An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This week I’m featuring author
Barbara Linn Probst!
Just because she’s only written one book, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get a chance to be highlighted here, right?. Remember, she asked me to read and review her book, and I can’t tell you how many novels I’ve received books directly from the authors which have been sad disappointments. But I was very impressed with her debut novel “Queen of the Owls,” and I really hope she writes more, because I’ll be first in line to read and review them! Let’s see her replies to my five, fast, and fun questions.
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
This is a trick question for me, because I’ve already visited a lot of the places I’ve wanted to see! I’ve spent big chunks of time in Egypt, Turkey, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Israel, France, England, Scotland, Costa Rica, and a host of other countries, as well as wonderful parts of the U.S. But here are some of the places I still long to visit.
New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef, for its spectacular beauty.
Tibet and the Himalayas, for its scale and spirituality. Alternatively, Bhutan.
Morocco, because I love its architecture, spices, foods, and music.
Santorini, because it seems like a perfect gem.
The Arctic Circle so I can see the Northern Lights (top of my bucket list)
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
Anyone who knows me would instantly tell you: popcorn! It’s my go-to comfort food, what my kids call a “salt delivery mechanism.” Another is fresh fish—salmon, cod, trout—which is my absolutely predictable choice when I go out to eat. Though I seldom make it these days because I’ve moved away from red meat, my “special brisket” is a family legend. And a fourth would have to be a really good carrot cake, the kind that hits that perfect blend of moist and sweet.
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
This one is easy. Always, always in the present, no matter how difficult it seems to be. One’s only alive in the present moment. It’s all we ever have.
I suppose you’re referring to another era, not just my personal past or future. Yet my answer is the same. I’m not someone who longs to be in another time or place.
- Best and/or worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
I tend to trust my first instinct, so it’s interesting to me that the two “best moments” that popped into my mind were moments of transition—when I held my first child in my arms, and when I walked across the stage to receive my PhD. Each brought a combination of elation, awe, and gratitude because they were culminations of a long journey and I knew I was crossing into a new identity.
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
There are many books that made me think: “Oh, that was glorious! I admire that author so much!” But I’ve never thought: “I wish I’d written it.” I really do feel that we write the books we’re meant to write. That said, one book I especially liked this year (though it was published the year before) was The River by Starlight by my friend Ellen Notbohm. It was a book I had to savor and read slowly, and one that lingered long afterward—which are two of the qualities I aspire to, in my own work.
Thanks Barbara! I hear you on the popcorn, but I have a really good carrot cake recipe. Problem is, no one in my family seems to like it except me! Oh well…
I’ve embraced many sides of life. I’ve been a teacher, therapist, qualitative researcher, educational advocate, “serious amateur” pianist, and full-time mom. I’ve run a not-for-profit organization, mentored PhD students, counseled families, done webinars and radio interviews on how to nurture out-of-the-box children, and much more!
I’ve had many homes. I’ve lived in a cabin in the California redwoods, a firehouse, a converted sauna in the heart of Greenwich Village—and lots of places in-between. I now live on a historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley.
I’ve looked and listened. I’ve traveled from Iceland to Israel, Scotland to Spain. I’ve spent time in Italy, Egypt, Costa Rica, Turkey, France, and along the backpacking trails of the U.S. and Canada.
I’ve spoken up. I’ve given talks to dozens of parent groups, professional organizations, and academic conferences all over the country. Here are some of my presentations.
Through all of it, I’ve never stopped writing.