Very Sharp Teeth



Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPIA few years ago, as I walked through an old, overgrown lot, I spotted a fragment of sign that read, “Very sharp teeth.” The rest had long been lost to history, but the words stayed with me. After tumbling around in my head for a few weeks, the words became the drushka, one of the alien races in Paladins of the Storm Lord. Lithe, many-jointed, poisonous: I knew what I wanted them to be, the perfect centerpiece for a novel. I worked in some humans, some gnarly mind powers, some romance, and a bit of mystery. Voila! I had a story I was proud of.

As I was still learning, the novel ended up going through several rewrites and character changes. In college, I wrote a short story based on the Paladins universe, and it went on to win second place in a worldwide science fiction contest. I was on top of the world. I had it made.

Taking what I learned from the contest critique, I tweaked the book some more, sharpened those teeth even further, and tried to sell it to agents and editors. I got a few nibbles, but either the markets didn’t think they could sell a novel with so much LGBT content, or I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought I was. Hell, maybe it was both. Either way, after much soul searching, I shelved it. I still loved it, but if no one would buy it, I knew I should move on to other things. I tinkered with a few other projects before I finally wrote and sold The Pyramid Waltz.

Then after five books with Bold Strokes, Paladins began to call to me again. I thought, I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’m going to give those teeth another polish. I still loved the story, loved the universe, and now I’d learned so much from working with a professional editor and hearing what audiences liked. I made it better, and BSB said yes.

This book has been years in the making, but that just means the diamond is extra polished, right? At its heart, it’s still the same story about a young woman caught between duty and faith, between the lithe alien she’s falling in love with and a megalomaniacal man who thinks himself a god. It’s a book about fighting back against what’s expected.

What I learned from it is to never give up. If you love something, you’ve got to keep fighting for it. Whether it’s your first novel or your twenty-first, you can’t stop striving, can’t stop improving. It’s your work, your words, and you have to stand up for them. Show them you won’t be stopped.Th Pyramid Waltz 300 DPI 1

Show them your teeth.



Barbara Ann Wright’s romantic fantasy series, The Pyradisté Adventures, has won two Rainbow Awards and appeared on’s recommended reading list. Her May release, Paladins of the Storm Lord, is the first installment in a new science fantasy series, and her comedic fantasy, Coils, comes out in September. She’d love to hear from you at her blog.

6 Responses to “Very Sharp Teeth”

  1. 1 Devlyn May 11, 2016 at 8:05 AM

    Glad that after so many instalments and so much hard work that you are finally getting to publish your baby, I look forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 3 S.A. May 15, 2016 at 6:17 AM

    Great blog! I love how passionate you are about your craft, and am glad that you’re circling back to an earlier project to redevelop it based on all your lessons-learned in the writing process. I enjoy your books, and look forward to reading this one, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. 1 Very Sharp Teeth | Barbara Ann Wright Trackback on May 10, 2016 at 8:12 PM
  2. 2 Happy Release Day Pt. 2! And a Cast List! | Barbara Ann Wright Trackback on May 17, 2016 at 11:01 AM

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