Oh, how I hate bios! All of that deadly dull information about name (Barbara Bretton) and
date of birth (June 25, 1950) and geographical data (born in New York City; lives near
Princeton, NJ), marital status (32 years married), and hobbies (who has time??). How do
you gather up all of those dull, dry facts and turn them into something interesting?
No wonder I tell lies for a living.
I considered weaving a story for you about life on a houseboat on the French Riviera.
Or maybe my years as a concubine, hidden away in a golden pleasure palace in the shimmering
desert. Then I decided to do
the unthinkable and tell you the truth.
Eighteen years ago I sold my first book and my life changed forever. I sent in my manuscript
on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing
words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by
the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I
listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought
I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank
you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung
on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes.
I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the
business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan
at the time (and
finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him.
This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that
my dream had finally come
true -- and came with a $6000 advance!
He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of
champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of
joy and pride in his eyes
warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory.
A lot has happened to me in the eighteen years since that first sale. I've learned that this
is a difficult and demanding business (it takes a tough writer to write a tender book) and that
I am happiest when I am
most ignorant. I've also learned that a good friend, a writer and pal who truly understands,
is worth her weight in good reviews and royalty checks.
I fell madly in love with Skye O'Malley in early 1982 and wrote an unabashedly gushy fan letter
to our beloved Bertrice Small. By the time Sunny answered, I had joined the ranks of the
published and Sunny became friend and mentor, guide and confidant. She has held my hand
through broken dreams, disappointments, family illnesses, and accepted my bizarre need to
go underground from time to time with great affection and understanding. Over the years I've
come to understand the difference between the writer and her work, that loving the book doesn't
guarantee that I will love the author. But what a joy it is when you discover that the author
of a beloved favorite is even more wonderful and witty and wise than the characters she creates.
So this bio is for you, Sunny, for being the best of friends during the worst of times and --
even more wonderful -- during the good times as well.
And now for the statistics:
Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She
currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated
into twelve languages in over twenty countries.
Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal,
Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others,
and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg
Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.
Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times;
Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several
sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.
Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky
beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.