Barbara is one of the Smashwords publish authors who collaborated on the Wyrd Worlds sci-fi and fantasy anthology mentioned in an earlier post (see links below). I must say the calibre of the author is great and they were all a good deal of fun to work alongside. The stories are much like the writers themselves, a diverse bunch.
Welcome to Barbara G.Tarn
Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m a compulsive and prolific writer from Italy, unpublished until the indie revolution. I wrote 500+ stories in my mother tongue in 30+ years – most of them unpublishable, but they allowed me to learn the craft. I started writing in English with the new millennium. After a failed attempt at conquering Hollywood by writing screenplays, I went back to my first love, prose. And then the e-book explosion happened.
Can you tell us a little about your anthology story? I had submitted a short from my science fantasy series, but it didn’t seem to fit the guidelines, so I chose this story from my fantasy world of Silvery Earth. It’s been out on Smashwords since 2011, but I submitted an edited version to the anthology. Originally called Conall’s Sons, it dealt with both of his sons, Sun and Giordano/Jordan. For length reasons, I cut out Sun’s part and revised the “bastard” son’s story. Silvery Earth is a medieval fantasy world, mostly, but since stories cover many centuries of its history, you have from India/Persia –inspired kingdoms and ancient Romans (the Amazons use triclinia) to the invention of print in the later books.
Why did you decide to become involved with this project? To spread the word about Silvery Earth and join a group of very talented writers! (That’s us… in case you were wondering!)
Do you thinks Smashwords is a good site on which to self-publish? Is so why? Did you have any problems. It’s the first site I published with. I tried Amazon a few months later. The first year (2011) Mark Coker replied personally to e-mails, now he has a staff of 20 and communications got worse anyway. I’m using only half of the premium distribution at this time, since I go direct to Kobo and use another distributor to get into B&N and Apple. But Smashwords is still my favorite site to buy from, even if I have a Kindle!
Do you also publish elsewhere? Amazon KDP, Kobo Writing Life, B&N and Apple through Draft2Digital and DriveThru (which specializes on genre fiction and has a “comics” division, which fits Silvery Earth that has both novels and graphic novels).
How long have you been writing and what made you choose the genre in which you write? My first official story is from the summer of 1978. It’s been “recycled” in Silvery Earth – actually Conall is the revised version of that first story. I’ve written in most genres but settled in the SFF area, since I like telling stories, creating worlds and mostly making up stuff!
Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Inspiration is everywhere. Influences… not sure. I started writing in a style much like Brunella Gasperini’s, who was my original inspiration, but I’ve moved on since. I take a lot of inspiration from movies (and TV until the 1990s), so sometimes I write very episodic fiction.
Can you name both a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? Positive is being in control of when and how to publish, choose the cover and/or cover artists (I do most of the covers myself, since I have to pay editors, but sometimes I like having a good artist paint a cover for me) and joining in the indie community on Goodreads.
Negative: some uploads or distributors, some unprofessional behavior on the internet (on the part of both readers and writers – some readers went into reviews only to get free e-books, IMHO) and the fear that sometimes overcomes you that you’re doing everything wrong. Luckily I bounce back quickly from that one, since it’s something I can control!
With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? The longer novels yes, but I haven’t sold any. I’ve used Lulu until last year, this year I’m giving a shot at CreateSpace, especially since Amazon introduced MatchBook. I also have a graphic novel in both PDF and POD with DriveThruComics – but again, I’m not selling any print books yet.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? I have no idea… I write down the movies in my head! And I’ve read a lot of comics in the past, so my prose is very fast and geared to readers of comics more than high literature!
What advice would you give new writers? Follow Heinlen’s rules (apply butt to chair, write, submit/publish, apply butt to chair, write etc in a loop). Write what you want to read. Follow your heart.
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? Any genre except horror and erotica. And mostly of indie authors – cheap books that I can load to my Kindle. Traditional Publishers leave their e-book prices too high. I still go to bookstores, though – but I live in Italy, so it’s not easy to find English bookshops!
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’m the creative goddess of Silvery Earth with the biggest ego of the universe – but also the most humble author of the universe… How’s that for an oxymoron?
Where can your books be found? my Smashwords author page
My Amazon Author Central page, my Nook page on Barnes&Nobles, my Kobo page, the Sony US store, and I’m also on XinXii and Unicorn Productions is a registered publisher on DriveThruFiction and DriveThruComics. And here’s the link to my US Apple i-Bookstore!
Facebook: here’s the author’s page
Barb the Artist is on DeviantART!