WHIMSEY is Kaye Wilkinson Barley's first novel. She lives with her husband, Don, in the North Carolina mountains along with Harley Doodle Barley, the Wonder Corgi.
Kaye is Blog Mistress of Meanderings and Muses. She also steps in as "Oh, Kaye!" the first Sunday of every month at Jungle Red Writers. Kaye was also a contributor to two regional Western North Carolina anthologies - - - "Clothes Lines," and "Women's Spaces Women's Places," both edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham.
Upcoming events include her participation as an exhibiting author in The High Country Festival of the Book in June, and she will be doing a wine and cheese book signing on September 13th at Quarter Moon Books on Topsail Island, North Carolina.
KAYE WILKINSON BARLEY:
People have asked why I decided to self-publish my book, WHIMSEY: A NOVEL. Granted, self-publishing is not for everyone, I would never presume to say that.
While I was in the midst of making final revisions, and a great deal of soul searching and pondering I decided to forego the agent querying thing and go for self-publishing.
I learned a lot about myself during the novel writing. I loved writing it. Loved it! I hate rewriting and revisions. I know a lot of people love it. Not me. And the more I do it, the more I tend to not want to do it, which has shown me in bright brilliant lights that I am not one of those "I HAVE to write every single day!" writers.
Many of you know how I feel about writers - they're my rock stars. I admire and respect them greatly. I'm not one of them. I'm just not and I know it. I don't possess the talent or the pure need and stamina to write as well as my friends Louise Penny, Margaret Maron, Judy Greber, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Deborah Crombie and so many others.
That's not meant as false modesty - I do think I'm a fairly decent writer. And the success I'm seeing with my WHIMSEY backs that up a bit, which thrills me to the moon and back.
So now all these questions are beginning to run through my mind again. And clouding everything up. A few months ago I wrote at Meanderings and Muses that I had no desire to be a career writer. Now? Who knows. Some days I do, some days I don't. This isn't as earth shattering for me as it may sound since I'm a person known for changing her mind (a lot) and eating her words ( a lot).
I wrote the novel I wanted to write. It's not everyone's cup of tea and that's okay. It has magic and best girlfriends. There's pretty clothes and great food. There's laughter and love. Art and a perfect gallery on a lovely little idyllic island in the Lowcountry. There's a ghost or two and a pixie named Earlene who happens to be partial to Christian Louboutins. It's impossible to put a tag on - kinda like the most interesting people I know who refuse to be placed in a single category. Eccentric and flawed. And fun.
But here's the really fun part. Turns out it is a lot of people's cup of tea. And I have no words for how exciting its been to learn that.
Truthfully - I expected some friends and family to buy the book and to tell me they liked it. Some of them might have actually meant it. Instead, I'm hearing from total strangers who have fallen in love with The Wicked Women of Whimsey, and most especially - with Earlene. They love the way life is on Whimsey - the simplicity, and the magic. And I learned that I'm not the only person who loves the thought of magic in my life.
So. I'm working on the second book in what I hope will be a series taking place on Whimsey, which will tell each woman's story.
Will I continue to self-publish or will I decide to try the traditional approach?
You know, I just don't know . . . .
And whatever I were to say here may not be the same thing I would say in a year, so I guess I'll have to stick with that. I just don't know. But I hope you'll stay tuned and we'll probably find out the answer together. Wish me luck for whichever way it goes, please!