Barbara Newhall Follett was born in Hanover, New Hampshire. Her parents were Wilson Follett, a critic and editor at the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house, and his wife Helen Thomas Follett, a children's writer. Barbara was home-schooled and was considered a child prodigy. She was writing poetry by age four, and by age eight had begun writing a novel. This book, The House Without Windows, was published with the help and guidance of her father in 1927, when she was 12 years old. It was acclaimed by critics at The New York Times, the Saturday Review, and other publications. Two years later, it was followed by The Voyage of the Norman D., a novel about sailing based on her own experiences aboard a schooner to Nova Scotia. Despite her literary success, she reportedly became depressed after her father abandoned her mother and the family fell on hard financial times during the Great Depression. Barbara and her mother moved to New York City, where she got a job as a secretary at age 16. She wrote several more manuscripts, including the novel-length Lost Island. In 1933, she married Nickerson Rogers and traveled with him throughout Europe and the USA before settling in Brookline, Massachusetts. According to her husband, on December 7, 1939, she left their apartment after a quarrel, after which she was never seen again.