Sunday, March 28, 2010
An Interview with Author Barbara Sheridan
Barbara Sheridan, author of Timeless Wish amongst many others over her two decades of writing, took a few minutes to chat with me. You can find her at barbarasheridan.com
Q: What was the defining moment or event that sparked your desire to become a published romance/mystery author?
A: It pretty much started when I was left unsatisfied by the end of Interview With the Vampire. I took a little spiral notebook and wrote a new ending. Making my own stuff up was fun and creating my own characters even more fun. And addictive.
Q: Originally published by Berkley, your latest novels such as Falling Through Glass are e-published. How do you rate e-published novels against traditional paper books?
A: Quality and entertainment wise I'd put books from the top e-publishers up against books from "the big guys" any day. If you want "different" books, such as multicultural, GLBT, unusual settings, historical periods and unique characters, you can certainly find them from e-publishers.
Q: Do you think there should be some form of e-filtering system to root out manuscripts that simply aren’t worth reading?
A: There already is a filtering system of sorts. The long established e-publishers, and some newer, smaller ones have high standards when it comes to accepting manuscripts. They also put a lot of effort into making those books the best they can be once contracted.
Q: You have partnered with Anne Cain on several books now. How did you two become acquainted?
A: It was pretty accidental actually. We both belonged to an email loop that started as a fan group for the Japanese anime Rurouni Kenshin. An online role-playing game spun off of that combining established fictional and historical characters along with original characters. Anne and I both created a set of original characters (Anne's Chinese assassin and my fictional son of a real Japanese samurai) who interacted and entertained us so much that we had to play with them outside the game and give them their own involved plot.
The storyline was awesome so we eventually reworked it into a 3rd person point of view into what would become The Dragon's Disciple. We co-wrote thirteen books that tie into the DD Universe and I did a short story and two novellas on my own that tie in as well. It’s truly its own little universe, spanning historical, paranormal, and contemporary sub genres.
Q: What advice can you give to a struggling writer trying to become published?
A: Read as much as you can in as many genres as you can. I'm a big believer in subliminal learning. I didn't have any formal writing training beyond the classes I took way back in high school, but I've read millions of words of fiction and non-fiction and "how to tell a good story" sunk in eventually. *laugh*
The most important bit of advice might be don't think that getting that agent or big publisher contract means you've "made it" and will have smooth sailing from then on. Things that are out of your control can happen. Soul crushing things that make you want to quit and never even think about fiction or submitting again. But, just like life in general, you have to keep going, suck up the crappy things and tell the stories that need to be told.