Character Interview: Sadie Callum from Sadie’s Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Today’s guest is Pinkerton agent, Sadie Callum from the novel Sadie’s Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo. Thank you, Sadie for being with us today. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do?
I am most honored to be here! I am just your average Louisiana planter’s daughter from one of those towns along the River Road that only the locals know. Our home is lovely with wide porches, Mama’s French furniture, and the most beautiful alley of oak trees leading up to the front door. Though we aren’t far from New Orleans, some days it seems as though Callum Plantation in River Pointe, Louisiana, might as well be on the other side of the world.
When Daddy allowed me to study art up in Chicago, I was stunned. Of course, I do believe Uncle Penn had something to do with that. Daddy doesn’t want us to believe he likes Uncle Penn—his sister’s husband—but we all know the fact they were on opposite sides of the war has long been forgotten. In any case, my studies in art came to an interesting conclusion when Mr. Alan Pinkerton himself sought me out to become one of his Pinkerton agents. That was also due to Uncle Penn’s influence, although he and I would never admit that to Daddy. Or Mama. Or my five overprotective brothers who insist on arriving unannounced at crime scenes and stake-outs and such in order to “protect” me. It’s
Sadie, I like your spunk and your courage. Would you share with us what made you the woman you are?
Why thank you, although I truly believe my mother would not like to know I am in possession of those qualities although she would also not like anyone to know she possess them as well. My daddy would tell you I was born with more spunk than a girl ought to have, and my brothers would each claim to be the one who encouraged me to be brave and follow in their footsteps. Not that any of them are Pinkerton agents, you see, but all of them did believe I was completely capable of learning to climb a tree, shoot a gun, and well…you get the idea. Oh, but the courage to become a Pinkerton agent? That would come from my dear Uncle Penn.
You live in an era in which woman didn’t have too much of a choice. While there were jobs available to women who needed to work, most wed and took care of their families. What advice would you give a woman in your time or ours who are contemplating a career?
Yes, I suppose there were all sorts of jobs available to women, although I truly did not intend to contemplate any sort of career when I arrived on Mr. Pinkerton’s doorstep. You see, my art school education was complete and the time for me to return to River Pointe was at hand. Contemplating a life of sewing circles and social circles was not what I had in mind at that time, so I sought out the only means I had of delaying my return. Uncle Penn paved the way for me to interview for a secretarial position with his old friend, Mr. Pinkerton. Never would I have guessed that a job as a Pinkerton agent would result. Looking back, however, I am far too impatient and restless to have managed a secretarial career. I suppose God knew what He was doing when He spared me that.
You’re a women working in a man’s world. You’re also a woman working in an era where the slightest innocent indiscretion could lead to a reputation in ruins, yet I noted on occasion you tend to throw caution to the wind because the job demands it. I’m looking for advice from you again. How should someone who works in a risky career guard their reputation?
Reputation is such a delicate thing. It must be coddled and protected just as a mother would coddle and protect her baby. Thankfully, I have been able to separate my life as a Pinkerton from my life as Sadie Callum, planter’s daughter—mostly. A Pinkerton agent does his or her job, no questions asked. The men with whom I work have been most kind and gentlemanly in seeing that all investigations are held in the most professional manner. However, there is always the chance that a part I am playing in some sort of covert investigation might be discovered and my reputation called into question. I choose to keep those risks at a minimum by only working with the aforementioned sort of fellow. Also, I try to stay as far away from my home town and the state of Louisiana as possible because my face is far too familiar there.
Is there scripture or a biblical concept that you lean upon in your life and in your?
There are many. Mama saw that all her children were well versed in Scripture—pardon the pun. However, I have always had a particular affinity for Ephesians 2:8-9. For by grace ye are saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Thank you, Sadie, for taking a break from your busy career and talking to us at Inner Source. I look forward to meeting with your author this Wednesday.
More About Sadie’s Secret:
Louisiana, 1890—Sarah Louise “Sadie” Callum is a master of disguise, mostly due to her training as a Pinkerton agent but also from evading overprotective brothers as she grew up. When she takes on a new assignment with international connections, she has no idea her new cover will lead her on the adventure of a lifetime. Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage—pretend or otherwise—but his past is a secret, his twin brother has stolen his present, and his future is in the hands of the lovely Sadie Callum. Without her connections to the world of upper-crust New Orleans, Jefferson might never find a way to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years. Only God can help these two secret agents find a way to solve their case and uncover the truth about what is going on in their hearts.
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of over forty novels with more than one million copies of her books in print in the United States and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified family law paralegal, she was recently nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well as a Reader’s Choice Award by Romantic Times magazine. Kathleen Y’Barbo has four grown children, seven bonus children, and her very own hero in combat boots. Find out more about Kathleen at www.kathleenybarbo.com.