Barbara Ferrer is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American raised in Miami, which she realizes makes her something of a walking cliché. On the other hand, however, it does mean she speaks Spanish fluently enough to regularly employ some of the more… colorful expressions in her works.
In 2006, using the pen name Caridad Ferrer, her debut young adult novel, Adiós to My Old Life(MTV Books/Simon & Schuster) garnered praise: “What shines through… is the rich diversity of Latino culture, and the celebration of music and its universal connections,” [Booklist]. Additionally, Adióswas awarded the 2006 Bronze Medal in Young Adult Literature in the inaugural Florida Book Awards and in 2009 was named to the distinguished Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list by the American Library Association.
Ferrer’s second novel, It’s Not About the Accent(MTV Books/Simon & Schuster) was released in 2007 to critical acclaim, with Publisher’s Weeklystating, “…this twisting book amply rewards readers.” As a result, she enjoyed increased visibility including invitations to high-profile speaking events such as the 22nd Annual National Hispanic Women’s Conference and the St. Petersburg Festival of Reading as well as multiple newspaper, radio, and television interviews, including South Florida’s popular Topical Currentsradio program.
When the Stars Go Blue, a contemporary young adult retelling of Bizet’s Carmen, was released in late 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan) with #1 New York Timesbestselling author Alyson Noël calling it,“A fresh, new spin on a classic tale, delivering a dreamy romance with all the necessary ingredients: a feisty heroine, an irresistible hero, and an ending that will make you swoon,” and the San Francisco Book Review giving it 5.0 out of 5 stars and stating, “A riveting tale of talent, determination, and love.” In 2011, Stars was honored as the first place Young Adult Novel: English Language at the International Latino Book Awards as well as being named to the Teen Latino Titles list compiled by REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.
She has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories (Rayo/Harper Collins) and in 2012 was a contributor to the Dear Teen Meanthology (Zest Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) along with such acclaimed authors as Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Sara Zarr. A pair of novellas for Harlequin Kimani TRU were released in 2014.
Between Here and Gone, her novel of a young Cuban woman’s coming-of-age in 1960s New York, began as an experiment on the online publishing platform Wattpad garnered over 75K reads in little over two months and led to a two-book contract with Diversion Books. The first of those two novels, Both Sides Now, tackled the taboo of infidelity during a medical crisis and received both positive reviews and substantial hate mail, and was awarded second place in the 2015 Latino Literacy Now Latino Books Into Movies awards and second place in the 2016 International Latino Book Awards.
Between Here and Gone received a starred review from Publisher’s Weeklyas well as being named one of their Best Books of 2016.
Barbara now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, thriving amidst the rain and cooler weather, finding it the perfect environment in which to spin new tales.
- Full name: Barbara Caridad Ferrer (My mother named me after two saints. No, I have no idea what she was thinking, either.)
- Nicknames: Barb, Babs (if someone’s feeling sassy), Barbie only if someone feels like risking their life
- Birthday: August 25
- Sign: Virgo (oh, so very Virgo)
- Hometown: Miami, FL (although I was born in New York City)
- Currently Living: Poulsbo, WA
- Hobbies: Music, reading, watching TV, cooking/collecting cookbooks, photography, ballroom dance