About Hayley

Hi. I’m Hayley. I write picture books most of the time. There’s a middle grade novel percolating in my head and heart too.

As a kid, I was a constant reader and a truly accomplished daydreamer. I didn’t realize that reading and daydreaming were preparing me to become a writer, but they were. They gave me a love of language, strengthened my imagination, and taught me to be curious about people and places. I still spend lots of time reading and daydreaming. It’s how I stay connected to this cute kid. She knows all the best stories.

Other than writing, my favorite activity is caring for and riding horses. I spent my childhood reading horse books and galloping around, first on my own two feet and later on four hooves. When I was nine years old, my parents surprised me with a dream come true—a pony. I named her Trish. She taught me about responsibility, respect, and resilience.

My husband and I have one daughter and one son. When they were little, we read lots of books and baked lots of cookies. Now we travel and have grand adventures, but books and cookies are still part of the deal. They make my life a joy.

In this WCAT interview with Colleen Getty of The Room To Write, I talk about starting out as a children’s author, my writing process and critique groups, and the importance of finding creative communities like The Writers’ Loft and The Room To Write.

More About Me

I have a pet chicken that lives at my friend Kim’s house. Said chicken will someday be the subject of a picture book. Her name is Sittin’ Pretty.

She’s a Bantam Cochin Buff.

Two of my favorite childhood books were Judith Kerr’s Mog the Forgetful Cat and Tomi Ungerer’s Crictor. Interestingly, both stories feature burglars.

I currently have 55 nieces and nephews, including the greats.

The only place I can’t read is in a moving car, but I wish I could. I’ll keep practicing.

Short Bio

Hayley Barrett is the author of three upcoming picture books, Babymoon (Candlewick 2019), What Miss Mitchell Saw (S&S/Beach Lane, 2019), and Girl Vs. Squirrel  (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, 2020). She lives outside of Boston with her husband John. Their two terrific kids have flown the coop.