Summer Reading: Heather Barbieri

Heather is a gifted author from Greater Seattle with a lovely, lyrical voice.  I am a fan of her new release, The Cottage at Glass Beach, and thought my readers would enjoy getting to know her and about the book, if you aren’t already familiar with Heather’s work.

Please help me welcome Heather Barbier!

Thanks for joining us today, Heather! Could you tell us why you chose to write women’s fiction?

It chose me: My books tend to fall into this category, based on their subject matter, a sisterhood of writers to which I couldn’t be happier to belong.

I love the premise of your book! What was your inspiration for the novel and why was writing The Cottage At Glass Beach so important to you?

I wrote the book shortly after my mother passed away and it’s dedicated to her memory. She was a great reader and support to me and many others. It’s a novel about mothers and daughters, tracing the personal journey of my main character, Nora, as she searches for love, and experiences loss and scandal, and, ultimately finds the answers she’s been searching for.

What’s your favorite aspect of The Cottage At Glass Beach?

The magical-realism aspects of the story. There’s a selkie myth—the Irish seal wife tale—woven into the narrative, which speaks to the characters’ sense of loss and transformation. (A selkie is supposedly half-human, half-seal; despite having a fisherman husband, she has a divided nature and is always drawn back to the ocean.)

What’s the feedback been like from fans so far?

The feedback has been wonderful. One blogger called it “as mysterious as it is picturesque” and Booklist described it as “a wonderful, subtle, transporting story” in their starred review.

I love the cover of your book! What are your thoughts on it?

I love it too! The designer did a fabulous job—it really speaks to the overall themes and atmosphere of the novel.

Now that The Cottage At Glass Beach is in stores, what’s your next project?

I’m having so much fun working on my fourth novel. It’s about a group of high school friends in the early-mid sixties.

What’s your favorite time of the day and place to write?

Either the mornings or early afternoons, but I also take notes in the evenings while reading books that feed my creativity. Inspiration—and unexpected motherly duties (I have three teen/young-adult children)–can strike at any time.

What’s your astrological sign?


Five favorite things to do on vacation (any destination!)?

Explore: hiking, strolling city streets, visiting markets, snorkeling, photography, meeting new people, and finding slightly off-the-beaten path spots where I can get a greater sense of how the locals live/the history of the place.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without if you were stuck on a deserted island?

If food and water weren’t an issue, a good book, pen and paper, and dark chocolate/almond bars.

You’re planning a girls night out with friends. Would you pick an nightclub so you can all let your hair down or a fun, cozy dinner at a nice restaurant?

It would depend upon my mood—I could go for either one, depending upon the night. (I’d love to learn to tango or jitterbug.) I also love to go hiking or cycling with friends.

Name 5 words that fit your personality according to you. And 5 words that fit your personality according to your best friend.

According to me: determined, compassionate, insightful, funny, creative. According to my friend: empathetic, wise, funny, smart, loyal.

Name 3 – 5 books you’ve read this year. Which ones would you recommend to your girlfriends?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

The title of the last book you read that you absolutely loved, loved, loved!

The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen for its insightful narrative and gorgeous writing.


Thank you, Heather, for joining us today!   And readers, you can find out more about Heather on her website,

For a chance to win a copy of Heather’s book, The Lacemakers of Glenmara, and an arc of The Good Woman…yep, we’re giving away an arc this week of my new September release, post a comment below and fingers crossed you’ll be the one to win this tote bag packed with good reads and fun stuff!  Contest runs through Thursday night, with the winner being announced Friday morning.  Best of luck and happy summer reading!

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