Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Barbara Ann Wright

It's Friday!

Wait for it...

You know what Friday means.  Ok ok there's the whole "The weekend is here." but it also means that it's Blog Ring of Power time!

Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not adding to her enormous book collection or ranting on her blog. Her short fiction has appeared twice in Crossed Genres Magazine and once made Tangent Online's recommended reading list. She is a member of Broad Universe and the Outer Alliance and helped create Writer's Ink in Houston. The Pyramid Waltz is her first novel.

She is married, has an army of pets, and lives in Texas. Her writing career can be boiled down to two points: when her mother bought her a typewriter in the sixth grade and when she took second place in the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing in 2004. One gave her the means to write and the other gave her the confidence to keep going. Believing in oneself, in her opinion, is the most important thing a person can do.

Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?

BAW:  For me, stories can start anywhere. I've written a short story starring a passenger from the Mary Celeste and another that evolved from my half-assed Star Trek fan fiction. I wrote a science fiction novel after seeing a fragment of sign that read, "Very sharp teeth." I couldn't get the image out of my mind.

For The Pyramid Waltz, the characters had to come first: Katya, the blade-wielding, sarcastic princess; and Starbride, the studious, warm-hearted courtier. Then the story grew around them: secret identities, family in danger, evil conspiracies. I throw everything in but the kitchen sink, see what works, and ditch what doesn't.

BRoP:  How do you deal with writer’s block?

BAW:  The first thing I do is change my environment. That's the ol' blame-everything-else solution. Really, though, sometimes I find that my creativity flows better in a different setting. If that doesn't work, I try and work on anything I can rather than my current project. I'll do writing prompts or bounce ideas around with friends.

BRoP:  Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

BAW:  I've always called myself half-plotter, half-pantser. I make initial notes about character and plot and lay out the first half of the book, but by the middle on, I'm writing by the seat of my pants.

In the end, there's a lot I have to throw away. I see writing like a river, and if I take a tributary down to a dead-end, I have to back up, ditch what I've written and start from the place where I branched off. The seat of the pants approach works well for me as I write pretty quickly, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to delete a lot of what they've done and start again.

BRoP:  Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?

BAW:  I absolutely use critique partners and beta readers. I love critique groups and think that joining one is one of the most important steps a writer will take in their entire career. My advice to writers is to seek out the best group you can, and if they're not doing anything for you, find another. If there isn't a good face-to-face group near you, make one, and don't stop dragging your writer friends out of their caves until you've got about five or six good writers to work with.

BRoP:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?

Expository scenes are probably hardest for me. At heart, I'm a romantic who loves action scenes, so they are where I feel the most comfortable. Any long passages of exposition usually get cut in my stories until enough people suggest I put them in.

Book blurb for The Pyramid Waltz:
To most, Princess Katya Nar Umbriel is a rogue and a layabout; she parties, she hunts and she breaks women's hearts. But when the festival lights go down and the palace slumbers, Katya chases traitors to the crown and protects the kingdom's greatest secret: the royal Umbriels are part Fiend. When Katya thwarts an attempt to expose the king's monstrous side, she uncovers a plot to let the Fiends out to play.

Starbride has no interest in being a courtier. Ignoring her mother's order to snare an influential spouse, she comes to court only to study law. But a flirtatious rake of a princess proves hard to resist, and Starbride is pulled into a world of secrets that leaves little room for honesty or love, a world neither woman may survive.

Thanks so much for joining me and the other Blog Ring of Power hosts! To find the rest of this interview, please visit: 

Part 1 @ Terri ( - Wednesday, September 19th
Part 2 @ Teresa (, Thursday, September 20th
Part 3 @ Emily (, Friday, September 21st
Part 4 @ Sandra (, Monday, September 24th
Part 5 @ Dean (, Tuesday, September 25th

Where can we find you Barbara?

Goodreads author page:
Twitter: @zendragandt

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)
It is available in print now and will be available in e-book form on September 18, 2012.

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