Interview with C. M. Barrett

What are you working on next?
My next novel is Dystopia in Drag.

A royal family has replaced the dysfunctional Congress, but an evangelist megachurch and corporate bosses who call themselves barons fight for the real power. The church organization has confined sexual and intellectual deviants to urban ghettos called Zones. An unlikely alliance of drag queens and elven superstars plot to break the rulers' stranglehold.
Who are your favorite authors?
My reading is wide-ranging, and it's difficult to pick favorites. My list of favorites, which is far from complete, includesMaeve Binchy, Terry Pratchett, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Email.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Right now, I'm watching the deer graze outside. The fawns have lost their spots and have grown so much.

Okay, 10 minutes have gone by since I wrote the above line. Animal watching is my best form of meditation.

I also read A LOT. I also paint in watercolor.

As an independent author, I spend time networking and forming relationships with authors. I also do my best to keep on top of the latest developments in the world of publishing and promotion.

I'm close to family and friends, and when it's time to climb out of my writing cave, I welcome company.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I subscribe to 4 or 5 lists. I also buy based on recommendations and look for books by authors whose previous works I've enjoyed.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was in junior high school. I wrote a futuristic Thanksgiving story in which everyone downed pills instead of eating. Thankfully, it has become lost in the shrouds of time.
What is your writing process?
Chaotic. A kinder word would be organic. Some authors cultivate domesticated idea plants. I plant weeds and let them grow as they will. Today I was looking at some notes for the work in progress and marveled that it ever turned into anything coherent. But it always does. I have to trust my right-brained self.
How do you approach cover design?
I like to do preliminary searching for a photograph or design. I sometimes use one of my paintings as a background, specifically Big Dragons Don't Cry and House of the Moon (Books 1 and 4 of A Dragon's Guide to Destiny). I also have ideas for typefaces, based on my background in typography.

I hire a designer once I have a rough idea of what I want.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a wide range of genres and contemporary and literary fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Perhaps the greatest question a writer can ask if "What if?" For me, seeing the rise of the New Right, combined with increasing mistrust of the U.S. Congress, provided a basis for a story. That, however, made for too grim a scenario. I don't do grim, at least not totally grim.

So I needed some elements to lighten up the story. Since I love going to drag shows and especially watching anything RuPaul does on television, I wondered, "What if drag queens and other so-called sexual deviates took the lead in a battle against the Right."

That engaged my interest, but I wanted more. Playing on the word, "fairy," I wondered what would happen if elemental beings took an interest in the earthly battle and decided to come in on the side of the drag queens et al.

That was the beginning, and the work is in progress. The working title is "Dystopia in Drag."
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans mean everything to me. I love to see reviews and get messages from those who've read my books. I would write no matter what, but knowing that my work has been a source of entertainment and maybe more to a reader brightens my day.
Published 2013-09-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Snake Charmer's Daughter
Price: Free! Words: 38,490. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
When a foreign nation conquers her land, Zena, snake charmer and mind master, becomes a slave in the Emperor's harem. She resists those who urge her to start a revolt, but she learns she can't turn her back on the suffering of others. As life in the harem becomes increasingly perilous, Zena begins to wonder if her only hope of survival is to lead a rebellion.
Dawn of Dystopia: Prequel to Dystopia in Drag
Price: Free! Words: 31,010. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
Gerry, abandoned by his parents when he’s ten, gets adopted, along with his best friend by a gay man who lives in Greenwich Village. After famines and plagues threaten their charmed lives, their very survival is endangered when the Redeemers, a powerful evangelical church, threatens those who don’t toe their religious line. A tragedy shocks him into the truth of his not-quite-human nature.
Rainbow Dragon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 96,340. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
The mate of Water dragon Druid has laid the egg of their first child. Some Earth dragons fear that this child will be the Rainbow Dragon, whose birth may signal the end of the world, and steal the egg. Druid’s friends try to devise a plan to disarm the rebels without destruction of the egg or loss of life, but, for the sake of his child, Druid is prepared to die.
Bach Flower Remedies: A User-Friendly Guide
Price: $7.00 USD. Words: 72,680. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Alternative therapies, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Spiritual awakening
Hundreds of people around the world have enjoyed this in course form: those who wanted to use the Remedies to heal and balance their emotions and professionals such as M.D's, acupuncturists, and animal behaviorists. The author describes each Remedy in detail, compares similar-seeming ones, and thoroughly explains how to choose them for yourself and for others. This is truly a user-friendly book.
Book of Sorrows: Book 4 of A Dragon's Guide to Destiny
Series: A Dragon's Guide to Destiny, 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 99,270. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The four stars of the series—a dragon, a cat, and two humans—go to the land of Tamaras to investigate a series of earthquakes. They travel through layers of mystery and deceit to an underground world, where a dragon queen appears to hold total power. Here they discover that invisible forces control the populations both above and belowground through a mysterious force called The Book of Sorrows.
Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 30,360. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
Written by Tara, a cat who has devoted her life to training humans, this book brings her expertise to answer cats' urgent questions about choosing the right humans, taking control of the household, getting the best food, toys, treats, and pouncing on a life where cats are truly in charge.
House of the Moon
Series: A Dragon's Guide to Destiny, 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 101,740. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
In the deep desert of Etrenzia, a young scientist is kidnapped. Her sister, Serazina, Heroine of Oasis, braves giant snakes, sandstorms, and invisible enemies to try to rescue her. Phileas, Guardian of Oasis, who has fallen in love with her, shares her ordeals. Neither of them knows they are being lured to the desert for a purpose far more sinister than their worst fears.
Renew Your Life the Natural Way: Balance Your Chakras with Crystals and Essences
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 71,010. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Alternative therapies, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Body, mind, & spirit
When we understand how the chakras connect to our emotions, health, and mental well-being, we have a new way to understand ourselves. When we learn how to rebalance the energy of the chakras, we can achieve a new level of empowerment. The approach of this book doesn't rely on in-depth understanding of any religious philosophies. It is based on learning to understand yourself.
Cats in Command and Other Stories
Price: Free! Words: 15,610. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
In Cats in Command, a woman is abducted into a world ruled by cats. Among other problems, she discovers that felines have their own view of justice. This is one of seven short stories and a novel excerpt. In other stories, the villains rewrite fairy tales, a jury decides the fate of humankind, and a gargoyle comes to life.
Dance with Clouds
Series: A Dragon's Guide to Destiny, 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 102,040. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
For centuries, a priestess cult has ruled the land of Dolocairn. Now drug lords seek to take control. As part of their campaign to broaden their power, they use drugs that induce amnesia and death to attack the land of Oasis. Serazina, the Heroine of Oasis, must go to Dolocairn to stop them. Tara, a fearless kitten, and Druid, a melancholy dragon, accompany her. They may not get out alive.
Animals Have Feelings, Too: Bach Flower Remedies for Cats and Dogs
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 21,230. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Alternative medicine
Are you looking for a drugless solution for your pet's behavioral issues? The Bach Flower Remedies, developed in the early 1900s by Edward Bach, M.D., have helped countless humans and animals. This book helps you to understand what your cat or dog's behavior means and recommends Bach Flower Remedies for many conditions. The book gives special attention to abandonment and abuse.
The Dragon Who Didn't Fly
Series: A Dragon's Guide to Destiny, 1. Price: Free! Words: 103,780. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
Formerly Big Dragons Don't Cry. A cunning opportunist incites the people of Oasis to kill the local dragon so that he can convert Druid's swamp into suburban housing. The would-be dragonslayer also plans to have the current head of state assassinated and assume power. Unless the dragon joins a kitten with attitude and a human with unlawful psychic gifts, Oasis is finished.