Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Barbara Doran and Her Immortals of Wuxia

A New Pulp writer of SF and Fantasy, Barbara Doran was infected with a love of reading from an early age thanks to her father. It was he who introduced her to S.J. Perelman and P.G. Wodehouse, as well as Heinlein and Asimov. 

Reading, for some, inevitably leads to writing, and Barbara started early. Pulp titles like The Shadow and Doc Savage were among my early influences. She also adored The Green Hornet TV series, in part because of Bruce Lee and in part because it was ahead of its time when it came to how it treated minorities.

She has two sons, both teenagers, a husband and a dog. There’s also a cat who thinks Barbara belongs to her.

When she's not chasing the teenagers, husband or dog about on their appointed rounds, she is generally writing and can be reached at BarbaraDoran@sumergoscriptum.com.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

My latest book, Tales of the Golden Dragon, continues the adventures of Tiger and Dragon, the masked heroes of Strikersport. When several gangs of thieves descend on Strikersport and accidentally summon four of the Eight Immortals of Khaitan, it's up to them, and some new and old friends, to keep the town in one piece.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

Being of Chinese descent, I often draw on themes from Chinese mythology and fantasy. I'm particularly fond of wuxia (martial arts) and xianxia (fantastic martial arts) stories so they show up quite frequently in my pulps.

What would be your dream project?

Aside from being allowed to write a good Green Hornet movie (and there are others I'd trust with that first), there's a Doctor Who story I'd love to see filmed. There's a type of Dalek the Doctor created back in the Troughton days who deserves a comeback.


If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?

There are bits and pieces of Claws of the Golden Dragon I'd like to improve on, especially now that I have a better idea of the world.


Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?

Somewhere around the middle. I think of the science part as being the framework that holds the plot up and keeps it from flopping around. The art is how you cover that framework and present it. Put too much on top and it's going to slump. Put too little and the inner workings reveal themselves.

How do your writer friends help you become a better writer? Or do they not?

One of my writer friends and I facebook each other about our trials and travails. She's taught me a huge amount of stuff about the publishing world, and I get to give her someone to laugh at/with when we run into odd fandom/writing problems.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Vocal editing. One of my steps in the process is to read the story aloud so I can hear where I'm getting too wordy or missing a word. I've tried using text to voice software but it never pronounces the names correctly. By the time I'm done, my throat feels like sandpaper. Painful but so worth it in the end.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book or story?

I like having connections in my stories. The one I'm working on now (Goldrush Wuxia/Xianxia) is set a great deal earlier than the Strikersport stories and has nothing to do with them directly, but there's a connection and will probably be more if I get to do a series.

Find Barbara on the Web: 

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B014BTCLRA
WEBSITE: http://www.sumergoscriptum.com/barbaradoran/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SumErgoScriptum/?ref=bookmarks
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/SumErgoScriptum