Whoosh! Issue 68 - May 2002

INSIDE THE HEAD OF MALAURIE BARBER
By Amy Murphy
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2002 held by Whoosh!
4066 words


Introduction (1)
Malaurie's Head (2-170)
Malaurie's Stories
Acknowledgments
Articles
Biography



INSIDE THE HEAD OF MALAURIE BARBER



How is it that you can spell Joxer's name correctly 
but you spell my name A-R-S-E?
Gabrielle was severely bitten by the writing bug.

Introduction

[01] This bard writes magical tales that are such joys to read. She picks the nicest names for her characters and places.


Malaurie's Head

INTERVIEWER:
[02] Why did you start writing?

MALAURIE BARBER:
[03] Overactive imagination! I guess the question should be 'when' because I can't really remember why. I just know that as long as I can remember I have loved to write.

INTERVIEWER:
[04] If you had to do it all over, would you be a bard? Would you write?

BARBER:
[05] Without a doubt.

INTERVIEWER:
[06] Give us a brief day in the life of Malaurie.

BARBER:
[07] Wake up around seven, usually do some writing, have breakfast, take a shower, and go to work. Come home around six. Work out every other day. I'm also rarely home at night. I like to go hang out with my friends, go to plays, and sometimes just sit home and read a good book.

INTERVIEWER:
[08] How do you handle stress?

BARBER:
[09] What's stress? Just teasing! It depends: if I really hit the bottom and feel as if I'm going to kill someone, I go for a long run or hit my punching bag until I drop, but it rarely happens. I usually handle stress well and work better under pressure. What I try to do is take a deep breath and tell myself that it could be worse.

INTERVIEWER:
[10] Years from now, how would you want to be remembered?

BARBER:
[11] Through my writing. It might sound pompous, but I would like students in high school to be studying my texts.

INTERVIEWER:
[12] What is your pet peeve?

BARBER:
[13] I hate talking to people who avoid looking at me in the eyes. Drives me crazy.

INTERVIEWER:
[14] Who is Malaurie?

BARBER:
[15] A 28 year-old with red hair, born in France, loves competitive sports, reading, writing, and making people laugh.

INTERVIEWER:
[16] Do fans expect too much from stars?

BARBER:
[17] Gosh yes. Some people go to extremes and start believing that the stars owe them their success. To be honest, I really feel like telling those people to get a life!

INTERVIEWER:
[18] If you could cure one disease, what would it be and why?

BARBER:
[19] Alzheimer's disease. My grandmother died of it at the age of 74 and there is nothing worse than watching someone you love go from an independent adult to someone who has no direction and no memory of who they are.

INTERVIEWER:
[20] What is the most sensitive part on your body?

BARBER:
[21] My heart. Oh, you meant literally? I guess then it would be the back of my neck.

INTERVIEWER:
[22] What do you see yourself doing in the future?

BARBER:
[23] Writing full time, coaching actors and directing plays locally

INTERVIEWER:
[24] Any future projects?

BARBER:
[25] Getting my MBA.

INTERVIEWER:
[26] How do you handle depression?

BARBER:
[27] I've honestly never had it. I've had times when I felt alone, misunderstood, and lonely, but I usually come right back up. I have this ability to be able to put my troubles aside and focus on something else, until my problems really seem unimportant.

INTERVIEWER:
[28] What was the hardest thing you ever did?

BARBER:
[29] Physically: bungee jump. That was also the stupidest thing. I was sick afterwards! Mentally and emotionally: Move 4000 miles away from my home to America with about 10 English words in my vocabulary.

INTERVIEWER:
[30] What was the easiest?

BARBER:
[31] Physically: don't know, everything is easy: walking, sitting, sleeping. Mentally and emotionally: Decided it was time for me to cut down the sweets, bring my b*tt back to the gym, and lose some weight. It came easily: one morning I woke up, couldn't get into my favorite outfit, and that was it.

INTERVIEWER:
[32] What advice can you give to future writers?

BARBER:
[33] Read a lot and study other people's styles, then come up with your own. Don't try to be the new Shakespeare, and do not write a book just because you want to be published. Write because you are inspired and can't live without it.

INTERVIEWER:
[34] How did it feel to be published?

BARBER:
[35] It felt great. Then I got over it and kept on writing for my own pleasure.

INTERVIEWER:
[36] What has the show Xena meant to you?

BARBER:
[37] Loved the show. It was entertaining to watch. It hasn't changed my life or my way of thinking or anything, but I definitely would go back and watch some of the episodes.

INTERVIEWER:
[38] How do you feel about its end?

BARBER:
[39] All good things have an end. I think it was time for the show to end. In my opinion it is better to stop producing a show when it's still popular then when it has fallen out of favor. It got six successful years, time for its actors to move on to better things.

INTERVIEWER:
[40] What are your dreams? Hopes? Wishes?

BARBER:
[41] My dreams? Have enough money to pack a bag and travel around the world from country to country without looking back. Hopes? To be successful in my life and not hurt the people I love. Wishes? Just to be happy.

INTERVIEWER:
[42] Who do you trust?

BARBER:
[43] My close friends.

INTERVIEWER:
[44] If you are a parent, what is the greatest wish you have for your child?

BARBER:
[45] Well, I'm not a parent, but hey, I'll answer anyway, To live in a world of peace. I don't mean that everyone has to love everyone, I'm not that idealistic. I mean a world where people don't kill each other over religion, money, or who knows what and where the threat of a war is not always so predominant.

INTERVIEWER:
[46] What would you say every writer needs?

BARBER:
[47] A good kick in the *ss. Just kidding. Inspiration.

INTERVIEWER:
[48] Do you believe in prayer?

BARBER:
[49] I didn't use to, but then I met my best friend, who is very religious, and things changed slightly. I don't know how to pray and don't pretend to be religious, but I have seen what the power of prayers can do to somebody's well being and mental strength. I admire those people who can put so much faith in something they can't see.

INTERVIEWER:
[50] How do you feel about subtext?

BARBER:
[51] Any good story needs subtext. It makes people think and keeps them on the edge.

INTERVIEWER:
[52] What makes your best friend your best friend?

BARBER:
[53] Gosh, I could go on forever, but the most important things are: She accepts me for who I am and has never tried to change me. She listens to me and knows my needs. She isn't afraid of sharing her emotions, dreams, and hopes with me. She has never made false promises. She is just one exceptional person who is not only extremely smart, well rounded, trustworthy, but she is also fun to hang out with. What also makes her my best friend is that I would do anything to put a smile on her face and to protect her from anyone who might harm her.

INTERVIEWER:
[54] What's the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?

BARBER:
[55] Can't remember. Honest!

INTERVIEWER:
[56] What theme would you like to tackle in your next work?

BARBER:
[57] I'd like to write an historical piece.

INTERVIEWER:
[58] What was the last thing that made you smile recently?

BARBER:
[59] My best friend and I being chased by geese and running for, what we thought at the time were, our lives!

INTERVIEWER:
[60] What last made you angry?

BARBER:
[61] It's been a while since I have gotten upset at anything, but I guess we could say that I get mad every morning when I drive to work. People can't drive!

INTERVIEWER:
[62] You now have absolute authority over the world. Omnipotent in all areas. What's your first move?

BARBER:
[63] Honestly, I have no idea. There is so much to do that my first move would probably be to sit down and think long and hard about my next move.

INTERVIEWER:
[64] What stupid thing did you do as a teen?

BARBER:
[65] I constantly did stupid things. I guess the worst one was getting rolling drunk on New Year's Eve (we have no drinking age in France), running to the beach with my friends, and going skinny-dipping in the bitter cold of winter in the North of France. Almost got pneumonia out of that one!

INTERVIEWER:
[66] What, if anything, can stop you writing, if only for a while?

BARBER:
[67] If I'm on a roll I can get very aggravated if people interrupt me for silly little things, but I make a point of always stopping if one of my friends or my significant other needs me.

INTERVIEWER:
[68] In your opinion, do you fit your astrological sign?

BARBER:
[69] I am right on the line between Sagittarius and Scorpio. Some people say I have traits of both signs. Personally, I don't know enough about it to judge, but since in some horoscopes I am a Sagittarius, others a Scorpio, I pick the one with the better prediction!

INTERVIEWER:
[70] What to you is the worst feeling in the world?

BARBER:
[71] Feeling betrayed.

INTERVIEWER:
[72] The best feeling in the world?

BARBER:
[73] Feeling loved.

INTERVIEWER:
[74] Favorite song of the moment?

BARBER:
[75] Breathe from Dido, but also this song they play on the radio constantly and I have no idea who sings, it goes something like: "I'm just a girl. I don't know where I'm going, I don't know where my home is." Anyone know what I am talking about?

INTERVIEWER:
[76] What is the first thing you think of in the morning?

BARBER:
[77] Five more minutes, please give me five more minutes…

INTERVIEWER:
[78] Is there one part of the writing process where you usually get stuck? What have you tried to change that, successful or not?

BARBER:
[79] At the risk of sounding pompous, the answer is no. I have had time where the inspiration is just not there, but I never sit at my computer telling myself, "Now you have to write."

INTERVIEWER:
[80] Does the best writing flow for you, or does it come from rewrites?

BARBER:
[81] It flows.

INTERVIEWER:
[82] Which part of writing do you enjoy most and why?

BARBER:
[83] The first draft. I usually write until I drop and get everything on paper. It's an amazing feeling, almost a feeling of freedom. It's usually exhausting emotionally and intellectually because I try to put a lot of myself in my stories, but I love it.

INTERVIEWER:
[84] How often do you think about a piece when you're working on it and when do you think about it?

BARBER:
[85] Constantly. The characters become part of me, and I sometime find myself thinking throughout the day, "How would they react? What would they do?"

INTERVIEWER:
[86] When someone walks into your bedroom, what are the first five things that they're likely to notice?

BARBER:
[87] My teddy bear snuggling on my bed, the bright colors, the art on my walls, and my cats sleeping cuddled on the pillows.

INTERVIEWER:
[88] Do you feel in control of your writing, or do your inspiration or characters carry you away?

BARBER:
[89] No, I feel in control.

INTERVIEWER:
[90] If you consider yourself to have a muse, what exactly do you mean?

BARBER:
[91] Never really thought about it, but I guess it would be the people who influence my life.

INTERVIEWER:
[92] Tell the truth: are you your favorite writer, or in your own top five? Why or why not?

BARBER:
[93] No definitely not. English being my second language I still struggle with some of the grammar and my descriptions are not as lively as they could be.

INTERVIEWER:
[94] Would the world be a better place if women ran it or would it be basically the same?

BARBER:
[95] Women have the capacity of being very nasty with each other, so I don't know if it would be a better place. I guess it would be a place ruled more by emotion and compassion.

INTERVIEWER:
[96] What is your favorite spot where you live now?

BARBER:
[97] My office.

INTERVIEWER:
[98] What books are you reading now? What about it/them is holding your attention?

BARBER:
[99] Wish You Well by David Baldacci. One of the characters reminds me of myself at a younger age. Funny side story on how I got involved into reading this writer. One of my very good close friends is his researcher, so she sort of forced me into reading his books. Now I can't stop.

INTERVIEWER:
[100] What would your friends say is your worst trait?

BARBER:
[101] Impatience and I am also known to hold a grudge.

INTERVIEWER:
[102] Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?

BARBER:
[103] Yes.

INTERVIEWER:
[104] What is the longest any plant in your home has been with you?

BARBER:
[105] Two years.

INTERVIEWER:
[106] Do you have any particular bedtime rituals that you follow every night?

BARBER:
[107] I always check my email before I go to bed.

INTERVIEWER:
[108] If you find a spider in the bathtub, do you help it out or squish it?

BARBER:
[109] Drown it.

INTERVIEWER:
[110] What was the last thing you bought that you didn't need?

BARBER:
[111] My best friend and I went to the beach and we bought this book called "How to be a Bad Girl!" Fun to read.

INTERVIEWER:
[112] Have you ever smoked cigarettes?

BARBER:
[113] When I was a teenager. I quit because I was really into swimming and my coach told me that I had to make a choice, smoking or swimming. I chose swimming.

INTERVIEWER:
[114] Who is your favorite Greek God?

BARBER:
[115] Aphrodite.

INTERVIEWER:
[116] Why do fools fall in love?

BARBER:
[117] Because it's the best feeling in the world.

INTERVIEWER:
[118] How has online writing affected your life and how you see yourself, your goals?

BARBER:
[119] The support of the readers has given me more confidence in my writing abilities.

INTERVIEWER:
[120] What skill would you like to have that you don't have now?

BARBER:
[121] I'd like to be able to sing. My voice is ok, but it could be better.

INTERVIEWER:
[122] Who is your real life hero and why?

BARBER:
[123] My mentor, Adele. She is an amazing human being and one of the most compassionate people I know. The best teacher I have ever had. She also has gone through a lot in life but is always striving to be a better person.

INTERVIEWER:
[124] If you could only choose a single climate with no variation, would you prefer it to be sweltering hot or freezing cold?

BARBER:
[125] Very very hot.

INTERVIEWER:
[126] What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?

BARBER:
[127] Their eyes.

INTERVIEWER:
[128] Have you ever done something that accidentally caused something really bad to happen to someone?

BARBER:
[129] I don't think so. I keep my fingers crossed on this one.

INTERVIEWER:
[130] How is $25 well spent?

BARBER:
[131] Treating my friend to a movie and popcorn.

INTERVIEWER:
[132] Would you rather live in a sociable suburb, or alone in the deep woods?

BARBER:
[133] Social suburb.

INTERVIEWER:
[134] What literary character did you most identify with as a child?

BARBER:
[135] It's not really literary, but my nickname was Pipi Longstocking, because my temper was as bad as hers.

INTERVIEWER:
[136] What is the source of your inspiration?

BARBER:
[137] My life experience and the people I love.

INTERVIEWER:
[138] Where do your ideas come from?

BARBER:
[139] Some from my experiences, some from absolutely nowhere but my imagination.

INTERVIEWER:
[140] What do you find most satisfying about your job?

BARBER:
[141] The contact with people. I am constantly meeting new people and learning more about them, and I find it fascinating.

INTERVIEWER:
[142] What are the three things you enjoy most about writing?

BARBER:
[143] As I said earlier, the feeling of freedom that comes with putting my thoughts on paper is number one. I guess the others would be creating the characters and actually picturing them in the situation I put them in.

INTERVIEWER:
[144] What's your idea of a perfect world?

BARBER:
[145] A world where people get along.

INTERVIEWER:
[146] How real is your fiction to you?

BARBER:
[147] It's fiction. I love writing it, and I do inspire myself from real life events and people, but once I put them into my stories, it's just fiction.

INTERVIEWER:
[148] What Disney character do you most identify with and why?

BARBER:
[149] Tigger. It's Disney, right? I love him because he is bouncy, cares about people, but doesn't always know how to express it, and what he wants the most out of life is to enjoy it.

INTERVIEWER:
[150] Who do you read for inspiration?

BARBER:
[151] Marge Pierce, Stephen Diez, Shakespeare -- oh no, I said the 's' word! Seriously, Shakespeare was a pure genius and who would not aspire to be like him?

INTERVIEWER:
[152] What's your favorite website?

BARBER:
[152] http://www.emode.com

INTERVIEWER:
[153] When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

BARBER:
[154] An actor

INTERVIEWER:
[155] What are the limits in sacrifices for true love?

BARBER:
[156] When I love I give 100% of myself and I don't put any limits on what I do for that person as long as they are receptive and I don't feel used.

INTERVIEWER:
[157] If you could interview your favorite author, what questions would you ask?

BARBER:
[158] What gave you the idea to write about ten different characters who have nothing to do with each other and have them all be mingled together by the end of the book?

INTERVIEWER:
[159] Why?

BARBER:
[160] One of my favorite books is City of Light, City of Darkness by Marge Pierce. I have always been impressed by her attention to details with each characters and how without the reader knowing, she slowly brings each one of them in contact with each other.

INTERVIEWER:
[161] What makes a great kisser?

BARBER:
[162] Someone who cares about my emotions and feelings, someone soft and gentle, but who knows when to turn up the heat if needed.

INTERVIEWER:
[163] What have you learned from your animals?

BARBER:
[164] Don't worry, be happy!

INTERVIEWER:
[165] Does our society glorify violence to the point we have become desensitized to it and the consequences?

BARBER:
[166] I don't think so. Yes, our movies are violent, even our kid's cartoons have tons of violence in them, but I don't think it desensitizes the way we react to it. There has always been violence in the world and always will be, and I believe that each individual reacts differently to it. So, I don't think we glorify violence, I just think that it's less of a taboo subject than 50 years ago, and we are much more open to talk about it with our children.

INTERVIEWER:
[167] What is your motto?

BARBER:
[168] Treat others the way you want to be treated.

INTERVIEWER:
[169] What do you think we take too seriously as writers?

BARBER:
[170] Criticism. Everyone is a critic and not everyone is going to love our writing, and that's all right.


Malaurie's Stories

Malaurie's e-mail address
Malaurie's website
Mailing lists:
Tales of Lo and Chloe
Lo and Chloe Updates

Published novels
Year in Paris/Culture Clash
Justice House, July 2001
Available at Open Book Ltd. for 17.99

Stories

Year In Paris
What happens to Chloe Jones when she comes to Paris to spend the year as an au pair, and is placed in the family of the very enigmatic Laurence Glairon? This uber romance, set in Paris, follows Chloe and Laurence through the trials and tribulations of a young romance, as well as the unique challenges facing Laurence's family.
At 18, Chloe is searching for direction in her life, and decides to go to France as an au pair for one year to assess her future. She arrives in Paris in early September and is met by Laurence Glairon, Chloe's future host family's daughter. Laurence's attitude toward Chloe is distant and rude, and she barely tolerates her. After a very nerve-racking trip from the airport to the Glairon's house in Versailles, Chloe is introduced to Clément, the little 2-year old boy she is going to be in charge of, and Beatrice, Clément's mother and Laurence's step mother. Beatrice is a very volatile person and seems to enjoy herself tremendously with her nightly escapes while her husband Jean (Laurence's father) is out of town.
Chloe learns very quickly that the family had gone through four au pairs in less than two years, and that every one of them left because Beatrice was overworking them. Chloe decides to overlook this because of her immediate fondness for the child, and her love of a good challenge. After few days in the house, learning the ropes of being an au pair, and slowly understanding how to deal with Laurence, Beatrice announces that she and Clément are going to go away for a few days.
To Chloe's surprise, Laurence offers to take her on a tour of the Versailles castle. The tour turns out to be a revelation about Laurence and her ancestors. Laurence proves to Chloe that she has gained her trust by taking her to a hidden secret passage in the castle only known by her and her father. The few days without Beatrice are spent blissfully, and each day our two characters learn more about each other.
As it comes time for Laurence to return to college, the girls' relationship is continuing to grow, but an unkept promise from Laurence comes between them. As Chloe and Laurence are working out their problems, a terrible revelation of Beatrice's treatment of Clément become known, and an unexpected confession from Laurence reveals her true relation to Clément. To know more, go ahead and read it.

Culture Clash
This is the sequel to A Year in Paris. If you have not read it, I strongly suggest you go ahead and do it, otherwise I guarantee you are going to be lost.

Original Sin - Ongoing
This is my new story. This is pure fiction and as much as I try to stay accurate, I might make up facts if I think they'll help the story flow better. This is a work in process and to be honest I have no idea how many chapters I'll write. It might be a short one. It might be another novel. Only time will tell. This is the story of Maxine and Ann, or should I say Sister Ann? Ann is a nun living in a convent and Maxine is a forgotten Hollywood star who has fallen into drugs and alcohol. She is sent to Ann's convent by her brother and manager to try once more to kick the habit. There she meets the young nun. I hope you'll enjoy reading it.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Kamouraskan for the beta.


Articles

L. J. Maas and Murphy Wilson [Amy Murphy]. One Step Beyond ... Uber, That Is. WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)

The "Inside the Head of…" series in Whoosh issues #58, 61-


Biography

a woman of mystery Amy Murphy
Thirty-one-year-old Amy Murphy resides in Indiana, and is an avid reader of Xena: Warrior Princess Fan Fiction. If it exists in the Xenaverse, chances are she's read it! Murphy has also tried her hand at writing fan fiction, turning out two very nice pieces that reside on a couple of web sites throughout the Xenaverse.


Favorite episode: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
Favorite line: "I have many skills" (various episodes)
First episode seen: THE TITANS (07/107)
Least favorite episode: LYRE, LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)

 

 

Return to Top Return to Index