Name: C.H. Barron is my pen name/the initials of my full name, but I just go by Karra
Asian background: 100% Filipina
What is it about your experience and upbringing that inspired you the most to write?
Filipinos are quite superstitious and we have all sorts of folklore to explain why someone is sick, why it’s raining so hard, why you shouldn’t climb a mango tree, etc. I’ve been making up stories since I was a toddler and growing up in the Philippines was the perfect way for my imagination to really blossom!
Here’s an example of the fun material I get to work with: My older cousin once told me that he got really sick as a child. He had a fever that wouldn’t go down, aches, pains, you name it. No doctor or medicine could cure him. Finally, his parents took him to an albularyo (a folk healer) and she set a basin of water down beside him. She stared at the water for a time. When the albularyo looked up at last, she came over to my cousin’s side and flicked something off his shoulder. She told him a duende (dwarf) had been sitting there and cursed him with a sickness for accidentally stepping on him (mind you, duendes are invisible so it’s hardly my cousin’s fault, but mythical creatures are a prickly bunch all the same!). After that, my cousin was cured and lived to tell this story that I now suspect is just a tall tale…but what if it isn’t? Those are the possibilities I get to play with as a writer thanks to my family and my culture.
Name 3 authors and 3 books
Since I primarily write fantasy at the moment, here are my picks in that genre:
Little Wounded Gods by Eliza Victoria
The Darker Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
Legend series by Marie Lu
What do you think is the best quality a writer can have?
Confidence. There are going to be many times when you think your story isn’t good enough or you don’t have the talent to write something worth reading. Whether your goal is to be published or just to write that story burning a hole in your heart, you need to believe in yourself above all else. It’s that confidence in your abilities that will encourage you out of the times you want to give up, but also guide you to make the right decisions for your story.
Any last words? (Fun facts, comments, something you’d like to share with the world, etc.)
If you’re not on social media, I highly encourage you to get on Twitter! As an emerging writer, I’ve been using it to connect with other writers since I have so few loved ones who write and just “get” what this path is all about. Looking for communities through contests like DVPit or Pitch Wars has introduce me to so many wonderful people who have now become critique partners, mentors, and friends IRL.
Challenge: Write a one-sentence story!
The runners turned the corner and found they had gone back in time to the Battle of Manila Bay.