Name Barbara G.Tarn
Age 51 on Aug.25
Where are you from Italy
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Barb: I grew up bilingual in French-speaking countries, but finished my studies in Italy. I didn’t go to college or university and started working at a day job March 1988 – been there since, part-time since February 1998. English is my third language, but currently it beats French that I don’t use anymore!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Barb: August 2016 – writing stories for Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 and revising two more stories of Vampires Through the Centuries.
In September I shall go back to my fantasy world of Silvery Earth.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Barb: Summer of 1978 when we came back to live in Italy. Never stopped since. My imaginary friends were better than reality! A friend asked me if I use my writing to get things off my chest – probably, but since it’s been so long and I’m so prolific, I don’t even realize I do it anymore. I like telling stories to myself – although some I’ll never write them down! 😉
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Barb: With the new millennium when becoming a professional writer became easier, thanks to new technologies. I’ll freely admit my naivety – I thought publishers would come knocking on my door without me submitting to them! 😉 But then, there were no creative writing courses in Italy at the end of the 20th century…
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Barb: Sorry, that’s too far back even if we speak only of the published works… I have changed as a writer during the past five years! At the beginning I translated my Italian works into English, but by now I write original stories directly in English. I can tell you what inspired to write the first book in the Vampires Through the Centuries series, since that’s one original work that was never written in Italian or didn’t spawn from worlds created while I was writing in Italian (up to the beginning of the millennium)…
So, it all started with my newly found obsession of the Hindi film industry, and noticing how my favorite stars had pointy canines… so I thought, why not make an Indian vampire? Add to that my love for history, and I thought why not showing a vampire through the centuries instead of concentrating on the here and now? Thus Rajveer was born! This year I’ll publish the story of his sister-in-darkness Kaylyn, the Anglo-Norman lady from the 12th century Lincolnshire, next year his fledgling, whom he made when Tamerlane sacked Delhi in 1398… All three stories wrap up in 2005, so I’ll have a fourth book taking us to the present day which might actually be in the near future, since I publish one novel a year!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Barb: Colloquial. No purple prose – I hate it! 😉 I’ve been told I have a journalistic prose. I started by writing screenplays in English, so lots of dialog, but I constantly have to remind myself “Setting!”
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Barb: Coming up with titles sometimes is immediate, sometimes is really hard. Some stories kept changing title during the work in progress!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Barb: I’m an entertainer, I only want to entertain myself and you. If I happen to put a hidden message in there, I didn’t do it on purpose.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Barb: About the series of vampires, it’s historical fantasy, which means that the history is as correct as I can make it, but with vampires! 😉 I like to make up stuff but I learned to research how things work to make them more realistic…
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Barb: As a teen, Brunella Gasperini. My current mentors and gurus are Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Barb: Joleene Naylor made me read vampire stories after I quit Ann Rice’s books at Queen of the Damned! 😉 I like how she mixes adult themes (and she’s not as preachy as Ms Rice) and horror, and when Amaranthine series is finished, I’ll binge read it again from the start.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Barb: Actually, I have no support whatsoever from family members. I must thank the online blogging community and other indie authors if I’m still doing it. And some of my cover artists are being very supportive too… You want names? Writers: Victoria Zigler, Joleene Naylor. Artists: Shafali Anand, Cristina Fabris (Even though she doesn’t speak English and can’t read most of my stories, she’s being very supportive). Friends: Fulvio Gatti.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Barb: Yes, I hope to quit the darn day job soon. But a career is built through the years. I hoped to be a little further on the way to economic independence after five years of indie publishing, but if it takes 10-15 years, it’s fine too. Long term thinking is what keeps me going – I don’t want to live on retirement funds (I might not even get them with the current system, so I better find another source of income, right?).
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Barb: I don’t look back anymore. After rewriting old stories for years, I stopped doing it. Sometimes I need to re-read a story because I’m writing a sequel, a prequel or another connected story, but once it’s published, I usually leave it alone and move on.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Barb: Introvert alien in her own country with a wild imagination? Who knows? It was so long ago, haha!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Barb: I’m writing short stories for the Star Minds universe,
and I’ve reached the third generation. Two stories in the next collection (that will come out next year since I intend to submit the stories to traditional market) deal with Shan-leo’s daughter. He’s the son of the co-protagonist and nephew of the protagonist of the original trilogy. So, third generation goes to Earth in 2046 (the original protagonist spent from 1933 to 1982 on Earth, Shan-leo went in 2023 and 2033 with his daughter in taw), but it’s a different Earth from what we’ll have, the turning point being a meeting with the Star Nations back in 2012 when the first book came out.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Barb: Usually starting the new story. After that, I go steadily and speedily to the end (I’m a pantser)…
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Barb: No, I don’t really do book tours, not even virtual.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Barb: I either do the illustrations myself or I hire other artists. I like illustrated covers on fantasy books, and hate those photographic covers that are so current these days.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Barb: Writing is fun. Researching has become fun. The only hard part for me is publishing and marketing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Barb: I wrote Vampires Through the Centuries because I love history, especially the middle ages. And I enjoyed researching science stuff for the Star Minds stories.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Barb: My muses are actors, so I’ll have a ready cast for any producer wanting to shoot it…
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Barb: Just keep writing. Learn craft from professionals like David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson or Dean Wesley Smith. I guess I was lucky to grow up in the age of the typewriter in a country where there were no creative writing courses (which, by the way, aren’t very useful)…
I was a one-draft writer who absolutely loved the last story she wrote (of course one or ten years later it sucks, but whatever…), and even when I started showing my writing around to friends, I didn’t really rewrite much. I never developed a critical voice, hence for me “rewriting” is more adjusting plot holes and changing endings than anything else.
I’m still a 2-3 draft writer and then I move on. Heinlein’s Rules for you! 🙂
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Barb: Buy my books? There’s a little of everything for every one… QUILTBAG friendly, adults only (although not erotica) or ACE-friendly… take your pick! J
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Barb: I’m currently going through the other books of the Sci-Fi May Day bundle
I’m part of with Technological Angel, the first of the Star Minds books (the one that tells about Earth in 1982 when our protagonist leaves). I’ve read 3 and I’m about to start on the fourth. I usually give my reading recommendations in a post at the end of the year… By the way, if you like sci-fi, go grab that bundle of 10 novels for 8$…
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Barb: No, sorry, long time ago. I read a lot of French bandes dessinnées as a kid too…
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Barb: I wish I knew. I cry for movies and books at the strangest times. I managed to cry over one of my stories for the first time this year.
My sense of humor usually doesn’t get the main jokes or comedies, so again I’m taken by surprise when I laugh out loud. It could be anything, really! 🙂
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Barb: I wouldn’t mind a chat with Brunella Gasperini to hear about her writing process and what it was like to be a female writer in the first half of the 20th century in Italy, where female fiction was never considered worthy.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Barb: “Lived most of her life inside her head and away from this planet, never completely used to having a physical body.” Does it need explaining?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Barb: Drawing. I used to do beads jewelry, but my eyes are failing me, so I stopped that.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Barb: I don’t watch TV except when I watch DVDs – world movies, Hindi movies, American movies, French movies, Italian movies… and old TV series from the 70s.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Barb: Not a foodie/Blue/80s pop music
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Barb: Artist – I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Author blog: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com
Amazon authors page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-G.Tarn/e/B0050P0R2G/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
Barbara G.Tarn Barbara G.Tarn had an intense life in the Middle Ages that stuck with her through the centuries. She prefers swords to guns, long gowns to mini-skirts, and even though she buried the warrior woman, she deplores the death of knights in shining chainmail. She likes to think her condo apartment is a medieval castle, unfortunately lacking a dungeon to throw noisy neighbors and naughty colleagues in. Also known as the Lady with the Unicorns, these days she prefers to add a touch of fantasy to all her stories, past and present – when she’s not wandering in her fantasy world of Silvery Earth or in her Star Minds futuristic universe. She’s a writer, sometimes artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller – stories comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. Her novella “The Hooded Man” has received an Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future contest. Used to multiple projects (a graphic novel is always on the side of the prose), she writes, draws, ignores her day job and blogs at: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com