Barbara was born in Bowdon, in Cheshire, and grew up in Birmingham, where she attended King Edward VI School for Girls, Camp Hill, together with her two elder sisters. She began her career teaching in a secretarial college in Barbados and Grenada, spent several years jetting round the world, and lived in New York before being relocated to Greece, France and the Middle East.
A qualified swimming teacher and judge, Barbara taught children to swim three nights a week and watched her own daughter train or compete the rest of the week.
‘This is where I began to write,’ she says. ‘While watching my daughter swim up and down the pool for hours on end, I needed something to do. Writing seemed a brilliant way of passing the time. In 2006, after several years writing stories, her first book, ‘Scruffy’, was published.
'How do I see my role of an author? For me, it’s far more than writing, it’s also about showing the next generation of children exactly how exciting books can be. If, as a result of my visit to a school, one additional child picks up a book and reads it … job done.’