G. M. Barlean (born Gina Marie Navrkal) on May 27, 1963 in David City, Nebraska) is an American author of suspense, mystery, and general fiction.
Growing up on a farm outside of Bellwood, Nebraska, Gina Navrkal, the youngest of four children, enjoyed creative outlets such as drawing and writing poetry, as well as riding horses, three-wheelers, and spending time helping out and playing on the farm. In high school, she discovered she had a way with writing stories, and hoped to someday write a book.
Navrkal attend Lincoln School of Commerce and Southeast Community College, earning a diploma in business administration, then returned to David City to work for her sister and brother-in-law at Eberly Tax Service doing computer data entry. (This was the first computer system employed in David City, Nebraska and the local newspaper, at that time, featured an article about the tax service, their computer, and new employee.
Navrkal married her husband, Steve Barlean in 1984. In 1986, she returned to college to study psychology, achieving a 4.0 gpa, and her goal was to work in the field of counseling. After a year and a half of taking classes toward that degree, she left school to give birth to her daughter in 1987. She remained home for several years enjoying being a mother to first child, then in 1991, she had her son.
In 1992, Barlean borrowed her father-in-laws SLR camera and soon fell in love with taking pictures—her children being her primary subjects. Soon, other people in the community began asking her to take pictures for them, and Barlean sought to learn as much as she could about photography: reading books; visiting with professional photographers; experimenting with lighting and backgrounds. Soon she opened her photography studio, Barlean Photography. She worked as a portrait photographer for eight years, doing high school senior pictures, wedding pictures, and studio portraits. She sold her studio in 1998 to focus on her growing children’s needs as well as her parents were at that time needing assistance with making meals, doctor visits, and laundry, tasks she shared with her siblings.
Later, Barlean worked at a home interior store, at a parts store, as the manager of a rental facility, the manager of the communities Opera House putting on programs as fundraisers, including choirs, Jam sessions, and fashion shows. She then worked as the director of the David City Chamber of Commerce until 2008 when she went to culinary school, hoping to run a small restaurant.
Barlean finally allowed herself the freedom to imagine and wrote her first book in 2009. She then joined the Nebraska Writers Guild to search for more information about how to publish her work. Through this new network of colleagues, she participated in several on line courses, attended many conferences, has read many books on the topic of writing, and joined and helped create several critique groups which helped her hone her craft. From 2009 to 2017, Barlean wrote and published ten books, as well as many short stories. She chose to use G. M. as her professional pen name to disguise her gender as she felt strongly that her first book would play well to a male audience.
G. M. Barlean continues to be an involved member of The Nebraska Writers Guild. Her work is independently published using her own publishing imprint, Less Traveled Roads Publishing, mainly on Amazon, both in digital and print. She also sells signed copies of her work at the grocery store, Dale’s Food Pride, in David City. This is the only place she currently sells print copies of her work.
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Barlean’s novels include Casting Stones, a drama set in the twenties through the fifties in Missouri and Nebraska; Recipes for Revenge, a novel in four parts; Dead Blow, a psychological suspense set in Nebraska; and the three books in her Rosewood Series (Thorns..., Flames..., and Bad Blood... ) cozy mysteries set in Nebraska. Her short stories include Man with a Green Scarf (a love story), and Dark Works (a collection of scary tales), and Moments of Clarity (a collection of non-fiction essays pulled from her former blog titled, Moments of Clarity. Build a Writing Team is a non-fiction self-help book for writers to understand how networking can further their careers.
1. Casting Stones (2012)
2. Recipes for Revenge: A Four-Course Novel (2013)
3. Dead Blow (2014)
4. Build a Writing Team (2014)
5. Moments of Clarity (2014)
6. Thorns of Rosewood (2015)
7. Flames of Rosewood (2016)
8. Bad Blood of Rosewood (2017)
9. Man with the Green Scarf (2017)
10. Dark Works (2011)
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