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Bradford, Barbara Taylor 1933- (Barbara Siddon, a joint pseudonym)

Bradford, Barbara Taylor 1933- (Barbara Siddon, a joint pseudonym)

PERSONAL:

Born May 10, 1933, in Upper Armley, Leeds, Yorkshire, England; immigrated to United States, 1963; dual U.S. and British citizenship; daughter of Winston (an industrial engineer) and Freda (a children's nurse and nanny) Taylor; married Robert Bradford (a movie producer), December 24, 1963. Education: Studied in private schools, England.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. Office—Bradford Enterprises, 450 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022-2605. Agent—Morton Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, 445 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and journalist. Yorkshire Evening Post, Yorkshire, England, reporter, 1949-51, women's page editor, 1951-53; Women's Own, London, England, fashion editor, 1953-54; London Evening News, London, columnist, 1955-57; London American, London, executive editor, 1959-62; Today magazine, columnist, 1962-63; National Design Center, New York, NY, editor-in-chief of decorating and design magazines, 1965-69; Newsday, Long Island, NY, syndicated columnist, 1966-70; Chicago Tribune/New York News syndicate, New York, columnist, 1970-75; Los Angeles Times syndicate, columnist, 1975-81. March of Dimes, ambassador, 1999; also associated with other charities, among them City-Meals-on-Wheels and the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. Member of board, Police Athletic League (PAL; charity for underprivileged children) and Girls Inc. (national charity for underprivileged girls). Also associated with various charities in the United Kingdom, several of them in Yorkshire.

MEMBER:

Authors Guild of America (member of council, 1989—), National Society of Interior Designers, American Society of Interior Designers.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Distinguished Editorial Award, 1969, and National Press Award, 1971, National Society of Interior Designers award; Dorothy Dawe Award, American Furniture Mart, 1970 and 1971; National Press Award, 1971; Matrix Award, New York chapter of Women in Communications, 1985; Editorial Award for Writing, American Society of Interior Designers, 1985; D. of Letters, 1990, Leeds University; special jury prize for body of literature, Festival of American Film, Deauville, France, 1994; Spirit of Life Award and establishment of the Barbara Taylor Bradford Research Fellowship in Pediatric Leukemia, City of Hope, 1995; She Knows Where She's Going Award, Girls Inc., 1995; "Gala 12" Woman of Distinction Award, Birmingham-Southern College, Alabama, 1995; D. of Letters, University of Bradford, 1995; Woman of the Year Award, Police Athletic League, 1995; D. of Humane Letters, Teikyo Post University, Waterbury, CT, 1996; Spirit of Achievement Award, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1996; award of achievement for outstanding accomplishments in the field of literature, Five Towns Music and Art Foundation, 1997; British Excellence Award (given aboard the QE2), 1998; inducted into Matrix Hall of Fame, 1998; inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, 2003. Bradford's image was used on postal stamps in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, 2000, and on the British Isle of Man, 2003; she was also celebrated in the postage stamp series Great Writers of the 20th Century; appointed an Order of the British Empire, for her services to literature, by Queen Elizabeth II, 2007.

WRITINGS:

JUVENILE; EDITOR, EXCEPT AS NOTED

(Author) Children's Stories of the Bible from the Old Testament, illustrated by Laszlo Matulay, Lion Press (New York, NY), 1966.

Children's Stories of Jesus from the New Testament, Lion Press (New York, NY), 1966.

Samuel Nisenson, The Dictionary of One Thousand and One Famous People: Outstanding Personages in the World of Science, the Arts, Music, and Literature, Lion Press (New York, NY), 1966.

(Author) A Garland of Children's Verse, Lion Press (New York, NY), 1968.

Children's Stories of the Bible from the Old and New Testament, Crown (New York, NY), 1988.

NONFICTION

The Complete Encyclopedia of Homemaking Ideas, Meredith (New York, NY), 1968.

How to Be the Perfect Wife: Etiquette to Please Him, Essandess (New York, NY), 1969.

How to Be the Perfect Wife: Entertaining to Please Him, Essandess (New York, NY), 1969.

How to Be the Perfect Wife: Fashions That Please Him, Essandess (New York, NY), 1970.

Easy Steps to Successful Decorating, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971.

How to Solve Your Decorating Problems, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1976.

Decorating Ideas for Casual Living, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1977.

Making Space Grow, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1979.

Luxury Designs for Apartment Living, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1981.

Barbara Taylor Bradford's Living Romantically Every Day, Andrews McMeel Publishers (Kansas City, MO), 2002.

Editor-in-chief, Guide to Home Decorating Ideas; creator/author of the award-winning syndicated column "Designing Woman."

NOVELS

Voice of the Heart (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1983.

Act of Will (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; also see below), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.

The Women in His Life (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Random House (New York, NY), 1990.

Remember (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Random House (New York, NY), 1991.

Barbara Taylor Bradford: Three Complete Novels (contains Hold the Dream, To Be the Best, and Act of Will), Wings (New York, NY), 1992.

Angel (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Random House (New York, NY), 1993.

Everything to Gain (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

Dangerous to Know (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Love in Another Town (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Her Own Rules (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

A Secret Affair (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Power of a Woman (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

A Sudden Change of Heart (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1999.

Where You Belong (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Doubleday (New York, NY), 2000.

Barbara Taylor Bradford—Three Complete Novels: Love in Another Town, Everything to Gain, A Secret Affair, Wings (New York, NY), 2000.

The Triumph of Katie Byrne (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club), Doubleday (New York, NY), 2001.

Three Weeks in Paris, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2002.

"EMMA HARTE" SERIES

A Woman of Substance (alternate selection of Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1979.

Hold the Dream (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; also see below), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1985.

To Be the Best (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; also see below), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1988.

Emma's Secret, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Unexpected Blessings (main selection of Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club; alternate selection, Book-of-the-Month Club), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Just Rewards, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

"HOUSE OF DERAVENEL" SERIES

The Ravenscar Dynasty, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

The Heirs of Ravenscar, Collins (London, England), 2007, published as The Heir, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Also author of Hold the Dream and Voice of the Heart, television miniseries adaptations of her novels. Contributor to periodicals, including Writer. Author's works have been translated into more than forty languages; author archive held in the Brotherton Collection of the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds.

ADAPTATIONS:

Ten of Bradford's novels have been adapted as television miniseries or movies of the week, earning award nominations and airing in various countries; eight of the miniseries were produced by Robert Bradford; the adapted novels include: A Woman of Substance, Portman/Artemis Productions, Hold the Dream, Bradford/Portman Productions, Voice of the Heart, Bradford/Portman Productions, Act of Will, Bradford/Portman Productions, To Be the Best, Robert Bradford Production/Bradford Entertainment, Remember, H.R. Productions, List/Estrin Productions, Everything to Gain, Adelson Entertainment/Bradford Entertainment for the CBS Network, Love in Another Town, Adelson Entertainment/Bradford Entertainment for the CBS Network, Her Own Rules, Adelson Entertainment/Bradford Entertainment for the CBS Network, and A Secret Affair, Adelson Entertainment/Bradford Entertainment for the CBS Network. The Women in His Life was adapted and aired as a radio play by BBC Radio Drama. All of Bradford's novels are on CD.

SIDELIGHTS:

Best-selling romance author Barbara Taylor Bradford has earned a wide readership with her mainstream fiction featuring strong women who succeed against all odds. A Contemporary Popular Writers essayist stated: "It is in capturing the complexities within women that Barbara Taylor Bradford succeeds. Truly a commercial storyteller, Bradford adds class to a genre that receives little respect." "Bradford's novels allow her audience to glimpse the glamorous lives and enjoy the exotic playgrounds of the rich and famous while developing characters who engage the reader's interest and emotions," reported a Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers essayist.

Prior to her 1979 best-selling debut as a novelist, Bradford published several books for juveniles and a number of nonfiction works, among them The Complete Encyclopedia of Homemaking Ideas, How to Be the Perfect Wife: Etiquette to Please Him, and Easy Steps to Successful Decorating. A former journalist covering everything from crime to show business, Bradford expressed great satisfaction over the turn her writing career has taken since 1980. "If anyone asks me whether I like being a popular writer," she told a New York Times interviewer, "I ask them whether they think I'd rather be an unpopular writer." As of 2005, Bradford's works had sold more than eighty million copies, had been translated into more than forty languages, and were published in more than ninety countries. Ten of her novels were adapted as television miniseries or movies of the week.

Bradford grew up in the north of England, an imaginative youngster who had read all the works of Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters by the time she was twelve. When she was ten years old she sold her first short story to a British children's magazine for seven shillings and sixpence. Determined to become a writer, Bradford left school at sixteen to work as a typist at the Yorkshire Evening Post. Six months later she was a cub reporter, then a reporter, and within two years she was promoted to women's page editor; at eighteen years of age she was the youngest newspaper editor in the whole of England. When she was twenty, Bradford went to London as fashion editor of a weekly magazine, Woman's Own. But she missed newspapers, and after a year joined the London Evening News as a feature writer and columnist. Later she was an editor on Today magazine before becoming executive editor of the London American, a weekly newspaper.

In 1963 Barbara married Robert Bradford, an American movie producer, and moved to the United States, where she continued her career as a journalist. After she wrote a best-selling book on interior design, the Newsday syndicate offered her a column. "Designing Woman" covered lifestyle and interior design topics; Bradford also wrote a number of books on interior design, including Easy Steps to Successful Decorating, How to Solve Your Decorating Problems, and Luxury Designs for Apartment Living.

Between 1969 and 1976 Bradford started but did not finish four novels. Having never lost sight of her childhood dream to be a novelist, she was determined to complete a work of fiction. She did so when she delivered A Woman of Substance to Doubleday. Begun in 1976, the novel was completed two years later. The debut work sold 25,000 copies in hardcover, but it was the paperback edition that broke records. A Woman of Substance stayed on the paperback best-seller lists for more than a year, including fourteen months on the New York Times best-seller list. More than three-and-a-half million copies of the book were sold in that time in the United States.

Since then, A Woman of Substance has become a classic, selling over nineteen million copies worldwide. The book begins the saga of Emma Harte, a Yorkshire woman who rises from obscurity to found a great retail empire and family dynasty and to enact revenge on the family of a young man who seduced and abandoned her when she was a girl. In the New York Times, Bradford characterized Emma as "a powerful woman who started with nothing but acquired dignity and polish." Bradford added that she strove to make Emma—and her other female characters as well—"tough but not hard." She wrote two sequels to A Woman of Substance: Hold the Dream and To Be the Best, which together form the trilogy that began with her first novel.

Some of Bradford's subsequent novels, such as The Women in His Life, feature male protagonists, but she remains best known for her strong heroines. In Everything to Gain, she presents the story of a woman with a seemingly idyllic life, who in an instant loses everything that matters to her. Bradford portrays the character's charmed early years, then her subsequent journey from the brink of suicide to a renewed love of life. A writer for Kirkus Reviews commented: "The sunshine half of this novel is a fun glide through Beautiful Living, and the dark stuff has a weepier potential for the susceptible." The reviewer rated Everything to Gain as "stronger" than some of Bradford's more intricately plotted books. A Booklist writer noted: "Bradford's fans won't be disappointed."

Bradford's The Triumph of Katie Byrne and Three Weeks in Paris helped her to usher in the twenty-first century high on the best-seller lists. In The Triumph of Katie Byrne, a talented young actress must overcome her horrific memories of the murder of two friends—and her suspicion that the murderer wants to kill her too—in order to pursue a career on the stage. "Romantic suspense readers look first for colorful characters and plenty of romance," maintained Kathleen Hughes in Booklist. "[Bradford] delivers both in abundance here." Four young women whose friendship has been compromised are drawn together in Three Weeks in Paris. An aging schoolmistress wishes to celebrate her eighty-fifth birthday and calls the former friends to a party. There the four women confront both the surprising difficulties of material success and the circumstance that forced them apart. According to a Publishers Weekly contributor, "Bradford's knack for depicting elegant surroundings and happy-ever-after romance" serves her well in this title. According to Kristine Huntley in Booklist: "Watching each woman sort out her love life and find happiness is certainly entertaining."

A Sudden Change of Heart explores how two close friends, Laura and Claire, enjoy privileged childhoods that do not prepare them for the troubles they will face as adults. Reunited in Paris, Laura and Claire face the fallout from their failed marriages and Claire's struggle with cancer. Laura investigates the possibility that some of the artwork she wants to purchase may have been illegally pilfered by the Nazis, and Claire gradually comes to terms with a childhood that might not have been as perfect as it seemed. Although Bettie Alston Shea in Library Journal felt that Bradford had covered this territory in other novels, the critic nonetheless stated: "It's fun to read about wealthy, famous, and otherwise successful people." A Publishers Weekly contributor found Laura to be yet another "indefatigable, headstrong heroine," particularly in the scenes where Laura's marriage unravels. In Booklist, Kathleen Hughes suggested that A Sudden Change of Heart "will certainly please fans of [Bradford's] particular brand of contemporary women's fiction."

While a strong female lead is almost a given in Bradford's novels, many critics contend that her books are far from formulaic. Her writings often illuminate interesting or little-known aspects of history. For example, Her Own Rules explores the British practice of exiling children in orphanages, who were often not orphans, to the far corners of the empire—a practice that continued even after World War II. Other books simply offer enjoyable entertainment. For example, Love in Another Town details a complicated May-September romance, and A Secret Affair is the story of an illicit affair that plunges into mystery.

Bradford does not classify her books as romances. Los Angeles Times Book Review correspondent Judith Moore commented that the author "makes tasteful, intelligent use of the romance genre." Moore continued: "In [Bradford's] hands this maligned category takes on plausibility and a heft more than the book's weight." Moore also suggested that Bradford's characters reveal a more modern brand of emotional complexity. Her heroes, wrote Moore, "reflect the changes in relations between men and women. They encourage women's careers."

Bradford herself seems highly motivated by the work ethic. Her writing days begin at six in the morning and can last ten to twelve hours. She reportedly adapted her novel Hold the Dream for television in just five weeks. Although she often emphasizes how much she loves her work, she also pointed out to Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Don O'Briant that "there's nothing glamorous about it." She went on to describe writing novels as "the hardest work I've ever done." Yet she told a Writer's Digest contributor that she derives tremendous satisfaction from her labors. "I need it," she reflected. "If I didn't write fiction, they'd take me away in a straitjacket, because I have all this … stuff going on in my head. I have to get it out."

Asked by a Writer contributor for advice to aspiring novelists, Bradford replied: "Don't lose your nerve. Keep going." She also suggested that novice writers always "start with an outline," a practice she always follows. Bradford went on to say: "You must have what I call the six D's: 'D' for desire, the desire to sit down in the first place to do it; 'D' for discipline, 'D' for drive, dedication, and determination. If you don't have all those qualities or traits when you start to write a novel, you are never going to finish it, because it is hard." The author continued: "You have to want to write that novel more than you want to do anything else." She concluded: "The last 'D' is for distraction, which means that you have to want to write that novel more than you want to go to the movies, the theater, out to dinner, or have some free time. For me, it is a long process. I keep very long hours. You need a lot of physical stamina to be able to keep those hours, but the rewards are wonderful."

Bradford put her six D's to the test when creating her 2000 novel, Where You Belong. After completing 250 pages and nearing her publishing deadline, she suddenly decided to switch narrative perspectives. She related in a Writer article that the voice of Val, her protagonist, "was coming through … so strongly—consistently and insistently" that she finally attended to the voice, revising her third-person draft into the novel's existing first-person format. Although she had written two earlier novels—Everything to Gain and Dangerous to Know—in the first person, she remained slightly uneasy about the style. As she stated in Writer, "writing a novel in the first person is terribly difficult, probably the hardest way to write fiction…. The novelist cannot move away from the actual in order to get into the heads, hearts, minds, and souls of the other characters." However, Bradford stated that she was glad she changed perspectives and was pleased with the final angle of storytelling.

In Where You Belong, readers follow Valentine, an American photojournalist who leaves her Paris home and enters Kosovo to document the conflict of war, accompanied by Tony, her colleague and lover. The pair, along with Jake, an American photojournalist, are caught in an ambush and wounded, and Val's lover eventually dies. After the two survivors return to Paris, Val discovers that her lover was married. The news devastates her, and she and Jake take refuge together in southern France. Jake professes his love for Val and helps her redefine her family ties and her career. Bradford described Val's personal struggles in Writer: "Val takes [readers] with her when she goes to make peace with an estranged sibling, when she uncovers the mystery of her unhappy childhood, and confronts her mother and her painful past. [Readers] are by her side when she finally accepts where she belongs in life and with whom. Her journey is fascinating."

In a Library Journal review of Where You Belong, Bettie Alston Shea commented that Bradford's readers "will cheer on Val in her spiritual journey." A Publishers Weekly critic liked the "timeliness" of the plot and added that the story "will probably satisfy Bradford's more loyal fans." Booklist correspondent Kristin Kloberdanz cited Val as yet another of Bradford's "admirable, tough" heroines, "who, in her quest for self-fulfillment, does not always get it right."

In 2004 Bradford returned to her "Emma Harte" series, publishing a fourth novel linked to A Woman of Substance. Emma's Secret, published on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of A Woman of Substance, explores the lives of Emma's granddaughters and great-granddaughters as they seek to run the vast Harte empire. American Evan Hughes follows her dying grandmother's advice and travels to London to meet Emma, only to discover that Emma has been dead for twenty years. Nevertheless, subsequent generations of Emma's family hire Evan to work with them on a retrospective of Emma's couture. Evan's entrée into the extended clan sparks suspicions and even some romance—certainly, her resemblance to certain family members is curious. Secrets await as Emma's granddaughter discovers a lost diary that might hold clues to Evan's parentage.

A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that Emma's Secret would be "best appreciated by those with an irresistible desire to follow the further adventures of the Harte clan." In a similar vein, Booklist contributor Kristine Huntley observed that readers "familiar with Emma Harte and her large family will feel right at home." In the Library Journal, Samantha J. Gust noted that readers might benefit from having read the prior "Emma Harte" titles, but the critic also wrote that Emma's Secret "has plenty of drama, romance, and intrigue."

Just prior to the publication of Emma's Secret, Bradford found herself in the difficult position of having to sue a company in India—Sahara TV—over a made-for-television miniseries they were about to air that had taken themes, characters, situations, and even complete scenes from her "Emma Harte" series. Bradford made the trip to India herself and took the company to court, where she won an injunction that prevented them from airing Karishima: Miracle of Destiny, the work in question. Despite the court order, Sahara TV did go ahead and air the first episode; however, this action caused them to be in contempt of court and further episodes were pulled. Bradford explained her actions in an interview for Publishers Weekly: "I realized they were doing 260 episodes. They had put up 800 billboards. This was a big deal. And I thought, ‘The arrogance. They just plagiarized my work.’" The writer of the screenplay behind the miniseries sued Bradford in turn for defamation of character, insisting that the script was entirely original work. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of the production company, allowing the miniseries to air, and rather than face a long, drawn-out case in the traditional Indian courts, Bradford decided not to further her suit.

Unexpected Blessings takes up where Emma's Secret ends. Taking her place in the Harte conglomerate, Evan Hughes has learned her true relationship to the extended Harte family. As she becomes involved with their troubles, Evan faces challenges from the abduction of a child to intrigues aimed at the vast Harte fortune. To quote Harriet Klausner in MBR Bookwatch, Unexpected Blessings "is a fine contemporary tale that adds to the legend of the Harte matriarchal dynasty." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the extended adventures of Bradford's fictitious Harte clan "make for lusty escapist fiction."

In Just Rewards, Bradford continues the Harte family saga begun with A Woman of Substance. In this tale, Emma's great-granddaughter, Linnet O'Neill, is newly married and battling her nefarious uncle Jonathan Ainsley for control of the family business. Samantha Gust, writing in the Library Journal, noted the novel's "juicy storylines." Kristine Huntley commented in Booklist: "Readers who have followed the trilogy … will be pleased with this romantic conclusion to the long-running saga."

After closing the story of Emma's family, Bradford began chronicling the lives of another powerful clan. The Ravenscar Dynasty, the first book in a projected trilogy by the author, focuses on the Deravenel family of London at the turn of the twentieth century. The novel revolves around the wealthy entrepreneurial family's loves and battles. When patriarch Richard Deravenel dies in an arson fire with several other members of his family, young seventeen-year-old Edward Deravenel is quickly brought in to learn the family business. However, Edward has more on his mind than business as he and his cousin Neville Watkins set out to avenge the death of his family members. A Publishers Weekly contributor directed readers to "expect strong, two-dimensional characters; tasteful and adroit sex; repetitive exchanges; [and] a plot rich with period detail."

Bradford's next offering in the "House of Deravenel" series is The Heir, which was originally published in England as The Heirs of Ravenscar. The year is 1918, and Edward Deravenel has been the head of the family's company since 1904, when he took the reins at the youthful age of nineteen. Now thirty-three, he has become a powerful businessman who has built the trading company into a major global force that few can hope to compete against with any measure of success. The business is a varied one, with interests in everything from oil in Persia to fine wine in France. Happily married, he also has two sons, ensuring the succession of the family dynasty, as well as a daughter. In the years since Edward has taken over, he has also restored a sense of peace to the family, or so he thinks. In reality there is a certain amount of treachery taking place in the ranks, specifically relating to his younger brother George, who gambles recklessly and resents his elder brother's position as Deravenel patriarch, an attitude that results in his being sent off to France to keep him out of the public eye. But not all family crises can be dispatched with such ease, and when Edward suffers a heart attack and his two sons suddenly go missing, the company is in serious danger. The book received uneven reviews from critics. One contributor to Kirkus Reviews remarked that "Bradford's plodding exposition—she's no exponent of late-in, early-out scene-crafting—makes for novelistic terrain almost as rock-strewn as Ravenscar." However, Carol Haggas, writing for Booklist, observed that the book "packs as much intrigue as any Shakespearean royal drama."

Bradford once told CA: "As a young girl growing up in Yorkshire, my mother always had me reading the classics. I loved reading books by Charles Dickens, The Brontë sisters, Shakespearean plays, and the like. All that reading at a tender age went a long way in capturing my interest to become a writer.

"I've always considered Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë [to be] the best book ever written in the English language. Being a Yorkshire girl, the Brontë sisters were towering figures and the most famous writers to emerge from the north of England. I grew up idolizing both of them, though I'd say Wuthering Heights is the standout among all their works. Other novels that influenced me include Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

"I am strict about keeping to a writing schedule, especially when working against a deadline. I'm usually up and at my desk by 5:30 a.m. and typing away until lunchtime. After a short break, I'm back at it until [three or] four p.m. I mention typing, because I do type all my manuscripts, not on a computer, but on a Lexmark typewriter. As a creature of habit, I prefer creating in the same manner that I've done it for twenty-five years. Under my desk while I write are my two little bichon frise dogs, Beaji and Chammi. They love to sit close to me, even when I'm lost in a fictional world somewhere in my imagination.

"I often hear people talk about a term called ‘Writer's Block.’ To me, this is hardly a valid excuse to stop working. Distractions affect all writers, no matter whether they are typing a 500-page saga, or a 500-word essay. But ‘Writers Block’ is an excuse that I will not tolerate of myself. Some writers will take a break from their work in an effort to seek new inspiration. My determination forces me to fight through distractions by continuing to put words on the page, no matter the circumstances. The way I see it, if I keep working, the ideas will flow.

"The most personal novel I've written is called The Women in His Life. It is based loosely upon the experiences of my husband, Bob, who survived the Nazis and escaped from Germany as a young child. I've always thought of this to be my most gratifying work."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Contemporary Popular Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1997.

Dudgeon, Piers, A Woman of Substance: The Life and Works of Barbara Taylor Bradford, HarperCollins (London, England), 2005.

Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.

PERIODICALS

Architectural Digest, July, 1998, "A Writer's New York Narrative: Barbara Taylor Bradford Brings a European Flair to Her East Side Apartment," p. 162.

Booklist, January 1, 1999, Kathleen Hughes, review of A Sudden Change of Heart, p. 791; February 1, 2000, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of Where You Belong, p. 995; April 15, 2000, Leah Sparks, review of audio version of A Sudden Change of Heart, p. 1562; August, 2000, Nancy Spillman, review of Where You Belong, p. 2163; February 15, 2001, Kathleen Hughes, review of The Triumph of Katie Byrne, p. 1084; November 1, 2001, Nancy Spillman, review of audio version of The Triumph of Katie Byrne, p. 494; February 1, 2002, Kristine Huntley, review of Three Weeks in Paris, p. 907; October 15, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of Emma's Secret, p. 356; November 1, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Unexpected Blessings, p. 444; November 1, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of Just Rewards, p. 4; November 15, 2006, Kristine Huntley, review of The Ravenscar Dynasty, p. 4; September 15, 2007, Carol Haggas, review of The Heir, p. 5.

Bookseller, March 3, 2006, review of Just Rewards, p. 12.

Broadcasting & Cable, November 24, 1997, Joe Schlosser, "Columbia TriStar Unveils New Productions," p. 88.

Entertainment Weekly, June 28, 1996, Rhonda Johnson, review of Her Own Rules, p. 101.

Europe Intelligence Wire, February 9, 2005, Louise Male, "Revealed—The Truth behind a Best-seller."

Guardian (London, England), July 22, 1995, Megan Tresidder, "A Woman Worried by Good Reviews," p. 29.

Independent (London, England), July 29, 1995, John Walsh, "She's a Friend of Norman Mailer and Is the Richest Englishwoman after the Queen. Her Name Is Barbara Taylor Bradford," p. S3.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2003, review of Emma's Secret, p. 1238; January 1, 2005, review of Unexpected Blessings, p. 5; November 15, 2005, review of Just Rewards, p. 1201; November 15, 2006, review of The Ravenscar Dynasty, p. 1141; October 1, 2007, review of The Heir.

Kliatt, May, 2004, Sherri Ginsberg, review of audio version of Emma's Secret, p. 46.

Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, October 21, 1993, Ron Miller, "When Her Stories Are Changed for TV, Barbara Taylor Bradford Understands."

Library Journal, April 15, 1998, Catherine Swenson, review of Power of a Woman, p. 134; February 1, 1999, Bettie Alston Shea, review of A Sudden Change of Heart, p. 118; March 15, 2000, Bettie Alston Shea, review of Where You Belong, p. 124; May 1, 2000, Nancy R. Ives, review of audio version of A Sudden Change of Heart, p. 170; December, 2003, Samantha J. Gust, review of Emma's Secret, p. 163; December 1, 2005, Samantha Gust, review of Just Rewards, p. 110.

M2 Best Books, October 19, 2005, "New Barbara Taylor Bradford Trilogy Acquired by HarperCollins."

Maclean's, March 8, 1999, "The Bradford Take on Writing," p. 55.

MBR Bookwatch, January, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Unexpected Blessings.

McCall's, September, 1998, Sophia Dembling, "The Last Words on Romance," p. 53.

New York Times, May 6, 1992, Ester B. Fein, "$20 Million for Bradford," p. B3; May 20, 1992, Ester B. Fein, "Winning an Author," p. B4; July 31, 1992, John J. O'Connor, "To Be the Best," p. B2; June 16, 1993, Sarah Lyall, "Falling ‘Angel,’" p. B6.

New York Times Book Review, August 3, 1980, Ray Walters, "People," p. 25; April 17, 1983, "End of the Fiction Doldrums?," p. 34; April 24, 1983, Mel Watkins, "Voice of the Heart," p. 16; March 4, 1984, review of Voice of the Heart, p. 34; June 9, 1985, Kiki Olson, "Hold the Dream," p. 22; July 20, 1986, Andrew Postman, "Act of Will," p. 18; July 31, 1988, Joyce Cohen, "To Be the Best," p. 18.

People, October 14, 1996, "Barbara Taylor Bradford's Everything to Gain," p. 20; February 22, 1999, Francine Prose, review of A Sudden Change of Heart, p. 44; April 17, 2000, Lan N. Nguyen, review of Where You Belong, p. 47.

Publishers Weekly, May 19, 1997, Paul Nathan, "Trio," p. 23; September 1, 1997, Judy Quinn, "Ah, More HarperCollins Transitions," p. 20; January 4, 1999, review of A Sudden Change of Heart, p. 75; February 28, 2000, review of Where You Belong, p. 58; February 26, 2001, review of The Triumph of Katie Byrne, p. 57; February 11, 2002, review of Three Weeks in Paris, p. 164; April 8, 2002, John F. Baker, "Bradford's Big Move," p. 16; May 26, 2003, Steven Zeitchik, "Bradford Creates Legal Stir in India," p. 17; August 11, 2003, Karen Holt, "Bradford Drops Costly Challenge to Indian Series," p. 116; November 10, 2003, review of Emma's Secret, p. 41; December 6, 2004, review of Unexpected Blessings, p. 43; November 28, 2005, review of Just Rewards, p. 24; November 20, 2006, review of The Ravenscar Dynasty, p. 35.

School Library Journal, February, 1997, Katherine Fitch, review of Her Own Rules, p. 134.

Spectator, November 16, 1996, David Sexton, review of A Secret Affair, p. 48.

Times, January 3, 1995, Julia Llewellyn Smith, "Model for a Woman of Substance," p. 11.

Wall Street Journal, September 10, 1986, Joanne Kaufman, "Heft and Heavy Breathing," p. 30; February 11, 2000, "Barbara Taylor Bradford," p. W2.

Writer, October, 2000, "In Whose Voice?," p. 7.

ONLINE

Barbara Taylor Bradford Web site,http://www.barbarataylorbradford.com (October 24, 2005).

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