Interview with Barbara Freethy, Author of Fearless Pursuit

21 Jul 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Fearless Pursuit?

Fearless Pursuit is the newest book in my Off the Grid: FBI Series. It’s a page-turning, fast-paced, twisting romantic suspense that features two mysteries and a lot of romantic action and adventure. It’s set in the world of Hollywood and spies. What could be more fun? I loved writing this book, because I got to use some of my own personal background in the story.

Back when I was a teenager, I worked at Universal Studios as a tour guide, and the best part of that job was going down to the sound stages on my days off and watching various shows and movies film. I also had to know a lot of history of the movies, the old time movie stars, all the cool tricks they used when filming some iconic movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds, where they sewed bird seed into the clothes of the actors so that the birds would look like they were attacking. I remember the first time I saw that film, I had nightmares.

Anyway, in Fearless Pursuit, my intrepid heroine, Maya Ashton, wanted to make a movie about her grandmother, a famous Russian movie star, who died under mysterious circumstances. When her quest takes her to the Firebird Club in the Hollywood Hills, she runs into a sexy bartender, who seems to have a lot of secrets. Of course, that bartender is my hero Jax Kenin, working undercover. Their missions are on a thrilling collision course but they also find connections they never expected.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

My mother was my inspiration. She introduced the world of books to me when I was probably five years old. She filled my house with books and my favorite trip as a kid was going to the library or the bookstore to get a new book. I probably read every single one of the Nancy Drew books, which shows that I had a love of romance and suspense even when I was younger. My mom also started writing her own book, and that inspired me to give it a shot as well. At the time, I was in my twenties, and I was working in the public relations field. I was writing rather boring articles about semiconductors, that I barely understood, and thought if I could write about something I knew nothing about, maybe I should be writing fiction. So I sat down and started with that blank page…and sixty-eight books later, I still love being a writer.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

This is such a difficult question as I’ve been reading most of my life, so I’m going to stick with more recent books in the last 5-10 years. Some titles that stand out in my head are: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, Shattered Secrets by Karen Harper, Hideaway by Nora Roberts, When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask

Nora Roberts! I have followed her career for twenty years. I’ve read a ton of her books, and I’ve always been so impressed by her consistency in delivering amazing stories. I love the way she writes. She’s one of the best storytellers I’ve ever seen. And she likes to write lots of different things, which I also admire. I believe she has a tremendous work ethic, too, that I’d love to hear about.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I get to discover and tell myself a cool story every single day! I’m not a huge plotter. I know several of my main plot points, but then I spend a lot of time in the story, just listening to my characters, thinking about where they’d go, what they’d do next. My approach usually results in a lot of rewriting, but that’s also fun. I won’t say that writing is easy. It’s always a challenge to bring the story that’s in my head out on paper in exactly the way I want, but I have one of the best jobs in the world!

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m not sure there is a typical day anymore with the pandemic, but these days I’m probably up around eight. My young adult son has come back from New York for a few months, so we try to get a long walk in every morning before he does his work from home and I get into my book. He hasn’t lived at home in several years, so it’s fun to have him around at least for a short time, although that time seems to be getting longer. I generally do the business of writing stuff in the morning. I write much better from noon to five and sometimes I’ll write at night or on the weekends. But writing is my full-time job. I release 3-4 books a year, so I’m pretty busy at the computer most days. I do occasionally get in a game of tennis, which gives me some social interaction from a safe physical distance.

What scene from Fearless Pursuit was your favorite to write?

I love the really emotional scenes where truths are suddenly revealed and the hero/heroine are just completely shocked that they’re going down a path they never ever expected to travel. I love to surprise readers. Hopefully, it works!

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I’m a worrier by nature and I have a big imagination, obviously, which doesn’t help the worrying. But I try to remind myself to stay in the present and appreciate the good, focus on the positive. Luckily, I’m married to a very easygoing guy, so he’s a good reminder.

Barbara Freethy is the author of the new book Fearless Pursuit.

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