Paul A. Barra was a naval officer for five years, earning the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and the Combat Action ribbon for his work on the rivers of South Vietnam; he was a bartender for 10 years and has been a chemistry teacher for longer yet. In and among those careers, Barra was a reporter for local papers and the senior staff writer for the Diocese of Charleston. He also free-lanced for newspapers and magazines, receiving numerous awards from the South Carolina Press Association and the Catholic Press Association. He graduated with a BS from Niagara University and an MS from Loyola University of New Orleans.
His four supplemental readers were published by Houghton Mifflin in 2008, two years before Tumblar House released his non-fiction book about the founding of a private high school that was opposed by its diocese, “St. Joe’s Remarkable Journey.” Barra’s middle-grade adventure novel, “The Secret of Maggie’s Swamp,” came out from Brownridge Publishing in 2012.
“A Death in the Hills,” was short-listed for the Tuscany Prize before he signed a publishing contract with Argus Books in 2014. His novel “Astoria Nights” was published by Black Opal Books in 2017. Barra is currently under contract for “Cotton and Bones,” an historical mystery set in Charleston and featuring a real-life slaveholding bishop; it will be released in
April 2018 by BOB. He is putting the finishing touches on a book about an American advisor to the South Vietnamese navy’s junk force operations in the Mekong delta.
Paul Barra and his wife Joan have eight children and live with their dog, burro, alpacas and chickens in Reidville, SC.