Tag Archives: Tricia Barr

#Sci-Fi Women Interviews: The 2015 Collection is available for free download!

My cover designer friend Jennifer A. Miller is awesome! She finished the cover for the free eBook Sci-Fi Women Interviews: The 2015 Collection, tonight! It means the book is now available for (permanent) free download on Smashwords as a celebration of International Women’s Day. I will set up the title’s Goodreads page tomorrow.

Look at that stunning cover!

Sci-Fi Women 2015 - by Jennifer Miller

Cover designed by Jennifer A. Miller.

The eBook features all 2015 interviews, with the following guests:

  • Johnamarie Macias
  • Yolanda I. Washington
  • Saf Davidson
  • Neelu Raut
  • Natalie McKay
  • Tricia Barr
  • Rose B. Fischer
  • Jo Robinson
  • Patty Hammond
  • Laura M. Crawford

Happy International Women’s Day!

August Recap




Contributions to Other Blogs

Photo Credit: Rayi Christian.

Photo Credit: Rayi Christian.

#SciFi Women Interviews: Tricia Barr

Welcome to August 2015’s edition of #SciFi Women Interviews. This month, I am delighted to talk with the talented Tricia Barr about women characters, fangirls and much more! She is one of the many writers and fangirls I have had the pleasure to meet thanks to Star Wars.

Tricia Barr.

Tricia Barr.

Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She is one of four authors of Ultimate Star Wars from DK Publishing, has written several feature articles for Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and RebelForce Radio Presents Fangirls Going Rogue.

Tricia Barr’s novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library’s successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena’s Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.

For updates on all things FANgirl follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter or like FANgirl Zone on Facebook. At times she tries the Tumblr.

NG: How were you first introduced to Science Fiction?

TRICIA:I don’t remember my first introduction. I watched television shows like Buck Rogers and Star Trek, then Star Wars in 1977, which was very formative in my love of storytelling. And I read quite a bit, even as I was excelling in science and math. As a professional engineer now, science fiction is very much about projecting where engineers would like to be some time in the future.

NG: What are you top 3 favorites for Science Fiction books, TV shows and movies?

TRICIA: Star Trek: The Next Generation will always be one of my favorites. It isn’t in my top three, but it is the closest to science fiction of the speculative storytelling that are my favorites. My top three are all more fantastical: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Legend of Korra and the Star Wars Original Trilogy. They each adhere to the heroic myth architecture, but stretch and challenge that structure at the same time. My favorites all seem to be bold, leaders and innovators.

NG: Which Science Fiction authors have been most inspiring to you?

TRICIA: Of all the Star Wars books, my favorites were the ones written by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston. They leaned more toward military science fiction with their X-Wing series; Jedi weren’t running around saving the day, so the characters needed a lot of tech. The stories remained rooted in exploring humanity and heroism, and both Allston and Stackpole created diverse casts. Aaron Allston, particularly, has a special place in my heart; he was my first interview in Star Wars Insider and he was always quick to help out a new writer. Beyond those two, I hope to create prose as masterful as Matthew Stover. He never wastes a word and can play with point of view and dialogue better than anyone I have read, and while he is doing all that he is weaving in high level themes. I aspire to that level of wordsmithing.

NG: How did you start writing Science Fiction?

TRICIA: The way most people do: fanfiction. At first I wrote stories in my head. I remember Lord of the Rings and Star Wars most prominently. Then as an adult I realized people actually wrote those stories down. There is no other way to learn how to tell stories than to actually do it, to make mistakes and learn from them. I ride horses and I liken writing to the same type of practice one needs to become proficient as an equestrian. You can’t replace seat time, writing a lot. Not just writing, though, but doing it with a constant eye on improving.

NG: What are your current (and future) Science Fiction projects?

TRICIA: I am editing a novel Zanita, written by my editor B.J. Priester. It’s a prequel to my novel Wynde that focuses on the parents of Wynde’s heroine, Vespa. It delves into the sport of Airspar and some of the politics of the world Prime in the years leading up to the galactic war. I am fleshing out the short stories for a series called In Between, which will be set between Wynde and my next novel, Sky Fall Down. For those short stories, the amazing French artist Magali Villeneuve is creating artwork to complement the character banner she created for Wynde. Short stories are a great way to try out different things and stretch my writing chops, and the artwork is another way to tell potential readers what my story is about. My favorite stories all inspired my own fictional universe, which you might be able to tell from the banner image, plus maybe a hint of Hunger Games in it too. For more on my stories check out my website TriciaBarr.com.

BannerTriciaITWNG: What is Science Fiction’s responsibility in diverse and inclusive representation?

TRICIA: Science fiction is an amazing tool to create more diversity and representation, especially when a storyteller is free to create whatever world-building they’d like. When writers don’t take that chance, and instead choose a non-diverse default, it suggests to me they are not as adventurous or bold as science fiction has the potential to be.

NG: Do you believe that Science Fiction is a genre welcoming to complex female characters?

TRICIA: Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor were something new and fresh at the time they appeared in science fiction, but the dynamic that followed in their wake set a tone that a good female character had to be in the same vein of badass, even stripped of their femininity. Women come in all types, just as men do. We are finally seeing signs of change. While science fiction stories can be forward-thinking, too often the contemporary community still fosters backward and dangerous mindsets about women. We’re in an interesting time now, where female characters are breaking out of the limited number of molds and more women are becoming empowered from experiencing the stories of these amazing characters. With every step forward in feminism there is always a backlash, but it feels like women are in a better position to fight for their space in genre storytelling.

NG: How do you think fangirls can change media industries?

TRICIA: First, speak up. Write reviews. Discuss your likes and dislikes on social media. Women are often discouraged from expressing negative opinions, but as a consumer it is your right to like or dislike something and then say so. In addition to being critical, praise stories or characters that are done well. Then put your money where your mouth is. Those are the ways to make change.

NG: How did you get the idea to create FANgirlBlog.com?

TRICIA: Around the time of Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, I realized that women were not being recognized as a consumer by the franchise. On top of that, I had been on the receiving end of bullying in existing fandom message boards. I decided that creating my own blog would ensure my voice was heard, and at the same time I wanted to mentor other women on writing and the art of critiquing. Many doors opened through FANgirl, and I’m proud of what I and my contributors have accomplished over the past five years. We are now the go-to site for Heroine’s Journey references by education institutions.

NG: What are your favorite and least favorite developments that happened to the Star Wars franchise since Disney purchased it?

TRICIA: For a while I was really frustrated with the licensing trends to leave out female characters. It’s still happening with Black Widow from Avengers: Age of Ultron, so we’re not out of that limiting mindset yet. But things seem to be slowly changing. Kathleen Kennedy openly acknowledged the Episode VII cast photo during Celebration Anaheim, noting she herself didn’t have a lot of women to choose from if she were to pick a Star Wars character to be. She promised to change that, and I believe she will get that done.

NG: Thank you very much for being with us today, Tricia! I am certain my readers will enjoy reading it and learning more about you.

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

Next Week on the Blog

This week has been busy with a lot of book marketing planning and since yesterday, I have started going through the corrections and feedback my editor gave me on my Women of Flesh and Steel manuscript. This is why I got sidetracked and The Digital Quill Answers didn’t happen as it normally does on Thursday.

I am going to do a good chunk of the revision in my manuscript today and this weekend, so I thought I would post the “Next Week on the Blog” a day earlier.

On Thursday, The Digital Quill Answers will return to its normal schedule.

On Friday, #Scifi Women Interviews will happen with Tricia Barr as our August guest.

At some point during the week, I also plan to write about the upcoming release of the New Revised Edition of A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars.

Have a great Friday and weekend!

Photo Credit: Angelina Odemchuk.

Photo Credit: Angelina Odemchuk.

Links: Writing, Feminism, Science Fiction

Photo Credit: Craig Garner.

Photo Credit: Craig Garner.

Links: Writing, Feminism, Science Fiction

And I also want to give a big thank you to Tricia Barr for the shout out for my blog series A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom! I appreciate it a lot!

Spectacular Blog Award


Thank you Hannah for nominating me for a Spectacular Blog Award! I am glad that you think so well of this blog and of me!

What’s the Spectacular Blog Award? Well, here are the rules:

  • Everyone else is free to snag the graphic and give it to blogs they find spectacular.
  • When giving the award, add a short post to your blog about the blog you’re nominating and send a comment/note/email to the person receiving the award…just so they know.
  • The blog receiving the award does nothing except enjoy it. No lists of facts, no lists of nominations, no lists of questions…just no lists. Of course, the nominated blog is free to grab the picture for bragging purposes. 😀
  • Go forth and spread the love, people! 😉

I shall spread the love by nominating FANgirl – The Blog for this Spectacular Blog Award. This is one of my favorite sites that talks about so many things that matter to me: female fans, Star Wars, storytelling, female characters. Tricia and the other contributors are smart, kind, enthusiastics: in one word, they are true fangirls.

The Spectacular Blog Award was created by Nerd in the Brain.

Links: Redefining Disability, Feminism, Diversity and Science Fiction

Links: Redefining Disability, Feminism, Diversity and Science Fiction

Anastasia Dualla. Source: Battlestar Galactica Wiki.

Anastasia Dualla.
Source: Battlestar Galactica Wiki.


A Thank You + Links: Feminism, Science Fiction, Writing, Redefining Disability

Thank you very much to Tricia Barr for including my Star Wars video Be Everything You Can Be (featuring the movies’ female characters) in one of her recent posts! This video means a lot to me so seeing it in the post touches me. Thank you!

Zoe Washburne. Source: Firefly Wiki.

Zoe Washburne.
Source: Firefly Wiki.

Links: Feminism, Science Fiction, Writing, Redefining Disability

Discussing Fandom And Its Past and Future Impact

Thank you, Tricia for letting me know about this video, The Future of Fandom from PBS Idea Channel! If you are interested in fandom and how it can develop and impact society, you should watch it!

I was glad to see several significant things that had happened in fandom included, as well as the Organization for Transformative Works mentioned. While I no longer serve as a staff member (I used to be on both International & Outreach and Fan Video & Multimedia between 2010 and 2013), I am glad to see the OTW still doing well and help fans and their culture.

One thing that I find important is to avoid inner elitism and petty fights. I know that this is wishful thinking, no matter the setting. There is so much that fandom can bring to a person, especially with how community is important in it! The fact that one can belong to multiple communities also adds to the life experiences and how people can relate to others and learn to be curious and respectful of others’ ideas and preferences.

I am a proud fangirl and I know that it has also helped me shape my professional orientation. I wouldn’t have decided to present about Dragon Age‘s female characters in 2012 if I hadn’t been a fan of the game franchise, especially when I had never really included video games in my research before. The conference I attended because of it was a game changer for me and had a great influence on me.

If I hadn’t fallen in love with Star Wars when a child, I might not have gone into media studies, and developed a strong taste for Science Fiction – and interesting female characters.

Live to tell the tale - LJ header

That thought provoking video also reminded me of the upcoming French web documentary Citizen Fan, produced by La Gaptiere. It should be released this summer and I took part in it as Vidding and Fan Studies specialist, last November. The producer’s interest in fandom was refreshing, and I am looking forward to the finished result.

Writing Updates + Links: Writing, Social Media, Star Wars, Stargate SG-1, Agent Carter

During this last week, I have been able to make some solid progress in my writing projects and it is a very pleasant feeling. I am still taking things slow and steady because of the lingering burn out, but I feel I am on the right path. My upcoming guest blog post is now sent to the team in charge of the blog on which it will be published. I am curious whether I will need to make edits or changes. I am so excited and honored about this opportunity!

Feeling inspired, I began to work on my Dana Scully book proposal today. I am planning to focus on this project in the upcoming weeks. I’ve already worked on the comparison with other published works on the topic and have set up the table of content. So things are shaping quite well and I’m looking forward to continue writing this book proposal! Having the structure in mind definitely helps a lot!

Photo Credit: Glen Carrie.

Photo Credit: Glen Carrie.

Links: Writing, Social Media, Star Wars, Stargate SG-1, Agent Carter