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After a decade-long detour through the entertainment industry, P.I. Barrington has returned to fiction author. Her experience includes journalism, radio air talent and the music industry. She lives in Southern California and many times co-authors with her sister, Loni Emmert who also works in the music industry.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Los Angeles? I’ve said this before and I’ll say it a bazillion times: Los Angeles is the entertainment center of the Earth! So many people come here and try to make it as a “star” or at least a recognized actor or musician and find it difficult to make it at all. In a way LA reminds me of that song New York, New York & the lyric line: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” Well, that line has always pertained to Los Angeles much more because LA has always been the movie capitol. When you grow up in Southern California, it’s almost a given that you work in entertainment. But the competition is so great that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. So to be a writer in Los Angeles gives you an edge in thinking of your work as a script or film besides a published book.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? There really wasn’t any one person that influenced me other than Stephen King, but even that was after I was a young adult as they say. I just adored reading and devoured every book I could find so I was already inclined toward writing, pretty much as all writers read voraciously. I read the children’s classics like Black Beauty or Little Women or Tom Sawyer and other books like Misty (of Chincoteague) & Stormy, Misty’s Foal which first gave me a taste and desire to learn about the East Coast of the US. When I was in later elementary grades we were able to order little paperbacks from Scholastic Books’ catalogs, so I ordered things like Ray Bradbury and even a book on Woodstock the concert with incredible photos. One thing my mother did, probably to assuage my appetite to read was to purchase a set of World Book Encyclopedias when I was about 8. If anything influenced me it was that. I started with A and read through them all to the reference books at the end. The one thing that nailed me was when I got to M I read about mummification by the ancient Egyptians. I still remember most of what was known about the process at that time to this day. Only about five years ago did my sister force me to get rid of that original set because the covers disintegrated and many of the books were lost when our roof leaked (3 different times) but until then I kept what I could. The act of reading itself I think was my motivating factor.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? As I said, growing up here in California, you just sort of absorb entertainment and how things are done and how things work in entertainment. I mean, you just get a sense of when something isn’t right, isn’t kosher so to speak so you’re not as naïve as most of the people who come here and get taken advantage of badly. I think when I work on mystery or a crime thriller that comes into play—that cynicism—whether I’m writing set in LA or in Las Vegas which sprouted from Los Angles mob origins.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Well, not until about 2007 but I’d already been published as a journalist—a reporter/photographer for my local newspaper after changing my major to journalism and ending up as the Executive Editor of my school’s newspaper—I was hired before I graduated. But I didn’t pursue writing, it pursued me. It chased me down in radio, in promotion, volunteer work; you name it I ended up writing something somewhere. Finally when I achieved all of my professional goals in entertainment I had time and allowed myself to think about and give fiction writing a shot. That was about 2007 and I had to really go back and use and remember how that was done. By 2009 I was contracted for a futuristic crime thriller trilogy.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? It’s that—Aha!—moment when something you’ve put in at the beginning so seemingly trivial you don’t realize it but in the end it’s the most pivotal item or action or discovery in the entire story or stories. For me that’s what is so rewarding; that I can create something that almost subconsciously works out to surprise even me!
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Okay, I admit it: I’m a review junkie. Especially if it’s from a reviewer who’s never read my work. It’s kind of like having a reader give me their feedback but in the format of a review. I think also like most authors is holding your book in your hands physically. There it is real; it’s published by a publisher. Someone other than you has read it and judged it worthy of their publication. Both of those things give me validation.
How many published books do you have? Well, there’s one I co-wrote with my sister; there’s the futuristic crime thriller trilogy, Isadora DayStar, and now The Brede Chronicles Book 1. Six of them now I think though I have a feeling I’ve left one out. I’ll wake up at three a.m. remembering the title lol!
Please list the titles of all your books:
Button Hollow Chronicles #1: The Leaf Peeper Murders
Future Imperfect Book One: Crucifying Angel (Volume 1)
Miraculous Deception (Future Imperfect) (Volume 2)
The Brede Chronicles Book 1
Zippered Flesh: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad!
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? It varies. For Future Imperfect, my editor came up with that overall trilogy title. But each separate book in the trilogy I gave it my own title: Crucifying Angel, Miraculous Deception & Final Deceit. All of my others have come from the characters, plots, settings. Rarely does a title pop up before a script and usually it’s afterward that I come up with it. But the most interesting title is Isadora DayStar. I used to watch the DayStar religious channel for CreationScapes, a show with gorgeous nature scenes with Bible excerpts & music. I was hooked on it. One night I watched it and the DayStar Logo came up. I thought DayStar, what a great name for a sci-fi character! Isadora DayStar was born!
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My two main genres right now are futuristic crime thrillers and sci-fi romance/adventure. I love spec fiction because I can take current or underway technology and try to develop where it might go in ten or twenty years. I am by no means a rocket scientist so most of what I write is very low tech and I usually focus more on relationships in the future. If people can’t relate to my books and identify with the characters, what’s the point? I try to bring the new developments closer to readers and I write as much as for commerciality as for scientific exposition. Plus, I get the fun of creating worlds, star systems, races, laws, technology, everything!
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Believe it or not, I’d been suffering a huge bout of insecurity which brought about a year and a half of writer’s block and depression so I finally decided to try to write up character outlines and plot outlines. Normally, I can’t stand working with those so I was pretty desperate. I knew I wanted a sci-fi romance adventure-ish story and I wanted two specific characters but I needed names because that’s where I usually start. I had an idea that I wanted a kind of girl who was a scamp (she turned out to be tougher than she knew) and I wanted a hate able half-alien antihero. The first name, well actually, the surname came first and it was Brede then later I paid more attention and it means “ice” which I figured fit his personality perfectly and I was looking through my ten or fifteen baby name books because I wanted a recognizable first name that I could make sound a little bit harsh. I came across Alexander because it had the right amount of syllables for cadence but I found an alternate spelling of Alekzander which I hoped readers would see that it sounded harsh in even the spelling. So, Alekzander Brede was born of that. The female heroine he meets is a child who is an orphan and who instantly worships him from that moment onward. When I saw the name Elektra the surname of Tate popped up instantly and it too had that cadence from the number of syllables in both names. I had this big idea I was going to make the story a big twist on religion in the future but that’s not what happened at all. Elektra and Alekzander took over and told me their story and took over the book and it became a romance of sorts with all types of smarmy settings and characters. Because I originally was focused on the religious aspect I decided to set the story in a future Egypt rather than someplace more modern like the US. There are reasons for that which will unfold in Book 2 next year (2016) when all the characters’ personalities are expanded and their motives develop and change and shape the plots and subplots.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? This is going to sound like I’m yelling at them but I’m not. I’m trying to make them serious about their writing. I’ve always told authors to be their own harshest critic so that others don’t have to be; I learned that with my first self-published book. There’s always something you can learn, always constructive criticism but many novice authors and a lot of published authors think that what they write is gold from the first word and they’re self-indulgent rather than trying to be the best writer that can be and to learn from others’ mistakes and discoveries and to research how to write even if they have to pick up a textbook to do it. Always be hardest on yourself; that way what you do write will be the best you can write.
Who is your favorite author and why? There are so many that I love but out of all of them, it has to be Stephen King. I understand him and the way he writes—he can write terrifying things without too much gore but he can also give characters expanded motives and reasons and background and makes them likeable or at least understandable and many times tragic and relatable. And when he makes a hate able character, well, he/she’s hate able alright. Then there’s Taylor Caldwell who I love because of two of her books: Great Lion of God and Dear and Glorious Physician about Saint Paul and Saint Luke. I just love those two books. And then there’s the late great Colleen McCullough with her masterpiece series Masters of Rome. On a funny note, I came across one of those books in that series (The Grass Crown) at a BigLots on clearance for $0.99. I’m a closet addict of history, Christian or otherwise so I knew what the grass crown was immediately and grabbed it. That set me on the series which I love to pieces still! Don’t even get me started on crime thrillers or sci-fi sagas, lol!
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Brede Chronicles, Book One, since it’s the latest and will have the second book to follow in 2016.
If you are a multi-book author please tell us three of YOUR favorite (published) book titles: The Brede Chronicles Book 1, Future Imperfect Book One: Crucifying Angel (Volume 1), and Borealis.
Featured Book One: The Brede Chronicles Book 1 by P.I. Barrington
Alekzander Brede is a law unto himself…or so he thinks. Elektra Tate, the street orphan who loves him has other ideas.
Half-human Alekzander Brede is a law unto himself…or so he thinks. Elektra Tate, the street orphan who loves him has other ideas. When she betrays him for no apparent reason, he vows to punish her one way or another. Taking the one thing she treasures most—their son—begins a cat and mouse relationship spanning two planets and costing possibly his life. Elektra will stop at nothing to save her son but can she overcome Brede’s twisted idea of vengeance?
"Science fiction bodice-ripper set in dystopian future complete with aliens...best sci-fi novel of 2014!"
~ Ursula K. Raphael, Zombephiles.com
"Welcome, P.I. Barrington to the ranks of writers who are worthy of the description sci-fi writer... The ending leaves you eager to start on Book Two..."
~Nerd Girl Official
"This is a love story with it's ups and downs in a world like Star Trek or Buck Rogers or Fringe all mixed up into one... "
~Mello and June
Featured Book Two: Future Imperfect Book One:
Crucifying Angel (Volume 1) by P.I. Barrington
It's 2032 and there's a new high stakes game in Sin City. The deadly combination of a mysterious cult, a serial killer, and a growing list of victims is the payout for the disintegrating city of Las Vegas. The ozone is gone, casino skeletons stand half-built and much of the city has ground to a halt. Homicide Detectives Payce Halligan and her new partner, British ex-DCI Gavin McAllister, are the last of a handful of dwindling law enforcement, search to apprehend the serial killer who crucifies women upside down and carves his initials into their bodies as his signature.
The trail leads to The New Creation, a cult that leaves them with more questions than answers and as their attraction to each other grows both struggle to deal with the past. When Payce suddenly goes missing from The Amazon casino, Gavin begins a desperate search to find her and teams up with an unlikely partner, 15-year-old James, a computer wiz with an electro-magnetic brain implant.
The chase leads them underground to a maze of tunnels in an abandoned research center that they must navigate to find both Payce, and James' girlfriend Edana. Will they find them before The Crucifying Angel carves his initials on them as his final victim?
Featured Book Three: Borealis by PI Barrington, Gail R. Delaney, J. Morgan
In orbit over a deserted outpost at the edge of conquered space sits an aging space station under the control of the Trans Planetary Protectorate. The Borealis is slowly falling apart as the Protectorate funnels its massive resources into the border wars and keeping the outlaying systems in line, as insurrections break out.
Inamorata Crossing by PI Barrington
As an Enforcement Officer of the TPP, it's Khai Zafara's job to transport Teyrnan Sajan, a rebel leader and 'prisoner of war' to the Borealis to serve out his sentence in the prison levels. Khai holds a deep-set hatred for the Rebellion, believing they were responsible for her father's murder – which she witnessed as a young girl.
Teyrnan Sajan was on Borealis they day Khai's father was murdered. He thought he was the only person left alive who knew the truth. Once Teyrnan realizes who Khai is, he begins a slow process of helping her separate reality from the false memories the TPP drilled into her head.
Teyrnan is a convincing man, and Khai begins to see the truth behind TPP lies. At first, she convinces herself that it's the draw she feels toward him that's clouding her judgment… but as memories break through, she has to accept the truth. And she has to make a choice: Deliver Teyrnan to Borealis so he can serve out his punishment -- and probably die -- in prison. Or, turn her back on the TPP and everything she thinks she's known to join him and the Rebellion and right the wrongs done by her father's murder
Kiss Me, Kate by J. Morgan
K'Tyln Dar is a pampered prince who wants to finally become the man his planet needs so he goes in search of the baddest bounty hunter in the known universe -- The Professor.
Richelle is called The Professor because she knows every possible way to kill a man. Most people -- like K'tyln -- have no idea that the most ruthless killer in the known universe is a woman. And she likes to keep it that way. Richelle has neither the time nor patience for a puff-shirt, golden boy politician like K'tyln Dar.
When he brazenly demands to meet The Professor and reveals his desire to 'learn to be a warrior', her first thought is to put him in his pompous place. But, as he takes his licks -- and bruises -- and contusions -- she sees a glimpse of the man he not only wants to be, but the man he is deep down inside.
Forgive Us Our Debts by Gail R. Delaney
Sarina Laroux is taken hostage and held as a prisoner on the Borealis, considered a traitor to the TPP after they took her father's throne and laid waste to Andromeda Prime -- her home. Theron Kess is sent by her family to rescue her, a job he would never refuse because he owes her family more than they even know.
Theron almost gives up hope in getting her out when he can't locate her amongst the other Uudon-dosed prisoners. When he finally finds her, he is thankful he always prepares for the worst, because her situation is the stuff of nightmares.
Add to that the fact that the Rebellion picks this time to attack the station. Not only does he have guards and Sarina herself to deal with, but gunfire and an aging station ready to shudder apart with the next pulse cannon blast. He has to earn Serina's trust -- something that doesn't come easy on the Borealis -- if he has any hope of getting her out alive. By the time all is said and done, they both come out different people... and for the better.
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