10 Minutes With LaFleur Content Specialist Becca Barth
Written by Steven Thomas Kent
Becca Barth joined the LaFleur team in early 2019 as a content specialist. A longtime lover of the written word, Becca earned her bachelor’s degree in web design and development from Davenport University. Afterward, she realized she needed to reconnect with her passion for writing and weave it into her career, which led her to marketing and to LaFleur.
As a content strategist, Becca combines her love of writing and communication with the web development savvy she honed during her education. When she’s not writing, she likes to spend time in the kitchen, at a café or restaurant with friends, or outdoors with a good book and her dog Loki.
LaFleur: Tell me a little bit about how you came to LaFleur.
Becca Barth: I started freelancing here a few years ago. I got referred by someone who knew [Content Director] Dave [VandeWaa], and I started working full-time about a year after I had stopped freelancing to focus on my full-time job. And now, here I am.
LF: What’s your impression so far?
BB: It’s so easygoing, which is a lot different than my previous job where it was very traditional — a lot of black slacks, only wear jeans on Fridays.
LF: Slacks are like an endangered species here.
BB: Yeah. I mean, we also work really hard here, of course. But it’s just a lot better atmosphere.
LF: Is marketing your background? Is that what you planned to go into?
BB: I actually majored in web design and development, and I was planning to be a front-end developer building, designing, and coding websites. But writing had always been one of my passions. After I graduated, I realized how much I missed writing during those four or five years while I was doing that. So, I really wanted to find something where I could combine my background in web design with my love of writing. That’s how I got into digital marketing, and here I am, again.
LF: In terms of writing, have you always wanted to do it? Is it something you’ve loved since you were young?
BB: When I was really young, I hated everything to do with words and books. I didn’t want to read, and I didn’t want anything to do with any of it.
LF: When did that change?
BB: Elementary school maybe? Something just clicked — I must have found some book I loved. I don’t remember what it was, but it must have changed everything for me. I didn’t start writing more until middle school. That’s when I got into writing more.
I remember I was reading this series by Tamora Pierce at the time, who does a lot of children’s and young adult fiction, and she really inspired me. I was reading her books, and she wrote multiple series, and it made me want to create something. So I started writing silly little middle school stories. They weren’t any good, but that’s how I got into writing. As I grew up, it’s progressed from fantasy stories to professional writing, although I do still write novels.
LF: Are you working on a novel, or do you have any completed?
BB: I don’t think I could ever become published because my thinking isn’t linear. I start things and then I don’t work on them for months, then I go back to them. In the publishing world, you have due dates, and for me I’m more of a, whenever I feel like it — I don’t want to force myself to create something.
So, I’ve got several completed books, and then I’ve got about ten partial storylines.
LF: Are the completed books part of a series?
BB: There are two main series where there are actual full, complete books in them. One of them I wrote in early high school, so it’s kind of young adult-y and a little bit corny. I’ve been working on the other one since I grew up and entered the real world.
LF: And what’s that one about?
BB: I mostly write fantasy, kind of sci-fi stuff, so the one I’m working on now takes place in a futuristic or sort of alternate reality — not super futuristic in terms of technology. The idea is that a big cataclysmic event happened, and the world is completely changed. But it’s still set in the United States. It’s a fantasy, so it’s got magic, demons, swordfights—
LF: All in a post-apocalyptic setting?
BB: Kind of, yeah. The world is very different. There are still cities and civilization though. It’s not like “I Am Legend” or something.
LF: Okay, so that’s the setting. But what’s it about?
BB: It’s about a girl — I mostly write about girls. And she is part of a family who has a very magical background. They’re all magically gifted, but she isn’t, and she later finds out why that is, and her powers do eventually start to manifest. She finds out different things about her family, and it’s kind of about her figuring out her real history, and it has some vengeance stuff going on.
LF: You need a little vengeance to grease the gears. That sounds really intriguing. I hope your pessimism for the likelihood of publishing doesn’t come true. I’d love to see it.
BB: We’ll see. I write just because I want to.
LF: That’s cool too. It reminds me of J.D. Salinger, and how he’s supposedly written, you know, 20 novels or something since he stopped publishing, and he just keeps them for himself.
BB: Maybe if I ever finish a whole series, I’ll look to get it published.
LF: So, you love sci-fi and fantasy stuff. What’s your favorite sci-fi or fantasy world?
BB: Well, the obvious is Tolkien’s Middle Earth — I feel like all fantasy worlds pull from that. I do love the Harry Potter books too. And then it’s just a whole bunch of minor works most people haven’t heard of. I like alternate worlds better than alternate realities of this world. I really enjoy seeing how the authors design a whole new world that has nothing to do with the reality we know.
LF: Okay, so outside of the literary side of you, what else do you like to do? I know you like to hang out with your dog, Loki. In fact, for the record, Loki is sitting in on this interview. He is on my lap right now. What’s Loki’s story?
BB: He’s some kind of poodle-terrier mix. I’m not sure since he was adopted. He’s about two years old, and he’s very high-energy. He likes walks, constant attention, and hot dogs.
LF: What else do you like to do when you have a little more relaxation time and don’t want to do something as taxing as writing?
BB: I like to read and write, spend time with friends and family, meet up with people for coffee or dinner — nothing too crazy. Partying has never been my thing. I’ve started running again since LaFleur is doing the Color Run [5K] soon. I do yoga on and off. I’m not huge on traveling, but I do visit my brother in Upstate New York now and then. It’s gorgeous out there.
LF: What’s the last thing you read or watched or otherwise took in that affected you?
BB: The last thing I watched was Aquaman. I don’t really recommend it.
LF: So it affected you, but not in a good way.
BB: It wasn’t good. But I do enjoy superhero movies. Just not that one.
LF: Jason Momoa? He didn’t do it for you?
BB: Mm-mm. No.
LF: I feel like you’re in the minority there.
BB: Probably, yeah.