Connect with Barbara
I grew up in rural Bedfordshire with dreams of becoming a novelist, but my life took several detours before I actually made it. After reading history at York University, I landed a job promoting London fashion. One day I flew to New York on business, and fell in love with an American professor who followed me around JFK airport.
Eighteen months later, I was a faculty spouse and a freelance writer in a small Midwest college town. I started work on my first novel, but it lost out to a demanding marketing job that paid the bills.
After six years, my husband was offered a distinguished professorship at the University of North Carolina, and we moved from the cornfields to the forest. I became a stay-at-home mum and a woodland gardener, factors that would go on to shape my writing voice. I returned to my manuscript, but hit another detour when our young son was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
A few rough years followed, but I ditched my first novel and started writing love stories about damaged people. I have an essay on raising a child with OCD in Easy to Love but Hard to Raise (DRT Press), and my debut novel, The Unfinished Garden, was published in August 2012. The In-between Hour was released in January 2014.
When I’m not writing – or chatting on Facebook – I’m gardening, reading or avoiding housework. Or being an extremely proud mother. My son, an award-winning poet and musician, is my hero.