The idea behind any anthology is two fold. As an author you get the chance to bring your work to many that may have never been exposed to your work. As a reader you get the, free, opportunity to discover new authors thus extending your to-be-read list. In an effort to help you learn a little more about the authors of Wyrd Worlds II, I bring you the “Wyrd Worlds II interview series”. Each week I’m going to, attempt depending on their schedules, bring you an interview from a different author.
This week’s interview is coming from Barbara Tarn. Barbara’s contributed Guisarme, a fantasy adventure following the title character. Guisarme is a female assassin in a guild on a mission to discover what happened to her friend, and mentor.
Where do you live and write from?
I was born in Rome, but having spent 8 wonderful years abroad, I consider myself international. I’m fluent in Italian, English and French, and wonder if I should learn the fourth language – considering my new movie passion I should pick Hindi!
When did you start writing?
I was still living abroad when I jotted down the first stories and poems in Italian or French. The first “official” illustrated story is from the summer of 1978 when we came back to Italy. I have “recycled” it half in the first Chronicle of the Varian Empire – The Spell, the other half in Books of the Immortals – Water.
What genre(s) do you write?
I started with… all of them! Sci-fi, fantasy, love-stories, mostly very dramatic and as I wrote what I knew (i.e. not much ;-)) most of them don’t make sense today, but I keep them anyway. In the second half of the 1980s I started writing sci-fi (my idea of sci-fi being Star Wars and Star Trek, not sci-fi literature), in the 1990s, after reading the Dragonlance saga, I switched to fantasy, in the late 1990s lots of M/M romance. New millennium I started writing in English, screenplays first, then novels since 2008. I went back to my first love (prose) and am now rewriting and translating (or writing new stuff) some of my babies. I started doing graphic novels in the late 1990s and I always had both the Italian and English version back then. Now I write adult fantasy and science fantasyl My other pen name writes contemporary stories and urban fantasy
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Mostly “What if” or turning upside down a situation. Like my Amazons who treat men like most men treat women (i.e. as sub-human). Or I have a “Male Sleeping Beauty” (I saw him called Sleeping Beau now, but in 1997 my English wasn’t as good as now). And I used to be in all my stories until my M/M romance period. Now sometimes I’m in it, sometimes I’m not. I used to be the Warrior Woman in the 1990s, now I tend to write more feminine parts for myself (Axelle of SKYBAND, Winged Jesminder in Air, and Brenda de Zorig in Books of the Immortals – Earth)
Do you have a specific writing routine?
Nope. Sometimes I don’t write for days because I read, draw or research, but when I start a story I don’t stop until I reach the end of Draft Zero. After so many years I know how to stick to my own deadlines.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Improviser. Sometimes I tell the whole story to myself (supposedly to go to sleep, which of course works the opposite way and keeps me awake until late, LOL), sometimes I do a drawing and decide to tell the story of those characters (I’m very character-oriented). I have very loose outlines and can never tell how long the final work will be. My average novel length is now 60000 words. And yes, I’m a very fast writer. I waste time waiting for betas and editors’ feedback or I could write one story per month. That’s why I never did NaNoWriMo – don’t have time for that! 😉
Tell us about your latest book
Currently out is Guisarme in the anthology Wyrd Worlds 2 – a taste of ta longer story about the Assassins’ Guild of Godwalkar (which is actually a M/M romance of which Guisarme is a secondary character).
Indie Publishing or Traditional?
Indie publishing because I’m prolific and don’t want to wait for agent or publisher’s validation. The readers will be the judges. Also, I hate legalese and contracts. And I’d rather keep total control on my stories – yeah, I’m a control freak! 😉 I might look for a small publisher for the historical novel (other pen-name and British spelling) though, as I won’t write many of those anyway.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
The rest of the Assassins’ Guild stories – Saif & Kilig (which includes Guisarme) should come out in November. The sequels to Saif’s Legacy – that will form a trilogy of novellas will tell the story of Kilig & Hakeem – should come out in December. By Christmas I hope to publish also Star Minds Next Generation Book 1, sequel to the Star Minds trilogy.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
I’ve been indie publishing for four years now, I have 80+ titles out in two languages and I’m still pretty much in the red with expenses (covers and editing), but I’m adjusting the five years plan to ten years. It’s growing and I’m in it for the long run, so not giving up yet. And even if I give up – it’s the publishing part that will get dropped, not the writing. Just sayin’…
If you would like to read more about Barbara, head on over to her blog here.