Interview with Ultimate Star Wars Author and Fangirl: Tricia Barr
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to share with you this interview with Ultimate Star Wars author and fellow Fangirl, Tricia Barr.
1) How did you become involved with the project?
I had sent in some sample writing to DK Publishing previously and decided to follow up with Sadie Smith, the managing editor. Luckily, they needed authors for Ultimate Star Wars, and the rest is history!
2) How is the process of writing this reference book different from writing fiction?
I do quite a bit of technical writing for my job as a professional engineer. I am often complimented on my prose, and I believe that is because I approach all my writing with the mindset that I have to tell a story. In the case of a reference book, it is a factual story, but it’s still important to keep the information interesting for the reader.
3) How did this experience change you?
I found it a challenge to shift to the other side of the fence, going from someone who reviews and uses these types of books to someone who is writing it. Working on Ultimate Star Wars has helped me gain an appreciation for how a major, multi-author book like this is put together. In the end, though, I am still the Star Wars fangirl who started this project.
4) How did being a Fangirl help or hinder you during the process?
I do think it made a difference. In the sections I was writing, I was able to keep an eye on topics that are important to me, the reasons I started blogging, especially the female characters in Star Wars and their fans. For instance as the author of the Ahsoka Tano page, my job included pulling the reference images early on in the process. Having been part of the fanbase that wasn’t fond of the original tube top in her character design, I deliberately selected images mostly from the later seasons, and left a note for the designer explaining why I chose the ones I did. Ahsoka still has important moments in the early seasons, and you can’t avoid them. But I tried to highlight the costume design from the later seasons that fans preferred.
For the Princess Leia page I wrote, I wanted her strength and heroism to be featured. The main image is Leia with a blaster rifle in A New Hope. Slave Leia is there, but it’s a small image on the timeline – in the moment when she’s strangling Jabba the Hutt to death.
5) What sections did you work on?
I wrote all of The Clone Wars related material, which was a big section of my assignment. I also got to write Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, the Millennium Falcon, Red Five, and the Death Star, among some of the other major entries. In addition, I helped select the Key Moments spreads featured throughout the book.
6) Which aspects of this project were the easiest to work on?
None of it is easy, but characters like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia definitely came more naturally to me because I know them so well, and have seen their movies so many times.
7) Which aspects of this project were the hardest to work on?
The deadlines were tough. You always want more time to review your writing, smooth it out, but that never changes for a writer. You always want more time.
Thank You Tricia for agreeing to answer these questions. Also, THANK YOU to DK Publishing for publishing a fantastic Star Wars reference book that this Everyday Fangirl is proud to own in her collection!