Interview with Tara K. Rafacz | NewInBooks


What’s behind the story? What inspired you to write Psalm of the Iron Maid?

Psalm of the Iron Maid, book 8 in the Iron Made series was written as the closer of a cycle; when I conceived of the Iron Maid series, it was as a series of cycles advancing the story in short stories, novellas and novelettes of varying length. Psalm of the Iron Maid, book 8, closes the foundational cycle of the series: We’ve gotten to Mars, established a stubborn colony, and are making ready for the next wave of pioneers to come. More personally for Gin, whom the first cycle circles, it’s the fulfillment of promises that she left Earth believing God for.

It also sets things up for the next cycle, beginning the healing process between Gin, her sister and brother, who feature much more heavily.

If you woke up in the world of Psalm of the Iron Maid, what is the first thing you would probably do?

Probably jump, just to see how my body would react. Mars has less gravity than Earth, which would make me way less, even if it means I’m still the same mass.

What is your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I used to be drawn to science fiction, which is the primary genre I do write in, and with a brush of a different color, too. More often than not lately, I’m reading non-fiction, and I do believe in justifying just about anything I read as research. It comes out somehow in my work. Maybe not today, but it will. And I typically end up writing science fiction.

What fictional world would you most like to visit?

Visual media: Firefly and Star Trek are a good toss-up. Fiction, specifically writing, it’s a three-way tie between C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and Anne Perry’s William and Hester Monk series.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

That I’m creating. I’m converging ideas about personalities and people, how the environment interacts with us, and we with it and exploring ideas and issues within myself. Hopefully, in doing so, I can hold up some sort of mirror so that the reader can see threads of themselves in the pages.

What is your least favorite thing about it?

That I don’t have the time to go on a ten-day writing binge anymore. Maybe again, someday soon. Lately, it’s been piecemealing my writing sessions, a thousand words here, a thousand there. It’s not for lack of ideas – no, I go through mundane tasks and write the pages in my head but they burn up before I can get them down on paper.

What scene in Psalm of the Iron Maid was your favorite to write?

The proposal. I’m not going to elaborate or give anything away more than that. It wasn’t in the original document – I completely rewrote the piece from the original. But I felt it needed to happen in this piece because it tied so much up.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

God’s got this.

“We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.” 1 Chronicles 12:18 b

What will your next adventure or writing project be?

I’m currently working on an alternate history-fantasy piece involving Vikings. Definitely not a historically accurate piece. Trying to compose another fantasy piece with a more realistic take on werewolves not related to any other werewolf work that I have. We shall see what time allows and I will let people know.


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