10 January 2011

Inside the Author's Studio with Jackie Barbosa w/ Book Giveaway

For this week's Inside the Author's Studio, I'm pleased to welcome Jackie Barbosa!


I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up, but there were plenty of times when I wasn’t sure I ever would be. As it turns out, it just took me about twenty years longer to grow up than I expected!

On the road to publication, I took a few detours, including a stint in academia (I hold an MA in Classics from the University of Chicago and was a recipient of a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities) and many years as a technical writer/instructional designer for a data processing company. I still hold my day job in instructional design, but my true passion is writing steamy romances–both historical and contemporary.

I learned to believe in love at first sight when I met the man of my dreams twenty years ago and to believe in happily ever after when I married him. I live in Southern California with my husband, our three children, and an ever-changing menagerie of pets.

Describe yourself in one sentence?
I'm a harried wife and mother, a tireless procrastinator, an inveterate punster, and an occasionally half-decent romance writer.

What are the one record, book, and food, you'd take to a desert island?
Gosh, can't I take my iTouch with its 800 songs and many books? That would be so much simpler. Plus, I'd volunteer not to bring a food. No? Hmmm, that's so difficult.

For record, I hope you mean a whole album and not just a single song. In which case, I think I'm going with Barenaked Ladies' All Their Greatest Hits through 2001. We had that get stuck in the CD player in my minivan once and we NEVER got sick of it. For book, I almost think I'd want to bring something super long that I've never read before. Maybe I could actually get through War and Peace or Moby Dick if I were stranded on a deserted island, you know? For food, I'd take hot sauce. Seriously, if I had to live for months on end without spicey food, I'd die :).

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A writer and a teacher. I ended up doing both, although not necessarily in the way I planned as a kid. I always figured as a kid I'd teach high school, but then I discovered high school kids aren't always that happy to be there, and decided I'd rather teach adults. I went to grad school and was working on my PhD in Classics to become a college professor, then got derailed by combination of getting married and a bad economy that forced me back to work full-time. Fortunately, I "fell into" a job in a training department and that gave me the opportunity to develop technical writing and instructional design skills, which I now use in the job I've had in the software industry for the past 16 years. But the fiction writing bug I had from age 7 never really went away, and I'm so thrilled that I can now do that as well, even if it's not yet my main source of income.

Which book do you wish you'd written?
Oh, I don't wish I'd written any particular book, but I'd love to write a book as good and enduring as ALICE IN WONDERLAND (which I'd have to call my favorite book of all time).

What makes you happy?
Writing, when it's going well.

What makes you angry?
Writing, when it's going badly ;).

Name five people who you'd like to invite to a dinner party?
Do they have to be alive or can they be people who are dead? If I can invite dead people, my list would be:

Sappho (Greek poet--because I want her to fill in all the lacunae in her poetry, darn it!)
Livia (Augustus's wife for 52 years, who I think must have been a FASCINATING person)
Catullus (a Roman poet I'm convinced would be the life of any party)
Charles Dogdson (aka Lewis Carroll)
Mark Twain

If they have to be alive, then I'm going with:
Sandra Day O'Connor
Margaret Atwood
Barack Obama
Michael Hiltzik (he writes op-eds for the LA Times that I really enjoy)
Hugh Laurie

What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
Raise children. As one of Ann Tyler's characters observes in the The Accidental Tourist, it's like being a firefighter: long stretches of boredom punctuated by short intervals of extreme terror.

What inspired you to start writing?
I started writing when I was 7yo (a story involving a fairy and a pumpkin, as I recall), but my mother says I used to tell stories out loud in the car when I was only 4yo. So it's hard to say any specific thing got me "started." I did, however, give up writing fiction for a long period of time, then suddenly got the "bug" again when I delved back into romance novels in 2005 after having read mostly other genres for about 10 years.

Where would you most like to live?
Probably in Mexico. In fact, we're planning a trip this spring to check out a city in central Mexico called San Miguel de Allende as a possible retirement venue.

What is your favorite curse word?
Haha, definitely the f-word. It has by far the most punch.

Who is your favorite man candy?
Currently, I have a thing for Coby Bell, who plays Jesse on BURN NOTICE. Yum.

Sum up your latest release in no more than twelve words!
Three heroes, three heroines, one brothel, and a whole lot of heat. (Just made it!)

Interested in receiving a copy? I know you are! Jackie is offering up on copy of Behind the Red Door to a lucky commentor. You have until midnight Sunday EST to enter. And make sure you look out for Jackie's upcoming April release Grace Under Fire!

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10 people posted their 2 cents:

Lori Brighton said...

Hi Jackie! Both those covers are gorgeous! I love Alice in Wonderland too, and love that quote about raising kids. So true :)

Danielle Gorman said...

Great interview. Jackie is a new author to me but these books look great. Definitley going onto my wishlist. Love the covers.


Julie said...

This is the first I've heard of Sappho being invited to a party, but now that I think about it, I'd want that too. :D Thanks for the great interview!

Lustee said...

I would so love to read this. Thanks so much for the great interview Lynette and Jackie.

lolahb said...

Those covers look amazing. Lynette, love the background of your blog.
lolahb at gmail dot com

petals said...

I would love to be a part of this giveaway.


Anonymous said...

Nice interview, I would love to read "Behind the Red Door." I like Cody Bell too. Glad that he is back on The Game.

chilty1014 said...

Sign me up please!
chilty1014 at gmail dot com

buddyt said...

Amen to the remark about children !

Please enter me in the giveaway if it is open worldwide.

Thank you.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about your "menagerie of pets", Jackie! What pets do you have/have you had in your menagerie? You mentioned three children. Do you have any grandchildren yet?

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"Do you see, Solange, that you are the only woman in my world? The one woman who can choose life or death for me. You are the center of my world and you always will be. When I tell you that your pleasure is mine, I mean that literally"— Christine Feehan



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