Interview with Barbara Longley, author of Whatever You Need
13 Apr 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Whatever You Need?
Whatever You Need is a light, fun, funny romantic comedy, and the second in The Haneys series. Wyatt is the youngest of the three siblings, who all work for the family-owned business: Haney & Sons Construction and Handyman Service.
Wyatt is an introvert with a vivid imagination, who is also extremely, painfully shy. He’s known as “Hoodie Guy,” to his neighbors, because he’s never without his hoodies, which don’t really hide the burn scars on his neck and jaw. Wyatt has been crushing on his pretty neighbor since she and her son moved into the apartment above his. In fact, she plays a major role in his most recent comic book plot. In his comics, his alter ego is a superhero. In real life, he’s a mess when it comes to talking to a woman he finds attractive.
Kayla Malone got pregnant the night of her senior prom. She married at eighteen, became a mother at nineteen, and was widowed a few years later. Her marriage had been a disaster from beginning to its tragic end, and now she just wants time to grow up and figure out her life. She’s in school, and she’s a single mom. She has no time for dating, and even less desire. Still, there’s something about the hot hoodie guy who always seems to be there when she needs him the most. He tugs at her heart and chips away at her defenses.
It takes a fire in Kayla’s apartment to bring the two together, and now it’s up to Wyatt to convince Kayla he’s the hero she’s always needed, when all she wants if friendship
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Every single author whose books kept me up late at night, whose words made me laugh or cry, and whose stories completely swept me away, inspired me to write. Other writers still inspire me that way, but it’s a community of talented individuals, rather than a single bright, shining star. I’m always discovering new authors who sweep me away.
I’ve always processed what is going on in my world by putting words to paper. I guess writing helps me organize my thoughts and emotions. The leap from expressing thoughts and feelings to writing novels was an organic progression.
Name a book that you feel has impacted your life significantly. Why was it so impactful?
Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss completely altered how I view life and the maladies we suffer. In fact, I was so enthusiastic about the book, I bought several copies and attempted to “spread the word.” I may have gone a little overboard. I still pick up my copy and reread it now and then, and I’ve had it for.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
If I had an extra hour each day, I’d probably spend it reading or taking my dog for a walk somewhere in nature.
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
I’d invent a pill that reverses aging and cures any and all diseases. Life really is too short.
What scene in Whatever You Need was your favorite to write?
I don’t have just one. I really like the scene where Kayla and Wyatt finally “meet.” They’d seen each other in the hall and said hello, but when Wyatt gets up the nerve to talk to her . . . the way our hero could relate so easily to Kayla’s little boy, while his tongue glues itself to the roof of his mouth when trying to talk to her, that was fun to write.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Lately, it’s been, “nevertheless, she persisted,” because it applies to just about everything!
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