Continuing the VP XIII series of profiles, Brandie Tarvin has graciously agreed to answer some questions. Brandie writes broadly in the areas of original fiction, media tie-in work, and database administration.
Welcome to the Tamago, Brandie! And thanks for the interview!
Tamago: How did you get started writing?
Brandie: I blame my father. He wrote in his spare time, and told so many wonderful horror stories, that I wanted to be just like him. Once I started writing, I just couldn't stop.
Tamago: What would you consider your "genre," if any?
Brandie: I'm willing to write almost anything. Fantasy comes easiest, though.
Tamago: You are a professional writer who publishes novels in existing media universes. How did you enter that profession?
Brandie: I wrote fan-fiction when I was in high school and college. Due to a friend's prodding, I went searching for a publisher. I couldn't get my fanfic published, but I impressed an editor so much that he invited me to write a short story for a Transformers anthology.
Tamago: Do you prefer working on your own original material, the mediaverse material, or both? Why?
Brandie: I love working with both. The fun about writing in mediaverse is that I get to play in someone else's sandbox with toys that have already been created. I don't have to world-build. The fun about my own stuff, though, is that I get to create worlds and characters that no one has thought of yet. With my own original work, there is no third party to please like there is in mediaverse.
Tamago: Tell us about the project(s) you're working on now.
Brandie: Recently, I've finished chapters for the Shadowrun Corporate Guide and Tied In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing. Coming out this fall is the Career Guide to Your Job From Hell anthology with my fantasy story "Another Day, Another Labor." In 2011, my steampunk story "Silk and Steam" will be published in Lee Martindale's The Ladies of Trade Town by Norilana Books.
I'm in the second draft of Circle of Fire, an epic fantasy novel retelling the life of Martin Luther with a female protagonist, magic, and meddling gods. I'm also co-writing a memoir and working on a third pirate story for the next book in Stephen D. Sullivan's and Jean Rabe's "Blue Kingdoms" anthology series.
Tamago: I know you're a passionate member of SFWA. Why do you think a writer should be in SFWA?
Brandie: SFWA as an organization that understands the issues writers face. It has a great support structure. You can get career advice, notice of professional writing opportunities, news of scams and other issues facing writers. I'm a big believer in networking, the idea that no one person is too insignificant to know. SFWA has its own built-in network and can add a lot of value to any writer's career.
Tamago: Tell us a little about your Viable Paradise experience. Would you recommend the experience to other writers?
Brandie: Best Writer's Workshop, Evah! VP exhausted me. I didn't know until well after I'd left how much I'd actually learned about my writing. The exercises sharpened my focus. I've written more words the following VP then I'd written in the entire year leading up to it. Bonus feature: I have more writer friends now, all people who understand the dark and twisted places in my brain!
Do I recommend it? Absolutely! But Viable Paradise doesn't do Writing 101. This is Writing 401, for those who know how to string sentences and plots together, but need that additional clarification and edification. If you have a chance, apply for the workshop. It will change how you read, how you write, and how you resolve your character / plot / world-building problems.
Tamago: Where can we find your published work?
Brandie: Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com, iBookstore, Kindle, and Smashwords. Links can be found on my website at http://www.brandietarvin.net, under the Fiction Page.