I am a writer and I work in several genres. As a teacher, I write professional articles and workshop presentations. Personally, I write essay, poetry, and novels. My first YA novel is NOLA Gals, a tale of Hurricane Katrina and two 14-year old teens who struggle to survive when one is bused to Houston where she attends a posh private school and faces many life-changing crises. My work-in-progress is The Girl from the USO, an adult psychological thriller that takes place in England and the U.S. during WWII in 1941. It is loosely based on my own Mom and Dad who met during the war when he was an RAF pilot, training at the Grosse Ile Air Base in Michigan and she was a USO hostess. Their story segues into a fictional web of deceit and lies.
It’s hard to separate my life as a teacher with my life as a writer. For many years I taught English to middle and high school students. I have an advanced degree in French, but have mostly taught English. I love teaching writing and have been successful in motivating many to become excellent writers, winning recognition in competitions and in print. I have written and published poetry and teaching articles for years, but when I retired, I decided it was time to test myself by seeing if I could practice what I had taught and produce a novel. Hurricane Katrina was so much in the news, the gruesome photos out of Louisiana shocking us all. How could this happen in America? I wanted teens to know about this disaster. So I wrote its story after much research. Now I work in schools with the book, often combining it with reading To Kill a Mockingbird. I have adapted the book as a play called, Turbulence. It is specifically written for kids to produce. No adults appear on the stage. I love to write for kids. They truly inspire me.
I am not an angst-filled writer. I do not moan and groan about how hard it is to get words on paper. Instead I find an ease in retreating to the most private chambers of my mind and intellect to conjure up a world known only to me, to get that world down on paper, and then invite the reader in. I generally write early in the morning (it is now 5:29) when the night lingers still, and the street outside my house is quiet. My cat, Gracie, named for the heroine of NOLA Gals, curls up beside me on the couch as I type. If I write too long without a break, she head-butts my laptop. I must admit I love the research stage of writing. I have a big notebook of research on hurricanes I share with kids. Currently, I have a new little black book full of scribbled notes on 1941 and all the music, books, and movies of 1941. When I work with kids on memoir, poetry or story, I always write along with them.
This is the story of two girls from completely different walks of life and their journey to bring about a healing that will change their lives forever. Finalist for IAN Award, Semi-finalist for the Kindle Book Award, Top Ten for the Drunken Druid Award in Ireland, 2016 Bronze Book Award Winner from Readers’ Favorite and 2016 Bronze Book Award Winner from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
Probably the biggest influence in my life was growing up with my very British dad downriver in Wyandotte, Michigan. I remember being the only kid in my first grade class who got up in the early dawn to watch film of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. My friends would come over just to hear my dad talk in his English accent. From both my mom and dad, I learned to love reading. I began writing early and soon set up my own classroom in the garage, taking on the task of teaching my younger siblings, plus the whole neighborhood how to read and write. When it came time to leave home for university, I took a leaf from my mother’s French ancestry book and majored in French. I received a B.A. in Secondary Education with a double major in English and French, then an M.A. in French, followed later by an Ed.S.in teaching gifted & talented. I taught in four different districts and then moved to Oakland Intermediate School
District as a Language Arts Consultant and Director of the Oakland Writing Project. I am also a past-president of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English. In 2015 I published NOLA Gals which has won five awards, including bronze medals from both the Moonbeam Awards and Readers’ Favorite. Currently, I am Writer-in-Residence for the Beverly Hills Academy. Email Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell the truth without shame.
Angelica had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
Readers’ Favorite Finalist
USA Book News Best Book Finalist
Great Midwest Book Fest Honorable Mention.
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters