Steven Barnes is the NY Times bestselling, award-winning author and screenwriter of over thirty novels, as well as episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ANDROMEDA, HORROR NOIRE, and the Emmy Award-winning “A Stitch In Time” episode of THE OUTER LIMITS. He is also a martial artist and creator of the “Lifewriting” approach to fiction, and the “Firedance” system of self-improvement (www.firedancetaichi.com). He lives in Southern California with his wife, British Fantasy Award-winning author Tananarive Due, and son Jason.
If you were transported into one of your books as a character, what kind of character would you be and what kind of adventures would you have?
I think Aubry Knight from the STREETLETHAL books. He and I are mirror images in a way, with different but complementary weaknesses and strengths. I’d get into serious mischief and take a good shot at changing the world.
If you had to choose between being a mermaid or a dragon, which would you pick and why?
Dragon. My totem animal anyway. A flying, fire-breathing, wise, gold-hording dragon who can turn human on demand would be even better. So cool. Are they still bringing virgins these days?
If you could travel to any alternate universe where a different version of yourself exists, what do you think your other self would be like?
To be serious, I’d like to have inhabited a world where there hadn’t been such a steep surcharge on being black. It would be fascinating to see who I’d have been if I hadn’t had to spend so much time and energy compensating for the disadvantaged.
If you had to choose between having the ability to speak with animals or plants, which would you choose and why?
Animals. Seems to me they live more interesting lives.
If aliens were to visit Earth, what do you think their first impression of humans would be?
All things being equal, I’d think they’d think us less developed forms of themselves. I’d assume such aliens would be centuries more technically advanced, while still remembering the struggles that got them there.