Welcome Harper Impulse author, Abby Bardi...

           Hi Abby! Great to have you here and to be a part of your ongoing tour - I'm looking forward to                  learning more about you and your latest release, The Secret Letters. Let's kick off with my questions....

1.)            What did you want to be when you grew up?

A hairdresser or a psychiatrist.

2.)            Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Strong black tea with milk and Demerara sugar cubes. (I lived in England for six years, can you tell?)

3.)            What genre do you typically read? Why?

I guess the genre I read most, if it is a genre, is the Victorian novel—the Brontes, George Eliot, and my favourite, Dickens.  I’ve read them over and over because they satisfy my need for an extended immersion in another world.

4.)            Share a favourite childhood memory.

Walking to the drug store with my parents on a summer evening after dinner and having them buy me a new Bobbsey Twins novel, the kind with a shiny cover in lurid colours.

5.)            Do you have any shameless addictions? i.e. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

I do have a slight problem with books, tea, and shoes, but I wouldn’t call those addictions, exactly, since they’re healthy. The thing I hate myself for is watching The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, etc. It’s such a train-wreck but I can’t stop.

6.)            What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

I seem to have a lot of trouble figuring out who should be telling the story. In The Secret Letters, just about everyone has been a narrator at one time or another in various drafts. It seems obvious now that Julie should be the narrator, but at one time I thought maybe it should be her sister Pam.

7.)            Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

It depends what I’m working on, but I normally write at least two pages and stop at three.

8.)            What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I think it would be a great idea, but I can’t imagine actually doing it. I’ve heard that people who write a series end up wanting to murder their characters after a while. This would upset me.

Thanks for the chat!

The Secret Letters
by Abby Bardi



When thirty-seven-year-old slacker-chef Julie Barlow's mother dies, her older sister Pam finds a cache of old letters from someone who appears to be their mother's former lover. The date stamped on the letters combined with a difficult relationship with her father leads Julie to conclude that the letters' author was a Native American man named J. Fallingwater who must have been her real father.

Inspired by her new identity, Julie uses her small inheritance to make her dream come true: she opens a restaurant called Falling Water that is an immediate success, and life seems to be looking up. Her sister Norma is pressuring everyone to sell their mother's house, and her brother Ricky is a loveable drunk who has yet to learn responsibility, but the family seems to be turning a corner.

Then tragedy strikes, and Julie and her siblings have to stick together more than ever before. With all the secrets and setbacks, will Julie lose everything she has worked so hard for?



I was crossing Main Street one day on my way to work when I heard Pam’s ringtone on my cellphone, some rap song she’d downloaded for me. In addition to being smarter and better-looking than me, she was a whole lot cooler. A fat old guy on a Harley screamed at me for getting in his way, and I screamed back that he should go fuck himself, though since he was on a Harley, he couldn’t hear anything but his own pistons. Back in the day, my twin brother Donny and I had often buzzed through town like that on his brand new Triumph.

We thought we would live forever. And maybe he would have if he hadn’t ridden out alone on a rainy day, if he hadn’t skidded on the Beltway, if the truck had seen him. I tried not to think about it, but it was always with me. He was my twin, and ever since he died, part of me felt as if it was missing, like an arm or a leg, but invisible. When he first died, people told me to try talking to him like he was still there, and I did that for a while, but he didn’t seem to respond in any way and wherever he was now, he definitely wasn’t saying anything. I’d say I was glad my mother was with him now except that I don’t believe in stuff like that. They were both just gone.

For a few weeks after my mother’s funeral, people kept stopping by the house with sloppy tuna casseroles and stale cakes, but then they went back to their lives. I kept trying to go back to my life, too. Six days a week, I worked lunch or dinner or both, slept, then got up and did it again. It wasn’t like I was in the habit of seeing my mother every day, or even phoning her more than two or three times a week, so in a weird way, most of the time everything seemed the same. But on my day off when I would normally have stopped by the house for dinner, I was at loose ends. I’d go into the Wild Hare and sit at the bar, even though I wasn’t working, and maybe I got a little too hammered a few times, and Milo, my boss, had to walk me home, though lucky for him I lived just across the street.

“I’m late to work,” I said to Pam. “What’s up?”

“I have to show you something. Come over here when you get off.”

“That’s after midnight.”

“Just do it.”

“Where am I going?” I asked, though I had no intention of doing what she wanted.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Abby Bardi is the author of THE BOOK OF FRED. She grew up in Chicago, went to college in California, then spent a decade teaching English in Japan and England. She currently teaches at a college in Maryland and lives in historic Ellicott City with her husband and dog.


Abby will be awarding an eCopy of The Secret Letters to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

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