Canadian romcom author Barbara Kellyn is tickled that readers have crowned her “the Queen of Banter.” Having published five romantic comedy novels and a Christmas novella, Barbara’s MO is writing funny, steamy stories about likeable heroines worth rooting for and alluring heroes worth the trouble of falling for.
A lifelong storyteller in one form or another, Barbara is an accomplished, award-winning writer who believes Nora Ephron is the G.O.A.T. of contemporary romantic comedy and has devoured her works in the hope she can soak up some of her genius.
Barbara thanks her lucky stars that she is living the kind of blissful existence that her characters can only dream about reaching before the last page.
How would you describe your writing?
I write contemporary romantic comedy about relatable people in relatable situations. It’s what I know best, what I do best and what I enjoy reading the most.
What can you tell us about Saint Dick?
It’s really a story unlike anything I’ve written before, and Digby’s an anti-hero unlike any of my previous MMCs. I may be biased, but I love his redemption story and how finally accepting that he’s worthy of love transforms him. I also loved that Digby and Kyla’s road to each other has twists and bends and isn’t a conventional straight line. The balance of sexual power swings between Digby and Kyla, who gets caught between her head and her heart when trying to choose the right guy. IFYKYK. And that uncertainly makes for a more satisfying ending in my opinion.
How would you describe Forever Endeavor?
Forever Endeavor is a steamy, small town romance that is close to my heart as it took me years to write about divorce recovery in such a real but funny way. Two seemingly broken people piece themselves back together under the guise of a friends-with-benefits arrangement that opens the door to healing and opens their hearts to love. It’s got all the best romance tropes, a quirky, small town setting, plus a sweet subplot about star-crossed lovers being possibly reunited after 40 years apart. My hope is that readers take away the notion that it’s never too late to live happily ever after.
Your first book was The Company She Keeps in 2011, which you’ve re-published. Why do you have a soft spot for it?
The Company She Keeps was a personal challenge sparked by NaNoWriMo to write a 50,000+ word book inside of 30 days. It took a year of refining to get it fit for submission, but I was very fortunate to find a publishing house that fell in love with the story and took a chance on me.
In a nutshell, Harper is the glue that holds her dysfunctional workplace together. But her super-strength adhesion is tested when she’s pulled between the endless demands of a boss who needs her and the charms of an irresistible client who wants her. The office romance is a twist on the forbidden relationship trope inside a dysfunctional “love” triangle.
What do you love most about Morning Man?
I love the electricity between Tack and Dayna, and writing from each of their POVs as I turned the screw on them was great fun. It was also fulfilling to watch these characters grow. Honestly, everything just fell into place so easily and naturally as they each told their stories and that made the book a joy to write.
What inspired Morning Man?
I worked in radio for six years; the first year was spent at a country radio station. And when I say it was country, it was Country – not only did we play the likes of Reba and Garth, the station was located on the outskirts of town in a wheat field! I kid you not. Working with big voices and even bigger on-air personas with names like “Too Loud McLeod” was a great foundation for the rest of my career. That unforgettable time in radio planted a seed that would germinate into a book years later.
What can you tell us about Déjà You?
I am intrigued by the notion of destiny, so I wanted to write a story about lovers who get a second chance at love – you know, all that juicy rediscovering, reconnecting and rekindling. But I wanted my heroine and hero to connect on a deeper level – as if their years apart only made their attraction mature and intensify into something that has the potential to go the distance. I wanted them to appreciate being given a second chance and realize that maybe destiny had a hand in it.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
I have this quote from Richard Bach taped to my computer screen: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
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