Friday, August 13, 2010

Sarah Barnard Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

I write all the time, but I tend to do editing and rewriting during the day and actual initial creation in the evenings. I produce the most, and best writing after my kids are in bed after 9pm.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

I prefer typing to writing but I do have a large collection of notebooks and favourite pens that I take with me when I do out. With no laptop, it’s hard to lug a desktop pc around, I need to do pen and paper sometimes.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

I get inspiration from all over the place. Life is inspiration, watching the clouds in the garden, weeding my vegetable garden, watching my kids play. I read and watch films and draw from those too. It’s just a matter of soaking up all everything and then something will fall into place.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

As a NaNoWriMo ( veteran I do work to word count goals. During November it’s 2,000 words a day but the rest of the year it’s 500 words in a sitting, minimum. 

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I prefer the term “Independent Author” but some would call it self published. For my first book, The Portal Between, I had a definite idea for the cover, sourced the original image and a friend made it into the cover for me. For the second book, The Portal Sundered, I had a rough idea, took the photo myself and then made the cover myself. Then for the latest book, The Map and The Stone, I have collaborated with an artist looking to expand her portfolio and she’s designed the cover for me.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

It chose me. I’ve done paid employment, I’m currently self employed and I love being my own boss, setting my own targets. But the writing is always there, I’m always making notes, writing descriptions, scenes, ideas. The process of creation is an undercurrent to my whole life. It’s not a career or a job, it’s part of who I am and I am lucky enough to live in a time where I can make it work for me.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Not yet. But I do have an ebook reading application on my pc.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I love Robin Hobb’s 6 Duchies books, especially the Farseer and Fool series. Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books are also a favourite, as are her Tower and The Hive sequence.
I’ve just discovered Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books and am enjoying them enormously. Sherilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books are another new discovery – and I’m currently reading Acheron.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I think book trailers can work well. They give an extra dimension to the book, a different way of thinking about the story. I’ve made trailers for my books and they’re on youtube but they’re only slide shows with some music really. I’m proud of them though because I had to learn a whole new set of skills to make and upload them.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

I find the titles probably the hardest thing to find and every book I’ve written has been through several titles before I settle on the “right” one. The Map and The Stone was initially called “Rhys” and then “Rhys and The Darkling” and “The Darkling’s Nexus” amongst other things before I settled on The Map and The Stone – which was chosen because it reflects the core story elements without giving too much away.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I’m working on the next Portal Series book for now and that picks up a short time after The Portal Sundered ended. It’s currently standing at about 70,000 words and should have a very rough draft done by the end of this year.
However, I am never content with just one writing project so I also have a post apocalyptic futuristic story where the main character dies in the opening scene and the rest of the book is about bringing her back.
Then there’s the project set in the present day but with a secret organization that hides in plain sight while dealing with increasing contact with extra terrestrial civilizations, as well as addressing the ecological damage we’re doing to our world. In that one they get to go into space in a regular car such as you or I might drive.
I don’t stop….

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