I am Barbara Taylor Bradford. I’ve written 27 novels to date, all bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic. I write stories for women – stories about generally ordinary women who go on to achieve extraordinary things. Before my career as a novelist, I was a syndicated journalist in the US and in the UK. I wrote articles on decorating, relationships and other items of interest to women. I’ve been married to my husband, Robert Bradford for 48 years. We have no children, but one white fluffy dog. We live in New York City, where we enjoy and active social life. We are also heavily involved in a number of charities in our “spare” time.
WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
I actually love to read. Biographies are probably my favorite books to read. Anything on English history, especially about monarchs of the past will grab my attention. I’m also a great fan of modern fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Daniel Silva, Mary Higgins Clark and Patricia Cornwell. Travel is another favorite pastime of mine. I love to explore historic cities and tour the ancient historic sites. Some of my favorite destinations include Istanbul, St. Petersburg, and Paris.
WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was an avid reader as a child. I grew up in the North of England near where the Bronte sisters lived and wrote their novels. My mother force-fed me the classics when I was maybe six, or seven years old. Dickens. Shakespeare and the Brontes. At age eight, I wrote a short story about a little girl who wanted to get a pony. My mother submitted it to a magazine in a contest. No, I never did get the pony I wanted, but instead, my article won the contest and was published a few months later with my name in a bi-line. It was then that my fate was sealed.
WHERE? Where do you write?
I have an office in my apartment where I do all my writing, research and thinking. I’m usually up at 6am each morning. I head into this room, which is decorated with the framed covers of all my previous novels. I have two desks inside. One has a computer where I do my research and proofreading. The other is a little typing desk where I sit and type my novels on an electric typewriter. Old-school as this may sound, I actually find it comforting to type my novels this way – the same way I have created all others going back to A Woman Of Substance back in 1979.
WHY? Why do you write?
If I didn’t write, I’d sure go mad from all the characters floating around in my head who just need to get out and onto paper. Writing keeps me feeling youthful, energetic and invigorated. It’s what I’ve always done since I was a young girl, and what I will continue to do for as long as I love and breath.
Barbara Taylor Bradford's Website