Barbara Pietron: Library Circulation Clerk by Day, Legacy in Legend Author by Night
(Sierra Pregosin, June 26, 2021)
Author Barbara Pietron’s love of books, along with her great admiration for authors, prompted her second career as a writer. Growing up in Oakland County, Michigan, Pietron brings the lore of the Midwest—both native and immigrant—alive in the real-world settings of her Legacy in Legend series.
Pietron’s series chronicles fifteen-year-old Jeni’s adventures as she navigates her spiritual abilities with a local medicine man’s apprentice, Ice. From the Mississippi Headwaters in Minnesota, to the river’s end in the Gulf of Mexico, the Legacy in Legend series follows Jeni’s family as they visit various river towns where Jeni and Ice encounter malicious forces from local myths and legends. Her latest installment in the series, Lost in Nowhere, has Jeni on yet another quest: to retrieve the lost soul of a ghost’s lover in the spirit world.
What’s particularly remarkable about Pietron’s series is that in addition to being well plotted and paced, the books are well-researched. Using both lore and mythology respectfully is an important aspect to Pietron’s storytelling.
As a library circulation clerk in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, Pietron knows what it’s like to be easily lost in many amazing stories filled with rich folklore and fantastical elements. Pietron’s love for the paranormal came at an early age: through the work of Stephen King.
“My love for the paranormal world was born when I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot when I was thirteen. Then I met Anne Rice’s witches and vampires of New Orleans and I was entirely hooked.”
Michigan has always been a strong source of beauty, inspiration and encouragement for Pietron. The winters gave her ample time to write—her best writing days were by far during cold days where her cat sits on her lap while she writes. During quarantine, she’s made sure to support her favorite local bookstores on Bookshop.org from the comfort of her home.
The Rochester Writers’ Conference has given Pietron a great opportunity to meet writers with similar interests at an affordable, local venue—no hotel or plane fare necessary. Over the years, she has attended the conference many times, learning about world-building, marketing, audiobooks and different ways to look at story structure. Because it’s local, the Rochester Writers’ Conference fostered a community with other writers for Pietron to share her experiences, bounce around ideas and share tips, resources and more:
“I’ve found that being in a room with other writers is beneficial for the questions and comments that I may not have thought of myself…Being surrounded by others who understand the unique aspects of living a writer’s life is a wonderful feeling of support.”
With this love and admiration for Oakland County helping her get her start, it’s no wonder that Pietron eventually found a publisher for the Legacy in Legend series. Local publisher Scribe Publishing Company, founded by Jennifer Baum in 2011, fell in love with Pietron’s first book in her series, Thunderstone, at first sight. When asked about Barbara’s work, Baum responded: “I really liked the story’s characters off the bat, and I am always drawn to a quick-moving plot, which this series definitely has. But what I loved most (and still do!) about her series idea was that the entire series follows this character and her family and friends along cities down the Mississippi River, and I love the Americana angle of that juxtaposed with the characters exploring myths and legends.”
Straight from the company website, Scribe Publishing Company credits itself as a traditional, royalty-paying small press that uses IPG for national distribution. Their books are available anywhere books are sold and have been featured in The Detroit News, the Midwest Book Review, School Library Journal, Foreword Reviews, Kirkus Reviews and more. Formerly located in Royal Oak, Michigan, this female-owned and operated publisher prides itself on publishing local authors and their stories with heart in their new office in Pontiac, Michigan. Notably among Scribe’s backlist is Under the Radar: Michigan, a series of travel books by PBS’s award-winning television show of the same name.
With the support of a local publisher and a local author with a fantastic young adult series, this spelled a recipe for success.
Since Thunderstone was acquired, Pietron’s series has been well-received by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Kids’ BookBuzz, attracting an entire dedicated community of YA readers who flock to Pietron’s monthly newsletter for her latest updates and free short stories. Since being published, Barbara has worked with local bookstores, like Bookbeat in Oak Park, just for readers close to home. She hopes that with her upcoming release of Lost in Nowhere she can do a surprise signing at more local bookstores!
To find out more information about Barbara Pietron and the Legacy in Legend series, visit barbarapietron.com or scribe-publishing.com.