Barbara joined the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) in January 2004 and has been Deputy Chief Executive since 2006.
She spends most of her timing lobbying to protect and promote authors’ rights at UK, EU and international level. Barbara has also been involved with the work of the All Party Writers Group, seeking opportunities to bring issues regarding writers to the attention of the appropriate parliamentarians.
Barbara represented ALCS for a number of years on the Board of The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) or Société des Auteurs Audiovisuels. In November 2015 Barbara became Chair of the SAA.
In 2016 Barbara became Chair of International PLR.
1. What was the last book you read?
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. I’m a complete fan of her work and have read every one of her books. I love the way she makes you feel like you are there during some of the great occasions in English history.
2. What did you read it on?
I like books in their physical form. I’ll read the paper and any magazines on my iPad but for me books are meant to be read when you turn the page; there is something more satisfying about it.
3. What’s next on your reading list?
The next Philippa Gregory book!
4. Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?
Jackie Collins! Many of her books have accompanied me on beach holidays where I can chill, read, be entertained but not actually have to engage my brain too much! A guilty pleasure.
5. Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?
Foyles at Waterloo Station. Quite often when I’m waiting for my train home I’ll pop in and check out the latest offerings.
6. Name your favourite app and why.
Instagram! It’s the only way I can keep up with what my daughter is up to. She is an avid Instagrammer currently in Bali where there is a volcanic eruption that is supposedly imminent. I’m hoping she’ll be on her way home before that happens! About 15 years ago we were on a family holiday in Sicily when Etna erupted and we had a great view of the erupting volcano from our room. Somehow I felt better about this when I was with her!
7. Go on, let us know your musical guilty pleasure.
Almost anything from the 1980’s (with a few exceptions) but singing along as I walk to work in the mornings makes me smile (and gets me some quizzical looks from other commuters) though my mother said I should never apply for the X Factor!
8. What was your first job?
It was a Saturday job in the shoe shop Lilley & Skinners. I quickly knew that a full-time job standing up all day wasn’t going to be something I aimed for – though I have no problem walking around and shopping all day so not sure why that should have been a barrier to success in retail!
9. If you could tell your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star! Always aim high and don’t believe anyone who says you won’t make it or can’t do it.
10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
As I work for a writers’ organisation I’d say know your rights, join a union (Society of Authors, Writers’ Guild or National Union of Journalists) and sign up with ALCS for photocopying and scanning monies and Public Lending Right so you get money for the loans of your books from libraries. The average professional writer in the UK (according to research commissioned by ALCS) makes £11k per year so it is good to know your rights and the organisations that can help you.