Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New interview with writer/memoirist Barbara Barth



Writer Barbara Barth is back on Reviews and Interviews. Today we’re chatting about her memoir, The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

Bio:
Author, blogger, sometimes antique dealer, dog hoarder, bedazzled by life. Widowed eleven years ago, Barbara writes about finding a creative path back to happiness. Her recent move to a 1906 historic cottage brought many surprises, including discovering the Monroe–Walton Center for the Arts where she started the monthly Walton Writers group and is on the MWCA Board as Literary Arts Chair. Barth is a contributor to Walton Living Magazine and a former blogger for The Balancing Act, Lifetime Television’s morning show for women. Currently she lives with six dogs, rescue dogs that rescued her.

Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Barbara! Please tell us about your newest release.
Picking up where The Unfaithful Widow ended, Ten Years Later continues the author’s journey from widow to a slightly askew woman. A memoir written with warmth and candor on being single again, aging, and finding a creative path surrounded by dogs, friends, laughter, and a bit of craziness. Barbara Barth shares stories on the adventures that followed her first year alone as she moved headfirst into a new life, listening to her heart, sometimes not so wisely, but always full speed ahead. Join her on the ride of her life, from owning an antique shop to moving to a Victorian cottage outside of Atlanta, and all the follies in between. Going into the next decade with six dogs by her side, the author proves you are only as old as you feel, and happiness begins with a grateful heart. A funny and engaging memoir for anyone who wants to be their own superhero facing life’s good and bad moments.

What inspired you to write this book?
This is a follow up to The Unfaithful Widow (published 2010), my memoir on my first year alone. I turned 60 three months after losing my husband in 2008. Time flies when you are recreating yourself in crazy ways and suddenly ten years had passed, and I was looking 70 in the face. It seemed the perfect time to continue my story. I pulled together blog posts over the years and refreshed them also adding more recent stories to my memoir. I wanted closure on my sixties and jump start my new decade. As a single woman living alone with a six-pack of dogs my upcoming birthday made me rethink what’s next going forward with my writing and art, dogs, and life. I don’t have children and I don’t have any family responsibilities, other than my fur babies. Aging presents challenges even for those in the best of health, I’d had a few setbacks with hip surgeries, but still moved forward. I hope my escapades will resonate with any age that it is good to follow your heart to make your dreams come true. Some of my adventures might be labeled misadventures, but I wouldn’t have changed anything over the years. Magic can happen or you learn more about yourself. Either way I call it a win-win.

What’s the next writing project?
I think I’m over writing about me! The last few years I’ve started several novels and want to get back to finishing one of them. My holy trinity of writing subjects; widows, dogs, houses. I like to write about women recreating themselves later in life (what I know best). I also have a children’s book about losing my dog Annabelle to illness in her old age that I want to publish once I work out the illustrations. My head is full of ideas and themes, and maybe now that I’ve finished with this latest memoir, I can move on and have fun with fictional characters.

What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
The biggest challenge for this memoir was getting everything in the correct order. The stories cover the launch of The Unfaithful Widow in 2010 to my 70th birthday in 2018. While I pulled many posts from my blogs, I have lots of blogs and the stories written from different angles, so figuring out what stayed and what got tossed was distracting. The memoir is broken down by years. Some of the years are what I call magical doing (with my antique shops) and other years more reflections on life, dogs, gardens, renovations. Reliving my life in words again, some feelings and memoires forgotten, all came rushing back to me as I worked over the year to finalize my story. It was a crazy wonderful period filled with love and loss, as is every life. Then to finish off the book I got carried away writing dog Haiku, inspired by a friend who writes beautiful poetry. Always a dog person I try to sneak them in everything I do.

What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
I work at my desktop computer that sits on an old painted farm table (old paint, not new. I’m an old paint freak with my antiques). I’ve tried to write on a laptop, and it doesn’t work for me. My office is my sunroom, so lots of light comes in the windows. My walls are full of vintage oil paintings of farm scenes, portraits, all original by someone else, all old. In March 2017 I moved from my forties ranch house to a small town forty miles east of Atlanta as the crow flies to my 1906 historic cottage so my room at the back of the house is cozy with arched windows and a fireplace that I don’t use other than for decorative purposes. I don’t want to burn my house down and I’ve never figured out how to start a fire on my own. Bertha, my 75-pound Basset mix snores on the loveseat behind me and the little dogs are usually on my bed curled up in a quilt, appearing only to go out or to eat. It is a lovely space to write and dream.

What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
I don’t really have a list of special authors, I find books that speak to me, and the writers vary. One that comes to mind is Abigail Thomas. I found her memoir A Three Dog Life shortly after losing my husband and loved her story and writing style. I devoured all her memoirs after that. A writer long gone, May Sarton, was a favorite when I was younger. I’ve started reading her books again. While she wrote fiction and poetry, her journals over the years are stunning, capturing my soul with her words on solitude, beauty, Maine, aging, illness. I collect vintage children’s books and antique gardening books. My adult reading taste goes more to quirky, with memoirs on chickens, farms, renovating houses, all the things that fill my dreams. As much as I love dogs, I don’t read dog memoirs. Go figure.  

Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
I encourage everyone to write. Keep a journal, try poetry, write a short story. I’ve started several writing groups and love to read the stories folks share. I’m all about getting words on paper. When I talk to someone, somewhere in that conversation I’ll pop out with, “There’s a story there. Write it.” Our stories share our lives with others, for now and for future generations. They don’t have to be perfect; they just have to be written down. It’s a healing process when needed and a wonderful way to capture what is in the imagination.

Links:

Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!

Feel free to visit Barbara’s other tour stops, too!

--- Blog Tour Dates
November 11th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us in celebrating the launch of Barbara Barth's new book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

November 12th @ All Things Audry
Author Barbara Barth is a guest writer over at Audry's blog today and will be talking about women friendships.

November 13th @ Words from the Heart
Stop by Linda's blog and you can read a guest post by Barbara Barth about publishing anthologies.

November 14th @ Thoughts in Progress
Visit Mason's blog today and you can read Barbara's guest post about starting a writing group. Don't miss it!

November 15th @ The World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog and read her review of Barbara Barth's book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

November 16th @ Lori Duff Writes
Stop by Lori's blog today where you can read her interview with Barbara Barth and read her review of Barbara's book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

November 16th @ Jill Sheets Blog
Visit Jill's blog today and you can read Barbara Barth's guest post about self-publishing.

November 17th @ A Storybook World
Be sure to stop by Deirdra's blog today and check out her spotlight of the book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later and enter to win a copy of the book!

November 18th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Be sure you visit Bev's blog and read Barbara Barth's guest post about starting over at 70. You won't want to miss this!

November 19th @ Look to the Western Sky
Be sure to visit Margo's blog and read her interview with author Barbara Barth. Don't miss it!

November 20th @ Anthony Avina's Blog
Make sure you visit Anthony's blog today and read Barbara Barth's guest post about publishing anthologies.

November 21st @ Cassandra's Writing World
Stop by Cassandra's blog today and read her review of The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

November 22nd @ Karen Brown Tyson's Blog
Join us at Karen Brown Tyson's blog where you can read a guest post about self-publishing by author Barbara Barth. Don't miss it!

November 23rd @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Visit Bev's blog again and you can read her review of Barbara Barth's book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

November 24th @ Choices
Be sure to stop by Madeline's blog and read Barbara Barth's guest post that will be talking about women friendships.

November 25th @ Wild Woman Writer
Visit Anne's blog today and you can read Barbara Barth's blog guest post about starting over at 70.

November 26th @ Life Like A Galaxy Girl
Stop by Alanna's blog today and you can read her review of Barbara Barth's memoir The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

November 27th @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog today and you can read her interview with author Barbara Barth and find out more about this incredible author!

November 28th @ Bibliotica
Stop by Melissa's blog and make sure you read Barbara Barth's guest post about grief over the years and finding happiness again.

November 29th @ Stranded in Chaos
Visit Sara's blog and you can read her review of Barbara Barth's book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

November 30th @ Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog again and read his review of Barbara Barth's book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.

December 1st @ Words from the Heart
Visit Linda's blog and read her review of Barbara Barth's book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later. 

December 2nd @ Women's Writing Circle
Stop by the blog Women's Writing Circle and you can read a guest post by Barbara Barth about adopting dogs while all her friends are having grandkids. Don't miss this one!



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Barbara Barth has a way with words on paper and in person. She has been blogging for years. Her snippets of life are always entertaining whether you read them or hear them spoken. Best of all, she is the friend everyone deserves. She never meets a stranger and never forsakes a friend. Lovely interview.

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