For my latest Author Spotlight I’m joined by the wonderful Kit Barrie. We talked about writing a little bit of everything, throwing herself into self-publishing, how her theatre background inspires her character creation, and her love of animals.
Take it away Kit…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hello, my name is Kit Barrie. The Kit comes from ‘kitty,’ because I love kitties, and Barrie is from J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, which is one of my favorite stories ever! I describe myself as ‘a little mad-hattery, a little smart-assery.’ I love all things fantastical, magical, and mysterious.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
I write a little bit of everything. I love coming at a story from a limited perspective so the reader learns things along with the characters. Sometimes that is third person, sometimes it is first, just depending on what best serves the story. I am more of a pantser than a plotter. I usually know the beginning and have an end goal in mind, with some moments I want to hit along the way. I am one of those authors who writes pieces down and then Frankensteins them together into the story. I don’t think I’ve ever written an entire story, even a short one, from start to finish without jumping around between paragraphs or sections. I will make my characters go through hell, but I always write a positive ending and no cliffhangers, because I don’t want to disappoint anyone if I get hit by a bus.
Describe your books in only three words.
Fantastical. Traumatic. Action-packed. (Does that count as one word?)
What are you working on right now?
One thing I love about being an independent author is that I create my own timeline and can work on whatever I am feeling at the moment, so I tend to bounce between projects, just depending on what is talking to me. The one I currently have up for preorder is The Prince on the Lake, which is an MM adult fairy tale retelling of Swan Lake/The Swan Princess. That will be out February 1, in time for Valentine’s Day. Evil sorcerer, talking animals, and true love saving the day. I also am working on an ploterotica vampire story called What the Blood Knows.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
This is a toss-up between The Goblin Twins and Midnight Companion. The Goblin Twins was my debut novel and will always have a special place in my heart. I learned so much in the process of publishing it. But, of all of my books thus far, I think Midnight Companion is my greatest achievement. I originally decided I didn’t have time to write it before October, then changed my mind within 24 hours and went for it. I wrote and edited it, designed the cover and internal images, formatted it, and published it in print and as an ebook in less than 6 weeks. The story came together, the characters flowed so well, and the sex was unique and hot. It will become an audiobook in time for Halloween next year too!
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
A little bit of everything. Other books, other authors, ideas from people, my own experiences. But beyond the actual writing part, I want to be an honest and funny presence in the world. I took a page from my dear friend and mentor, Chris Ayres, who passed away in fall of 2021, before I ever had the idea to start publishing. He would sign anything, from Facebook comments to autographs, “Love and Laughter Always, Chris.” He believed love and laughter were the two greatest things you could ever wish for anyone, and that has stuck with me. I try to keep that at the forefront of everything I do, especially when it comes to social media and interacting with fans and fellow authors. I may write drama and trauma, but I want my work to also bring joy and healing and be an escape when people need it.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have been writing for myself since I was old enough to hold a pencil, especially fanfiction and role playing, but I had never committed to actually writing something for publication until last year. I read (audiobooked) the Silk and Steel series by Ariana Nash in late 2021/early 2022, and I decided I wanted to try my hand at publishing a book. When I decide to do something, I throw myself obsessively into it, so I started to write The Goblin Twins, while also doing research on self-publication and chatting with other MM authors. I started it in the spring of 2022 with the intention of having something published by the end of the year, and I knew I wanted to commit to it being a duology so I would be forced to not give up on it after the first one. It started off as a smutty twincest novella, and somehow it morphed into a political fantasy epic, so I really played the “go big or go home” game.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I am able to write at my dayjob if it’s slow, so I will sometimes do that, but more often, I write in the evenings or on the weekends at home. I have to sit at my desk, I can’t write on my phone or a tablet. I have to have a drink next to me, because I am terrible at remembering to hydrate otherwise. My VSS (Very Supportive Spouse) will bring me snacks if I’ve been at it for a while. I also tend to edit as I go, so re-reading what I wrote and finessing it while I wait for the next idea to come is definitely a big part of my process.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
It depends on what inspires the story in the first place, but usually the characters. I come from a background of theatre, so creating a character with a strong backstory and personality is integral to a good plot. And while I often know the beginning of my story, the middle and ending are not always clear, so I let the characters guide the ideas, sometimes with interesting results!
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
I’m still a newer author, and my WIP list is a mile long, so hopefully I will have time to write all of the ideas in my head. I’d love to have that be my dayjob and write whatever inspires me. I do wish my sequel to The Goblin Twins would have come together sooner, but I plan for that to be out in late 2024.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Royalty. I love all aspects of the ‘haves’ meeting the ‘have nots,’ the drama of love versus duty, and the couple working through a power imbalance.
What would be your three desert island books?
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
The Lost Boy by Christina Henry
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
If The Goblin Twins were made into a movie or TV series, I love the idea of Aidan Gallagher (Five from Umbrella Academy) as the twins. He has such a great jawline, he’s 5’5” (my twins are 5’4”,) he has combat skills, and he has some amazing dry humor delivery. Even though he’s a bit older than the character, I would love Jamie Campbell Bower (001 from Stranger Things) as Lai. I don’t know about the rest of the cast, but I’d love to get some new names and faces involved.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I love animals, especially cats. I fostered for 4 years with another group and just recently started my own independent nonprofit, Glorious Purrpose Animal Rescue. In 4.5 years, I’ve fostered over 200 cats and kittens and helped multiple mama cats give birth. Animals are definitely a passion of mine. Also audiobooks. I have thousands of audiobooks and am almost always listening to one at work or in the car.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Compsognathus. They are tiny, fast, and carnivorous. (The little girl with the sandwich in Jurassic Park: The Lost World is attacked by them.) I love that they are so small and cute, but they will also fuck your shit up. Just like me!
Kit Barrie (she/her) was raised by pirates in a traveling carnival where she learned how to fly and to weave fantasy into reality. She identifies as chaotic bisexual, with good intentions and questionable methods. She lives in an utterly unfantastical state in the Midwestern United States with her very supportive spouse (VSS) and at least 4 food goblins who might just be cats gobblin’ food.
The Goblin Twins is Kit’s debut publication. She is a self-published independent author. She calls herself a “queer fiction” author, rather than an MM romance author, because while her books always have a positive ending, they do not necessarily follow the traditional “Happily Ever After” structure of romances, and the romance aspects of the story are often secondary to another genre (fantasy, action/adventure, etc.)
Outside of writing, Kit works a dayjob to pay the bills, loves to read and listen to audiobooks, plays board games and does puzzles with her VSS, and fosters kittens for her own organization, Glorious Purrpose Animal Rescue.
For more information on Kit and her work you can find her on her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter, and follow her on Facebook, and Instagram. You can also join her Facebook Reader Group for more news and updates, and use her Linktree for all her social media.