Barbara Howard is the author of a 3-part series called, "Finding Home." She previously worked in the tech industry; however, she found a way to make her passion her career.
1. Tell us about your background and journey.
I began writing as a young child. By the time I entered college, I was convinced that a career as a novelist would not be practical financially. I considered a photojournalism career, but eventually, I opted for a place in the emerging tech industry. No regrets because I had an amazing career and the people and experiences fuel the stories that I create. 2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was in fourth grade in Mrs. Goolsby’s class. I remember the reaction she had to my short stories and how she shared them with teachers and school counselors. The funny part is, she was my least favorite teacher of all.
3. Do you write for a living or do you have another career?
Writing is my current profession.
4. Who is your favorite author and why?
I don’t have one favorite author. I have a favorite anthology, Black Voices, and within that collection, I gravitate toward the works of Langston Hughes.
5. What inspires you?
Relationships and community. Watching the interaction of people with the circumstances of life and their amazing resilience makes me want to build scenarios and create multi-dimensional characters to put in them. 6. What does your typical day look like as an author?
My day starts with prayer, time outside with nature and pets, checking in on extended family, reviewing my planner, and writing. I jot down notes, make recordings, and download images for my stories throughout the day but do most of my writing at night.
7. What is the name of your book? What is it about? What inspired you to write it?
It is a 3-part series is called, Finding Home. It’s in the mystery genre and the titles are Final Harvest, Charlotte’s Revenge, and Milo’s Journey. The story in Book One begins with a young woman named Traci Simmons who has been fired from another job and must decide if it’s time to give up her home and start fresh in another town. But, when her elderly neighbor dies mysteriously, she is pulled into leading a crusade to save the neighbor’s urban farm and find the killer. Through her new and unexpected relationship with these invisible people, Traci faces her own insecurities to learn what home really means. Backdrop: Homelessness, anxiety, food insecurity, gentrification. I was inspired by my observations and people in the different cities and towns where I have lived. I wanted to write a series that lands between standard mystery (without the blood and grime) and the cozy mystery (without the sugary sweetness). I wanted well-developed characters and a strong setting because that’s what I look for when I read a book.
8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?
Be fearless about speaking in your own voice. Perfecting your craft is a lifelong journey so don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Writers write.