O.J. Barré hails from the lushly forested, red-clay hills near Atlanta, Georgia. From birth, O.J. was a force of nature. Barefoot and freckled, headstrong and gifted; she was, and is, sensitive to a fault. Books became her refuge as a young child, allowing O.J. to escape the confines of her turbulent alcoholic home on adventures to untold places and times. Her daddy's mother was a Willoughby, making O.J. a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Her Awen series is a love letter to that distant past.
A child of the '60s and '70s, O.J. cut her teeth on the classics, reading every book her local library had to offer, including Animal Farm at the tender age of eight. A tomboy, she rode horses, climbed trees, waded in creeks, and cheered, all while excelling in English classes and maintaining a straight-A average in school.
Many of O.J.'s favorite novels are those with animal characters. In the early 2000s, Terry Brooks's Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold leapt off the racks of her local Barnes & Noble and into her hands, changing O.J.'s life forever. With its quirky dog-scribe Abernathy and the other talking animal and earth characters, this series became one of O.J.'s favorites. Brooks's juxtaposition of a fantastical world within our day-to-day one directly influenced the creation of the Awen trilogy. O.J.'s love of meditation, natural healing, nature, and cinema can also be found in the pages of her novels.