Shafferman, Barbara 1928–

views updated

Shafferman, Barbara 1928–

PERSONAL: Born August 24, 1928, in New York, NY; daughter of William (in sales) and Kathryn (a home-maker; maiden name, Quittner) Rosenfeld; married Howard Shafferman (a photographer), December 18, 1955; children: Nancy, Joel. Ethnicity: "White." Education: New York University, B.A. (cum laude), 1948. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—1316 Jonathan Ln., Wantagh, NY 11793. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Advertising copywriter, 1949–59; astrologer, lecturer, and adult education teacher, 1974–; writer, 1988–. Community activist for the rights of the mentally handicapped.

MEMBER: American Federation of Astrologers, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Phi Beta Kappa.


The President's Astrologer (suspense novel), Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1998.

Contributor of articles and fiction to periodicals, including American Astrology, Potpourri, Mystery Time, Dell Horoscope, Grand Times, and Writer's Break.

SIDELIGHTS: Barbara Shafferman once told CA: "When people ask me why I began writing so late in life (my first novel was published at age seventy) I refer them to the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, 'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.' Astrology explains this, too, in its emphasis on favorable times to take action. As a person who understands the importance of timing, I believe that I was not ready to write professionally until 1988.

"Earlier in life, my overwhelming priority was as an advocate for the mentally handicapped, and my attention focused there. As the urgency for this decreased, the subject and practice of astrology occupied all my time. Throughout the years, however, a childhood dream-to hold in my hands a book I had written-percolated below the surface until, finally, it could not be ignored. As I began to write, first nonfiction, then fiction, my confidence grew to the point where I felt I could undertake a novel.

"One of my goals while lecturing about astrology has been to inform the public how much more there is to the subject than is generally understood. I chose to write a novel about an astrologer working for the president of the United States, so I could give the reader some glimpses of real astrology, while at the same time allowing my imagination full rein to explore the political world of America in the year 2006.

"Above all, I wanted to create an exciting, readable thriller. Although a first novel issued in trade paperback could not get attention from the major print reviewers, online reviewers reacted enthusiastically to The President's Astrologer. The comments convince me that I have achieved my goal. I have written additional novels, some of which are currently being considered for publication. Although I waited a long time for it, my season for writing has finally arrived."