Kansas City, MO
"Where I come from, no one dreams of becoming an author," says Derrick Barnes. "I didn't know any famous African American male authors. I didn't actually meet one until I attended college. I wanted to be a football player, the next Sean Combs, or a rapper; anything that would instantly provide me with the riches I would need to ‘move my mama off of the block.' I was raised in a single parent household by my mother, the lovely Miss Catherine Barnes, along with my big brother, Anthony, in Kansas City, MO."
Derrick received an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration at a local community college and then obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Jackson State University. At Jackson, he became a campus newspaper advice columnist. The column, entitled Brown Sugar, "gave me the confidence to write with purpose," says Drrick. "I also felt like, for the first time, that I had something to say and that people would listen. Who wouldn't listen to a guy with the pen name ‘Hershey Brown'?"
After graduation, Derrick worked for Hallmark Cards for three years. "I learned so much about crafting my words, about editing, and about constructive criticism," he says.
His family moved to New Orleans, LA. He published his first novel, The Making of Dr. Truelove. They lived there for two and a half years until they were chased back to Kansas City by the most disastrous force of nature in US history, Hurricane Katrina. They moved back to Kansas City.
Derrick's current project is the Ruby and the Booker Boys series. "My wife and I have three sons," say Derrick. "We joke about how lucky we are to have our own Booker Boys, and how I'll never run out of material for writing the characters for Ruby's older brothers, Ro, Ty, and Marcellus. My sons would love a baby sister, so I envisioned what our daughter would be like, and I created Ruby Marigold Booker. To me, Ruby embodies every determined, intelligent, creative, beautiful, African American girl I've ever known. But Ruby's not perfect. Along with her sweetness, Ruby can be a little mouthy and hard to get along with at times. Thankfully, she's cradled in the arms of a strong and loving family, and even with her flaws, she would make any Booker Boy proud."
Derrick Barnes currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife and their own "Booker Boys" - Ezra, Solomon, and Silas. For more information about Derrick, please visit http://www.derrickbarnes.com/