Barbara was an Egyptologist by training (and wrote two good books on the subject), but found her fame as a writer of best-selling thrillers (under the name of Barbara Michaels) and mysteries (as Elizabeth Peters).
If you’re counting, that’s three writing careers under three names, and she aced all three.
I interviewed Barbara a couple times for various publications, and she was terrific: sharp, funny, outspoken, and always entertaining. We used to talk now and then when I was still writing about genre fiction and attending cons. Like most writers, she was widely read, and I remember chats about Plato (she told me that the title for “The Dark on the Other Side” was prompted by a thought about the allegory of the cave: “What’s beyond the light that casts the shadows?”) and other writers (she was a loyal friend and a great supporter of upcoming writers) and Egypt. She was a lot of fun and a terrifically talented lady.
You can read some more about her here.
One of our interviews can be found in The Fine Art of Murder.