Barbara Barrett

Romance at Work

About Me

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 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 there too. So I hitched my wagon to the wheels of government, and, like “the man who came to dinner,” stayed on for over three decades.

Launch party for my first book

Launch party for my first book

Cutting-edge legislation, essential public services, policy development. Those weren’t me.  No, 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 fascinate me and infiltrate my plots to the point of my main characters’ occupations almost becoming secondary characters.

The HR professional inside me demands I mention the potential complications of love in the workplace, so be forewarned. Those tricky situations, however, are the very essence of a romance author’s plotting grounds. Even I, though, tend to stay away from “falling in love with the boss” scenarios, but I come close.  My readers will see how “romance works” in tales about love between co-workers or people whose jobs throw them together.

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 seven 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 fifteen-year breast cancer survivor.  Two years ago, I underwent surgery to replace my left knee. My right knee was replaced seven years ago. Besides the support of family and friends, the one thing that has kept me going throughout these experiences has been my writing. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and three of its chapters.

 

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