Coming in May 2019
Citadels can be psychic, emotional, and cultural as well as military, and the wonderfully imaginative contributors to this volume have taken the basic idea and spun out stories in different and often unexpected directions.
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Here I chat with contributor Barb Caffrey:
Deborah J. Ross: How did you become a writer?
Barb Caffrey: When I was very young, I started writing. I don't remember exactly when, either; I do remember that my first try at a really elaborate story was when I was eleven years old. I wrote about the first ball girl at Milwaukee County Stadium (then the home of the Milwaukee Brewers); at the time, there were no ball girls, just ball boys, and that annoyed me. But because I felt, even at eleven, that the boys wouldn't like it if the girls got to play along with 'em, my female character pretended to be a young boy. And was found out...but another of the boys liked her, and kept her secrets.
I wish I still had that story...ahem.
Anyway, I also wrote poetry, a few SF stories, and some Star Trek pastiches when I was in high school. I enjoyed it, but at the time my focus was on music; I never thought this would end up my career, and the music a sidelight, but life is what it is. (And I'd not have it any other way.)
DJR: What authors inspired you?
BC: There were so many, growing up. Probably the first writer I read a lot from was Poul Anderson; our junior high library had a lot of his books, and I found them amusing. (I did not take Dominic Flandry seriously, but I enjoyed his adventures. Had I been a bit older, I might've been alarmed by Flandry's misogyny, or at least by his cynicism. But I've always had a soft spot for him.) Then I read Andre Norton, and was so pleased to find out Andre was a woman...then, when I was in high school, I remember reading several of Marion Zimmer Bradley's books, mostly the juveniles (we'd definitely now call 'em YA), including the romance between Andrew Carr and his eventual wife, Callista.
I returned to Darkover again and again, because I found it to be such an interesting world.
Then I found The Shattered Chain, and I was riveted. The structure. The style. The story!
Best of all, I got to meet three strong women in Lady Rohana, Terran Magda Lorne, and Jaelle n'ha Melora. And I loved 'em all, and could see at least a little of myself reflected in all...no matter what choices they made, they knew they had to make them consciously, as best they could. And the idea of conscious choice was new to me, so I wanted to know more.
Anyway, more contemporary writers who've definitely made an impact include Rosemary Edghill, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, and of course my late husband, writer Michael B. Caffrey. Without all three of them, I would not be the writer I am today.