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Surprise, I’m not J B Barber, well sort of. J B Barber is a pseudonym. My actual name is J B Doyle, and I use the pseudonym for my mystery/fictional work. My given name is Joseph Doyle (friends and family call me Joe) and that will be used in the future for different genres. The reason I decided to use the pen name for the first set and this genre is two-fold. First, my mother, a very avid reader, and advocate of mine in my youth and literacy, maiden name was Barber. She also let it be known, quite frequently, that I had possessed her father’s demeanor, charm, and looks. So, it was almost a given.
I was born in 1955, and raised in St Louis, Missouri. I was the second eldest of four other siblings, an older brother and three younger sisters. Growing up in the sixties, and seventies during a very interesting time in our nation’s history was to say the least, an experience that one could reflect on forever. I have always wanted to write since I was a kid, but at that time attempts were in vain, as I had bigger fish to fry. I was then, perhaps even to this day sometimes referred to as a ‘rebel without a clue.’ I had a penchant for wanting to go against the grain. My father, a former Marine Corps Veteran, and I always bucked heads as I had already established a direction of my own. Of course, I had no clue as to where that was. Perhaps now that I’m a lot older, maybe also a bit wiser, that could be debated.
By the time I reached my early teens, I had become more than a challenge to my parents. I was notorious for looking for new and improved ways to go where no teen had gone before. Without getting into too many of the sordid details, hopping a freight train, brewing beer, brandy and wine, were just a few of my hobbies. Those stories alone would probably make for a good novel in the future. I think I was just a twentieth century Tom Sawyer.
I met my future wife of twenty-seven years as a junior in high school and we promptly married after graduation. I learned that my draft number was of one; but soon realized I was not going to take the trip to Southwest Asia; as the draft had by then, been suspended. We remained married until her death in 2001. Spending the first seven years of our lives together and starting a family and naturally, spending more money than we had, resulted in some interesting times. After all, we were only kids.
After spending seven years trying to convince myself, that maybe a tour in the Marine Corps wouldn’t be such a bad thing, I enlisted in May of 1982. Little did I know that it would result in a tour of duty that wouldn’t end until November of 2002. During that time, I developed my skills in writing in more of a technical side of the street. After my first enlistment in the infantry, I moved over to aviation, which was all it took for my career to become established. Writing fitness reports for junior personnel, point papers, technical reports and curriculum development, established a solid baseline for the transition to something with a bit more imagination.
After the Corps, I continued to work in aviation consulting and technical writing until last year. It was during this time that my first novel took form, and after several rewrites and edits, has come to fruition. It’s been an arduous process at times as writing fiction in the evening, and technical writing in my day job, could be a tricky proposition to manage. But, as with anything that is worthwhile in pursuing, it can be accomplished. So hopefully, the best is yet to come.