Welcome, T.K.! I’m so glad to have you as part of our interview this month. I’ve always loved reading your books, but have a special fondness for Texting the Enemy. Tell me about how you came up with the idea!
Texting the Enemy wasn’t even a thought in my mind until I happened on a premade book cover for it. I was seriously struggling with book 2 in my Deities & Desires series at the time, and having some major issues with it from tip to tail, but when I saw the cover, just scrolling my Instagram feed, I got that spark. You know the one.
I definitely do! And how did it progress from there?
I quickly showed my bestie/critique partner and bounced a couple ideas off her, and that was that. I bought the cover and wrote like my life depended on it. Texting The Enemy is meant to be fun, you can’t take it too seriously. It takes a loose crack at the number neighbors trend from a little while back, but instead of both parties being anonymous, Matt actually knows it’s Delilah, his child-hood friend turned enemy. So, hijinks ensue, feelings are rediscovered, friends are made, plots are discovered, and of course it has my customary awesome happy ending.
Yes! And I love the hijinks AND the happy ending! I’m so glad you were able to capture that magical spark you felt when seeing the cover. Is that how your writing process usually works?
Ha, well it involves a lot of really excited bursts of words, some rearranging, more excited bursts, sharing the words with my hubby, then my CP, upon which point if it’s not deemed utter garbage, I plow on through. I don’t plot normally. I’m a pantser, and really don’t do well with outlines.
I’ve found I definitely do better when I leave a lot open to inspiration and don’t plot too much either. Though, if I remember correctly, like me you plot a bit by music, right?
It’s nigh-impossible for me to write without music. Each book has a playlist in Apple music, and I cherry pick the most appropriate ones to include at the end of the book.
It’s such a great idea to include the music mentions at the end of the book! Other than music, what else inspires you? What got you interested in writing to begin with?
Emily Dickenson inspired me initially. We had just started a unit on poetry in my tenth grade English class, Hope is The Thing with Feathers was the first poem on the little section of that workbook, and I just . . . I dunno. Something exploded in me, I was in love with everything about it. I went home and started banging out poems that day.
I absolutely love that poem as well! There’s a wonderful YA book inspired by it called The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle. You should definitely check it out! What’s the first story you remember writing after that?
The first story attempt, I was about 15, maybe 16. It was this high fantasy thing and I had such grand plans for it. I only made it about 2 document pages in and never finished it. I still have it floating around somewhere in hard copy.
The fact that you still have it somewhere is amazing. Do you have any other unfinished works stashed anywhere?
I have an astronomical number of WIP (works in progress) but I have to say the one I’m most looking forward to finishing is probably a sci-fi romance. It’s about a guy with a key in his brain which makes him a universe-wide target and causes specific memory loops. Among all the crazy alien battles and a—quite literally—monstrous ex-wife, he repeatedly falls in love with his female alien bodyguard/care-taker, much to her chagrin. It has, in my opinion, one of my most amazing happy endings ever. Probably because it comes after one of the saddest moments EVER. When I’m feeling blah about things, I go and re-read that and it gives me all the happy.
That sounds incredible! But so many of your works have both amazing heart and premise it makes it super hard to choose a favorite. Honestly! What’s your biggest passion as an author and what do you want most for your readers to glean from your work?
I’d hope that everyone is happy when they finish a T.K. Barber story. That they walk away knowing love is redeeming and worth the trouble it sometimes takes to get it.
So, I suppose my biggest passion as an author would be making sure there’s always a happy ever after.
I can’t think of a better thing to wish for your readers! Thanks so much for joining me today! I hope everyone checks out Texting the Enemy and all your other lovely works!
“Texting The Enemy is a flirty, witty, sexy, sweet and deliciously satisfying romance.” —Melinda Swaine