All About Vanessa Barneveld

When I was growing up in suburban Australia, at various times I wanted to be a test pilot, lawyer, actress, surgeon, veterinarian, acrobat, psychiatrist, fashion designer, architect, jockey or a make-up artist.

Then a moment of horror at school gave me a novel idea. An English teacher (Ms. Janye Graham, if you’re out there, I’m talking about you!) mortified me by reading one of my short stories TO THE WHOLE CLASS an example of A+ work. As she read, mispronouncing a character’s name as Reg-I-na instead of Re-GEEN-a, the other kids stared daggers at me. But quietly I realized I could do whatever I wanted as a writer. All I needed was my imagination...and drive, focus, energy, chocolate, stationery, etc.

Fast-forward years later, and I’m writing paranormal and contemporary novels for Young Adults. (I had considered a career as a psychic but I quickly vetoed it due to a lack of natural ability.) My stellar critique partners, Romance Writers of Australia & America have done more than they know to improve my books. Writers House literary agent Robin Rue took me on as a client after her gem of an assistant, Beth Miller, discovered my query in the inbox of an agent who'd left just WH.

I also work full-time as a television captioner and editor, providing media access to the Deaf and blind communities. What’s not to love about a job where I can watch TV all day?

My musician husband and I are the parents of two adorable cats, who are coping with extensive home renovations which will let in more sunlight and ultimately benefit them the most.

(P.S. Ms. Graham, I forgave you a long time ago.)

Connect with Vanessa


Vanessa's Fun Facts

Ruby Nickname:
Girl from Oz

Sydney, Australia

GH Year(s)
2009, 2010

Completed Manuscript(s)

YA – light paranormal, contemporary romance

Started Writing:
Age 13

Day Job:
Television captioning for the Deaf and audio description for the blind

Blog Posts from Vanessa

The Power of Three

As part of the Rubies’ continuing series on 2014 Golden Heart finalists, I’m shining the spotlight on my two dear friends and critique partners, Kimberly MacCarron and Pintip Dunn. The GH brought us together years ago. Much to our delight, all three of us are finalists again. Pintip has two nominations — one Paranormal and […]

Ask Yourself, “Am I Feeling Lucky?”

It’s Friday the 13th, and depending on your outlook, it’s either a lucky day or an unlucky day. I grew up in a household where there was a superstition for just about everything. Needless to say, I become overly cautious and terrified to do anything that would attract bad luck. I’m much more balanced now, […]

Writing Companions

It’s often said that writing can be a solitary business. And it’s true. Unless you have a ghostwriter, this is one job you can’t delegate to others. We cleave ourselves from the rest of the world in a quest make the scenes playing in our heads come alive on the page. Occasionally we might venture […]

Call Waiting

Are you, like me, sitting by the telephone waiting for that special editor to woo you with a three-book deal? Wondering if your ears are burning not because you have a medical condition but because an entire acquisitions committee is discussing your stellar publishing future? Four of my manuscripts have done the rounds of New […]

Ruby Release: URL Love

The Story Behind the Publication Story When our Darynda Jones won a RITA in July, she encouraged me rub her statuette after the awards ceremony. “For good luck,” she said. I believe everything Ms. Jones says, so I immediately took her up on that offer. And wouldn’t you know it? Good fortune started pouring in […]


They say the difference between men and women is that men can’t multitask. Well, if that’s the case, I must be a guy. This may come as a shock, but I am not Wonder Woman. I can’t multitask effectively. All right, that’s a bit of a porkie — I can multitask when necessary. I just […]

Ruby Release Spotlight: The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

Mark my words, Ruby-Slippered Shea Berkley is going to win a legion of fans. And what’s not to love? Shea is a three-time Golden Heart® finalist, a writing mentor, and she can kickbox her way out of any kind of trouble. Between you and me, though, her kryptonite is Vegemite, that salty, yeasty Aussie sandwich […]

Nationals Recap: Day 1

10:00am My day began with a lie-in and a sumptuous breakfast of Cheetos and mixed nuts, followed by the application of a miraculous cosmetic that banished the luggage under my eyes. 11:45am Downstairs at a retreat for Golden Heart finalists past and present, sparks flew during a discussion on the impact of e-publishing. I don’t […]

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