Posts Tagged 'Barbara Ann Wright'

Let’s Get Stuck Together

By Barbara Ann Wright

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As I get older, I’ve discovered that ruts are more frequent than they used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I loved a good routine when I was a kid. I adored schedules. I like to plan ahead, and I shudder a bit when plans change at the last minute, but as I’ve gotten older and acquired some long-term illnesses, the ruts have a tendency to pile up.

Medication tapering off? Let’s wait a little while to change it, give the old one a chance to work again. (Like that makes sense!) Want to go out for a special dinner? Maybe next week. Tonight I have laundry to do. Routines are comfortable, even if that comfort turns into boring. It’s easy and safe.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying to break out of my ruts, to try new paths. After all, there will always be more work to do. My fresh perspective prompted me to write Coils. Well, that and my love of all things mythology. (My favorite classes in college.) Cressida is a mortal girl who has little in her life but study. Her aunt June is a world traveler, an adventurer, and her disappearance shakes Cressida out of her routine and leads her to the mystical Underworld. In the Underworld, Medusa has also been stuck in a cycle, a millennia long slog of revenge and hatred. Together, they can make each other’s dreams come true, just probably not in the way they think.Coils 300 DPI

I’ve long wanted to tackle the Medusa myth. She and her two sisters, the infamous Gorgons, were demigoddesses long before the story that had Medusa cursed by Athena. They were fearsome, snake-haired, winged women, and their faces still adorn some ruins as protective symbols, a threat for anyone who entered with ill intent. Then, when later religions took over—like those that favored the Olympians—Medusa was demoted to a monster, a prize for the hero Perseus to slay. I wanted to take her back to that earlier form, still slain by Perseus, but a powerful figure in her own right.

Cressida is my everywoman. We’ve all been her, so stuck in our ruts that we don’t see how unhappy they’re making us. And what better way to shake her up than a sexy, snake-haired demigoddess? I think she would give all of us a wake-up call.

Even though my illnesses will be with me the rest of my life, I’m grateful I’ll always have my books to help me out of my ruts. They take me new places, from fantasy cities to the depths of space to the magic and mystery of the Greek Underworld. And I’m always happy to have company. Anytime you need a lift out of your routine, we’ll go together. You never know what monsters and magic await you. There could be a goddess in your future. Or something you least expect.

 

Th Pyramid Waltz 300 DPI 1Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not ranting on her blog. The Pyramid Waltz was one of Tor.com’s Reviewer’s Choice books of 2012, was a Foreword Review BOTYA Finalist, a Goldie finalist, and won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Fantasy. It also made Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels By Female Authors. A Kingdom Lost was a Goldie finalist and won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Fantasy Romance.A Kingdom Lost 300 DPI

 

Very Sharp Teeth

BY BARBARA ANN WRIGHT

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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.

 

Bio:

Barbara Ann Wright’s romantic fantasy series, The Pyradisté Adventures https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/the-pyramid-waltz-by-barbara-ann-wright-1003-b, has won two Rainbow Awards and appeared on Tor.com’s recommended reading list. Her May release, Paladins of the Storm Lord, https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/paladins-of-the-storm-lord-by-barbara-ann-wright-1775-b is the first installment in a new science fantasy series, and her comedic fantasy, Coils, https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/coils-by-barbara-ann-wright-1864-b comes out in September. She’d love to hear from you at her blog. https://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/

Enthralled

Fantasy author Barbara Ann Wright is always entertaining. Tune in to see what new worlds – yes, more than one – she’s creating now.

Viking Barbie

BY BARBARA ANN WRIGHT

BarbaraAnnWright

 

As some of you may know, I like to make silly trailers for my books https://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/book-trailers/ (and the books of others), that have very little to do with the actual plot of said books. I try to stay at least tangentially related, using props or costumes similar to what the characters might wear. My fantasy heroes have swords, big dresses, and tunics. The trailers for my friends feature modern furniture and clothing. No matter what, there’s a bit of sparkle. It’s Barbie, after all.

But for the trailer of my new book, Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory, I sought out the right accessories to create Viking Barbie, as the book has a Viking-esque feel. A friend of mine gave me a Valkyrie Barbie, so that helps, even though no one in the book dresses like her. But it’s very hard to find armor or weapons for Barbies anyway. I usually have to buy another doll, like a Barbie-sized soldier doll, and strip it of gear. You can find guns, grenades, knives, and flack vests, the occasional sword, but Viking axes? Shields? Helmets, with or without horns?Thrall Beyond Gold and Glory 300 DPI

Nada.

I guess children don’t play with Viking dolls. Maybe they did, once upon a time. It’s a fascinating culture, no more violent than any other group of warriors, and they had fighters of every gender. Seems fertile ground for a 12-inch doll. Alas, I’m going to have to make do with Polish Barbie and any others that either have braided blond hair or hair so long I can braid it myself. I suppose I can slap together some wool-like clothing, maybe accent it with the fake fur I have in my scrap box. Maybe I can make the dolls look more like real Vikings than my glitzy Valkyrie ever could. But then, maybe I don’t want to. After all, my characters differ significantly from real Vikings. Why shouldn’t my dolls?

In Thrall, I took a fairly primitive society and imposed true equality among the sexes, making a society where no one cares about anyone else’s sexuality or whether or not someone is trans. Hey, if you’re going to make up your own society, why not really go for it? If it has magic or monsters (and mine has both) then it’s not realistic anyway. It can be however you want it to be. You can right the wrongs of the past without sacrificing conflict.

ValkyrieSince I came to grips with that, I can get used to the idea of a Viking warrior in a sparkly top, thigh-high purple boots, heavily made-up eyes, and the occasional highlight. Barbie has to be herself, no matter what time period you put her in. She’s got to stay true to who she is, to her inner glamor goddess, horned helmet or not.

The new trailer will be up soon on my website https://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/. Until then, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a badass warrior and sparkle at the same time. Just like Barbie, you gotta be you.

Let’s Win an Oscar Next

By Barbara Ann Wright

Just in time for awards season, I bring you The Fiend QueenThe Fiend Queen 300 DPI!

Just kidding. I didn’t realize it would be coming out just after the holidays when I turned it in, let alone anywhere near awards season. And since televised awards have absolutely nothing to do with books that weren’t made into TV shows or movies, I’m pretty much out of luck all the way around.

But let’s pretend… Kerry Washington is getting out of her limo. There’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Julia, Meryl, Mindy, Charlize, Sophia, and Jada. They’re all here. And me, to accept the award for finishing a freakin’ fantasy series when I never dreamed I would.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about what it was like to finish writing the series that started with The Pyramid Waltz.Th Pyramid Waltz 300 DPI I speculated on how I might feel, and I’m not ashamed to say, I was completely wrong.

I thought I’d be nervous, but I feel pretty good, very thankful. I’m thankful to everybody who stuck with me, all the readers who cared enough about Katya and Starbride to want to read to the very end. I’m thankful to BSB for taking a chance on me and all the family and friends who supported and encouraged me.

“Time to play you off stage?” you ask. “Because the thanking seems to be flowing pretty thickly.” No, so don’t cue the music just yet. I promise, you won’t have to listen to me drone on forever when you’d rather the camera be lingering on Jennifer Lawrence.

When I first tried to get published, I worried that it would never happen. I didn’t really let myself think of what it would be like to someday publish an entire series. Even now that The Fiend Queen is finally here, I can hardly believe it. It’s a group effort that still feels so personal. It’s unlike anything I could have imagined.

I’ve learned a lot. I’m much more sanguine about reviews. I won’t ever please everyone. I’m much better at budgeting my time. I write much faster. Plots fall more easily into place. I’ve won a couple of awards, but I’m not crushed when I don’t.

Which is why just finishing this series feels like an award, and for everyone who has stuck with me, if I could, I’d give you a trophy. Thank you, thank you, a million times, thank you.

Okay, put the camera back on Penelope Cruz, or any of the lovely, glittery ladies you came to see. Thanks for coming. You’ haven’t seen the last of me.

p.s. I’m doing a giveaway! You can win your very own e-copy of The Fiend Queen. Leave a comment here or on my blog https://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/ and you’ll be entered to win! I’ll announce the winner on my blog next week, so stay tuned.

Graduation Scenes

BY BARBARA ANN WRIGHT

 

Earlier today I had a thought. Katya and Starbride have been with me for five years. That’s time enough to know someone inside and out. I always thought that saying was kind of gross, but when it comes to fictional characters, I understand. I know these people, not only what they look like but how they feel, how they’d respond to every situation. And now my time with them is drawing to a close.

*Cue “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” by Boyz II Men, the song of many a senior class in the 90’s*

I hear you saying, “I thought you hated these characters! You whined about that enough on Facebook.” I know I did, but now that I’m at the end of my time with them, I’m a little sentimental.

And now you’re thinking, “We’re here to talk about A Kingdom Lost, A Kingdom Lost 300 DPIthe third Katya and Starbride book. Won’t there be a fourth in January 2015?” People, please hold all questions until the end.

There will be a fourth book, The Fiend Queen, and after it, I’ll be done with Katya’s and Starbride’s current story. The end is on my mind because I’m now wrapping up the draft that will go to Bold Strokes for editing. By January, I’ll have forgotten what it feels like to finish writing a series. Seeing my entire series in print will be a far different feeling, one that will probably make want to celebrate and throw up at the same time, maybe from nerves and maybe from tequila. Maybe both.

Long ago, I’d thought to write a three book series, but as I started A Kingdom Lost, I knew I wouldn’t have room to include everything I wanted or have my characters grow and change the way I’d planned. I’d have to rush my ending, hurry through confrontations, and sweep conflict under the rug. And what about the love? Rush that, too, the very thing that’s propelled this story from the beginning? Don’t rush the love, baby.

They say the journey is more important than the destination (except in the case of long car trips). For Katya and Star, being apart after just falling in love, fearing for each other’s lives and making decisions based on that fear, that’s what’s important. I wanted to show each step of their journey, so the reader could be with them.

After you’ve read A Kingdom Lost, you can be sure I’ve got you in book four, that your questions will be answered, and we can graduate tearfully but happily and probably hate our class song for the rest of our lives.

But here’s something you won’t hate. I’m doing a giveaway. Leave a comment here, and you’ll automatically be entered twice! Get all the details on my blog. http://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/


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