About Barbara O'Neal

Barbara O'Neal has written a number of highly acclaimed novels, including 2012 RITA winner, How To Bake A Perfect Life, which landed her in the Hall of Fame. Her latest novel, The All You Can Dream Buffet has just been released by Bantam Books in March. A complete backlist is available here.

Recent Posts by this author:

  • The Powerful Nutrition of Poetry
  • One Second of Detail
  • Resisting the Lure of the Shiny New Idea
  • Scars and Shame– The Secrets of Female Characters
  • Creating Strong Female Protagonists
  • Becoming a Better Writer in 2015, part 2
  • The Shiny Everything and The Long Game
  • Not Writing
  • Becoming a Better Writer in 2015
  • The Despair and Wonder in Every Moment
  • What Are You Afraid Of?
  • Your Repertory Company of Characters

  • One Second of Detail

      One of the great struggles of all writing is to create fresh, vibrant images and metaphors, to avoid the sin of telling and show the reader whatever it is we want them to see. I struggle with it as much as anyone, especially because I’ve been writing novels for a couple of decades now, […]

    Scars and Shame– The Secrets of Female Characters

    Last month, I talked about the cornerstones of building a strong female protagonist. This month, we’re going to dig a little deeper. In Wild by Cheryl Strayed, the main character is a young woman who is at the end of her rope. She’s lost her mother and she can’t find her footing in the world, […]

    Becoming a Better Writer in 2015, part 2

    In December, I wrote about setting goals for being a better writer in 2015. As it is now March and we’ve had three months, it seemed a good time to check in. How are you doing? (If you want to check what you wrote, go to the comments here.) Leaving out my usual quantitative goals, […]

    The Shiny Everything and The Long Game

    After reading Therese and Porter’s posts on the digital world and its effects on our thinking and productivity, I’ve been thinking a lot on the subject. How does all of this affect my life, my creativity? Confession: despite my reputation as a flighty Gemini, I am not a multitasker. It’s precisely because of my scatteredness […]

    Not Writing

    2014 was a year of great upheaval in my life, death, family divorce, illnesses and hospitalizations, as well as a health challenge of my own, requiring a lengthy period of downtime. It happens to all of us. Things come in clusters. And this was a year for my family’s life to be in chaos–and of […]

    The Despair and Wonder in Every Moment

    On Sunday morning, I drove through town to have coffee with a friend. It was one of those exquisite fall days that sometimes arrive just before winter settles in—the aspens and cottonwoods are all bright yellow clouds of leaves contrasted against the cloudless blue sky and blue mountains—just dusted with snow—in the background. I had […]

    What Are You Afraid Of?

    There is an Elizabeth Gilbert post making the rounds this week dismissing fear as boring. Which it is, in a way, and I get the point of the post, but it strikes me as something we need to talk about sometimes. What are you afraid of? Some writers are afraid of not being good enough. […]

    Your Repertory Company of Characters

    Gore Vidal famously said that every writer has a repertory company of players. He thought Shakespeare had about fifty, Hemingway only one, and himself around ten. I found this quote while pulling together material for Writing Romantic Fiction and it has been swirling around in my mind ever since. If all writers have a repertory […]