Margaret Barker was born in 1933 in Yorkshire, England, UK. When she was a little girl, if she was lucky, her mother would tell her a story at bedtime. If her mother was too tired or busy, she asked Margaret to tell herself a story. So she did—out loud—much to the annoyance of her brother, who complained that she should have been born with an on/off switch. She says she has always enjoyed writing, but it wasn't until she'd pursued several interesting careers that she became a full-time writer. As soon as she could write, she scribbled little stories—she even tried her hand at poetry. But then her career took over—or rather careers. For years she says she was chasing various bits of paper qualifications, so fiction writing had to take a back seat.
First she went off to Leeds General Infirmary for three years and became a state registered nurse. Then, after marriage and three children, she spent two years at a college of education, studying for a general teaching certificate so that she could teach full time. Later, after taking a further diploma in music, she became a head of department. Finally, in 1979 she went to university to take a degree in French and linguistics. It was during this time that she found herself in Paris teaching English as an assistante in a lycée. Her salary was much lower than it had been as a qualified teacher in England. Discussing this with her son over a pub lunch in London, he suggested the possibility of writing a romance novel.
For her first book, Margaret knew she had to write about something she knew well, which is why she decided on a medical background. Her first book, Tropical Nurse, also had a location familiar to her: It was set in Nigeria, where she'd lived for a couple of years when her children were small. Since 1983 Margaret has written over 40 medical romance books, some of them set in exotic locations, reflecting her love of travel. Others are set in the U.K., many of them in her native Yorkshire.
Margaret has three children, three in-law children, and 12 grandchildren—at the last count—some or all of whom come to stay on weekends and holidays. Often she and her husband take care of a few of them for several days at a time, so her writing has to be slotted around this. Then, there are the weeks spent traveling to ease her itchy feet. Margaret knows she can still write on her laptop, but she prefers to relax completely when traveling, soak up the atmosphere, and let the creative ideas for another book swirl around inside her head before returning home to write the next story.