Stephanie Barr is a rocket scientist who loves cats and dragons. That is a wonderful sentence, so I will pause for a moment while you re-read it. Seriously, on top of having a job title that is synonymous with being uncommonly smart, she has a love for writing that has generated an impressive library of works. Stephanie was kind enough to take part in my oddball interview series, so let’s learn more about her.
Are you friends with any of your contemporaries? If yes, do you discuss your current projects with each other?
I’m friends with a number of authors, though I found them as an author, mostly. I certainly do discuss ideas with some of them, though not everyone. Mostly, I discuss those ideas with people who seem interested. Many writers are pretty focused on their own work and not really that interested, it seems. Which is fine. I have a couple people I can bounce ideas off and that’s been enough to date.
Do you make your bed in the morning or leave it in a rumple?
Rumple. Making a bed when it’s going to be rumpled again later doesn’t make sense to me. Even if it did, my kids LOVE to come and disrupt my bed. When I leave it rumpled, I can get comfy just by rolling the blankets back over. When my kids get involved, it’s a major production, making it so I can sleep in it.
If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?
Probably Australia or New Zealand. I’m too lazy to get completely involved in a new language. I’d like to say the US and I would have until recently, but I still feel gut punched by my fellow Americans from 2018.
If you had to describe your character in three words, what would those three words be?
I have dozens of characters, but I’m going to pick Rem since he’s one of the major players in Twice the Man. Rem is understanding, clever, loyal.
Is privacy an issue for you?
Nope. You can ask me anything and I’ll tell you the truth. Well, nothing secret but then I don’t really know anything secret. Nothing sensitive from work either. That’s a matter of trust. But, as for me and my life, I’m an open book.
What period of your life do you find you write about most often?
I don’t think I write about my life at all. I mean, there’s a bit of me in every book and most of the characters, but they are living lives I’m not living and that’s how I like it. I guess I write about the periods of my life that never happened.
Which of your books took you the most time to write?
Curse of the Jenri. It was my first book that ended up viable, was rewritten half a dozen times (which almost never happens with most of my books) and is where I learned most of my novel-writing skills. I wrote the first draft in about 1999 and it didn’t see the light of day until 2017. I wasn’t actively writing on it all that time, mind you, but it was my main book I worked on for at least a decade.
If you could spend time a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I love so many of my characters, this is almost painful. I’d probably pick Bryder because he cracks me up, he can totally flirt despite his adoration of Nayna, and I could literally shoot the breeze with him all day without doing anything else. Just discuss things. He’s that kind of guy.
Who is your favorite author?
I probably have half a dozen authors I learned from and who influenced me, and, without exception, they’re in my I-can-read-it-over-and-over shelves. But the one I read more than any others, the ones that get me out of a funk or make me feel good when I’m down, the ones I never get tired of, they were written by Georgette Heyer.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Another toughie, but given that I’ve spent the last fifteen years obsessed with manga and anime, I’m going to have to say Shogun by James Clavell which I read a dozen times as a teenager and made me tend toward being a Japanophile. I won’t say it influenced my writing nearly as much, but my life, definitely.