Author Interview Sixty-Seven – Barbara G. Tarn Revisited.

I’d like to welcome back author Barbara G.Tarn

 Please recap briefly about your books: I’m the prolific writer who keeps putting out 25 titles per year, but sometimes it’s rewrites of old stories, sometimes it’s translations and only a third is brand new stuff.

What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news! This year’s new stuff is about the Assassins Guild of Godwalkar, first mentioned last year in Saif’s Legacy and now in my Wyrd Worlds 2 story Guisarme. The other stories will come out between October and December.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? I went to Loncon this year. I felt even more invisible than at Chicon. The fans aren’t aware of us – or maybe the Worldcon is for old people who are not aware of the ebook revolution – so we’ll never be nominated for a Hugo, unless we sell a short story to a traditional market that would put us in front of everybody’s eyes. The worldcon is still traditional publishing kingdom at this time, unfortunately. Hopefully things will change soon! 🙂

Looking back what do you wish you’d known when you started writing? I started writing longhand on a notebook long before the internet! What I see now with new writers is lack of patience. They want to get rich with one or two books. They don’t write because that’s a way of life. I could stop publishing (which is something I’ve started doing in the new millennium), but I’d never stop writing. And I’m grateful things are changing in the publishing world, allowing little me to put my work out there!

How have you progressed as a writer since you started? I’ve learned some writing techniques and can now write fluently in two languages (saves the money of translations in this global world, LOL!). I also learned to reduce my casts and move slower (some of my old stories read like summaries with dialogues), showing more and telling less, although I’m still not too fond of descriptions. I have a dry prose because that’s why I like to read.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? As long as you have fun, anything goes. Nobody knows the perfect recipe, so experiment with what you’re comfortable with. A friend of mine asked if blogging is still necessary. I don’t know, I do it because I enjoy doing it. When I won’t have anything left to say, I’ll stop. As for social networks, I use only Facebook and Goodreads, but your mileage may vary! 😉 Oh, and my #1 rule for marketing is “write the next book”! Announce the birth of your latest baby and go back to writing, without obsessing with sales!

What are your views on authors offering free books? It might work to spread the name… I’ve given away free POD books. Two I donated to a bookshop, and 4 that I didn’t sell at Loncon I improvised a UK-only Goodreads giveaway. I have only a couple of free e-titles, though. Free e-books don’t work as well as they used to (but I’m getting rid of all those dead tree books, LOL!).

Do you have a favourite movie? Nope. But I have a cinematic writing. I write down the movies in my head (hence the virtual casting) and often take inspiration from movies.

What are your plans for the future? When will we see your next book?  Tell us about it. Already written: the Assassins’ Guild of Godwalkar. Waiting for the betas, then I’ll revise and send off to the editor/proofreader. Expect something in October as a taste, and the rest between November and December.

Give us a bit of information about your primary character(s). The protagonist throughout is Kilig  I’m not sure yet in which order I will release them, but one part is about him and Saif, the other is about him and Hakeem, Saif’s son that you’ve met in Saif’s Legacy. He’s an assassin and a loner, but he did fall in love – twice. First with the father, then with the son… He lives in the interesting times of the birth of the Varian Empire, also explored in other books of the Silvery Earth saga (namely: Books of the Immortals – Fire)

Links etc.




Author Central

Where to find everything (although the i-bookstore link seems to be broken):

Silvery Earth (adult unconventional fantasy):


Wyrd Worlds II – An anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Last year I was delighted to be asked to participate in the Smashwords Authors group anthology Wyrd Worlds, a collection of speculative fiction from some of the new talent, and established talent on the Good Reads site. We had such fun putting together the free anthology decided to do it again! Thanks to Steph for her support and hard work and to Ross for the cover art.

This year a few more authors got involved and the talent ranges from Steph Bennion, who once again organised and edited the book, to Victoria Zigler author of children’s fantasy.  There is quite a mix of stories, mine include ‘The Joy of Socks’ part of the Kitchen Imps tales. It may well explain where socks go in the washing machine. The other is ‘Free Will’, a tale of the musings of a god as he watches the small blue-green world he cares for. There is something for everyone in this anthology, young and old.

This ebook contains a bumper 19 short stories from 17 independent authors from around the world, encompassing a wide range of science fiction and fantasy. Here lurks tales of the future, steampunk and time travel; of magical realms and fantastical deeds; and of things so weird they defy categorisation. The original WYRD WORLDS rode upon a new wave of indie collaborations; and now we’re back! In this anthology you will find:

HORIZON – KIRA: PART 2 by Ross Harrison – It was just her and a boy, alone. Kira had to concentrate on keeping him alive.

THE VISITOR by Neil Shooter – Time is relative. On an ordinary blustery British night an extraordinary visitor comes.

A WORLD TAKEN OVER by Douglas Schwartz – He had conquered the world. How much more effort was it going to be to unconquer it?

THE JOY OF SOCKS by A.L. Butcher – The imps knew what they wanted from the Bringer of Offerings…

THE COLONIAL PLAGUE by L.L. Watkin – It’s been years since Missra was executed and now her soul is shut away, but being the most powerful magical healer of her generation gets her out of the box occasionally…

HUMANITY WAS DELICIOUS by Ubiquitous Bubba – Imagine you were the werewolf who ate the last human. What will you eat now? More importantly, how are you going to get off this alien ship?

MY LAST DAY by Zach Tyo – Disaster awaits the Earth, yet an unexpected gift brings joy.

GUISARME by Barbara G. Tarn – Members of the Assassins’ Guild can be as honorable as anyone. They might be trained to kill, but they’re just people with loved ones to protect and avenge.

ROCK OF AGES by Steph Bennion – Letters from the past were hidden for a reason. But breaking into the secure facility was child’s play compared to an unexpected family reunion…

THE DINER by Michael Puttonen – Sometimes a life lived hasn’t been lived at all.

HOMELESS by Neil Shooter – Winter didn’t end, but his world has. Is he completely alone? In a world gone cold, what can keep the spark of life shining?

GY by Peter Lean – The Book was the knowledge that could open the door, but the worlds had been separated for a reason…

IRREVOCABLE by L.J. Hick – He did not accept finality. All he knew was that he had to change the impossible.

POISONED GROUND by Laurel A. Rockefeller – Lady Abbess Cara of house Ten-Ar must find the cause of a mysterious plague of illnesses before it is too late for the city of Nan-li…

SASHA AND THE COLLARED GIRL by Stan Morris – The man was willing to trade his prized possession, but she was already lost.

QUEST FOR THE PURPLE PUMPKIN by Victoria Zigler – A glittering surprise in the woods leads Polly to another world, where just being human is punishable by death…

FREE WILL by A.L. Butcher – The other Grand Wizards thought Leonardos eccentric, indulging the little World Marble like a favoured child…

AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE by Clark Graham – A tabloid journalist discovers his outlandish stories just might be true.

CHANGING EVERYTHING by Josh Karaczewski – Two men set out into one of America’s roughest neighborhoods as one piece of a grand plan to change everything…

For now it is only available on Smashwords – Free – but will shortly appear on Amazon and all the Smashwords premium stores. (Smashwords Link) (Website for Wyrd Worlds II)

Wyrd Worlds II

Wyrd Worlds anthology author interview – Barbara G. Tarn

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!