Barbara A. Barnett

The Cycle of the Sun, fiction, Issue 18, March 1, 2012

The Perfect Instrument, fiction, Issue 26, March 1, 2014

November 19 

When did you start writing? 
I was about 8 years old. I remember pestering my mother to come watch as I made my stuffed animals act out an adventure I had created for them. Busy mom that she was, she told me to go write it down. So I did. After that, writing down all the crazy ideas that popped into my head seemed like the natural thing to do. 

When and what and where did you first get published? My first published work was a satirical, Douglas Adams-inspired science fiction story called "Harvey Benson and the Search for the Meaning of Life," which appeared back in 1997 in a little zine called Story Rules. But it wasn't until several years later that I finally started writing, submitting, and selling stories with any kind of consistency.

 What themes do you like to write about? It'd probably be easier to list the themes I don't like to write about. I'm all over the place.  

 What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? My tastes as a reader are pretty eclectic, but one book I can always point to as a huge influence is Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. The prose is just gorgeous; I still tear up whenever I read the opening paragraph. But what strikes me the most is how Beagle manages to pack so much into such a deceptively simple story: whimsy, magic, satire, action, love, friendship, and a ton of other things, all wrapped up with a beautiful and bittersweet ending. If any of that has found expression in my own work, I'd say it's in my attempt to do a lot with as little as possible and to capture that balance of magic, laughter, and heartache. How successful I've been, of course, is another story entirely.

Barbara A. Barnett is a writer, musician, graduate student in library and information science, Odyssey Writing Workshop alum, coffee addict, wine lover, bad movie mocker, and all-around geek. In addition to, her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fantasy Magazine, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Shimmer, and Daily Science Fiction. Barbara lives with her husband in southern New Jersey and can be found online at