About Stephanie Barr:
Although Stephanie Barr is a slave to three children and a slew of cats, she actually leads a double life as a part time novelist and full time rocket scientist, writing primarily fantasy and science fiction. People everywhere have learned to watch out for fear of becoming part of her stories. Beware! You might be next!
What inspires you to write?
Anything can inspire me to write. An unusual phrase by my daughter, a current situation, a what-if question (my favorite), an interesting idea for a character (most often).
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
This is list is long and my tastes are eclectic: Heinlein, Heyer, Poe, Clavell, Michener, Ludlum, Roberts, Lee&Miller, McCaffrey, Asprin, Roberson, Dumas
I also read a great deal of manga so I could add a hundred names to that of mangaka.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am totally seat of the pants. I usually have at least one character in mind before I start but sometimes it's only a scene or an image (more common for writing short stories). For novels, it's usually a character or two and how best to showcase them and let them shine/grow.
I might not put virtual pen to paper when I first get my idea (this is particularly true for novels) but might sit down to write after my backbrain has mulled it over a while. When I do sit down to write, it usually comes out quickly in near final form.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I can hear their dialog in my head as I'm writing, inflection, tone, everything. They don't break the fourth wall and talk to me, though.
What advice would you give other writers?
Learn your craft. Even if you have great ideas, it's not the same as talent and no amount of either can replace craftsmanship. If you want to be read, learn your craft and hone your talent. Listen to advice and critics, but don't forget it's your story, with your name on it so don't let anyone push you into forgoing your own heart in the book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I've been writing since I was a kid, but the marketing part is just not my strong suit (still not). My stuff tends to be too old-fashioned for the avant guard markets and too unexpected for the old-fashioned folks.
So, I went to self-publishing. I'm not a financial success but I have a devoted readership and get more as a result. Touching even a couple of people is worth the effort.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think they're going to have to be more flexible or they'll eventually get left behind.
Also, they have editors and book cover artists as part of the perks – I should not read a published novel replete with errors or loaded with plot holes, purple prose or poor use of language. Right now, that gateway is supposed to set them apart from the indies, but I'm finding as many sloppy books from pros as the indies. That's suicidal.
I'm also finding a number of indies providing solid writing, good characters, clean prose. I think indies may be even stronger in the future.
What genres do you write?: fantasy, science fiction, science fantasy, fantasy romance, sf romance, urban fantasy/PNR, cats
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.