This is an interview I had with Steven several years ago.
I had the pleasure of interviewing author Steven Barnes and I would like to share it with you.
Steven Barnes was born in Los Angeles and lives there with his wife, author Tananarive Due. He has written episodes of The Outer Limits, Baywatch, Stargate SG-1 and Andromeda. Barnes first published piece of fiction, the 1979 novelette "The Locusts," was written with Larry Niven, and was a Hugo nominee. He is a science fiction writer, lecturer, and creative consultant.
His true passion, other than writing, is martial and physical arts. He is a Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, and Kodokan Judo. He holds an instructor certificate in Wu Ming Ta, and has an instructor candidate ranking in Filipino Kali stick and knife fighting.
Barnes has co-author his wife, Tananarive Due and actor Blair Underwood to create the Tennyson Hardwick series: Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel (2008), In the Night of the Heat: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel (2009), & From Cape Town With Love (May 2010).
Keith: What inspired you to write your first book?
Steven: The opportunity to write with one of the great science fiction writers, Larry Niven.
Keith: Are there messages in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
Steven: The universality of human experience, and the boundless potential of our spirit, if we are true to our values.
Keith: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Keith: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Steven: Balancing being true to myself with finding and building an audience.
Keith: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Steven: A fair amount. I've toured internationally, and traveled to Africa for research. But that's nothing compared to some other writers!
Keith: What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Steven: Actually doing the basic work of a first draft. Every-day discipline.
Keith: Do you write an outline before every book you write?
Keith: Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Keith: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Steven: Human potential.
Keith: You’ve collaborated in the past with other authors. How were those experiences?
Steven: More of a dance. You have to understand each others' process and comfort zones, as well as clearly defining responsibilities.
Keith: You’ve collaborated with Blair Underwood and your wife, Tananarive Due to create the Tennyson Hardwick series. Will that collaboration eventually come to an end or do you plan to continue working on the series with your wife and Blair for the unforeseeable future?
Steven: For the foreseeable future. We'll see.
Keith: Are you collaborating with any other authors? If so, can you tell us about the project?
Steven: Working with Charles "Middle Passage" Johnson--I'll say it is a near-future project.
Keith: You’ve written books in both the Star Wars and Star Trek universe. Is it strange writing about characters that are so familiar to science fictions fans across the globe?
Steven: Yep. Very strange. The fans are, well...fanatical. And if you get something wrong, boy, are they gonna let you know it.
Keith: With you and Tananarive being authors, does it ever get competitive at home between you and your wife?
Steven: Not directly, but we do have...ummm..."spirited debates" about writing and storytelling.
Keith: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Steven: Write 1000 words a day, and read 10,000 words a day.
Keith: Thank you so much Steven for agreeing to this interview. Is there anything you like to say in closing?
Steven: Thanks for having me! Check out my websites: http://www.diamondhours.com andhttp://www.thewriterscircle.ning.com