Barbara Shoff began writing before she could write. At the age of five she would make up dialogue for her friends so they could perform plays. They charged a nickel a performance to "the old people" (parents and grandparents) in the neighborhood. The stage was a front porch with a blanket... show more
Barbara Shoff began writing before she could write. At the age of five she would make up dialogue for her friends so they could perform plays. They charged a nickel a performance to "the old people" (parents and grandparents) in the neighborhood. The stage was a front porch with a blanket curtain. Their group was quite successful which kept them in bubble gum and popsicles most summers.In the 1980's Barbara had a column in a small town Missouri newspaper. It was called, "BJ's Corner." She wrote it for free. She became serious about writing and began penning articles for several women's magazines. "I sold my first article for $25. I was so excited I screamed so loud you would have thought it was for 25 million. I have written brilliant ad copy as well as very dull assembly instruction manuals."Perhaps because Barbara was severely social media challenged two years ago and not afraid to admit it, she became The Accidental Pundit on PolicyMic. PolicyMic is geared toward a millennial audience. PM's articles are designed for fact supported written debate. A short time later, when she had completed her non-fiction exposé, The Home Warranty Handbook, and was looking for a publisher, Barbara decided it was high-time the old dog started learning new tricks. As a survivor of domestic violence and abuse she wanted to give back to her community. "Social workers educating survivors living in a shelter about domestic violence and abuse is ass backwards. These women already know better than the social workers what happened. The 'whys' research is still being sorted out. For instance, just recently "the system' figured out perpetrators don't suffer from anger management issues or everyone would know who they are. The perpetrators are obsessed with power and control. "But what survivors need to learn, is how protect themselves and support themselves while they heal and transform into something stronger and more beautiful than they were before they were abused. But few people want to discuss the subject. For that reason, I wrote the stalker thriller, A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis. My goal was to entertain and educate at the same time. It is the first book in a trilogy that touches on several taboo subjects in our culture."Barbara has picked every brain she can find to try to figure out the ins and outs of developing a "platform" and how social media works for writers. She took a social media for dummies class at a local technology center. "I almost learned some things about Facebook. The next day they changed it."I hired a fifteen year old to teach me how to blog and when I asked him how to add a subscribe button, he shrugged his shoulders and said, 'Dunno. Let's try this. Nope, not that, Let's try this.' Fifty dollars later a light went on in my head and I decided to try clicking different links on my own. I watched YouTube videos until my eyes crossed, took a spiral notebook full of notes and finally built a website."I am still learning. Now both books are published. I am signed up on almost every freaking social media site there is and I am maybe, kinda, sorta getting an idea of how they possibly work. Mostly though, I'm praying Oprah or Ellen will 'discover' me and I can concentrate on writing my books and going to shelters giving chrysalis building lessons."Oh, yeah, in 2013 I was honored to be a member of the inaugural cast of Oklahoma City's production of Listen to Your Mother. You can watch me on YouTube by searching, LTYM OKC Barbara Shoff."One thing Barbara hates--writing about herself in the third person. "It makes me feel like I am suffering from some sort of multiple personality disorder."