Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 36: Among the Stacks with Brian Barr


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Brian.  Welcome to The Gal.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brian Barr:
My name is Brian Barr and I’m an author. I write science fiction, horror, and fantasy. I’ve written novels, short stories, and comics as well.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Brian Barr:
Not sure.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Brian Barr:
I think a book with Snoopy and Peanuts characters back when I was two?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Brian Barr:
Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson, and Genesis by Wade Garrett.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked.

Brian Barr:
I don’t know. I feel predictable. I like a lot of fantastical stuff.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Brian Barr:
I always liked storytelling since I was a kid. It’s just a natural interest of mine. I remember making comics when I was 4 on lined paper with shoestring. I probably wrote my first short story in the first grade- it was a ghost story. Before that, I was telling stories on Sony cassette tapes.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Brian Barr:
My living room.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Brian Barr:
I either listen to music or have the TV playing, which is why I have to rewatch a lot of television shows.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Brian Barr:
The patience in revising material and publishing it because I write so much work.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Brian Barr:
It’s a mix between The 3 H’s Trilogy, Carolina Daemonic Book II: Rebel Hell, and Serpent King: Shadow and Light.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Brian Barr:
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Great and Secret Show, Otherland, The Brother’s Karamozov, and A Clockwork Orange among so many others. The most recent influence has been Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon. I think Clive Barker is a huge influence on my writing style.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Brian Barr:
An author’s passion. I think if an author is passionate about a story and the development of its characters, the plot, the themes, and everything that has to do with the story, then the narrative will flow.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Brian Barr:
If a character is either relatable, or unique, it can make me fall in love. I utilize this often in writing my characters. I take people and influences from real life and make them into characters that are identifiable, or I take my interest in certain subject matters and ideas to carve up a unique and interesting character.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Brian Barr:
Maybe Zian Ur the Serpent King, and I recently created a character for a novel I’m writing now who I like. I’m writing this novel for NaNoWriMo.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Brian Barr:
No, but a good cover definitely draws me to buying a book. I’m involved in hiring cover artists for my major works and giving them cover descriptions, but for smaller short stories, I’ll make my own covers with free domain artwork.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Brian Barr:
That I love not only writing books but formatting them and even publishing them. I want to keep making books until I die.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Brian Barr:
There have been some scenes dealing with police brutality in my work that has been a bit emotional for me to write, since that is an issue that draws my attention.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Brian Barr:
I usually write in multiple genres and do my best to not get locked into one.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Brian Barr:
A novel, because there’s more work to do in connectivity and flow with remembering details.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Brian Barr:
My books are quite diverse and even though they are speculative fiction stories, I deal with a great deal of real-world topics. My target audience is pretty vast - anyone who likes horror, fantasy, and science-fiction, especially those who like occult themes because so much of my work has occult aspects. Cyberpunk fans, steampunk, etc.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Brian Barr:
Usually just random stuff that didn’t fit. I can’t think of any at the moment.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's in your "trunk"?

Brian Barr:
I plan on making more comics in my Carolina Daemonic series. For now, I’m more focused on the novels and the short stories.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Brian Barr:
More Carolina Daemonic books, a dark fantasy series of standalone novels set in a world I’ve created, more Empress comics… the sky is the limit. There’s so many things I want to write.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links.)

Brian Barr:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Brian Barr:
Thank you for reading my interview, and please check out my work! My latest novel is Serpent King: Shadow and Light. All of my work is available on Amazon!


About the author:
You can find me on my website or my Amazon Author Page.  Check out my debut novel!  Proud member of the South Carolina Writer's Workshop.

About the books:
Here it is - The 3H's Trilogy!  The Head, The House, and The Hell are now available in a complete collection that is a weird mix of cosmic horror, weird fiction, comedic bizarro, and dark romance!
            The 3 H's Trilogy begins with the story of a woman who falls in love with a decapitated head.  From there, the story only gets weirder and darker, and is unlike any other tale ever written.
            Edited by Jeff O'Brien, who also provided an introduction for this collection.  The amazing cover art, and interior art, was done by the talented artists Sullivan Suad and Zilson Costa!

It's 2020.  The South won the Civil War and achieved manifest destiny in the United States.  Great Britain, known as Victoria, and China, have maintained their empires.  American slavery was abolished in the late 20th century instead of the late 19th century.  Steam powered machinery and electricity make up the bulk of modern technology.
            In the shadows of the Confederacy, there is magic.  Esoteric sciences arcane and archaic survive from forgotten times, and strange demonic creatures wander through the slums of Charleston...
            Enter Carolina Daemonic.  In an alternative timeline, see a dark world not too far removed from our own - religio-poligical cults, racism, sexism, homophobia, corporate takeovers, and corruption are abound.  Witness the strange and mysterious beyond the familiarity of our ordinary world as well - godly avatars, lustful demons, necromancers, and the undead.

Sunlight hits the tapestry of ovular golden designs stretched across the outside of opulent dome-shaped ruins on my home world, possessed by Reptilian poltergeists.  I revisit the planet often, the cradle of my origins, and the remaining puzzle pieces of the people responsible for half of my ancestry.  I am reckless and ashamed inside whenever I sojourn to this wretched ball, so I mustn't stay long.  If I do, then I'll smash down walls, cause damage to a few more palaces, and continue to endanger the preservation of this place's essential yet painful history.
            My tortured, tragic beginnings were composed upon Naga, the planet's interlaced lands and oceans ruled by the greatest civilization of the Draco constellation.  My Reptilian people taught me how to hunt, strike, and kill.  They showed me how to conquer.  In return, I killed them all.  Vengeance was the reason behind their demise, for they did more to me and my parents than they did for us, but I often wonder if the annihilation of my people was truly worth it.
            Possibly not, if the visions of my mother and father are to be trusted.  Their ghosts seem to be lost within the ghostly soup of this possessed planet, contaminated with the shared suffering and agony of serpentine spirits trapped on the grand world of Naga.  My vengeance was in their honor more than my own.  If they are truly underworld slaves here, then this planet has every right to shame me.
            Truly, I am the greatest subjugator ever spawned from the Reptilians.  Naga should be a trophy on my cosmic mantelpiece, a triumphant reminder of my first success as a solitary conquistador.  Instead, it is a contaminated burden, adulterated with memories that, akin to the birth world in my collection, I can never leg to of, ultimately.  My blood and past will always bond me to Naga, for I am Zian Axakil Din'amu Ur, born a commander general's son, reborn as the Serpent King.
            Cosmic colonialism, and alien genocide are bound in the Dracos Constellation, where the Reptilians rule without mercy.  Enter Serpent King, a dark occult science-fantasy novel following the origins of Zian Ur, the last of the Nagans and a cosmic conquistador with a unique destiny.

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