This week, I’ve got the great pleasure to bring to you the Second Part of my Interview with my friend, Natania Barron in support of her newest book: “Queen of None”
Have a look at this cover:
To help celebrate the launch of “Queen of None,” Natania stopped by to answer a few questions. She actually filled out my *Entire* list of questions, giving me so many insightful answers, that I’m turning this into a two-part series. In case you missed it, You can find Part one of Natania’s Interview Here
So sit back, relax, and pick up that cup of tea while I step out of the way and let Natania take over…
ME: Do you see any issues in your genre and how are you addressing them?
NB: I’ve always considered myself a fantasy writer, and fantasy is still very male-dominated (as is much of science fiction). It’s getting better, but there still needs to be more representation from BIPOC, queer, and other marginalized groups. Really, we have the whole universe to write in and people still choose to do the same old same old. Granted, I wrote about England. But Anna’s story is fiercely feminist, significantly queer, and definitely not the same old lady in the tower trope. I want to give voices to the unheard.
ME: Who are you favorite writers at the moment, and what do you love about each?
NB: I don’t have enough space to write about my favorite writers. But I’ll do my best. N.K. Jemisin is always at the top of the list. Her worlds, her stories, her emotion and nuance… and her command of language. It all just blows me away. I can’t stop shouting about Tamsin Muir and Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth, for the humor, the wit, the world, and hell, the tone. There were moments reading her books where I just wanted to like give up, nope out, because she just won writing. If you can win it. I’m also a huge fan of Jeff VanderMeer’s work, especially his book Borne. Granted, I love all his stuff, but Borne left an emotional imprint on me in a way that few other books have in a long time. Lastly, I’ll say I really admire Leigh Bardugo’s style and flair. Her characters sing, and her books are just a joy. And clever as hell.
ME: What is one thing that you’ve done for research that you’ve struggled to explain to a non-writer?
NB: I’m a little obsessed with medieval marginalia? Like, the stuff written in the columns and decorating old medieval manuscripts. I have a lot of odd interests. I embrace them. They don’t always make their way into my writing, but sometimes they do…
ME: What is your “Go-to” thing that you treat yourself to when you finish a first draft?
NB: Tea, absolutely tea.
ME: Which of your characters would you least want to meet in a dark alley? Conversely, which of your characters would you want at your side in that alley?
NB: I don’t know, I like all of them, even the nasty ones! Alvin from Pilgrim of the Sky is one of the most evil characters of mine to date, even if he thought he was doing the right thing, so probably him. Mostly because if I saw him, I’d know he wanted me dead. And I’d absolutely love to have tea with Nerissa, Vivienne, Christabel, Worth, and Kit from Frost & Filigree.
ME: Which Tropes do you love to twist/would love to see twisted?
NB: ALL OF THEM. I want more diversity in terms of depictions of beauty, bravery, power, and justice. I want more nuance between the poles of good and evil. I’m tired of orphans with hearts of gold. And please, please, no more sad princesses trapped in castles just waiting to be saved. We do well enough on our own, thank you very much.
Natania Barron believes in monsters and hopes you do, too. She’s the author of dozens of short stories, a fistful of novellas, and a few novels. All of these works contain monsters of one variety of another, but not all of them wear monstrous skins.
When not traveling through imagined worlds, she lives in North Carolina with her family, where she traipses through the forest on a regular basis, bakes incessantly, drinks an inordinate amount of tea, and dreams of someday owning a haunted house of her own.
Her work has appeared in Weird Tales, EscapePod, Steampunk Tales, Crossed Genres, Bull Spec, and various anthologies. Her longer works run the gamut from Edwardian urban fantasy to tales of the rock and roll world. She is also the founder of The Outer Alliance, a group dedicated to queer advocacy in speculative fiction. She’s also an outspoken advocate for mental health rights, particularly pertaining to her son Liam, who has autism.
Thank you so much, Natania, for stopping by this week. And thank you, Reader, for being here with us. If you enjoyed this interview, you’re going to love “Queen of None” which released on December 1st, and is available at Amazon or wherever you feed that reading craving!
Again, If you missed Part 1 of this interview, you can find it here.
You can Pick Up your copy of “Queen of None” from: