Barbara “Barbi” McSwain is a writer, mother, “grandlady,” and native Texan. After a lengthy teaching career, she began writing print and online curriculum in 2007. With a focus on reading and English language arts (ELA), she has written elementary and middle school curriculum for Cambium Learning, Edmentum, Reading A-Z, Pearson, and Curriculum Associates.

Barbi conceived the idea for The Mountain in the early 1980s after a conversation with a friend about Christianity. Her friend was frustrated at finding the Christian life was not easy nor was it filled with the blessing of prosperity he heard promised from some preachers. Knowing that “faith is not about everything turning out okay, but faith is about being okay no matter how everything turns out,” she began creating Johann’s adventure to share this idea in her first novel.