At Home: Barbara Shoup's Writing Room

Like one of her famed novels, the author’s office tells a great story.

While developing ideas for new young-adult novels, short fiction, and poems in her Broad Ripple home, writer Barbara Shoup surrounds herself with an eclectic assemblage of colorful mementos reflecting the people and experiences that have inspired her.

Bumper Sticker
Yes, that’s the F-word. Years ago, Shoup was in this office with a student. “All of a sudden, I saw him take notice. He was shocked.[The bumper stick above reads, FUCK ART. LET’S DANCE!”]

Childhood Snapshot
When Shoup was 11, she wrote a novel about a girl escaping during the Civil War by the Underground Railroad—except she thought it was a subway. “I was so embarrassed, I didn’t write for 20 years.

Student Wall
Shoup taught creative writing for about 20 years at Broad Ripple High School. Many students stay in touch through Facebook, letters, and photos.

“I bought this at a craft fair at the Eiteljorg. It’s something between whimsical and evil.”

Process Book
Shoup uses a blank journal to stay organized. “I have at least one for each novel. It’s where I solve the problems. They include maps, timelines, and such. It’s like the inside of my head.”

Yoga Mat
“It’s a bit hard to leave a novel behind, but yoga’s good for that. It really calms your mind and body.”

European Art
“I have this love affair with Europe. My mom was a war bride, from England.”


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the June 2013 issue.