I’m very excited to be introducing you to a special guest today! If you’ve read Pepper Basham’s latest release Just The Way You Are, you’ll know that Nate is the father of the delightful Eisley Barrett. If not . . . well, now you know! I invited Nate to have a little chat with me about Appalachia, Eisley, and a certain swoony British actor who’s managed to sweep Eisley off her feet . . .
Hi Nate! Thanks for joining me on my blog for a little chat today. I’m hoping you won’t be too put off by my Australian accent. It’s not quite as hoity-toity as Wes’s!
Hey, I’ve always liked men like Hugh Jackman and Thor, so I reckon I can handle your accent just fine. Real nice site you got here, Katie.
Thank you very much, Nate. I’m glad you’ve had a chance to have a look around. Now, I’ve got a few quick questions to start with:
Well, now, I’ve played lots of sports in my time, (and I mean real sports), but I like football the best.
Hmm… I’m wondering just what you mean by real sports, but I suspect that could take up the whole interview if I pursued that line of questioning, so let’s move on!
Favourite way to relax?
Fishin’ on a boat when the water is like glass.
Um . . . It certainly sounds like a quiet spot to read . . . 😉
Now, I understand this is a big one. Ford or Chevy? (And what’s the big deal? They both have four wheels, don’t they?)
Now, don’t go jokin’ about a serious topic like this, Katie. I know it might not be a thang down under, but it’s about as serious as the battle between coffee and tea. I love me some iced tea, but hot tea? *makes a disgusted face* Why would anyone want to go messin’ up some perfectly good tea by makin’ it hot?
Lol! Here in Australia, the question would more likely be Ford or Holden, but I’ll make sure I treat the question with the respect it deserves in the future!
I hear you and Kay haven’t done a lot of travelling. If you could take Kay on the holiday of a lifetime, where would you go?
Well now, she’s always wanted to go to Israel. She’s talked about it A LOT, so I’m pretty sure if I was going to do somethin’ to make my little wifie happy, it’d be Israel.
Oh, definitely a place I’d like to see. Make sure you show me the photos!
You’re a proud Appalachian (and I’ve made sure I pronounced that correctly—ap-uh-LATCH-in). So tell me, what does being Appalachian mean to you?
You did a real good job sayin’ that too, Katie. You said it right when you said ‘being’ Appalachian. The mountains, fresh air, the feeling of walking through the woods, and so much more. It’s about the people too. We love our family, work hard, are usually strong…in personality, faith, probably in stubbornness too. *he chuckles* It’s home to generations of my people, and that makes it special too.
It sounds pretty special! And I’m glad you brought up family, because you’ve got a big one. Can you give me a quick run down on who’s who?
I got a herd, don’t I? Well, let’s see here. First comes the twins, Brice and Eisley. Both red-heads. They got that from their mama’s side of the family. Irish. Then came Greg, then Julia. We thought we was done with kids then, but Kay’s brother and sister-in-law died unexpectedly, so we took their two young’uns as our own. Rick and Rachel just fit right in. They were real young and needed lots of love. And then, it seemed we weren’t done with our family just yet. Sophie came along as a surprise, and…well, there you go.
That sounds like a whole lot of lovin’ right there. And I have five of my own, so I can imagine everything that filled the gaps between the lovin’, too!
Now, we’ve met the grown-up Eisley in Just The Way You Are, and she’s pretty easy to love, so I can only imagine how delightful she would have been as a child. What are some of your favourite memories of Eisley as a young girl?
She always wanted to protect everybody. Been that way her whole life. And she loved huggin’. I ain’t never seen a young’un as huggy, except Sophie, and that girl could hug the daylights out of a person. There’s only so much huggin’ a body can take, you know what I mean?
(*laughs* Um . . . not really! 😀 But carry on!)
Then there was all her crazy stories. She could make up stories about all sorts of things. She’d disappear for hours out in the woods and come back with some story or other, but it’s her heart that’s the best. That same little girl, that same big love, grew up with her.
Oh yes! We definitely see that! Eisley speaks very fondly of her family, too, and as the papa bear, you’ve obviously had a big role to play in shaping that. What are some of the most important values you hope you’ve instilled in your kids over the years?
I hope my young’uns have learned how much they’re loved—by their parents and their God. Life is messy and bad things happen. I hope that even when they screw up, they know they got a place to come to, to heal, to be loved, no matter what. And that’s the kind of love I hope they show to others, cause that’s the kind of love that will change other people’s lives…but dag-gone it, if it didn’t bring a British fancy pants on over to the family.
*tries not to go all dreamy-eyed—possibly only partially successful* 😍 Yes . . . Yes, it did, didn’t it? *Ahem* So, what were your thoughts when you first met Wes?
I thought I was watching one of them ‘sissy’ movies, the girls are always moonin’ over. Here comes this fancy talkin’ city boy usin’ all of this fancy talk to sweep my girl off her feet? Well, he hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.
Lol! You’re certainly right about that! You submitted Wes to some pretty rigorous ‘testing’ while he was in Pleasant Gap. How do you think he went?
Aww, well, I reckon he came through all right, but that don’t mean I’m gonna ease up on him none.
Oh, I wouldn’t expect you to, Nate! And the burning question: Who really won that shooting match?
I let him win. It’s embarrassin’ to see a grown man cry in front of the girl he likes and all.
*tries desperately to smother a smile* Well, that’s very noble of you, Nate. And now that you’ve gotten to know Wes a bit better (and he’s held up under your scrutiny!) what has impressed you most about his character?
*big sigh* He aint’ so bad, really. You can always tell the quality of a man when he’s willing to give up somethin’ he really wants for love. That says a lot about the man he is. *he lowers his voice* Just don’t tell Fancy Pants I said so, alright? If he gets too comfortable ‘round me, I’ll lose my edge.
Don’t you worry, Nate. It’ll be our little secret! 😉
Thanks for chatting with me today, Nate. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of your family in the future. 🙂
If you’d like to know a little more about Eisley and Wes, they stopped by Eli’s Novel Reviews and Reading is my Superpower recently. You can also find out more about Eisley’s mysterious ancestors, Julia Ramsden and Geoffrey MacLeroy, over at Joy of Reading.
And why not check out my review of Just The Way You Are while you’re here!