Interview with Barry May

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Friends introduced me to ebooks a few years ago and having an i-pad has made it easy to search for more. Amazon.com is the main site I go to for the mainline authors and Smashword for the emerging writers.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I currently work for Asheville Security in Western North Carolina. Working in professional security for over 43 years and Air Force Security Services for 4 years has given me a background for a non-fiction about security awareness.
What is your writing process?
First is to outline the complete story before even one word is written. Know your plot, create characters, scene settings and know the outcome. A good road map lets me know where the story is going, who will be in each chapter and provide me with a seamless story from chapter one thru the ending. Of course, this can change after beginning the writing phase to accommodate new ideas and changes to make the book work better. Once writing begins, I rough in the whole book, let it sit for a few weeks then revise using a paper copy. Then I do the revision process again and again and again till I'm satisfied with the copy. Next comes critique by a writers group followed by another revisions (the writers groups will always give you ideas to act upon). Then the book goes to about 4 readers interested in the subject material. I use readers who will give me an honest opinion of subject and flow. The next step is proof reading by a good proof reader to get any grammatical and spelling errors. At this point, I make a decision about an editor who will frame the writing into a marketable book. Towards the end of end of editing, I decide what the cover should depict and give these ideas to a cover artist. The finale step is to make sure the style is correct for publishing. Writing the book is easy. The hard work before publishing is editing.
How do you approach cover design?
To date, my publishing has been with various security industry publications that didn't require cover designs. Smashwords introduction to ebook publishing has taught me a cover design is very important. For the fiction I'm currently working on, I will convey information to a professional designer as to what I think the cover should include, give them a general idea of the books plot then depend on their creativeness to produce a real catchy cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Let me say that five books is not how I would classify my favorites! Authors is the way I go. Starting with Stephen King. He is the king of macobe, suspense and plot twists. His style is unique with cliff hangers and suspense. I emulate some of this style in my books. Next, I'm a Tom Clancy fan. His knowledge of military adds a lot of realism to his fiction.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read my favorite authors.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Hands down, I-Pad. I use a number of different formats. On my I-Pad is Kindle, Nook and iBooks. The retinal display is great and easy on the eyes.
Describe your desk
My desk? The many projects I work on, everything and paper has its place. After awhile I run out of places. What a mess. I have more than one desk for various functions. It only gets cleaned up when finding something begins to take too long.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My city of birth is Reading Pennsylvania. We lived on Reading airport grounds. This is also the location for my upcoming book, Time and Again. My childhood is reflect and much in the book is true.
Our family moved to Baltimore Maryland when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Upon graduation, I was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam war but joined the Air Force instead.
Much of my writing reflects personal knowledge in Reading. Growing up in Maryland brought many new experiences that shaped my writing writing. The US Air Force opened my eyes to security subjects that I use in my published non-fiction on security practices.
When did you first start writing?
1991 was the first year I produced an article (non-fiction) for a security industry publication called Security News. The publisher liked the article so much, I continued writing for the next 4 years. This was the time I discovered my talent and passion for telling a story.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The time travel science fiction takes place at the Reading Airport in West Reading, PA. Time is 1951 and 1999. The protagonist is Larry Kean visiting a bank headquartered in West Reading. On his way home, he decides to visit the old home location on the airport grounds. He finds that people still live there and notices the age of vehicles. He realizes he somehow went back to his childhood home and time. The story line involves rescue of his family. The plot revolves around the consequence of his interaction with West Reading's Police Chief Don Higgens in 1999 who was at his childhood home as a young police officer in 1951. The story is about Don's resolution about what really happened at the airport in 51 by confronting Larry in the present day.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Freedom!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
You can ask me this when I publish on Smashwords. I will say that Smashwords publications have been a great help in plotting the direction of my book and gives me a good reason to retire from my day job. Not to say I'm going to make enough money to retire. I'm talking about realizing my passion. I Love a challenge.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Without question, telling a story or conveying information. The passion of making an ebook a realite is also very exciting.
What do your fans mean to you?
That's simple, they mean everything. I work to please my fans. Of course, I hope to be compensated for it. An entrauprenure once told me "Working at something you love is not working at all."
What are you working on next?
Since my first book will be Sci-Fi time travel, a second book of the same genera is on he drawing board. I also have sketched a third. This way discovery will bounce off a number of books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock! Seriously, I still work a day job. When I leave it, writing vacations and late night writing sessions will be the norm. My wife will have to wake me when she needs something done. Writing is my passion only rivaled by treasure hunting and gold prospecting, which I write about as well.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That's a tough one! It was in high school and probably considered ancient history now. It may not be the first story I wrote but it's the most remembered one. The name was "The Last Parade". The story revolved around a famous astronaut who was the first to travel to Mars and back. Just before his second mission to Mars, the city of New York held a hero's ticker tape parade for him. Before leaving earth orbit, an all consuming nuclear war broke out on earth. The story was about his thoughts and his conversation with partner astronauts.

Since that time, most of my writing was published non-fiction articles about security. Now I'm working on a book about security awareness. When I get a chance, I like to dabble in sci-fi and fantasy.
Published 2017-05-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.