About The Author

Nancy E. Potter

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, I moved to Europe with my family when I was nine years old, where my father worked in the oil industry. It was the old Europe where every country had its’ distinct character. While spending five wonderful years abroad, I learned to speak French and gained an appreciation for people from very different cultures. I have traveled extensively throughout my life, which I have found to be a great help to me in my writing.

My first memory of writing for my own enjoyment was when I was 10 years old and living in The Hague, and I’ve been at it ever since. I was fortunate to have English teachers my entire academic career who encouraged my writing. In my home, you will find many boxes filled with my old journals, poems, short stories, and more.

After graduating from college, I moved to Washington, D.C. to work on Capitol Hill and at the White House in the Office of Communications where I helped formulate ways to explain to the American public the intricacies of a massive new program. My entrepreneurial mindset led me to try my hand in several areas before settling into the garment industry where I designed fashionable maternity clothes in a market with few choices at that time.

I have a son who was born with a rare genetic skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa (often referred to as E.B.). A defect in his keratin gene caused him to lose nearly half of his skin while being born and then to produce hundreds of blisters every day, which had to be lanced and bandaged over the course of many years. He could scarcely be touched, as the slightest contact could tear off his skin. He even had blisters in his mouth, which necessitated having a feeding tube inserted into his stomach when he was just a few days old; he lived with the feeding tube  for four years. He required 24-hour care, which I provided.

Out of my son’s many years of pain, I learned to marvel at the least little thing he could accomplish, and to have great compassion for those with special needs and their caregivers.

To aid in raising awareness and funds for research into this dreadful disease, I put on the first-ever major fundraisers for E.B. in the 1990s at what was then The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Houston, Texas, and I continue to work to bring awareness to the disease. Please consider helping at www.debra.org. At 31 years old, my son is learning to live independently.

My debut novel, Barbours Cut, is based on the life of my great-grandfather, Captain Clyde A. Barbour, whose exceptional rags-to-riches life continues to be an inspiration to all who know of him. Born in 1874, he was instrumental in the development of Houston, especially the Houston Ship Channel, a portion of which bears his name today, Barbours Cut, and Barbours Terminal.

The process of writing this novel began in 1985, when I recorded interviews that I conducted with my maternal grandparents; my grandmother was Captain Barbour’s daughter, Lilly. Lilly’s story is the basis of my next novel, which I have already begun to write.

My home, located just outside of Houston, is brimming with memorabilia pertaining to Barbours Cut, some of which date back to the late 1800s. This memorabilia was indispensable to me in writing this novel, as it greatly helped me bring the scenes and the characters to life.

Publishing Barbours Cut after all these years has brought me great joy, and it is my hope that you get as much joy from reading this entertaining and inspirational rags-to-riches story beginning on a flatboat on the Mississippi River and ending in boardrooms across the U.S. and abroad.

About Barbours Cut

If Clyde Barbour had his way in 1893 at 19 years of age, he would be off his father’s flatboat and in college, but his father still needed his help with the family trading business drifting down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers; even so, he was able to propel himself to building thriving enterprises with operations not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and Mexico.

Barbours Cut is based on Clyde’s story. Later known as Captain Clyde Barbour, he lived a life of adventure and intrigue, including a public horsewhipping, a near-deadly run-in with Pancho Villa (the Mexican revolutionary), a dalliance with a glamorous French opera singer, and a lifelong struggle to protect and uplift the lives of both his serial-philanderer brother and his alcoholic father.