Karen Cantwell

Interview With Barb, Part I

Welcome to Part I of an Interview with Barbara Marr.

As it turns out, there were many questions and we didn’t want to burden readers with a 5 page post, so I’ve decided to break this interview into a few parts over several days. It was a warm, sunny day when we sat down in Barb’s backyard sipping lemonade and listening to the birds singing in the trees. Very enjoyable. The question and answer session did get off to a bit of a rocky start though . . .

Me: Barb, I want to thank you for agreeing to sit down for this interview today.

Barb: (smiling) Sure. Glad to be here. How’s that lemonade?

Me: Perfect, thanks. So, are you ready for your first reader question?

Barb: Fire away. I mean that figuratively, not literally. I’ve had enough of real guns and real shooting, trust me!

Me: I can imagine! Okay, so Bernadette asks, “How do you explain to your girls that lying is wrong when their dad has been lying all these years about being an agent?”

Barb: (stops smiling, thinks silently for a minute) Periwinkle.

Me: Ummm . . . what?

Barb: That’s my favorite color: Periwinkle.

Me: That’s not the question.

Barb: I know, but when you first told me about this interview where readers ask me questions, you said they’d be easy like, “What’s my favorite color.” That question isn’t easy. That’s . . . you know . . . serious.

Me: I know. I’m sorry, about that, but it’s a fair question, don’t you think?

Barb: How about my favorite movie director? Would they like to know my favorite movie director?

Me: Barb, they already know the answer to that one. You wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to Steven Spielberg. How about I give you an easier question next if you answer this one now?

Barb: (sighs). Fine. Can you repeat the question?

Me: Barb!

Barb: Okay. Geez. Don’t get your sticky buns all in a bundt pan. Thank you for your insightful question, Bernadette. The answer is that we did think and worry a lot about how we’d approach the girls on the subject – both explaining that their dad was an FBI agent, not an engineer, and letting them know that while lying is generally not a good thing, in this case, their dad lied to protect us, his family. We even rehearsed the talk a few times, but when we actually sat them down, Callie laughed. It turns out teenagers are smarter than we think. She said this: “We live ten minutes from CIA Headquarters and twenty minutes of Washington, DC. I have ten friends whose moms or dads are ‘engineers’ which we all know means they’re CIA, FBI, or Secret Service. With Dad’s weird hours, I had him pegged ages ago.” What I learned from that talk was to go talk to my daughter, Callie, when I don’t understand something.

Me: There you go. Honest answer. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Barb: You’re right, that didn’t kill me. Give me another one.

Me: Joe asks, “If you could change the ending to any film, what film would you change and how would it end?”

Barb: (smiles, looks relieved) That’s easy. I’ve thought about this a LOT. Joe – the movie I would change is Godfather, Part III. Here’s how I would change the ending: The opening credits would start to roll, then Al Pacino would come out and address the audience, telling us all that making this movie was a big mistake and that we should all go home and pretend that it never happened. The End.

Me: Didn’t like Godfather Part III, huh?

Barb: Does anyone?

Me: Khaila, Bernadette, and Ingrid all want to know more about you and Colt. Why is he hung up on you? And is he truly out of your system?

Barb: Periwinkle.

Me: Barb . . .

Barb: I’m wondering if Khaila, Bernadette, and/or Ingrid are single, because you know, I’m trying to find him a good woman to settle down with. He needs someone to take care of.

Me: That’s nice, and they can leave a comment if they’re single and interested, but you didn’t really answer the question.

Barb: First – technically there was more than one question there, and second, you asked if he was out of my system – would I be trying to find him a companion if I had any sort of attraction to him? I mean, I’m a married woman and I love my husband very much.

Me: You’re not giving me a simple “Yes” or “No” here, Barb.

Barb: You’ve got a whole Matt Lauer, drill-for-the-answer-till-it-hurts thing going on, don’t you?

Me: Obviously, Colt is a touchy subject, but how about this at least: why does he still carry a torch for you?

Barb: ‘Cuz I’m irresistable. (smiles)

Me: Okay, next question. Aimee wants to know, “Have you ever thought you should option the story of your life to a movie studio?

Barb: You know, there’s already so many movies out there about suburban moms like me who stumble upon dead people and get kidnapped by gun-toting criminals, that I figure, why even try? They’d probably be all, “Been there, done that.”

Me: You’re joking, right?

Barb: Yes, Karen, I’m joking. But seriously, I asked Steven Spielberg in a dream once if he’d be interested in taking my story to film, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with that idea – in my dreams.

Both Barb and I hope you enjoyed Part I of her interview. There are still 7 more questions to answer, so join us again on Friday for answers to a few more!

Have a great day!



  1. Loved it! Thanks!!!! It was a great break from chores. =)

  2. Oh, that was fun! Thanks Karen and of course Barb! Can’t wait till Friday for more Q and A. 🙂

  3. Great post! Thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as “Silenced by the Yams,” which I just finished yesterday. 🙂