Delighted to welcome American author Karina Bartow to the Sunday Interview. Before we find out which questions Karina had chosen to respond to, here is her official biography.
Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in northern Ohio. Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her. Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want. She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart
Welcome Karina and can you tell us about your craziest experience?
I was scouting the older part of Glendale, Arizona to see if I wanted to set part of my debut novel there. The town’s businesses’ hours were unusual, and we had to spend most the afternoon in the area so I could go into the shops and restaurant I was interested in using. We parked in a two-hour space, making my dad have to move our vehicle during dinner.
After we finished, we strolled out to it, finding that he’d moved it a few spaces farther away. We had to pass a dark alley, but given the innocent feel of the historic square, we didn’t expect any of the unscrupulous activity associated with such. Thus, we looked down it, and to our alarm, a menacing figure sat against the building. When he saw us, he stood, put down the bottle in his hand, and came walking toward us.
In a wheelchair, I expected my dad to pick up his pace as my mom was, but he slowed down in case he needed to protect us. Thankfully, the man didn’t try anything, but it rattled us all, nonetheless. On the bright side, it gave me good writing material!
Sally: That must have been very scary Karina.. sounds like your Dad had it under control..
Do you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?
Ever since childhood, I’ve had a phobia of hotels. I attribute it to several causes. For one, I grew up staying with friends, so I was accustomed to sleeping on sheets of people I knew rather than strangers. I’m also allergic to certain detergents—sadly a very popular one, to boot—which added to my anxiety.
The most likely trigger, however, is an incident I don’t remember but my subconscious must.
When I was a toddler, a snow storm forced my family to rent a room in a budget hotel for a night instead of traveling home. I’m told it was clean, but the door’s insecure seal wouldn’t allow it to close. We could hear sounds from the outdoors all night long, including the cars going through the McDonalds next door. Apparently, blizzards make people hungry for Big Macs! I cried the entire night. I suppose it traumatized me.
Sally: It is amazing what experiences in our toddler years remain with us for life.. especially strange and noisy environments.
On a more cheerful note…What was the funniest moment of your life?
One could call this horrifying, too, but I look back and laugh.
On a spring evening when I was around six, my grandma offered to take me on a walk. Since I’m disabled, I rode in a big wheel type of jogging stroller, but I enjoyed such outings. Our typical route was the side road near our house, which boasts a pretty steep hill. When my teenage sister was pushing me, she’d let go of the handles and let gravity give me a fun thrill. Of course, she could keep up and catch me before the ride turned disastrous.
I never thought my sixty-something-year-old grandmother would try such a feat, with her age and short legs against her. Well, she surprised me and sent me on a free fall. I was tickled and laughed with glee…until I landed in the ditch. Still halfway up the hill, Grandma scurried to me, and when she finally made it, I let out an emphatic, “Ow!”
Sally: If you still fancy a bit of speed Karina.. then perhaps if you get some of this snow that is around at the moment you could build a back yard sled run like these two brothers.. there were quite a few ‘Ows!’ in the video too…
How would you describe your fashion sense?
I’d like to say it’s classically chic. I wasn’t much of a girly girl growing up, but like many teens, I came into my own throughout middle and high school. I’m typically in jeans and a nice top and always have my heels. I only wear sneakers to exercise. I’m also a big fan of jackets, which bodes well living in the northern U.S.
When I have the opportunity to dress up, I enjoy it but still am not frou-frou type. Sure, I like a gown, but spare me the taffeta and beading. As a child of the ‘90s, I’ve come to appreciate that less is more!
Do you prefer the big city or country life?
Being raised in a rural community, I used to daydream about living in the city. I envisioned the excitement of going out frequently and being able to visit new places often without having to travel an hour. Now, however, I’m fond of country life.
While I still look forward to going downtown on occasion, I realize making it a home would be quite a culture change. I like the space and scenery the country provides. I also appreciate the safer environment. The fact that everybody knows everybody can be bitter sweet, but most times, it creates for a supportive, family-like atmosphere.
Sally: I am with you on that Karina.. I love visiting the big city for a weekend but love being back home in the country.
Here is Karina’s latest release Forgetting My Way Back to You.
About the book
At one point or another, everybody finds themselves wanting a second chance, whether it be missing the mark on an investment, failing to live up to a certain goal, or letting a true love slip away. It’s very seldom, however, that one receives the proverbial do-over.
Charlee Stoll and Hunter Jett become the modern-day exception. After a decade-long estrangement, the high school sweethearts reconnect when Hunter, fresh off a career in arena football, returns to his hometown. Their reunion catches both of them by surprise, and they quickly recapture the love they once shared. When Hunter begins to rethink his choices, though, tragedy strikes. During a heated confrontation, Charlee’s thrown off a horse and sent into a week-long coma.
When she awakens with no clue who he is, he seizes the chance to right his wrongs, but it proves more challenging than he expects. On top of romancing her, he must overcome her father’s displeasure, another ex-boyfriend vying for her love, and her own mission to regain her memory. Through charm and deception, can he win back her love…before she discovers the truth?
One of the recent reviews for the book
Forgetting my way back to you is a wonderful story of young love lost, found, and lost again. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with many twists and turns and takes your emotions on a rollercoaster ride. It is well written and is laced with humor and quick wit that keeps you guessing what will happen until the end. I wish I could give it 10 stars!!! I can’t wait to read more of Miss Bartow’s work!
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Forgetting-My-Way-Back-You-ebook/dp/B07H3H5X62
Also by Karina Bartow
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B076L4FCGV
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karina-Bartow/e/B076L4FCGV
Connect to Karina
My thanks to Karina for sharing more about herself and I am sure she would love to hear from you.
You are very welcome to participate in the Getting to Know You Series…. if you have been a guest before… no worries, just answer a different five questions: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-2019/