Barbara Wallace

Barbara Wallace has been a life-long romantic and daydreamer so it’s not surprising she decided to become a writer at age eight. However, it wasn’t until a co-worker handed her a romance novel that she knew where her stories belonged. For years she limited her dreams to nights, weekends and commuter train trips while working as a communications specialist, PR freelancer and full-time mom. At the urging of her family, she finally chucked the day job and pursued writing full time and couldn’t be happier.

Barbara lives in Massachusetts along with her husband, their teenage son, one spoiled cat and one very spoiled dog.

September has me enjoying two releases! The first is the North American release of The Heart of a Hero. I’m also celebrating being included in the Mills & Boon Special Release “Mills & Boon Loves….” An anthology that’s out in conjunction with the publishers New Voices Competition. I’m in the book along with Maisey Yates, Aimee Carson and New Voices winner Leah Aston.

Can I take a moment to plug the New Voices 2011 competition? If you are interested in writing for Harlequin’s Medical, Presents, Romance, Modern Heat or Historical Lines, the contest is a great way to get feedback and visibility. Visit www.romanceisnotdead.com

Meanwhile, here’s the info for Heart of a Hero:

All advice columnist Zoe wants this summer is some time to heal her post-divorce wounds in peace. That is, until she crosses paths with her neighbor, ex Army captain Jake Meyers. With battle scars both inside and out, Jake just wants to disappear from the world. Zoe knows she should leave the man alone. But she just can’t help herself….

CAT: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

BARBARA: Romance. A good, angsty emotional romance. One where I really feel the characters belong together and am activity rooting for them. I also love a good mystery, even though I can’t write them. There’s something about having to solve a puzzle that appeals to me.

CAT: What’s the first book you remember reading?

BARBARA: Oh, I’m not sure. I remember reading the Five Little Peppers (and How They Grew) when I was little. I think that might have been my first non picture book.

CAT: What’s your favorite fairy tale?

BARBARA: Cinderella! I love a good rags to riches tale.

CAT: What turns you off like nothing else?

BARBARA: Bodily function jokes. I’m too girly girl to appreciate them. Sadly, I live with all men.

CAT: Where do you read and how often?

BARBARA: Now that I’m always on deadline, I don’t read as much as I want to. My favorite place to read is curled up on my living room sofa. The sun comes in through the picture window making the room warm and bright. On cold days I throw on a blanket and become really cozy.

CAT: What was the first story you remember writing?

BARBARA: Oh, that’s easy. It was The Adventures of Ginger. My best friend Kim was writing a story at the time about her cat, so I decided to write one about my cat too. I was eight years old. It was illustrated, and featured a wedding. Even then I loved romance.

CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

BARBARA: Hand’s down my favorite is All About Eve with Bette Davis and Anne Baxter. It’s the movie where Bette uttered her famous line, “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

CAT: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?

BARBARA: Easier than what? I wish I could say writing was easy. Unfortunately I’m one of those writers who have to scratch and claw her way through every scene. What’s that quote – “To write, just open a vein?” That’s a perfect description of my writing process.

CAT: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

BARBARA: That I value their support more than they could possibly realize. Seriously. Writers spend so much time alone that it’s easy to start thinking we are the worst storytellers in the world. Every time I get a note saying someone liked my book, my spirit soars for days.

CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

BARBARA: Go to sleep. I have a bad tendency to stay up into the wee hours in the morning to get the job finished.

CAT: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

BARBARA: Yes, and yes. Not every review, but if a critic has valuable, constructive criticism, then I do my best to take the comments to heart and learn something. I am still learning my craft, and constructive advice is a good thing, IMO.

CAT: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

BARBARA: Coffee. Preferably as a Caramel Macchiato. Sadly, I have to limit those to one every couple days or my pants would never fit.

CAT: What does it mean to love someone?

BARBARA: It means being there for them, supporting their dreams, and holding their hand when things aren’t going right for them. It means taking care of the little things in their life. It means standing by their side during those times when they are cranky or distracted and understanding that a real relationship is about more than wine and roses and grand romantic gestures. It’s about being a companion and a friend as well as a lover and knowing that no one – I mean no one – can take that person’s place in your life.


If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?


OK, this is a shameless plug for my good friend Debbie Monk who just happened to start selling t-shirts on Labor Day. I would be a pink t-shirt with the phrase “Got to remember I’m Fabulous” on it. Because not only would it support her craft business, but because it’s something I think we all need to remind ourselves from time to time.


What is your favorite fairy tale? How do you like to see this fairy tale theme played out in a romance? Is there any kind of romance story you loathe and hope never shows up on your book shelf again?

One lucky winner will win a “Heart of a Hero” gift bag with a book and other goodies!


  1. My favorite fairy tale is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I guess this fairy tale theme could be used in a romance if you had seven brothers living on a ranch and a single mom appeared at that ranch to become their housekeeper/cook. I don't know if I loathe it but I get a little tired of revenge stories where either the hero or heroine have plans to get revenge on the other person.

  2. I like the Emperor's New Clothes...weavers of fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "just hopelessly stupid".
    I would think the snobbery/hypocrisy storyline could go so many ways in a romance novel...

  3. Great having you today Barbara. And great FB picture !!


  4. My favorite story was Cinderella. The theme was made into the movie, Ever After. More recently, Lila DiPasqua made it into a book, A Midnight Dance. Like Ellen Too, I also get tired of books where savage revenge is the theme.

  5. Hi Barbara,

    Perhaps we need new fairy tales! That's what I'd like to read. I guess the YA authors and some of the fantasy writers are doing it today. Timeless themes written with terrific imagination!

  6. I love beauty and the beast. It has always been one of my favorites and I think it would make a great romance book. I know a few authors have played around with the story and I hope to read them all one day.

  7. Barbara, thanks for joining us here today. Gosh, you and me, on the bodily function jokes. They're on so many greeting cards this day, I hate to shop for them anymore. Has the greeting card business gone juvenile ;) Favorite fairy tale has to be Rumplestiltskin. Congratulations on your wonderful success!

  8. Barbara, welcome to GLIAS. I'm a Cinderella girl. Something about the underdog winning in the end always appeals to me. And like Cathy P I like Ever After. Drew Barrymore rescues herself in the end. Go Drew. Ella Enchanted is another take on the Cinderella theme with the evil step mother and step sisters.

    As for things I don't want on my shelf...I'll read anything as long as it's done well!

  9. Great interview! I love the title of this book and will start looking for it.

  10. Hi Barbara,

    Congrats on the two new books coming out thus month and wishing it all the best.

    My favorite fairy tale would have to be Beauty and the Beast, i guess the looking past all the ugliness to the beauty within and falling in love it theme really appeals to me. On a similar note i loved the movie 'Beastly. The storyline was very similar to the 'Beauty and the Beast' theme. I love all romances as long as they are good and they interest me. Not that fussy when it comes to romances.

  11. Hi Barbara,

    Cngrats on your new releases. My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. I love the Disney version.

  12. Thanks for all the nice comments and fairy tale suggestions! I apologize for not commenting sooner - life took me away from the computer yesterday.

    For everyone who suggested Beauty and the Beast - I forgot that one. That is one of my favorites. It's one of my husband's favorites as well. Although he prefers the George C Scott version and I prefer the Disney one like Tammy.

    And I agree on the Revenge storyline being played out. Some authors do it very well, but for the most part, I prefer stories that unfold without that kind of hook. We have a saying at Harlequin Romance that we like organic romances. That is stories we believe could actually play out in real life. I don't know about you but I'm pretty sure there aren't any men out there planning revenge against my late father. :-)

    Now that I've learned how to actually post comments, I'll come back and comment again.

    Thank you all for hosting me! This is a beautiful site. I'll make sure I recommend it to my friends as well.

  13. Count me as another Cinderella fan!

    I'm with you on the revenge thing. I've heard editors say that anything is believable if well motivated. To which I always think -uh, NO! Making yourself a huge success is a perfectly acceptable form of revenge. Treating people poorly is NOT.

    Heart of a Hero sounds like a fabulous read, Barbara!

  14. I like the Princess and the Pea. There was a play my HS did and it was based on this, but the heroine was not very lady-like.

    Congrats on another release...it doesn't get old, does it.

    Michelle Libby

  15. Congrats Virginia! You were the gift pack winner! I sent you an email.

    Everyone else - thanks for stopping by!