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Just Five Questions with Barbara Claypole White

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina, where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family.  Her January 2018 release, The Promise Between Us, shines a light on postpartum OCD. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit  www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook. I’ve gotten to know Barbara through the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, which she helped found. Barbara is thoughtful and hysterically funny. She is rock-n-roll with the mostly lovely British accent. She is as generous with her time as she is gifted as a writer. I’m thrilled to have her as my inaugural interviewee in this series. But first, a bit about her new novel, The Promise Between Us: Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh…

This is Just a Giant Paraphrase of “Eye of the Tiger”

  On Thanksgiving I was talking with my Aunt Michelle, an avid, self-published writer, when she said something about the work that took me by surprise: writing is her way to relax. Michelle hustles like nobody’s business, but she cheerfully told me and my mom that she sees writing as her hobby, an activity she turns to as a reprieve from everyday life. She was smiling as she said it. Writing, to my aunt, is absolute joy. As for me? Well, I stood there listening to her while something like gruff shame flooded my body.Writing is her joy. Let me process that for a moment. I have never, ever approached any kind of job with a sustained feeling of joy. Yes, there was the thrill of seeing my name on a masthead when I began working for a big national law book publisher. I loved taking the train into and from the city each day (though I do remember vowing that if I were still taking that same train twenty years from now something had gone very, very wrong). I really enjoyed teaching, too, but the whole truth is that every single morning I would sit…

Stubborn

My dog likes to tear apart the throw rug we keep in our front hallway, right in front of the door. I’ve replaced this rug three different times. Each time, she chews it up within a matter of months. She starts at one corner, grabs hold of a thread, and starts pulling. We never see her do this–we’ll just walk down the stairs in the morning to find plastic threads and twisted yarn scattered all over the place, little pieces of fabric thrown around like unwanted confetti. Oftentimes, it happens right after we’ve just vacuumed and mopped and everything looks so calm and perfect, and, well, intact. This dog does not enjoy a clean floor.The rug matches a longer one I have in the hallway leading to the living room. You see one, you see both. So each time Riley does her damage, I dig through the internet until I find it, the exact replica, though it’s getting more and more difficult to do so, but still better than replacing both. I really like the pattern, too. I don’t want to find a new one entirely. And…