Happy Year of the Horse!

From Sideshow’s Indiana Jones Pursuit of the Ark statue to Dark Horse Comics’ Year of the Horse, everyone seems to be taking advantage of the Chinese calendar. As an avid equestrian, including horses in my novel Wynde happened naturally. I mean, who doesn’t want horses in their space opera?

Luckily, Lisa Schap at Eleven-ThirtyEight agreed with that sentiment in her piece “What Star Wars Can Learn From Wynde.”

I recently had the pleasure of reading Tricia Barr’s first installment of the Fireheart series called Wynde. Some of you may know her from articles written for Star Wars:Insider or read her FANgirl blog. From the Amazon description the book sounded like a Star Wars type of story but it turned out to be an impressive display of everything I’m looking for with the future of Star Wars. I must admit that after mostly reading Star Wars books this year I was a little intimidated to be reading a new author’s work of almost 800 pages. It has been awhile since I’d picked up a book that long (probably Martin’s A Dance With Dragons) and so I timidly opened the book to begin. What unfolded has the potential to become my new favorite series. I am emphasizing “my” because I am somewhat of a special case. It is difficult for me to combine two passions in my life: Star Wars and horses. Tricia Barr manages to do that and so much more. The future of Star Wars can learn from this promising new author.

Lisa’s takeaway from Wynde included the use of plot twists, politics, fighter pilots, and myth. The twists and politics took careful consideration and planning on my part. The fighter pilots and myth – and the horses – came quite easily. I’m also glad Lisa appreciated the heft of the novel and te world-building. Most of all, though, I was excited that while the book is obviously for the girls, Wynde develops its male characters too.

Well it wouldn’t be an opinion piece of mine without me mentioning how much I want to have a Star Wars heroine that I can look up to. Tricia Barr as the author of FANgirl blog did not disappoint in her use of women in this book. She put several front and center but didn’t overdo it. Sometimes it seems like the books now are trying too hard and failing at properly creating and using a female as their main character. The ensemble cast of Wynde properly utilizes both male and female characters to create a better story. There is conflict as part of Vespa’s growing pains to establish herself as a hero and get out from under the shadow of her parent’s successes. This is offset equally by Badge’s story as a male hero and his adventure integrating himself into a new planet.

I haven’t talked much yet about heroes Badger Keane, Nix Moonrider, Terraq Fireheart or Zephyr Tames, but there are plenty of fierce, complicated men in the novel.

Eleven-ThirtyEight is a sharp, insightful Star Wars commentary blog. I encourage you to check it out. One of their key goals has been talk about diversity, a topic I wholeheartedly support. Star Wars should be for everyone. Over at Fictional State of Mind, I had a chance to talk about diversity in my own novel.

Finally, Wynde has been approved for the Premium Catalog at Smashwords, which means it will be hitting every major ebook distributor in the next couple weeks. You can purchase it now at Smashwords or Amazon.

Just a reminder: here are all the things you can do to support Wynde.

For updates on all things FANgirl follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter or like FANgirl Zone on Facebook. At times she tries the Tumblr.



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.