Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth Barrett draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heatand continues with Blaze of Winter. Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Julie: Welcome, Elisabeth. Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?
Elisabeth: Thanks for having me here! I grew up in Connecticut, but I’ve lived in Northern California for over a decade. I live with my amazingly supportive husband and our three little children. I’ll take rain over sun, hiking over running, and jazz over just about anything. I’m a card-carrying member of JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America). I grow orchids and I love to bake—mostly chocolate things.
Julie: I was just reading about your series, Star Harbor. Will you tell us more about the series and what inspired it?
Elisabeth: I spent three idyllic summers in high school and college living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The area is beautiful and romantic. When I decided to write my first book, I knew that I wanted it to be set on Cape Cod. I also loved the idea of writing a family-centric book, so I based the series around the lives of four brothers who grew up in a small town on the Cape. Each has taken a different path in life, but eventually, each finds his way back to their little hometown.
Julie: How long did it take you to write the stories in this series so far?
Elisabeth: Believe it or not, I began thinking about the first book in the series back in 2005. I wrote intermittently until about 2009, when I got serious about finishing. Once I finished the first book, additional works have come more quickly. It took me about three months each to write the second and third books. I expect it’ll take about three months for me to write the fourth.
Julie: Was there a character you enjoyed writing the most?
Elisabeth: Yes, and this may surprise some readers. I loved writing about Babs Kincaide, a Star Harbor native who is a part-time sculptor and owner of the Clam Shak, a fried-food joint open during the summer. If I don’t rein her in, she threatens to run away with every one of her scenes.
Julie: Who are you favorite authors to read?
Elisabeth: I read a ton for work and for pleasure. If we’re sticking to romance, I have to say that I love Jill Shalvis, Mariah Stewart, Emily March, and Robyn Carr…small town contemporary romance definitely does it for me. And I have to throw in Arturo Perez-Reverte and Carlos Ruiz Zafon because they write amazing literary mysteries!
Julie: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Elisabeth: I started dating Mr. B in May 2002. On our third date, he told me he’d taken a job in China that was supposed to last for months, and that he was leaving in a couple of weeks! I was dumbstruck, even more so when he asked if I’d visit him there. Now, I’m definitely an over-thinker—one of those “worst-case scenario” folks who needs to know about every possible outcome to every conceivable issue that might arise. But on this, I didn’t think. At all. I said yes, booked my ticket, and a few months later, found myself winging my way to Beijing. It was the most exciting, humbling, frightening thing I’ve ever done.
Julie: What can readers expect from you next?
Elisabeth: Blaze Of Winter and Deep Autumn Heat are both available now, and Long Simmering Spring will be released on May 13, 2013. Expect Slow Summer Burn to be released sometime in the summer of 2013. I am also currently working on another contemporary series that I hope readers will love!
Long Simmering Spring, Loveswept (Random House)
Slow Summer Burn, Loveswept (Random House)
View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.
Books by Elisabeth Barrett
Filed Under: Behind the Books