Friday, July 1, 2016

Interview With Author Dave Barrett

1. What inspired you to write your book? This is a two part question.  The first part is that Chris Baty and National Novel Writing Month inspired me to write a novel.  NaNoWriMo had been a part of my life since 2007, and I love the challenge of it.  Making yourself sit down and pound through word after word - even if they're terrible - is a great experience.  I recommend everyone give it a try at least once.   The second part is that I'm a huge fantasy nerd, and have been since the day I opened Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three.  I was probably eight years old or so at the time, and since then I've spent countless hours inside my own daydreams fighting dragons, forging friendships with other adventurers, and saving the kingdom.  And so the inspiration for this particular story began with "what if...?"

2. What is it about? Allison's best friend TJ is an avid Live Action Roleplayer, and he finally convinces her to join his friends for a weekend adventure.  The adventure starts off well enough for the high school friends, but at some point the group finds itself trapped inside the game world, fighting for survival.  This is the first in a series of books that follows the friends as they pursue their assigned quest in an attempt to get back home.  

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting  thoughts for readers who finish your book?
Above all, I hope that my readers will do exactly what I've done all these years - cast themselves as my characters within their own minds, second guessing, forging relationships, and emerging victorious.  I also hope that they like it enough to read the sequels!

4. What advice do you have for writers? Find a professional editor.  It's All Fun and Games went through four or five revisions over several years, and I was convinced it was ready for prime time.  Was I ever wrong!  The first round of developmental comments from my editor, Kiele Raymond, were so insightful, and her line edits streamlined the writing in ways that blew me away.  As I responded to each of her points, I found myself constantly shaking my head and saying, "Wow, did I really think that was a good sentence?"  It was a humbling experience, to be sure, but it improved the quality of my manuscript immensely.  My copy editor at Girl Friday Productions, Michael Trudeau, improved it even more.  Find a professional editor.

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Boy, that's a heck of a question for a first-time author.  I think that the book publishing industry will continue to become more bifurcated.  The barriers of entry have all but disappeared, which has resulted in a massive flood of new authors.  This is a wonderful thing.  The more people there are in the world being creative the better.   The unfortunate side is that much of the flood is made of of authors with books that were similar to mine pre-professional editing.  They read well enough, and family and friends give positive feedback, but lack polish.   My Goodreads challenge is 50 books a year.  In the grand scheme of things, that's not very many, given the number of books there are.  I don't want to use up one of those slots for a so-so book.  I want every one of them to wow me.   So, where I see the book publishing industry heading is on the one had toward tons of pretty good self published stuff, with traditional publishing houses (including my on home, Inkshares), continuing to be successful in releasing high quality writing.

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book? It's always a challenge to find time to write.  Between a full time job and a full time family, getting solid blocks of time to let the thoughts and the words flow can be tricky.  I'm lucky in that my family is very supportive of my writing time.  Every November they give me a free pass on just about all my responsibilities so that I can sit down and write.   The other challenge was in the editing process.  My first drafts have always been mostly rubbish, with little nuggets of goodness here and there that need to be teased out.  It's always heartbreaking to axe material that I originally felt good about but no longer works. 

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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