Barbara DesChamps – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

It’s In The Bag: Your Custom Business and Travel Wardrobe

Essential reading for the global economy. Don’t let clothing sabotage your career or business trip. Dress for success and safety by learning what colors and styles are appropriate for you, your occupation and destinations. Analyze your coloring and choose color schemes that are flattering, practical and professional. Build your wardrobe with detailed instructions and drawings to copy.

Includes color theory, clothing protocol around the world, special circumstances, including extreme weather, fabric characteristics and care, shoes, accessories, hair and make-up. Final chapter addresses pros and cons of ready-to-wear from various sources, alterations and custom clothing, including money-saving tips. Bibliography and index.

Tell us something about yourself.

I designed and made doll clothes as a child and started sewing my own clothes at 11. At 16, I worked in a clothing boutique; my tasks included alterations. I’ve advised people on career and travel wardrobes for over 40 years. My first academic background was in Math and Physics but I have also studied much architecture, art and design. No design problem is safe from my improvements!

My husband and I travel with just one carry-on each, even on long trips overseas, and we dress nicely. People kept asking how we do it and I realized: “There’s a book here.”

It’s In The Bag: The Complete Guide to Lightweight Travel shows how to travel stylishly with just a carry-on. People loved it but some wanted more: How to pick their own best colors and what to wear for different business situations and destinations. After much research and work, I produced the second book in the series: It’s In The Bag: Your Custom Business and Travel Wardrobe.

What inspired you to write this book?

Great segue! Because readers of my first book and clients asked for it.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Another publisher was interested in publishing my first book but I would have been responsible for most of the publicity. I did the Math (did I mention I was a Math major? ;-) and realized I’d be better off publishing it myself. That worked well and I felt confident for the second book.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I’ve always been interested in writing and originally planned to be an English professor but became interested in Math at 13.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

Research. I’m a stickler for accuracy and giving people practical information.

How do you do research for your books?

Another great segue! I check other books first. Whatever they do not provide in the way of relevance, completeness or currency, I pursue elsewhere. I email people all over the world.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

Many things but mostly clothing protocol around the world.

What are you reading now?

I tend mostly to non-fiction, expanding my knowledge. I just finished The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. It is a medical and sociological case study from the California Central Valley.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

For recreation, I like mysteries. Anyone from Doyle to Cornwell.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I’m close to finishing a book on main-dish soups and stews that are tasty, affordable and nutritious. I plan it as an e-book.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Learn about your subject from other books and independent research. If you can add to the body of knowledge, go for it. Otherwise, pick a different niche.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

TV and speaking gigs.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Easy! You can buy from others but I supply the books anyway so cut out the middleman!