Colley, Barbara 1947- (Anne Logan)
COLLEY, Barbara 1947-
PERSONAL: Born July 26, 1947, in Ringgold, LA; daughter of Charles and Doris (a homemaker; maiden name, Wilson) Logan; married A. David Colley, November 18, 1966; children: April, Charles, Anna Colley Alford. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Attended Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (now Louisiana Tech University), 1965-66, and Nicholls University, c. 1976. Religion: Christian—Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Shopping at malls, tennis, sailing, travel, playing with her grandchildren.
ADDRESSES: Home—Louisiana. Agent—Evan Marshall Agency, 6 Tristam Pl., Pinebrook, NJ 07058-9445. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Minden Press & Herald, Minden, LA, classified advertisement receptionist, 1966-67; Sperry Rand Corp., Minden, line dispatcher, 1967-68; Ebasco Services, Taft, LA, receptionist and filing and dispatch clerk, 1977-78; temporary clerical worker, Norco, LA, 1984-85; Ormond Country Club, Destrehan, LA, secretary and receptionist, 1985-87, 1989-91; temporary clerical worker, Luling, LA, 1987-89. writer, 1991—. Member of Malice Domestic and Bouchercon, 2002.
MEMBER: Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death Chapter), Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime Writers, Southern Louisiana Romance Writers (charter member; president, 1991).
AWARDS, HONORS: ARTemis Award, Romance Writers of America, 1992; Reader's Choice Award, Oklahoma Romance Writers, 1992; named distinguished artist of Louisiana, 1996.
Maid for Murder: A Squeaky Clean Charlotte LaRueMystery, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.
Death Tidies Up, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2003.
romance novels; under pseudonym anne logan
Gulf Breezes, Harlequin Books (Tarrytown, NY), 1992.
Twin Oaks, Harlequin Books (Tarrytown, NY), 1993.
Dial "D" for Destiny, Harlequin Books (Tarrytown, NY), 1994.
That Old Devil Moon, Harlequin Books (Tarrytown, NY), 1996.
Finding Kendall, Harlequin Books (Tarrytown, NY), 1997.
A Dance with the Devil, Harlequin Books (Tarrytown, NY), 1997.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Polished Off, publication by Kensington Publishing expected in 2004; two romance novels.
SIDELIGHTS: Barbara Colley told CA: "Do you know how you can tell if a person is from Louisiana? The answer is, if they think purple, green, and gold colors go together and look good, then they have to be from Louisiana. Yes, I'm referring to Mardi Gras, and yes, that was supposed to be a joke.
"But seriously, I am a native of Louisiana. I grew up in the small North Louisiana town of Minden, where I worked on my high school newspaper staff and, later, on the staff of the Minden Press & Herald. At that time, though, I never really dreamed of becoming a writer.
"After high school, I attended Louisiana Tech University and Nicholls State University as a music education major. My dream then was becoming a band director. Instead, I fell in love with my husband, David, and I'm still in love with him even after thirty-five years of marriage, three grown children, and five precious grandchildren.
"After college, my husband and I moved to a small suburb of New Orleans. What a change for both of us. Most people don't realize that there is a vast difference in the cultures of North Louisiana and South Louisiana. I truly love living near New Orleans. With its Creole French and Spanish influence, New Orleans is such a unique and interesting city. Strolling through the historical French Quarter and the Garden District is one of my favorite pastimes. The city is well over 200 years old, but each time I visit, I find something new and fascinating.
"So how did I get started writing? A lot of people ask me that question, and the answer is both simple and complex. Simply, I was trying to be a good, conscientious mother. More complex, I've always loved to read and, according to my mother, I've always possessed a healthy dose of imagination as well as the belief that I could do anything I wanted to do if I set my mind to it.
"When my oldest daughter was a young teenager, 'Harlequin Presents' began arriving through the mail. Without my knowledge, my daughter had subscribed, and I decided I should read a few to make sure they were suitable for someone her age. I deemed that they were suitable, but a funny thing happened. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. Then I came to a point when I began to believe that I could write 'one of those'.
"Believing I could write a book was half the battle. Actually writing one and getting published was the other half. Well, I did write one, then I wrote another one, then another, and I'm still writing fifteen years later. But even better, I'm published and get to share my stories with thousands of wonderful readers all over the world. To date, my Harlequin romances have been published in sixteen foreign countries as well as the United States and Canada.
"So how did I go from writing romance novels to writing mystery novels? Actually, it wasn't much of a stretch for me to do so. I've always loved to read mystery and romantic suspense, and all of my romance novels have a thread of mystery running through them.
"I have to give my agent a lot of credit for my decision to switch to writing mysteries. I'd been trying to write mainstream thriller novels for a couple of years, without success, and one day in a phone conversation with my agent, he suggested that I might want to try my hand at writing a cozy mystery series instead. He very gently told me that, though there was nothing wrong with my thriller stories or my writing, most publishers only wanted the big-name authors for the thrillers. He knew there was a market for 'cozies,' and he felt sure that he could sell in that market.
"He and I talked about a possible setting as well as the type of sleuth I might use. He suggested the New Orleans Garden District, and I came up with the idea of using a maid for a sleuth. With his encouragement and support, I wrote a proposal. Within two months, my agent called to let me know that a Kensington editor was interested in buying my series, but he'd like for the sleuth (my maid) to be older, in her late fifties or early sixties. I said, 'No problem. I can do that.' Well, that Kensington editor did buy the series, and he offered me a three-book hardcover/softcover deal. Thus my maid sleuth, Ms. Charlotte LaRue, was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"Besides reading and writing mystery and romance books, there are other fun things I enjoy, too. I love shopping at the malls, tennis, sailing, and traveling. But the most fun thing of all is playing with my sweet grandchildren who range in age from two to nine years old.
"For me, writing is a necessity. It took me six years and four completed manuscripts to get published, but I think I would have kept writing even if I had not gotten published. I love the whole creative process of writing. It's fun, but it's also hard work, and I can't imagine doing anything else."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, January, 2002, Rex Klett, review of Maid for Murder: A Squeaky Clean Charlotte LaRue Mystery, p. 157.
Publishers Weekly, January 7, 2002, review of Maid for Murder, p. 50.
Barbara Colley-Anne Logan Web site, http://www. eclectics.com/barbaracolley-annelogan (December 3, 2002).