Monday, 3 December 2012

Interview: Barbara Morgenroth

What have you had published?
I began my career in middle reader books with “Ride a Proud Horse” which is out of print now and going to remain so.  I went on to do a few young adult books, which I tweaked and are available at Amazon, Kobo and BN.  You can find them as “Unheard” and “Just Kate”.  I did a couple cookbooks and a book on knitting.  My final book for traditional publishing was a sweet romance titled “Love In The Air” which will be republished by Amazon/Montlake next year.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I prefer the buffet to the single serving of creamed spinach.  And I love creamed spinach but like other dishes as well. Right now, I prefer writing Mature Young Adult but love writing humor, too, so I’ve done a couple short stories that are long on fun and short on the word count.  I very much enjoy romantic comedies that have a serious underpinning.  Life is lived best with joy and commitment.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was teaching horseback riding at a stable and the owner of the property wanted to go back to dairy farming.  With nothing else in front of me, I sat down and wrote “Ride a Proud Horse” and haven’t stopped since.
How long did it take you to write ‘Nothing Serious’?
I believe it took about six months if all the revisions are included in the time.  I was sending it to agents and publishers for their consideration.  One agent said it started too slowly and then an editor said it started too fast.  At that point, I was baffled and put it aside to write the romantic comedy “Not Low Maintenance”.
     “Nothing Serious” was originally titled “Disconnected” because Paige is a woman who is only connected to life through the internet.  When she meets a man on a dating site who is pretending to be a rich playboy, in frustration with her circumstances Paige pulls the computer plug out of the wall and heads for the Catskill Mountains.  In a rural town full of characters even more eccentric than she is, Paige becomes reconnected with life and falls in love with Jonathan.
     It’s a sweet romance, a rather screwball comedy with some definitely zany but realistic moments.
     When I decided to indie publish the book I couldn’t fit the word disconnected easily on the space for the cover so eventually used the name of Paige’s shabby chic store Nothing Serious as the title. 
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
It’s a Mature YA, the second book in the Bittersweet Farm series and will probably be titled “Joyful Spirit”.  The first book was titled “Mounted”.  All the following books will be named after horses in the series and the last book should be called “Dismounted”, shouldn’t it?
When and why did you begin writing?
I was a photography major in college and thought I would be a photojournalist so always knew I was going to write but when I left Sunshine Farm becoming a novelist seemed a clever choice.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I self-publish now and do all the work myself.  The creative freedom is fantastic and it’s absolutely the best time in the history of the world to be a writer.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Sometimes it’s very difficult to find a title that resonates with the story.  It’s good to have the title first because it acts like your compass, keeping you focused.  If you have to go back later for a title, that can be a problem.
     The same is true for cover images; it’s often difficult to express what the book is truly about.  I had great difficulty with my romantic comedy “Unspeakably Desirable”.  After many suggestions, all very off the mark, I was introduced to a French woman, who is an artist and photographer.  Helene does the most remarkable portraits and it was then I found one that suggested the dreamy sensuality of the book.  I love this cover!
What do you do in your spare time?
I knit and garden and still do photography.  Of course, there is always laundry and cooking!
Who is your favourite author?
So many books seem wonderful at the time but they don’t stay with you.  Overall, I would probably have to say Umberto Eco.  His writing is unforgettable.  For women’s fiction, I think Victoria Clayton is amazing.  Her intelligence and skill at handling the language is right on the page for all to see.  Clayton is a woman who has lived life and can express the experience of it in its complexities as well as joy.  She should be very famous but I doubt that many readers in America have ever heard her name.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I love nonfiction history and also have a ton of cookbooks.  Traditional mysteries are very enjoyable and I adore Ross Macdonald’s books and Ellen Crosby’s Wine Country mysteries.  They share the ability to write very well and tell a good story.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Ten thousand hours.  It’s said it takes that much practice and effort to become accomplished at anything.  I believe you must put in the time to hone your skills and think about what you’re doing.  It sounds like work, doesn’t it?  If you love doing it, it’s never work.

Nothing Serious

Declaring freedom from the internet and the city, Paige heads for the Catskills. Opening a shop, Nothing Serious, Paige nearly nails her hand to the wall trying to hang her sign, avoids zoning board jail and falls for Jonathan Macklin, the antiques dealer next door. She spots a rare portrait at an auction, and borrows money from Jonathan to buy it. The windfall for the lost masterpiece is used to bail a local character out of jail. When Paige can’t pay Jonathan back, he thinks the worst. She has been treating life, her art and love as nothing serious for so long, can she change in time to be with Jonathan?


  1. I enjoyed reading about Barb--love the photo!

  2. Barb is so interesting...a real 'one off' and her writing is full of delicious humour.

  3. Nothing Serious is more than a simple romance. You'll be intrigued as well as entertained.