crashed and was waiting to get on another ride as soon as one turned up. I started crying with pure, unadulterated happiness. My parents were shrieking and jumping up and down, grabbing for the phone so they could reassure themselves that he was fine. My poor husband had no idea about the plane crash or how close he had come to disaster. Or, for that matter, why we were all acting so loud and crazy.  

“I’ve only been gone twelve hours,” he said. “Guess you miss me.” 

More than he knew!
 

What books have most influenced your life? 

The books I read as a child. Little Women. Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. Gone with the Wind. The Wizard of Oz series. The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.
 

What book are you reading now? 

Janet Evanovich’s Takedown Twenty. Any chance to spend some time with Ranger and Joe . . .
 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  

A writer. (How lucky am I?)
 

What are your favorite TV shows? 

The Sopranos. Sex and the City. Elementary. Project Runway.
 

What is your favorite meal? 

Chinese takeout.
 

What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read? 

William Styron - Sophie’s Choice
 

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know? 

Night Person. Definitely.  I’ve known since childhood. I come alive after dark.
 

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who? 

Bertrice Small. I’m lucky enough to call her friend but our longstanding friendship doesn’t minimize the awe I feel over her amazing talent.
 

What would we find under your bed? 

Jimmy Hoffa.
 

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why? 

They think I’m an extrovert but I’m really an introvert. A seriously introverted introvert. 
 

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?

My mother rarely gave advice so when she did it was worth taking notice. Not long before she died I asked her how she had managed to put her difficult and lonely childhood behind her and create a happy life. “I chose to be happy,” she said. It took me a few years after her death to fully understand how profound a statement that was.  She was given a choice (we all are) and she chose happiness. We all should.


The Year the Cat Saved Christmas
Barbara Bretton
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
ISBN: 9781940665009
ASIN: B00FEXP44K
Number of pages: 80
Word Count: 22,000

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Book Description:
Christmas used to be the happiest time of the year in the big house on the hill. But this year when the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Day, it will all be over. Can Sebastian, a wily Maine Coon cat, find a way to bring his people back home or will this holiday be their last?

Previously published as "Home for the Holidays" in Penguin Berkley's anthology "The Christmas Cat."
 

Mrs. Scrooge
Rocky Hill Romances
Book One
Barbara Bretton
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
ISBN: 9781940665023
ASIN: B00FEXXSCA
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: approx. 65000

Amazon   Smashwords   BN   Kobo  iTunes

Book Description: 

Single mother Samantha Dean doesn't have time for Christmas. Or romance, for that matter. She is weeks away from opening her own catering business, the most important part of her plan to provide her certified genius daughter Patty with all the wonderful things she deserves.

Except Patty doesn't want to go to a fancy boarding school. She wants a father and when she meets bartender Murphy O'Rourke at her fourth grade Career Day presentation, she knows she's met the man of her mother's dreams!

But can she convince her Mrs. Scrooge of a mom that it was time to give Christmas -- and love -- a second chance?

Originally published in print by Harlequin American

Book #2 is also available now: BUNDLE OF JOY

 

 

Oh, how I hate bios! All of that deadly dull information about name (Barbara Bretton) and date of birth (June 25) and geographical data (born in New York City; lives near Princeton, NJ), marital status (many years married), and hobbies (who has time??). How do you gather up all of those dull, dry facts and turn them into something interesting?
No wonder I tell lies for a living.
I considered weaving a story for you about life on a houseboat on the French Riviera. Or maybe my years as a concubine, hidden away in a golden pleasure palace in the shimmering desert. Then I decided to do the unthinkable and tell you the truth.
When I sold my first book and my life changed forever. I sent in my manuscript on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes.
I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time (and finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him. This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that my dream had finally come true -- and came with a $6000 advance!
He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of joy and pride in his eyes warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory.
A lot has happened to me in the years since that first sale. I've learned that this is a difficult and demanding business (it takes a tough writer to write a tender book) and that I am happiest when I am most ignorant. I've also learned that a good friend, a writer and pal who truly understands, is worth her weight in good reviews and royalty checks.
I fell madly in love with Skye O'Malley in early 1982 and wrote an unabashedly gushy fan letter to our beloved Bertrice Small. By the time Sunny answered, I had joined the ranks of the published and Sunny became friend and mentor, guide and confidant. She has held my hand through broken dreams, disappointments, family illnesses, and accepted my bizarre need to go underground from time to time with great affection and understanding. Over the years I've come to understand the difference between the writer and her work, that loving the book doesn't guarantee that I will love the author. But what a joy it is when you discover that the author of a beloved favorite is even more wonderful and witty and wise than the characters she creates.
So this bio is for you, Sunny, for being the best of friends during the worst of times and -- even more wonderful -- during the good times as well.
And now for the statistics:
Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.
Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.
Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.
Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.
 
 

 
 
 


 


 
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