Flying Hearts GIF2The Nitty Gritty

Barbara Hartzler is the debut author of The Nexis Secret, a paranormal novel about a girl with the supernatural gift to see the unseen world of angels. Barbara always wanted to write, not necessarily about angels, but the idea was too good to pass up.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Church Communication Arts from Central Bible College with an emphasis on drama and media. In college she won a National Religious Broadcasters/Focus on the Family essay scholarship and wrote and directed a successful one act play. Her first novel was inspired by her college experiences and peppered with anecdotes from a New York City missions trip.

She’s a born-and-raised Missouri native living in Kansas City with her husband and dog, Herbie. As a former barista and graphic designer, she loves all things sparkly and purple and is always jonesing for a good cup of joe.

A Genesis Semi Finalist in the Young Adult category, she’s an active member of her local American Christian Fiction Writers chapter and a new SCBWI member. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads, and she blogs at

My Personal Story

Barnside CropLike it says above, I’m a born-and-raised Missouri native. You think that’d make me a farm girl, but I’m not that cool. Born in St. Joseph, raised in Kansas City, schooled in Springfield, I’m just a suburbanite stuck in the heartland. No, I don’t pronounce it Missoura. Yeah right! There’s an “i” on the end people.

At 17 I thought I’d prove myself a whiz kid and graduate high school a year early. I wound up at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri–a smaller school in a way smaller town than KC. They called me a city girl because I’d point at cows along the highway and call ’em cute. Oops! Gotta go where God wants, right? Then I really went against the grain, choosing the least Bible-intensive major available, Communications.

I logged two years at the school newspaper, then got talked into running for junior class treasurer. I met a ton of great people who I still consider lifelong buds. I even scored my first major writing award–second place in the National Religious Broadcaster’s scholarship contest sponsored by Focus on the Family. My prize winning essay was entitled “Cinematic Theology and The Matrix.” That means I got to research The Matrix and get paid for it. Sweet!

They say steer clear of creative writing classes, but I say find a great teacher like Ms. Taylor. 🙂 Her class at CBC totally jump-started my first novel. Junior year I was forced to take another writing class, scriptwriting class. Lucky me, right? That spring I turned it into a successful one act play called  Nothing to Do With You. The title, and the play, actually worked–and counted toward my Comm degree.

Senior year they figured they had to put me in Who’s Who Among College Students, just in case my writing went anywhere. Graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in  Church Communication Arts, emphasizing in Drama and Media, hasn’t helped me land a fancy job like I thought. I’ve done everything from graphic design to working in the registrar’s office. Okay, so that’s about all I’ve done, unless you count barista in college.

For my debut novel I landed a contract with OakTara, a small publisher whose editor worked with Madeleine L’Engle. Now that I’ve made my mark with one editor it’s time to get cracking on her list of demands. (Just kidding). Then, if all goes well, I can start in on the next three novels in my series. Guess that means my other ideas for a dystopian sister story, a girl-on-the-run thriller, and a colorful science fiction/fantasy adventure, will have to wait. Who says I don’t have range?

Fun Facts

  1. Favorite color: Purple
  2. Favorite award: Voted “Laughs-a-lot” by my favorite manager. 🙂
  3. My dog Herbie was named after the Nebraska Cornhusker mascot Herbie Husker, not Herbie “The Love Bug” movies.
  4. Yes, it’s true. I’ve got a Jane Austen action figure sitting on my desk. C’mon, give her a lil wave. You know you want to.
  5. Favorite Movie: While You Were Sleeping
    Not JUST because it’s a Rom Com, but because it’s such a healthy + hilarious does of NORMAL! You’ve also got some awesome character writing portrayed by enormously talented actors. The perfect combo, seriously.

Next book ideas:

  • Dystopian sister story with imagery from a steely Bible verse
  • Suspense/Thriller developed from a foggy day
  • Sci-fi/Fantasy taken from a color-filled dream

My personal BPH Awards for best fiction:

All-time Favorite Author: Madeleine L’Engle for
A Ring of Endless Light

Runners-up: Jane Austen, Kristin Billerbeck, & Jenny B. Jones.

  1. Best Dystopian Book:
    Tahereh Mafi for her poetic, character-driven Ignite Me
    Runners Up: Suzanne Collins for Catching Fire, Marissa Meyer for Cinder, Veronica Roth for Divergent
  2. Best Dystopian Lite Series:
    Kiera Cass for her princess-in-waiting/caste system saga, The Selection series
  3. Best College-Girl Series:
    Robin Jones Gunn for her zany & spiritually insightful
    Katie Weldon series
  4. Best Teen Writer Series:
    Stephanie Morrill for her realistically flawed
    Ellie Sweet series
  5. Best Final Book of a Chick-Lit Trilogy:
    Tracey Bateman for her quirky That’s Not Exactly Amore
  6. Best Multiple Personality Book:
    Susan May Warren for 5+ POV masterpiece Finding Stephanie
  7. Best Boy Book:
    Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves for their sci-fi page turner Interworld
  8. Zaniest Character:
    Kristin Billerbeck’s hilarious and true-to-life Ashley Stockingdale series
  9. Best Theological Allegory:
    William P. Young for The Shack
  10. Best Free Book:
    Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
  11. Best Book to Read as a Child or an Adult:
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis