Saturday, October 26, 2013


Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified family law paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and several Top Picks by Romantic Times magazine.

A member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and a former member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, she is currently a proud military wife and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River.

To find out more about Kathleen or connect with her through social media, check out her website at


S.S: How long have you been writing?

I first admitted I was a writer in 1996 when I braved a trip to Office Max and purchased a word processor.

S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?

Right now I am writing full time, but I am also a certified paralegal and have worked in the family law and criminal law fields as well as in records retention.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

Some days I still don’t feel that way. However, I think it was probably the day I finally attended a Romance Writers of America meeting in Houston. Suddenly I was surrounded by people who thought like I did. It was wonderful.

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

Family and friends have been amazing. My husband, Robert, is my biggest fan.

S.S:  Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?

I write historical romance and contemporary romance.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

Knowing what my characters believe is essential to discovering who they are. In my writing, I always settle in my mind what sorts of issues of faith or belief the protagonist and villain has. Often those issues are taken from my own struggles.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

I would read—and do!

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.
Millie’s Treasure, book 2 in The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series, is a Southern historical romantic suspense with a dash of steampunk. There’s the official description: Memphis 1890—Bookish heiress Millie Jean Cope is as clever as she is beautiful. Unfortunately, though adept at solving puzzles and cryptograms, she doesn’t realize her new fiancé isn’t who he claims to be, but instead is a charming scoundrel. The infamous Will Tucker is presenting himself as a British gentleman, Sir William Trueck, though in reality he is a crafty criminal looking for a hidden map to a secret treasure.

Pinkerton agent Kyle Russell has been on Tucker’s trail for years. At last Kyle believes he has Tucker cornered, but he is uncertain whether the lovely woman on the con man’s arm is an unsuspecting victim or willing accomplice. Finding reasons to spend time with Millie is easy. Keeping himself from falling in love with her is another issue entirely. Take a peek at the cover, read an excerpt, and find out more at:

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Originally Millie's Treasure was not supposed to be written. When I proposed The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series to my publisher, the second book in the series was going to involve a man who knew the real Will Tucker and could point him out in a line-up, thus ending the charming criminal's career (or would it--LOL?). However, my editor fell in love with the secondary character in Flora's Wish and declared that inventive genius and fellow Louisiana Pinkerton Kyle Russell needed his own story. 

Giving Pinkerton Kyle Russell a background was easy as he had already made his appearance in the previous book. Like his friend and fellow Pinkerton Lucas McBride, Kyle was an inventor. Unlike Lucas, Kyle has a family populated with interesting New Orleans characters and a lovely home on Prytania Street in the Garden District. I chose that particular location for Kyle's after stumbling upon an article about Nicholas Cage's recent sale of a lovely home in the same neighborhood. However, what Kyle has that Mr. Cage did not is a secret third floor laboratory with a hidden elevator entrance. Think bat cave for scientists, nineteenth century style. 

Adding all the gadgets and inventions was so much fun, as was spicing things up by making both hero and heroine of this tale interested in solving puzzles and ciphers. I scoured the United States Patent Office register for interesting inventions that were patented within five years of the time when my character would have been testing his own versions in the field. That assured that while my guy might not have been the one to end up with the patent, at least he would be basing his knowledge and scientific work on materials and information that would have been available at the time. This gave the book a steampunk angle that I played from the first scene where Kyle and the lovely Millie escape the rooftop of the Memphis Cotton Exchange Building via a personal flying device that Kyle has been testing. Thankfully, it works just fine for two!

 And speaking of Millie, oh she was so much fun to create! Growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast, I was familiar with the legacy and legends of the pirate Jean Lafitte. From his exploits routing Spanish vessels in open waters to his penchant for pirating in coastal waters, Lafitte also was known as a hero of the Battle of New Orleans when he offered much needed gunpowder for muskets that were sorely lacking. Little is known for certain of what happened to the man after he sailed away from the island that later became known as Galveston, Texas as the strong request of the United States Navy. Some say he was killed in an encounter off the shores of Cuba and others say he lived to fight another day. I wondered what if...because that's what writers do. What if Lafitte had a daughter? And that daughter had a daughter? And oh, I don't want to give away the story but suffice it to say there are more puzzles to be solved than just the cipher of gold coins that hands around Millie's neck.

One last bit of inspiration on this story. The character of Kyle Russell was named after the real Kyle Russell, an 18-year-old high school senior who is on track to set the world on fire (figuratively). He also happens to be my step-son. 

So now you know the rest of the story!

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

I want readers to remember that family ties are the strongest, and that no relationship is too far gone to salvage. God is the great fixer, of people, of situations, and of so much more.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why? I love Millie. She’s the nerd I was only wrapped up in an elegant (mostly) and wealthy debutante package. Millie is smart, curious, and bold and I love that she takes risks to keep true to herself. And, without giving away the end, I also love that she’s got such a forgiving heart. Oh, and she does end up with a hunky Pinkerton man!

S.S: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?

I know I should say it is that villain Will Tucker, but I just can’t. For all the trouble he causes in books 1, 2 and 3 (yes 3), he isn’t my least favorite by any stretch. Honestly, my least favorite character is Millie’s father. As to why? Suffice it to say that any father who puts his own happiness above that of his child is a man I am not going to like.

S.S: What are you working on now?

I just edited my stepson’s senior thesis, but that’s probably not what you were looking to hear. Beyond that, I’m playing with several stories and trying to decide which one I like best.

S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?   

I’d be lying if I said I didn't want to hit the NY Times bestseller list just once. Okay, maybe more than once.

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.   

Traveled across Europe with my husband and take my husband to a Texas A&M football game

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

Leave Texas and my grown children to move to Tulsa with my new husband. I still struggle on occasion with missing them, although they’re probably glad Mom is occupied elsewhere—LOL!

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?

 My website is

To find out the latest on my books BEFORE anyone else, join my Readers Group on Facebook:

 S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us 

Thank you for hosting me! I have loved writing in my newly adopted romantic suspense genre, and I look forward to reading more of the fabulous books you have featured on this site.

Leave a comment, along with your contact information, for a chance to win a copy of Kathleen's book, MILLIE'S TREASURE!


  1. would love to win.

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book. I love suspense and mysteries.

    thejorns at gmail dot com

  3. Thanks for the great interview. I would love to win the book.

    wwchildren at gmail dot com

  4. Sounds intriguing! Would love a chance to win! Karalouise.ahhhs (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I have loved reading your books and would love a chance to read this one centraleast2 at gmail dot com

  6. Howdy from a fellow Aggie! Your book sounds fun! My son and I have been reading about Jean Lafitte and what is known about the time he was in control of Galveston this past week, so it was exciting to read of your reference to him.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen at yahoo dot com

  7. Great interview. This book sounds like a lot of fun.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

  8. Interesting inspiration

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  9. I am intrigued by your description of this book. It sounds like a fun read that will help with some relationships I have. Thank you for this giveaway. fishingjan at aol dot com

  10. Hi Kathleen, interesting interview today, this story sounds like it will really be a good one and I am wanting to know some more about this Will Turner.
    thanks for sharing with us
    Paula O(

  11. Hi Kathleen! Loved the interview and the book sounds like it will be wonderful!

  12. Millie's Treasure sounds like a great read! I love the cover, also. I am looking forward to reading your book. It sounds like you've put wonderful and exciting people and adventures into it.
    Thank you for offering a copy.

  13. Oh my! I really enjoyed hearing about Kathleen's book. Sounds like a very good story which I would love to win. Pretty neat using your step-son's name in your book. Bt he liked that. If you have kids here in Tx. anywhere near Houston why not come to this area and have a book signing. I live in Pasadena and would love to get to meet you.
    Thanks everyone for a chance to win this book.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  14. Enjoyed your interesting interview, Kathleen, & learning more about you, your books, & your writing. Millie's Treasure has an interesting storyline, & I would love to read it! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!


  15. Kathleen, thank you for the interview. I plan on putting your new book on my to read list. I have read some of your other books and love the characters and story line. I also like your statement about families and restoration. Thank you.

  16. This book sounds like it would be hard to put down until finished! I really like reading the interviews and learning more about the author and their books. Donna

  17. This sounds like a great book, thank you for the chance to win it.


  18. A wonderful post and great book. thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. A new author to me and she sounds fascinating! I love stories with suspense in with the romance.

  20. You better get that man of yours to an Texas A&M game and hope they make a lot of touchdowns! I can't wait to find out more about Millie and that stinker, Will. Thank you for the opportunity to be a winner of your giveaway.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  21. Sounds fun!! :)

    Pen M

  22. Sounds like a great read, Thanks for the opportunity to win it.