Some days it was hell being leader of the free world.
The Washington press calls him the “accidental president.” As a Medal of Honor recipient and national hero, Adam Dybik agreed to run for president during the country’s deepest crisis.
Now that things have stabilized, he’s got problems at home: his 14-year-old daughter Katie keeps ditching her Secret Service protection and reminding him he’s the world’s worst father. And on top of that, he’s begun hearing the voices of dead presidents. Either he’s going mad, or the White House is haunted.
As the new head of Katie’s Secret Service detail, Ellie Brody is trying to live up to the high expectations of her father, former agent Frank Brody. But her new job puts her in direct danger of succumbing to the president’s charm.
Can these two find love in the White House, under the most intense media scrutiny—and the watchful eye of Lyndon Johnson?
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I’ve tried writing in a coffee shop, but I usually end up too distracted by what’s going on around me. I prefer to write at home, with headphones on, pumping white noise through my ears. I write in the morning, before my brain gets too tired, after a couple cups of tea.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I do! See above—I use headphones with a “brain wave” app that creates sound waves that are supposed to stimulate creativity. I don’t know if it actually works, but the main thing is that the ritual of putting on the headphones and turning on the sound triggers my brain to be in writing mode.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Green tea, and anything I can nibble, preferably picking off one by one. Nuts, when I want something healthy, popcorn when I want a salty snack, and chocolates when I feel I need a reward for hard thinking!
– What is your favourite book?
For romance, I love anything written by Susan E Phillips. But recently I was surprised to find I really enjoy sci fi—specifically The Murderbot Diaries, which are just so well written and compelling to read—they’re about a neurotic “construct”, part AI and part human, an incredibly well drawn character. And they’re hilarious—I love humour in books more than anything!
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I have thought about writing YA, since I had so much fun writing Katie, and I wouldn’t mind writing a thriller one day—the action bits of True Courage were actually fun to write!
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Not really. Sometimes there are bits and pieces, but I don’t set out to write a character based on a real person—though certain characteristics of people I know may come out at times.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Not a notebook, but the Notes app is super helpful! I often jot down ideas when I’m reading research books or other novels. I even make lists of words and phrases I find interesting!
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Horror. I just can’t imagine reading gruesome scenes and enjoying it!
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Hmm, I’d love to co-write a book with Susan E Phillips! She writes such funny dialogue, and her worlds are full of interesting characters! I’d love to see where those wonderful characters come from!
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I’m still trying to get to Iceland—our trip to see the Summer Solstice there has been cancelled the last two years, due to the pandemic. So maybe I just have to go for research and make it happen!
About the author
Kathryn Barrett has always loved larger-than-life characters and happy-ever-after endings. After working on several political campaigns, including a US presidential campaign, she moved to England and began writing the stories that intrigued her. Her first novel, TEMPTATION, was the winner of the Golden Quill Best First Book contest, the Holt Medallion for Best Mainstream/Single Title, and the Holt Award of Merit for Best First Book.
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Courage-Kathryn-Barrett-ebook/dp/B0BG3BVK3B
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/True-Courage-Kathryn-Barrett-ebook/dp/B0BG3BVK3B