Karen Cantwell

Interview With Barb, Part Deux

Welcome back to the second part of our interview with Barb! I hope you enjoyed the first few questions. I have managed to pack the rest of them into this second and final part. And there’s a little . . . surprise at the end. Hope you like it!

Me: So here we go with more questions, Barb. Chaun asks, “Since you seem to have an affinity for danger and you don’t seem naturally disposed to domesticity, where do you think you might be today if you hadn’t gotten married?”

Barb: Do I have an affinity for danger? Really? Hmm, I never thought about it that way. Maybe there is a part of me that enjoys the thrill of tasking risks. I just thought I was prone to finding dead people the way some people are prone to strep throat. Possibly, if I hadn’t gotten married I would have pursued a career in espionage. (she thinks about this a minute, then shakes her head) Nope. Probably not. More likely I would have ended up foaming up cafe lattes at a Starbucks. I’ll wager that job isn’t without it’s dangerous elements though. Have you ever seen the wrath of a morning customer that didn’t get their extra shot of espresso? (shivers) SCARY.

Me: Cindy says, “Barb, I have noticed you think very sarcastic comments and keep it to yourself. How do you think your mom would react if for one day, you said everything you thought?”

Barb: I don’t have to think hard on that question – she wouldn’t bat an eyelash. That’s what I do admire about my mother – nothing sticks to her. She didn’t get bullied as a kid because she was the biggest one on the playground, she never got bullied because she has NEVER cared an iota what anyone said about her so the bullying wouldn’t have an effect. She’s always been that way. I complain about my mom a lot I guess, but in truth, I probably wish I were a lot more like her (but I don’t want her to know that, so I won’t tell her about this interview!).

Me: Jenn wants to know where you got Indy, and how can she find one just like him?

Barb: (smiles) Oh, even though he looks like a lot of other yellow tabbies, Indiana Jones is one unique and VERY cool cat on the inside, hence the name. I’m not sure there are any others like him! However, if you want your own cool cat, I suggest adopting – we adopted Indy from an animal rescue league when he was 9 months old. Callie and Bethany both volunteer for the same league now, and I imagine Amber will too, when she’s old enough.

Me: I like this question. Joe wants to know, “If you could be any historical figure, alive or dead, who would you be and why?”

Barb: (nods) That is an interesting question. You could have started with that one you know, instead of that one about the lying.

Me: You’re not going to let that go, are you?

Barb: Historical figure, dead or alive . . . (thinks to herself). Hilary Clinton.

Me: Because she’s a strong, female political figure?

Barb: (shakes her head) Politics bore me. Politicians have been around since the dawn of time, and look where they’ve gotten us. (shakes head) No, I like that she wears pant suits – there’s a woman who values comfort over fashion. Go, Hilary, go!

Me: Kim wants to know about our writing space and how it supports our writing.

Barb: I don’t do the writing, thankfully! I tell you my story, then you put the pen to paper, or the fingers to the keyboard I guess is the better description, huh? What is your space like, Karen? I’ve never actually asked you that.

Me: I write in different places, depending on the time of day and my needs. If it’s the weekend and my kids are around, I might go to the library and use one of their private study rooms. At home I have a home office, and it’s brightly lit, so that is very nice for writing. And probably my favorite place is our back porch in the spring and summer – it’s screened in so bugs don’t bother me. It’s very quiet and inspiring. Thanks for asking, Kim!

Barb: Are there still more questions?

Me: Just a couple more. Judith wants to know, “What is the one thing you regret doing or NOT doing?”

Barb: That is an age-old question, isn’t it? Actually, I’ve thought about that a lot, you know, because I always loved the movies and always thought that I wanted to be a movie director, but of course, didn’t follow that path in life. But I don’t regret it, because all of the choices I’ve made have led me here, with a life with a wonderful husband and three AMAZING daughters. I just can’t imagine any other life. So, no regrets.

Me: Good answer. Okay, Dawn asks, “Are you happy that Meryl won the Oscar?”

Barb: (sits back and smiles) Wasn’t that wonderful? I loved her speech too. Although . . . I am going to say, that as much as I love The Meryl, and still hold her in my heart as the most amazing actress ever to live . . . I wish Viola Davis had won this year. I thought she deserved it, didn’t you?

Me: Yes, I did. Oh look at this! This reader’s name is Barbara too – she asks, “What do you think of Howard’s pending retirement?

Barb: (rolls her eyes) Yeah, that was a shocker, huh? First, he’s all, “Uh, oh, didn’t tell you for seventeen years that I’m an FBI agent. Sorry, honey.” As if that doesn’t make me feel like the stupidest wife on the planet, right? Then he’s all, “Hey, forgot to tell you, my last day on the job is . . . tomorrow. You missed the good-bye party.” (shakes her head) Truth though, I was relieved, right up until the day Callie and I saw him take that death-tumble during his last mission. That was (she chokes up a bit and has trouble talking) the worst day of my life. (She takes a deep breath, gains her composure). But it’s all good now.

Me: You realize, Barb, that readers don’t know what happened to Howard. I mean, you know if he’s . . .

Barb: Alive?

Me: Right.

Barb: (smiles a devilish smile) Should we tell them?

Me: Now?

Barb: I don’t know. It happened to me, but you write the books. (shrugs) I leave it up to you.

Me: Okay, but you tell them yourself.

Barb:(says nothing)

Me: Are you going to or not?

Barb: That was a pregnant pause, Karen. I was going for dramatic effect.

Me: Sorry.

Barb: Howard is . . . (pregnant pause for dramatic effect)

Happy and healthy and resting at home.


And that concludes our Interview with Barbara Marr! Thank you, everyone, for giving us the most amazing questions. I had SO much fun with this. I hope you all did too!

Have a wonderful day, filled with joy, fun, and laughter!

Best wishes,

Karen (and Barb)


  1. Wonderful! I just started Take The Monkeys and Run and I’m loving it!

  2. This was a fun interview. Thanks!

  3. Hi Margaret! I’m glad you’re enjoying Monkeys! πŸ™‚ And hello to you, too, Dru! Thank you for stopping by for the interview – I’m glad you liked it!

  4. Now Karen, you don’t really think that little sentence that Howard is β€˜Happy and healthy and resting at home.’ Is going to placate us do you? I need details! Details I tell you!

    By the way, I loved the whole interview with Barbara! Nice job!

  5. This was so much fun! Thanks, Barb and Karen. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Linda! You made me LOL! No, I know readers will need a little more than that, but hopefully it helps alleviate some worry . . . πŸ™‚

    Karen, thank you for the nice comment – I’m glad it was fun! I aim to please. πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Anon! Thank you. It always makes my day to hear that! πŸ™‚