Monday, April 1, 2013

Author Kaye Wilkinson Barley: Whimsey And A Giveaway

It is my great pleasure to welcome fellow blogger turned author Kaye Wilkinson Barley to Thoughts in Progress
Author Kaye Wilkinson Barley
today to talk about her debut release, Whimsey: A Novel.

Just the name of this book conjures up lively images and you can’t help but smile. 
Here’s a brief synopsis of it:
   Whimsey is a novel of southern fiction with a splash of magic and a touch of fantasy, topped with a sprinkling of humor.
    The magic was already there when cigar-smoking matriarch Elizabeth Calhoun established an artist’s colony on an island off the coast of Georgia and named it Whimsey. Elizabeth’s ghost still drops in from time to time to make sure things are going as she planned.
    There’s also a wicked pixie named Earlene who fancies tight-fitting designer clothes and Louboutin stilettos.
    Elizabeth’s grandniece, Emma Hamilton Foley, a once-promising jewelry designer who moved away from the island, now fears her talent has deserted her.
    Along with her four best childhood friends, she has been invited to be a resident artist at Whimsey’s new upscale gallery, Les √©toiles. To join them, she’ll need to regain her talent, face the demons from her past and her feelings about Eli Tatnall, whom she loved as a girl.
    Will moving back to the Island of Whimsey bring the magic back?
    Whimsey is a story of hope and affirmation, about families and best girlfriends, connections and feelings. It’s about the things in life that make us happy and the things that scare us to death. And the people who walk through life with us.

Thanks to Kaye, I have a copy of Whimsey: A Novel to giveaway to a lucky visitor. Please see the end of the post for the guidelines. Now Kaye has graciously answered some questions about this intriguing read and her writing. 
Mason - First, how did you come to call your book, Whimsey: A Novel?

I so wish I had a clever answer to this! And you're the first person to ask it. Honestly - I have no idea where or how the title "Whimsey" came to live in my mind. It just appeared while I was making notes and thinking about the book I wanted to write. As soon as it did, I knew it was right and I never once gave it another thought. The title, just like the fictional Island of Whimsey, from that point on could never be anything else.

Mason - The book cover is so intriguing. Can you tell us about how it was created and how the images relate to the story?

I love the cover so much. Again, this image was with me almost from the beginning. In the novel, a great deal of the story revolves around the character of Aunt Zoe. Aunt Zoe lives in a house in Whimsey that is the house many of us dream of. It's a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian style home, but not one that is the least bit intimidating. It's a welcoming, loving place where the protagonist, Emma, spent a lot of her time during her growing up years and where her friends felt free to come and go at will. Aunt Zoe's home reflected her open, generous heart and that big front porch always seemed to have enough chairs and good food to welcome everyone who happened by. 

WhimseyCover!aThe ghostly image you see is Great Aunt Elizabeth who is also a key figure in the story. She's being greeted by Pyewacket the cat and Fred the corgi. The little pixie you see there is Earlene. Earlene is just a mess and a bit of an imp. She has a fondness for tight fitting designing clothes and Louboutin stilettos. 

I went on line to some of the royalty free image sites and purchased a license for the images and then turned them over to a friend of mine who is a brilliant designer, Jill Harman Smith. She worked her magic and we came up with THE perfect cover.

Mason - What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages to writing?

The advantages to writing are numerous and, I suspect,  vary greatly depending on who you ask. To me writing has always been a way to share my feelings - the good and the bad. I have used by blog, Meanderings and Muses to do that over the past few years, but before Meanderings and Muses I always kept a journal, and still do. I'm not a daily journaler - or even a monthly one, but I love being able to pick up that lovely book (and it's important to me that it be pretty) and share what's on my mind and in my heart when the mood hits. 

The advantages of writing Whimsey were that I was able to write a book that I wanted to write. It doesn't fit into one singular category easily, it's a hodge podge of things I love - connections between people and connection with things of beauty -  nature, art, pretty clothes, good food. Writing it was fun and it made me happy. Hopefully, it will make others happy too. 

The disadvantages are similar to reading for me. Time flies and suddenly the day is gone and I still have a sink full of dirty dishes, huge dust bunnies living in the corners and no idea what I'm feeding my dear husband for supper that night.

Mason - What is a typical writing day like for you?

I'm still working out a typical writing day. There are many days I don't write at all, but have learned that the writing is going on in my head even when I don't consciously realize it. Then when I sit down at the laptop, ideas and dialogue just seem to find their way onto the screen. And I might write for several hours non-stop - several has meant as many as 8 or 9, or as few as 2 or 3. 

And I seem to be jotting down notes constantly. A notebook lives in my bag and I've even stopped in the middle of a work-out at the gym to go write down an idea. There's also a notebook by the bed and it gets scribbled in during the middle of the night pretty often.

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

For the readers who enjoyed Whimsey, they can look forward to the second book about Whimsey, which I'm now working on. There are 5 women who I refer to in the book as "The Wicked Women of Whimsey." They each have a story and I hope to share them all.

Mason - One last thing - since today’s April Fool’s Day, do you play April Fool’s jokes on family and friends? If so, what would be the funniest one you’ve pulled?

You know, I am terrible at pulling off April Fool's jokes! Anyone who knows me can see it coming from a mile away. You know how poker players refer to a "tell?" A shift of someone's eyes, or maybe their mouth, or touching their ear. My whole face and body language is a "tell." Usually, I'm the one falling for the prank.

Mason, Thank You! I have been a fan of Thoughts in Progress for a long time. You've introduced me to some of my now favorite writers, and it's an honor to be here.

Kaye, thank you so much for joining us today. I’m honored to have you here as a guest and I have found many new authors at your site as well. Thanks for giving us a look at how the title and cover of Whimsey came to be. I can’t help but smile when I say the name. :) 

Now for those who may not know Kaye, let me give you a bit of background. Whimsey is Kaye's first novel. She lives with her husband, Don, in the North Carolina mountains along with Harley Doodle Barley, the Wonder Corgi.

You can follow news about Whimsey here -
Kaye is also Blog Mistress of Meanderings and Muses, which you can follow here - In addition, she 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. She will be participating as an exhibiting writer at the High Country Festival of the Book in Boone, NC on June 22. 

Here is the guidelines for the giveaway. To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Whimsey.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Whimsey: A Novel will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 8.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Would you like to visit a place like Whimsey? Or perhaps you have already visited a place like it?


  1. Kaye, thanks again for guest blogging. I like the way you selected the title of your book. Wishing you much success.

  2. Hi, Mason - Thanks so much for having me. I've discovered some of my favorite authors here thanks to you!

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Kaye.

    Kaye - Thanks for sharing Whimsey with us. How neat that you've created this unique place, and the characters sound just as unique. I wish you success.

  4. Kaye, your books sounds like a lot of fun. I love the name Whimsey. Awesome idea.

    Hi, Mason!!!

  5. HUGE thanks to Margot and Teresa for the kind words. I hope you'll both give Whimsey a try and I hope you enjoy it.

  6. Great to meet you, Kaye. Your book sounds like a really fun read.

    Hi to Mason!

  7. Hi Mason and Kaye,
    This was such a delicious post. Light, entertaining and informative. I loved it.
    Good luck with your book, Kaye, it seems funny.

  8. Hi Carol and Cristiane - Thank you for stopping by, and for the kind words.

  9. This book sounds like a great wee read! I am your newest follower and Gumdrop is the most beautiful little guy, what a beautiful wee memorial for your site.


  10. This sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog! Have a nice weekend!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.