Q&A with Kathryn Barrett

Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for True Courage. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour and to Kathryn Barrett for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

Yes! Even when I was very young, I always knew I would be an author one day. I wrote long stories in my head, and when I was seven I wrote stories for class that my teacher “published” with a printer and gave a copy to the principal and to my parents!  

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

I spent some time working in politics, including a presidential campaign, and of course that helped with my most recent book! I also have a degree in business, which helped in my other books, which were set in the world of finance. But I really love learning about other professions, which is why I get so lost in research!  

What was your inspiration for True Courage?

For a long time I had wanted to write about a US president. I think the show West Wing inspired a lot of that—except I wanted an unmarried president, who wasn’t quite as wise as President Bartlet.  

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?

They mostly write themselves, in a way. I have an idea of who they are, but when I start writing, they always surprise me. I didn’t know Adam would be so sarcastic, or that Ellie would be so funny underneath her starchy exterior. Sometimes I know they have a secret, like Claire in Redemption, but I have no idea what that secret is!  

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely a pantser! I can’t plot my way out of a paper bag, which is why endings are always so hard for me to write! I have a wonderful critique partner, Patrice Locke, who helped me sound out ideas for the end of True Courage. And sometimes I get the best ideas while I’m walking my dog in the woods!  

How did you research? Did you enjoy it?

I love research, and I tend to research incessantly. If a new book comes out on the subject of my novel, I have to get it right away! I was so excited to find a book about Secret Service dogs (by Maria Goodavage) that I included a scene with them in True Courage!  

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

My all-time favourite writer is Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who writes big, mainstream romances. I think I’m definitely influenced by her. She usually has intricate subplots, and I like to write subplots too, almost as much as the main plot! And her humour is the best! I’d give anything to be able to be as funny as she is, while at the same time managing to wring a tear or two from her readers!  

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

My grandmother, because I really miss our long chats! And Abraham Lincoln—duh! And why not the Queen? I’d love to hear her dish on everyone, including the past presidents she met during her long reign.  

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Let me just say, a certain recent US president!  

Who would play the main character/s in a film version of True Courage?  

Hmm. I think Eric McCormack, from the series Travelers and Will and Grace, would make a great Adam. And I could see Jennifer Garner as Ellie.  

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Walk. I lead a hiking group here in the Chilterns, where there are some great rambles! Right now I’m training a golden retriever puppy, who is almost two (she is very much still a puppy, as my shoes can attest!).  

What is next for you?

I’m hoping to write a book set in England, in the countryside where I love to spend my time!  


Book? The Murderbot Diaries  

Film? About a Boy, with Hugh Grant.  

Band/Singer? REM, and Nirvana, sadly.  

TV show? The German series Dark is one of my all-time favourites. And of course West Wing!  

Colour? Yellow, it’s such a happy colour!  

Place? The English countryside, specifically the old manor house at Minster Lovell, right along the River Windrush.  

Biscuit? Lotus Biscoff! I adore them!


True Courage is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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