The Nitty Gritty
Barbara Hartzler is the debut author of The Nexis Secret, a paranormal novel about a girl with a supernatural power to see the unseen world of angels. She has always wanted to write, not necessarily about angels, but the idea was too good to pass up.
Barbara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Church Communication Arts from Central Bible College with an emphasis on drama and media. In college she won a National Religious Broadcasters/Focus on the Family essay scholarship and wrote and directed a successful one act play. Her first novel was inspired by her college experiences and peppered with anecdotes from a New York City missions trip.
She’s a born and raised Missouri native living in Kansas City with her husband and dog, Herbie. As a former barista and graphic designer, she loves all things sparkly and purple and is always jonesing for a good cup of joe.
A Genesis Semi Finalist in the Young Adult category, she’s an active member of her local American Christian Fiction Writers chapter. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads, and she blogs at barbarahartzler.com.
My Personal Story
I’m a born and raised Missouri native. You think that’d make me a farm girl, but I’m not that cool. Born in St. Joseph, raised in Kansas City, schooled in Springfield, I’m just a suburbanite stuck in the heartland. No, I don’t pronounce it Missoura. Yeah right! There’s an “i” on the end people.
At 17 I thought I’d prove myself a whiz kid and graduate high school a year early. I wound up at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri–a smaller school in a way smaller town than KC. They called me a city girl because I’d point at cows along the highway and call ‘em cute. Oops! Gotta go where God wants, right? Then I really went against the grain, choosing the least Bible-intensive major available, Communications.
I logged two years at the school newspaper, then got talked into running for junior class treasurer. I met a lot of great people who I still consider lifelong buds. I even scored my first major writing award–second place in the National Religious Broadcaster’s scholarship contest sponsored by Focus on the Family. My prize winning essay was entitled “Cinematic Theology and The Matrix.” That means I got to research The Matrix and get paid for it. Sweet!
CBC’s creative writing class inspired my first novel. And they say steer clear of creative writing classes. But I say, find a great teacher like Ms. Taylor. :) It was a writing year! Junior year I was forced to take a scriptwriting class. That spring I turned it into a successful one act play called Nothing to Do With You. The title, and the play, actually worked–and counted toward my Comm degree.
Senior year they figured they had to put me in Who’s Who Among College Students, just in case my writing went anywhere. They’re still waiting for that to pay off. Me too. Graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in Church Communication Arts, emphasizing in Drama and Media, hasn’t helped me land a fancy job like I thought. But hey, I do have a two walled officle. Not too shabby. Maybe soon I’ll graduate to a full cubicle.
After college I landed a husband and convinced him to get me a dog. I’ve done everything from graphic design to working in the registrar’s office. Okay, so that’s about all I’ve done, unless you count barista in college. For my first book I just landed a contract with OakTara, a small publisher whose editor worked with Madeleine L’Engle. Now that I’ve made my mark with one editor it’s time to get cracking on her list of demands. (Just kidding). Then, if all goes well, I can start in on the next three novels in my series. Guess that means my other ideas for a dystopian sister story, a girl-on-the-run thriller, and a colorful science fiction/fantasy adventure, will have to wait. Who says I don’t have a range?
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite award: Voted “Laughs-a-lot” by my favorite manager. :)
Newest OakTara Author–yeah that’s me!
Next book ideas:
- Dystopian sister story with imagery from a steely Bible verse
- Suspense/Thriller developed from a foggy day
- Sci-fi/Fantasy taken from a color-filled dream
My personal BPH Awards for best fiction:
- All-time favorite:
Madeleine L’Engle for A Ring of Endless Light
Jane Austen, Kristin Billerbeck, and Jenny B. Jones.
- Best Dystopian Book:
- Suzanne Collins for Catching Fire,
Runners Up: Marissa Meyer for Cinder, Veronica Roth for Divergent
- Suzanne Collins for Catching Fire,
- Best Paranormal Lite Series:
- Kiera Cass for The Selection series
- Best College-Girl Series:
- Robin Jones Gunn for the Katie Weldon series
- Best Teen Writer Series:
- Stephanie Morrill for The Ellie Sweet Stories
- Best Final Book of a Chick-Lit Trilogy:
- Tracey Bateman for That’s Amore, #3 in the Drama Queens series
- Best Multiple Personality Book:
- Susan May Warren for her 5+ POV masterpiece Finding Stephanie
- Best Boy Book:
- Neil Gaimon for his sci-fi page turner Interworld
- Zaniest Character:
Kristin Billerbeck’s Ashley Stockingdale series
- Best Theological Allegory:
William P. Young for The Shack
- Best Free Book:
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
- Best Book to Read as a Child or an Adult:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis