Barry Kienzle was born, raised and educated in northern Kentucky and is in every sense, a Kentucky boy, proud of his heritage and the state he calls home. As such, he is very familiar with its history and culture and feels honored that his first novel, The Crossings, is a story with northern Kentucky origins. He is the oldest of seven children, although by minutes, as he has a twin sister and four other sisters and a brother, who also has a twin sister. He’s married with two daughters, four granddaughters and a grandson, who has a twin sister as well. In the past his father George would comment, “The only way we get a boy in this family is to have a girl born with him.” The tradition continues.
Barry studied Accounting at Northern Kentucky University, became a CPA and worked primarily in the accounting and finance areas in construction and real estate development companies, currently as a CFO. As he nears retirement he is venturing toward a second career in writing and felt compelled to begin it with a novel about an amazing venture of his father’s who, in 1932 hopped a freight train and rode it to New Orleans to see the Mardi Gras. His father rarely spoke of it, but Barry knew enough to a write a story based on the trip, interweaving other facts and information about his father which he had learned over time. Those who had suffered through the Great Depression often relayed stories of that era to their children, some to instill upon them some lessons of life, and at other times to point out how much better off their children were than when they were young. Either way, those stories were invaluable in framing the background as it existed at that time as well as painting the picture for the reader.
Barry’s devotion to the community has led him to serve on many boards over time including Habitat for Humanity, senior citizens groups, school and other capital raising campaigns and other not-for-profit organizations. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of both the Northern Kentucky University Foundation and the Bank of Kentucky. He enjoys golf and has become a decent player with two holes-in-one (that twins thing again?) and enjoys spending time with family and friends whenever possible.
21 Things You Should Know About This Author
What book have you gifted the most? Why?
My two novels, “The Crossings,” and “The Indian.” I wanted to thank those who believed in me, and I donated some to needy groups.
What is the one productivity tool you use every day? Why?
A computer. I’m a CFO by trade.
What word do you misspell most often?
Any word with double consonants.
What three things do you do to be a successful writer?
- I organize and outline my thoughts,
- I’m always looking for unique phrasing and word choices that grabs one’s attention,
- I write about what I know best, or I improve my knowledge through research.
What are the titles of the last two books you have read?
- A White Wind Blew
- Season of Lies
What is your favorite word?
– Any one that is unique and grabs someone’s attention.
What do you use more often – a dictionary or a thesaurus?
– Thesaurus. I can’t get too many alternate words.
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
“How’d I get this far with what I had to work with?”
What is your ‘go to’ munchie or drink while writing?
– Grapes or chocolate chip cookies. Coffee or tea to drink.
Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
– It is to me. A writer is describing mind pictures when they write.
What animal are you most similar to and why?
– An elephant. I’m slower moving, but I eventually get to where I’m headed. I have a good memory and I’m loyal and protective to family and friends.
How would your best friend describe you?
– Loyal and caring but strong-minded.
What keeps you up at night? (and don’t say howling dogs)
– I’m usually asleep before the room’s dark, but I am concerned about future generations, especially my grandchildren.
What is one thing you will never do again?
– Take on any project I can’t complete to my satisfaction.
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?
– Steak or salmon on the grill. My culinary skills end outside.
What is the best compliment you have received?
– That my writings are enjoyable and easy to read.
What question do you wish people wouldn’t ask?
– How’s your book doing?
Crowds, small groups or ‘go away’?
– Small groups. I like personal contact.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
– A Beatles song. Maybe Paperback Writer (ha-ha).
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
– Warning – Detail Master at work.
What is the one question you wished I would have asked you? Why?
– Why I like to write and how I got into it. It’s a soul-searching question.