Barbara Ann Wright is a wildly imaginative author of science fiction and fantasy she was nice enough to provide us with her wit and wisdom.
The first question I have to ask is where did you come up with the idea for your book trailers, do you plan to keep doing them for your future books?
The idea to use Barbie dolls on my blog just popped into my head one night as I was falling asleep, so I did a few posts with them, and that sort of evolved into my trailers, which I wanted to be silly and funny and very low budget. I do hope to do them again now that I can more easily find my stuff in my new home.
When you are starting out on a novel which comes first the characters or the plot?
Mostly plot. It always starts with, “How about a woman who…” and her character evolves out of that. A woman who’s a warrior or scout or librarian or epic lover. Or all of the above! Then I go, “And she wants…” To rule the world, to please her parents, to save all turtles, to do this thing she’s been hired to do. And last, “What’s standing in her way is…” The world is mostly dragons, she sees herself as a failure, she doesn’t live near any turtles, she hates what she does. That’s a basic plot.
One of the distinctive things about your writing is the great humor, do you try and set up jokes inherent in the story or just add the funny parts as the develop organically as you write?
Whenever I try to set up a joke in a story, people usually don’t find it funny. My best jokes are organic, but when I’m writing out notes for a scene, I often write, “a chance for humor?” in the margin. Since most of my characters are at least slightly sarcastic, it comes up a lot. I love to make people laugh.
Your books have well developed worlds, do you do a lot a of background prep before beginning the story, do you have any advice on world building for new authors?
Thank you! I only sketch the bare bones of the world when I start and fill in from there. I try to only develop the pieces of it that I need so I don’t drown the reader in useless info. My minor in college was anthropology, and I have found it extremely useful in world building when looking at how cultures grow and adapt. I always advise new authors to think about this, too. Whatever you want your fantasy civilization to have, they need to have a reason to have built it. For instance, people don’t build walls around their town unless they need to keep something out…or in. It doesn’t make sense to have a city that possesses huge amounts of defenses and yet has never been attacked by anything or anyone. People learn from the past. I also recommend studying the evolution of creatures here on Earth to determine why plants and animals live in different ecosystems. That way you’re less likely to have a creature or plant in a setting that couldn’t sustain it.
You received your first award for writing in 2004 what do you think has changed most about the writing landscape since then?
EVERYTHING. Honestly, information on writing was scattered across the internet, and it was hard to compile what I needed. I found out about that contest from a paper flier in the hall of the English building on the University of Houston campus. By chance. And I had to mail my entry in. I’m so glad everything has gone digital now. No more stuffing envelopes and mailing out manuscripts. I shudder to think how much I spent on postage.
Who are the authors you like to read?
So many. 🙂 CJ Cherryh, Terry Pratchett, RA Salvatore, Carsen Taite, Meredith Doench, Cari Hunter, David R Slayton, Alex Harrow, Helen Corcoran, Stephanie Barron, Agatha Christie, Mercedes Lackey, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Greg Herren, Jon Wilson, Christian Baines, Eric Andrews-Katzf, Ali Vali, Catherine Friend, Missouri Vaun, Rebecca Harwell, Jane Fletcher, Radclyffe, Sandy Lowe, Colette Moody, and many more!
What is your next project you are working on? Where can people go to find out more information about your work?
Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
DEAD. Seriously. Unless someone comes to get me. I have RA so I can’t move very quickly. I am a very good shot, though, so I’m worth the trip to pick up.
Q ) How do you identify Jedi, lesbian, Ninja, gay, vampire, bisexual, were-wolf, transgender, pirate, asexual, fairy, aromantic, sith, intersex, Spartan, non-binary, wizard, genderfluid, time lord , queer, …? ?
All those sound good. Bisexual time lord sounds best.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
That’s hard to say, especially since there are people who can’t experience some of those. I’m going to say I hope that everyone in the world experiences a form of art that moves them before they die.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
I have periods of intense depression that people usually don’t experience unless they’re very close to me.