Meet Barbara – Author, Traveler, and Breast Cancer Survivor
I changed my college major from Anthropology to American History when I discovered that field work didn’t include air-conditioned hotel rooms with Diet Coke in the fridge. But at the time American History didn’t offer many career paths; you either made it or taught it, and since the latter required I also coach athletics, which wasn’t in my skill bank, I was out of luck. So I hitched my wagon to the wheels of government, and, like “the man who came to dinner,” stayed on for over three decades.
Cutting-edge legislation, essential public services, policy development. Those weren’t me. I wound up in human resources analyzing jobs. And I loved it. Behind the usual complaints about their bosses, most people take pride in how they earn a living. Ask them a few basic questions about what they do, and you find yourself taking pages and pages of notes. More times than not, somewhere in that exchange, they tell you how unique their job is from all the others.
At the time, my job was to see the similarities in jobs so I could match individual positions with other jobs that were essentially the same. But in my writing, it’s the distinctions in what people do for a living that fascinates me and infiltrates my plots to the point of my main characters’ occupations almost becoming secondary characters.
I’m an analyst at heart and by trade. That tendency is the backbone of the cozy mysteries I have now added to my repertoire.
On the personal front, I have a BA in American History from the University of Iowa and an MA in the same area from Drake University. I am married to the man I met in sensitivity training when we were both dormitory floor advisers at the University of Iowa.
We have two grown children and eight grandchildren. I am now a resident of Florida, where I live in the shadow of the Mouse. Part of the year, I also live in my home state of Iowa.
I am pleased to say I am a breast cancer survivor. A few years back, I underwent surgery to replace my left knee. My right knee had been replaced nine years before. Besides the support of family and friends, the one thing that has kept me going throughout these experiences has been my writing.
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