The Author of the Week is Barbara G Tarn. Welcome, Barb. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Rome half a century ago and wrote in Italian until the 21st century, when I decided I'd rather explore the English-speaking market. I started with the attempted conquest of Hollywood, feeling it was easier to write screenplays than prose, then by 2010 I went back to my first love, prose, and the following year I started indie publishing, mostly in English.
When did you begin writing?
I spent 8 years abroad in the 1970s – Paris and Geneva, so I grew up bilingual Italian/French, studying English at school – and when I came back I was 13. Not the best time to be uprooted. I hated everything and everyone and started writing stories. I was very prolific and loved to make up stuff (mostly unbelievable and by now unreadable, but I quickly poured out my million words of crap in Italian). Only with the new millennium did I realize there were actually creative writing courses and rules one was supposed to follow... but I didn't throw away the previous 25 years of writing. I just kept going...
What is your chosen genre?
My favorite is fantasy, but I've tackled science fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, YA (when I was YA and the term didn't even exist yet) and m/m stories. Currently I have an adult unconventional fantasy world, Silvery Earth, a science fantasy universe, Star Minds, and I've just started an historical fantasy series of vampires through centuries. I also have some contemporary stories and magical realism (body switches). And some m/m romance.
Can you please tell us about your most recent release?
Rajveer the Vampire is historical fantasy. The history is real, but vampires... you decide. There are different kinds of vampires in my personal mythology. The western ones don't need to kill to drink blood and turn their victims by giving them their blood to drink. The Indian ones are more demonic – their bite is poisonous and it either kills or turns the victim. In further books there will be also almond-eyed vampires and black vampires of different kinds.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
Finding English textbooks on the Indian middle ages. Luckily my wonderful cover artist is very learned and she helped me nailing the culture. I also had to wade through The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires by Theresa Cheung (HarperCollins UK, 2009) – a loan from my offline beta-reader – to try and make up all the various vampires taking things from various mythologies and folklores. But the most challenging aspect was sticking to history and making it real, in spite of the non-historical creatures wandering the country!
Of all your published books, which is your favorite and why?
It's usually the latest "baby". I am still quite prolific, and the latest story is usually my favorite. Once I release it, I move on to the next, that will become my next favorite! I'm married to Mr Writing and we have so many children... I have favorite characters, though. Kol-ian and Ker-ris of Star Minds, the group of protagonists of Books of the Immortals – Air, Kurt the left-handed warrior, Lost and Oliver (who are not lovers – and the original story is from 1993), Yash and Ryo (who become lovers), Kilig the Sword... And coming soon my sleeping beau and his savior (Beautiful, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty slashed – or m/m version – will come out as soon as I get the manuscript back from the proofreader, sometimes around mid-November)!
Keep writing until my hands and eyes (and brain) fail me. And then publish and move on, until I'm able to quit (part-time) DayJob and live off royalties.
Which authors and/or books have inspired you as a writer?
Brunella Gasperini, the adventurous books of Emilio Salgari (might be considered the Italian Jules Verne, that I also read when attending French schools) and a collection of fairy tales from around the world, illustrated, that is still at my parents' – all read in my teens, when I started producing stories at a steady pace. I'm also influenced by movies, (TV when I still watched it, i.e. until the early 1990s), and comic books (manga, bandes dessinnées, comics or fumetti, whatever you want to call them – including strips).
What projects are you currently working on?
The Sleeping Beauty slashed will be followed by a Snowhite retelling m/m romance + three short stories from openings I wrote for a writing workshop (contemporary stories) + a short story inspired by my trips with tour groups that will be set in the Star Minds universe (aliens visiting future Earth), and then I'll get back to my historical vampires. I've started a novella about two secondary characters of Rajveer the Vampire. So while the other writers are busy with NaNoWriMo, that's my writing plans for November!
What advice would you like to share with new or aspiring authors?
"Never give up, never surrender." Don't look for perfection. Write with your creative brain and don't waste too much time "polishing". Write, finish what you write, edit and release. But mostly, have fun! Entertain yourself first, and your readers will be entertained too! Happy writing!
About the Author:
Connect with Barbara G. Tarn:Blog: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/
Author Central http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-G.Tarn/e/B0050P0R2G
Find the author's books:Publisher's page with info on all the books: http://www.unicornproductionsbooks.com/ (each book has a page with the buy links and sometimes optionals such as maps, character interviews, etc)