Despite the large percentage of her books set in Virginia and West Virginia, Annie Barrows has lived all her life in California. And despite the large percentage of her books that take place in the 1930s, she studied medieval history in college. And furthermore, despite having written all these books, her original career goal was to be an interior decorator, mostly because she liked paint chips. However, at the age of nine, after having read My Side of the Mountain, Annie gave up on interior decoration in favor of living in a tree. This remains a dream of hers today, though she’d like a tree house with a retractable ladder, rather than just a hollowed-out tree trunk. Other career plans included being a ballerina (that didn’t last long), a chemist (that was even shorter), and a hermit (that went on for years).
In actual real life, however, the only thing Annie was ever very good at was reading, and her career grew from this. At the age of twelve, she was hired by her hometown library to put books away and make those little numbers on their spines. That was fun. Then she worked in a bookstore. After college, she did a stint at an art magazine, where she learned how to edit art criticism (take out all the words beginning with S), and at a textbook publishing house. Subsequently, she was an editor at Chronicle Books, where she specialized in weird and beautiful art books. After getting a Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing, Annie stopped editing and started writing, which turned out to be a good decision. She has written either nineteen or twenty-two books, depending on how you define the word book.
Annie lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters and two guinea pigs and whatever it is that’s living underneath the shed in her back yard.