Message From The Author

Author's Message

When I started writing The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck in the spring of 2010, I had no way of knowing that the romance on the pages of my work-in-progress would not be the only love story to happen in my life. After twenty-five years of marriage and seven years as a single parent, I was content to watch my youngest empty the nest and fly off to college. My grand plan, which sounded completely plausible, was to find a great little town in the Texas Hill Country somewhere and spend the rest of my days reading, gardening, and writing – not necessarily in that order.

Then along comes a simple Facebook request from an old high school friend I hadn’t seen in several decades. It was one of those requests that made me smile, for while this guy and I had never been romantically involved, I still remembered our friendship fondly. So when he was driving through town to his class reunion (he graduated a year prior to me), it seemed only natural that he and his teenaged daughter would meet my teenaged daughter and me for dinner. Both of us had come out of long marriages that we had not ended ourselves, and neither of us was looking to get into another relationship. We now laugh when we say it was just supposed to be dinner, but it absolutely was only that and nothing else. At least that’s how I saw it, and so did he.

Of course plans like these require phone calls to chose restaurants, coordinate times, and such, and somewhere along the way we’d begun talking on the phone for hours. One night we talked for four hours, finally hanging up at 4am when we realized he had to wake up for work in two hours. Still we never saw the romance looming.

And yet it was love at first sight after 35 years, a blessing neither of us expected or intended. Four months later we eloped to Hawaii, a fitting end to a whirlwind romance. Somewhere in the middle of all this, I turned in the manuscript of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck. Imagine my surprise when I received copy edits on the eve of my wedding.

Yes, I edited this novel in Hawaii. In between wading at the Banzai Pipeline, braving the stunning view at Nuuanu Pali National Park, and enjoying the banana sno-cones at M. Matsumoto’s Grocery Store during our three weeks in the Aloha State.

Most inconvenient! And yet, as you’ll see, that’s exactly the sort of timing that Charlotte Beck would have appreciated.

- Kathleen Y'Barbo

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