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How I Came To Be a Writer, Or Why You Shouldn’t Always Listen To Your Guidance Counselor

KathrynBarrettAuthorI always wanted to be an author, since I first learned that the books I read as a child were written by actual people. As a little girl, I would proudly say “Author!” when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

But when I got into high school, my guidance counselor sternly advised me to chose a major in the business school of the college I was applying to, since they had more money for scholarships. Being easily swayed by people in positions of authority, I chose pre-law, as the least “businessy” of the options, and never even took an English class.

Eventually, life put an end to my law school ambitions, but then my Air Force husband spent a year away on a remote assignment, and I picked up the novel Paradise by Judith McNaught. With two young children at home, I needed escapist fiction—something adult, but not anything scary or depressing.

I stayed up all night reading that book—and with a three year old, that’s not a commitment you make lightly! Laughing one minute, crying the next, and simply riveted by the characters and their story, I could not put that blue and pink paperback down. And I vowed that one day I’d write something that made someone, somewhere, do the same thing.

Fast forward a few years, and my childhood dream of being a writer finally came true—in fits and starts, with major setbacks along the way.  It turns out being able to write an academic paper for class doesn’t guarantee success as a fiction writer.

I had to learn a whole new set of skills to write fiction, but not from any university. I found books at the library, online courses, and I attended several workshops and conferences. More importantly, I found friends who were also learning to write fiction, and they encouraged me and taught me.

I’m still learning, and still writing in fits and starts. I get discouraged on some days, and other days I remember my childhood dream. I wish I could go back to that child, that teenager, and tell her to never put her dream in storage.

And I’d tell that high school guidance counselor that I’ve made her the villain in my latest book!

Kathryn Barrett reluctantly put aside childhood dreams of becoming an author and took a more practical approach, majoring in Business Administration in college. But after marrying an Air Force officer, she realized a career in high finance didn’t suit an itinerant lifestyle. She happily returned to her first love, writing stories that feature larger-than-life characters, family relationships, and of course, a happy ending.

Her debut novel Temptation won the Golden Quill Best First Book contest, the Holt Medallion for Best Mainstream/Single Title and the Holt Award of Merit for Best First Book.

Having lived all over the world, Kathryn and her family have recently relocated to northern Virginia. She enjoys long walks with her dog, traveling to tiny European countries, cooking vegan feasts, and, only occasionally, she still reads the Financial Times.

Books by Kathryn Barrett:


Redemption coverTrueGold_FINAL (1)










Temptation: Jaded Hollywood actress Laura Hayes never thought she’d fall in love, but when she moves to Pennsylvania’s Amish country, she finds the man of her dreams, right next door.

Redemption: New department store head Claire Porter doesn’t want a man in her life, but when old flame Matt Grayson asks to film a movie in her store, she learns a hero comes in handy.

 True Gold: Self-made billionaire Connor Forrest isn’t used to being told no, until a the brainy and beautiful computer programmer he hires is willing to settle for nothing less than true love.


Website: http://kathrynbarrett.com

Twitter: @KathrynSBarrett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathrynBarrett/



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