Continuing my desire to Catch up, I bring up last week’s guest in Jayne Barnard.
My first impression of Jayne came to me when I was in Edmonton. I picked up Maddie Hatter and the Deadly Diamond and I was intrigued. Steampunk and Alice and Wonderland are mashed up beautifully as Maddie undertakes her quest to find Baron Bodmin, who had disappeared under strange circumstances going after the fabled Eye of Africa diamond.
This sounds and is a fantastic story. I’m not going to spoil anything here, but Maddie is endearing, rebellious and absolutely charming. Much like the author herself, who I will turn my attention to.
Jayne Barnard if I could sum up my opinion of her, is that she refuses to grow old. I don’t mean that she is old, rather I am saying that there is still something childlike and magical inside her. That child still wonders and explores this strange and wonderful world and I for one am envious of her for it.
I had a real pleasure chatting with her about parasol dueling, Darkwing Duck and her writing. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a small sample of who she is and what she is like.
Joshua Pantalleresco: What are you working on right now?
Jayne Barnard: Edits and more edits. I’ve placed 3 short stories since the beginning of the year, and such chickens must pass through editors’ hands and then mine, and then the editors’ again, before they roost on the pages of anthologies. Also, I’m recording an audiobook for release later this year, learning to distinguish Irish from Cornish accents by a few vowel pronunciations, and throwing myself vocally into everything from tense fight scenes to sly innuendo.
JP: Can you tell me anything about the sequel to Maddie Hatter?
JB: Very exciting doings in 1899 New York City, among the glittering rich. Parasol duels, nefarious industrial spies, clockwork critters, and of course all the dazzling jewels and glorious gowns of the wealthiest women in North America, which Maddie makes her living describing for the British newspapers’ Society pages.
JP: What are you more comfortable writing, short fiction or novels? Is there a preference?
JB: I like both, and novellas fall between, so I enjoy writing those too. I alternate between longer works and short. Since MADDIE HATTER AND THE DEADLY DIAMOND came out in October, I’ve edited a 350-page mystery novel that’s now out to publishers, written 3 short stories from scratch and rewritten two older stories, and now am delving back into Maddie’s second adventure, which I expect to end up as another very long novella, just shy of the 50,000 words that is the general minimum for novels. They all have their challenges, and their joys.
JP: Anything you’d like to add?
JB: The Aurora Awards for Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy will be announced in Calgary this summer, at When Words Collide, the Prairies’ most stupendous reader-writer convention. Plenty of Calgary and prairie writers are eligible in the various categories, and it would be great to see some local authors take home the prizes that more often go to books from Ontario. So, if you are willing to become a member of CSFFA for the grand sum of ten dollars, and can, in good faith, vote for any prairie authors’ books when the Aurora ballot comes to your mailbox, please do so. And then come to When Words Collide to cheer them on. Or up. Depending.
I told you she was awesome.
You can find Jayne online at her website at http://www.jaynebarnard.ca. She can also be found on her facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/Jayne-Barnard-Author-466822683406124/. Her twitter handle is @jaynebarnard1 . Say hi, and ask her about parasol dueling while you are at it.
By all means, pick up Maddie Hatter. It is the start of many more I hope to come. Now if you want to hear our lovely conversation, feel free to click on the link below. It’s a fun chat, and one I hope you guys enjoy.