Barbara (center) with Shig Yabu (left) and illustrator Willie Ito (right) at the L. A. Times Festival of Books, 2010.

BARBARA BAZALDUA is the author of A Boy of Heart Mountain: Based on and inspired by the experiences of Shigeru Yabu.  Born and raised in a small college town in Missouri, Barbara earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Stephens College in Missouri and a Master of Arts in theatre from the University of Missouri, Columbia before refocusing on her first love -- writing. She and her husband, actor Charles Bazaldua,  moved to Los Angeles in 1980. Barbara began working as a copywriter for The Walt Disney Company in 1980 and remained with the company for 25 years.  "The moment Willie Ito told me Shig's story, I knew I wanted to write it," she says.  "I grew up with parents who instilled in me their absolute belief in the right of everyone to respect, fairness, justice and equality.   A Boy of Heart Mountain, is for them as well as for the Japanese Americans who experienced—or know someone who experienced— the injustice of the camps."  Barbara currently works as a freelance editor and writer, pursuing her belief that "everything has a story."  She and her husband, Charles have 2 daughters, and a grandson -- whom she hopes will grow up to love and respect freedom and everyone's right to  it. (6/2010)

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