Barbara Forte Abate was born in Millbrook, New York, the middle of five children. After graduating from Millbrook High School, she married young and promptly launched into the joys of family life, in short order becoming the mother of four very fabulous children, and along the way earning a doctorate from the University of Real Life.
Initially having settled in Franklin, New Jersey, she has lived with her family in a wonderful historic home in Chester County, PA, for the past fifteen years.
While increasingly challenged for several years by old house renovations and raising her children, Barbara never considered abandoning her dreams of writing. Most often composing her stories on yellow legal pads while babies napped and supper simmered (and sometimes burned) on the stove; piling up the pages until the time at last arrived to borrow a friend's typewriter and transfer her longhand scribbles onto finished pages.
While that particular milestone transpired some twenty years ago, and the aforementioned first novel has since lived a quietly rejected life in a rarely visited closet, Barbara's passion for writing has continued at a gallop. Her debut novel, "The Secret of Lies" was released on June 30, 2010.
First of all I would like to welcome Barbara Forte Abate and thank her for taking part in this author interview. I have to say that I very much enjoyed The Secret of Lies.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve pretty much had every reason NOT to be a writer, but I’m stubborn enough not to pay attention to sound reasoning. Roadblocks have always inspired me to look for detours. And hearing “No” has always made me dig deeper in pursuit of a “Yes.” Even so, as much as I love the writing life, my biggest accomplishment first and foremost can be weighed and measured in the wisdom and beauty of my four amazing children. (Hubby is pretty cool, too.)
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t want to be a writer, but it isn’t something that’s come easy. I can only say that even at those times when nothing was going right, I couldn’t/wouldn’t consider giving up and throwing down the pen beyond a few sulky days here and there. It’s definitely helpful that I was, and continue to be, equal parts foolish, determined, and incredibly naïve. Otherwise I might’ve recognized how very difficult it would be to pursue such a dreamy vocation, particularly with limited tools.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The Secret of Lies is a story of an idyllic childhood tragically broken by sins, lies and deceit, the consequences of which hold firm in an uncertain future marked by guilt, regret, and suspicion that threatens to extinguish the quavering light of forgiveness, love, and redemption.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I am not a fast moving writer. Every book is a process that spans years, so it’s pretty thrilling for me to report that I just sent off my latest book to my agent for review, and another is currently in edits. Because it’s such a long journey from start to finish, I’m something of an exuberantly bouncing buffoon when the day comes that I’m actually typing THE END.
Your favourite authors?
Harper Lee, Truman Capote, & Alice Hoffman are long time favorites. Newly discovered are JoAnn Beard (In Zanesville, The boys of My Youth) & Laura Hillenbrandt (Unbroken, Seabiscuit).
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Jesus Christ, hands down. I would be far too overwhelmed to actually eat with Him sitting across from me, but I figure He will be able to answer all those questions I have simmering on the back burner. I’d also like His opinion on how I’d doing with this whole business of life thing, and any issues I need a tune-up on.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I have a feeling I haven’t been to the place I’d most like to live yet, so I think I’d have to travel around a bit first before I can know for sure. I can assure you it will not be a hot climate (I hate to perspire!). I’m definitely a cool weather person.
If you could travel back in time to a certain event in history, what would it be?
I truly believe that most things happen for a reason even if we can’t always understand what the reasons might be. That said, I have a sister and nephew who died tragically, years apart from each other though their ages were similar – 22 & 21, and I am certain that if I had the chance to go back in time, I could absolutely prevent the senseless accidents that took them from this world far too young.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
Although I’m not an especially political person, I think I’d like to have a spin at being President of the US for a week. There are some very immediate issues I’d like to sort out – stuff that apparently needs a woman’s touch, but then I’d want to get out quick – the moment the week is up. Gone.
What is the last book you read?
I just finished reading “The boys of my Youth,” by JoAnn Beard and loved it. Her writing is simply delicious. And I just started reading, “The Language of Flowers,” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m already finding myself anxious to grab snatches of reading time at every opportunity, because I’m already so thoroughly caught-up into the story.
Great answers there Barbara, many thanks for visiting Chocolate Chunky Munkie.
Released: March 2nd 2012Publisher: Halycon Moon BooksSeries: No
See my review of The Secret of Lies HERE