Karoline Barrett lives in Connecticut with her husband. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading, spending time by the water, taking pictures, traveling, indulging in social media, or accompanying above-mentioned husband to New York Yankees games.
How did you get started writing fiction?
First, thank you so much for letting me visit! I’ve always been a reader, and I finally decided one day that I needed to write my own book. A few years ago, I took writing classes online from the Long Ridge Writers Group. I started off writing short stories, which were published, and went on to novel writing.
You have published three books so far. Tell us a little bit about them.
They are all part of my Bread and Batter cozy mystery series. They take place in the fictional town of Destiny, New York, which is based on towns near the Finger Lakes region. I chose that area because my family is from there and there are a lot of cute small towns around. My main character, Molly Tyler, owns Bread and Batter Bakery with her best friend, Olivia. Molly also has quite a penchant for mystery solving. You’ll read more about my series later in the interview!
Your books are set amid a bakery and food. Do you like to cook? What are your favorite foods to prepare?
I do like to cook, but I don’t have a lot of time to do it between working full-time and writing. I love roast chicken, spaghetti, meatloaf, and a good pork roast! Just basic stuff!
Did you have to write many books before you got your first one picked up to be published?
I self-published a small novel, and a book of my short stories. They are no longer available (probably a good thing now that I look back on them!). Then I wrote a novel called The Art of Being Rebekkah and signed with an agent. When she couldn’t sell it to a publisher, she formed her own publishing company, so she could put out books she believed in. Eventually, her publishing company went out of business, so that novel is no longer available. I’m going to look for a new publisher for it soon.
How did you go about getting a publisher to pick up your books?
After The Art of Being Rebekkah, I began working on the Bread and Batter series I mentioned earlier. My agent sold the first two books in that series, Bun for Your Life, and Raisin the Dead to Intermix, the eBook division of Penguin Random House. They were not interested in book number three in the series, and I’ve since parted way with my agent. Summer Prescott Books picked up my series, and just published It Cannoli Be Murder, the third book in my series.
Tell us about your writing style. How do you go about preparing to write your books?
First, I outline the book. That gives me a map to follow. Of course, it’s not set in stone, and things change along the way quite frequently, but at least I have some idea how to get from A to Z.
I’m curious about people’s process of selecting the names of their characters. How do you choose your character names?
Usually, they just come to me rather quickly based on who my characters are personally. That’s one of the fun things for me about writing, the name picking! I tend to pick traditional names for women, and out-of-the-box names for men. Don’t ask me why!
On your website, you list your favorite writers as humorous ones, but your favorite poet as Sylvia Plath. How does someone who prefers humor love one of the most depressing poets of all time?
I find her life and poetry fascinating. I think her poetic voice was genius, and so opposite of what I usually read, which may be why I do find her and her writing so fascinating.
What authors most influenced your own writing career? What do you like to read now for pleasure?
The authors who most influenced me were Janet Evanovich, Joan Hess, and Ann B. Ross. I like reading mysteries, suspense, romance; almost anything except fantasy and science fiction.