Writing as: A. Carina Spears and formerly as A. Carina Barry
A. Carina Spears has an eclectic writing style that swings like a pendulum between the polar opposites of love and death, with a vast totality of human existence in between them. She believes if you can master these two extremes the rest will fall into place. She is a sucker for writing dares and has appeared in the Haiku for Lovers: An Anthology of Love and Lust by Buttontapper Press and is featured in The Rogues Gallery anthology by Firbolg Publishing. Her fantasy novel Paladin’s Honor is with White Cat Publications. When not writing she enjoys reading, playing video games, trying exotic cuisine, and traveling.
What genres do you like to read? – I like reading fantasy, horror, poetry, urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, romance, manga, comics, non-fiction, and some sci-fi.
Do you have a favorite book or movie? – I have a few. My favorite books have been Bardic Voices 1: Lark and Wren by Mercedes Lackey, Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey, and Mad Ship by Robin Hobb. My favorite movies are Ladyhawke, Dragonslayer, Legend, and Stardust.
Which is your favorite mode of writing? Why? – Having a proper desk lets me feel like it’s time to get down to business. Pen and paper allow me to jot things down when I’m not able to be at my writing desk. Using pen and paper has saved me a lot of grief when I’ve lost files, providing me hard copy notes or story pieces.
What is your primary or favorite genre to write? – I love fantasy the most but couldn’t seem to write it. I started with horror and transitioned into romance. I even joked online that I seemed to have a disease because I wanted to write about fantasy and unicorns and wound up with horror and zombies. Another author said he had the same disease. He wanted to write about elves and frolicking and wound up with werewolves and decapitations. Eventually, I did manage to find my way into writing fantasy. My work in other genres greatly influences what my fantasy stories are like, and I still enjoy writing other genres as well.
Do you have other genres you write for? – Yes. I still write horror and romance, often in the same book.
Which project is your favorite so far? Why? – Oddly enough, this is a hard question for me. I’m often most in love with the piece I’m working on currently. I’m excited about the Paladin series as the world of Enkairos is revealing itself to me beyond the first book I’ve written—its world and other characters.
Before that, my little non-fiction guide called “Fan-Fic Writing: The Fast Track from Good to Great” was one of my true favorites. I love helping new writers who are just getting started and believe that little guide acts as an encouragement for them and lets them know their fan-fiction writings are appreciated. Surprisingly, there are some big-name authors who indulge in fan-fiction, which can lead to invitations for new writers. I got a chance to try for a Doctor Who anthology that was being published for charity. How cool is that? While my story wasn’t picked, I appreciated the opportunity to submit.
How long have you been writing? What does your path look like? – I started writing around 2010 /2011. I made getting published a New Year’s Resolution in 2013. To my surprise, I reached my goal by February! It gave me the courage to keep going. An early success can help bolster you against the tide of rejections that authors inevitably face.
I published short stories for non-paying publications like Firbolg Press and Cease, Cows, but which proved instrumental for me. Firbolg provided my first opportunity to have a professional editor polish my work. That experience helped me see my writing differently. Free publications and unpaid pieces still count towards building a resumé.
From there, I participated in a #PitMad (Pitch Mad) event on Twitter. While a romance press webmaster showed interest in Paladin’s Honor, the editors passed—it didn’t fit what they were looking for at the time.
Posting about the experience on Facebook, about how close I got, provided another editor to ask for a look. The rest is history!
The biggest thing I learned was to keep trying and stay kind. Publishers and editors talk to each other. It can honestly work in your favor if you stay professional about your communications with them.
Where is your favorite place to write? What kind of atmosphere do you need? Quiet, music, coffee, wine? Any tricks to get in the zone? – I like working at my writing desk or at a bookstore with a café like Barnes and Nobles or a library. It has to be quiet enough to let me think. I do like having some music, and it can increase my writing speed if it is the right song. If not, it can be disruptive. I also like having some figurines of fantasy creatures around on my desk. That inspires me as well.
What do you do for fun when you’re not writing? – Often it’s playing video games or watching a TV show. I’ve managed to do a little reading, but it’s difficult these days. Either I’m tired from working, or I’ve been staring at type for hours and need something at a different distance for my eyes to focus on. Of course, going for a walk or cooking is a nice break, too.
Facebook author/business page: https://www.facebook.com/ACarinaSpears
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/A-Carina-Barry/e/B00IXAX8WQ
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