FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES:
M. P. Barker is represented by:
Marie Lamba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
245 Park Avenue, 39th Floor
New York, NY 10167
A downloadable media kit is available here
Download A Difficult Boy cover
Download Mending Horses cover
Headshots by Seth Kaye Photography
M. P. Barker is a Writer, Editor, Historical Consultant, and Time Traveler. She draws on her experience as an archivist and living-history interpreter to write historical novels about seldom-examined corners of the past. Her award-winning books A Difficult Boy (Holiday House, 2008) and Mending Horses (Holiday House, 2014) have been praised for their complex, nuanced characters, rich period details, and fluid storytelling. Both books are set in 19th-century New England and reflect her professional background and research work. Numerous recommended reading lists have featured her novels, and they have received honors from literary, educational, and historical organizations, including PEN New England, the International Reading Association, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book.
Barker worked as a costumed historical interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village and at Storrowton Village, two living-history museums in Massachusetts, where she time-traveled to 19th-century New England. About her experiences in living history, she says, “You can do all the research you want, but there’s nothing like sitting with your face against a muddy cow’s belly and getting slapped upside the head with a manure-soaked tail to give your story that ‘been-there-done-that’ feeling, and to add a new and pungent dimension to the words ‘in your face.’” She also was an archivist at the Museum of Springfield [Mass.] History, where she felt lucky to be paid to snoop through old diaries, photos, letters, and personal papers.
Writing A Difficult Boy and Mending Horses allowed her to combine her childhood dreams of becoming a novelist and owning a horse with her grown-up jobs as an archivist and historian. Although she never did get that dream horse, she invented one in Ivy, the mare that Daniel takes care of in her books.
She is also the author of two nonfiction books: 140 Years of Providential Caring (Sisters of Providence, 2012), a history of the Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts, co-authored with Tom Shea and Suzanne Strempek Shea; and Images of America: Chicopee (Arcadia Publishing, 1998), a pictorial history of Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Besides being a writer, she is a freelance editorial and historical consultant. Her other writing projects have included exhibits, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, planning studies, and local history publications. Editorial projects have included novels, memoir, and pop-culture and sports history.